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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Google Blogger Bother

Hello all!  News today of a spot of bother, I'm afraid.  The grand overlords at Google are at it again, and this time with a move which is likely to cost all of us on Blogger some of our followers.  They've decided to allow only followers who signed up with Google accounts to continue to be registered with Google Friend Connect, so anyone who signed up with anything else will disappear from our Follower gadgets and numbers will go down.

Apparently it's in order to make life better for everybody...  Don't you hate it when they "improve" things?!  "New and improved" is my least favourite proclamation to see on a much-loved product.

Here's the announcement they made on Blogger Buzz:

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs. 

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

 Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

I'm pretty sure this doesn't mean you have to have Google+, but just regular Google accounts, as I have from being a Blogger blogger.  I have not signed up and will not sign up to Google+ while it requires me to be identified by my full name wherever I go (a similar problem to the one I have with Facebook, though there are all sorts of other reasons why I won't become a Facebooker).  While I'm here, apologies to those of you whose blogs now require the Google+ sign-up to comment - I am admiring your work, but I can't comment any longer as I'm not on Google+.

There's not much we can do, other than alert everyone that if you signed up to follow Blogger blogs without a Google account, you'll need to get a Google account and re-follow with that if you would like to stay connected (and/or sign up to Follow By Email so that you get notifications in your probably already overloaded inbox).

It's hard to know what the impact will be.  Many of us are Blogger bloggers, and so we have Google accounts anyway, so maybe it won't make much difference - we'll see.  I know lots of people are already switching much of their crafty action to Facebook in any case.  I wish you well there but, as I mentioned, I shan't be turning up to join in.  I'll still be here, whatever happens, even if I'm here all alone!

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Victor Frankl

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.
Robert C Gallagher

27 comments:

Astrid Maclean said...

Thanks so much for this update Alison! I had been wondering what the heck was going on. I lost about 30 followers overnight a couple of weeks ago and did several google searches to find out the reason, - no luck, but I guess this will be the explanation. Thanks also about the Google plus info, I have never really understood what Google plus actually is and am still not totally sure, but as far as I know I never signed up for it, so fingers crossed.....

Jane said...

This happened a few weeks back to me Alison and one of my fellow blogging buddies had found the cause. I too refuse to use a Google+ account. It won't affect anyone who has a Google account but I wish they would not fiddle. Here's hoping they now stop! Happy new year xx

sally said...

Progress....probably not! As a Blogger blogger I hope to stick around.....

Sally (I think I'll go check out my very small numbers...)

Kath Stewart said...

happened to me too...if it ain't broke why fix it xxx

chrissie said...

I saw this on another blog last week but decided that I couldn't change it so I will live with it whatever happens. I think I am on Google Plus but never bothered to investigate--red face here. I got a new laptop recently as my old computer packed in after being part of my life for so many years. I am only just learning about Windows 10 and all that that seems to entail. I will be very sad to lose any of my followers but have read and reread your words today and decided the first one is probably going to be right. Hope I don't lose you:(

Love Chrissie xx

Inky and Quirky said...

Oh dear what a mess! Thanks for telling us Alison,why do they keep 'improving' things....I've never yet seen anything made better after an improvement! Looks like I'll be blogging to myself soon then :/
Hugs
Donna xxx

Helen said...

It's such a pain when "they" improve (ha ha) things. I refuse to join Google + too,and if I loose some followers who won't join google (there are a couple) then so be it...

craftytrog said...

Wordpress have been changing things lately too Alison. I'm sure I'm getting less visits and comments lately. I seem to be on google plus through having a google account for DT reasons, but I don't use it. No idea how to disconnect! It is annoying sometimes.
Alison x

Cestina said...

Thanks for such a coherent explanation of yet another nonsensical "We are doing this for your sake" change. Bah humbug!

I shall cross-reference to it in my next blogpost if I may.

And as for being forced onto facebook - may "Angels and ministers of grace defend us!"

xx

Jackie P Neal said...

Thanks for letting us know Alison, had I not read your account, I probably would have been in the dark for awhile!
I too will cross reference on my blog and will also keep fingers crossed!
To Google... please leave well enough alone!!Geesh!

Sara Barker said...

I think I am a googler...I have Blogger, so perhaps so. I don't understand all this following stuff anyway, which is why I'm always late to the parties! I know I have a reader list on Blogger, but often forget it's there.

Amen, sister on the Facebook thing. I don't think I will ever be there! Thank you for your informative post, though I still don't get it. Hugs!

Coco said...

Thanks for letting me know that Alison, though I'm not too much concerned since I do not use blogspot from the beginning but canalblog... Because of that, I've never succeeded to install the Google Friends Connect function and button despite all my efforts!!!! :-(
But as you said, once we get a functionality that we love, it's always really not enjoyable to have it removed by others all of a sudden!...

Well, sorry for not being able to see some of your last posts yet once again, sadly it seems that it becomes a habit...
Hugs, Coco xxx

Dorthe said...

Alison, yes I also wrote about it on my blog, and luckily I`m a Blogger blog, but also "only" Google,-and NO + , I have many friends using Wordspress,-like Lynne , --and I have signed up to follow her blog via e-mail,but this I will only do with some, as it will be so time consuming to get it all on the mail-list ,I think. Why oh why are they always making their system more bad !!!
I,- opposite you am also on fb, but I don`t want to loose contact with blogging, and the way, it is possible to show and tell here.
I haven`t missed any bloggers yet, but am sure it will come.
Luckily I will have no problems in following you :-)
Hugs,Dorthe

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Thanks for this Alison, I was wondering what I had done to cause some of my followers to unfollow me LOL! I love these 'improvements' that cause nothing but headaches and inconvenience for people :O( And like you, I will never sign up for Facebook either, I think if more people read the TOU's they'd be shocked at what Facebook can legally do with your identity and all the content you upload as soon as you click that 'accept' button, it's quite disturbing and terrifying to me. I do have a Google+ profile but prefer to use my Blogger profile for my blog. I am pretty sure though that down the road it will become mandatory to use the Google+ profiles on Blogger too but that's a bridge I'll cross when I see it. Thanks again for the information, Deb xo

butterfly said...

Yes, I think they'll try to force us all on to Google+ soon... there have been signs for a while but, as you say, we'll cross that bridge only when we're forced to! xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

New and improved very rarely work in the same sentence! I have no idea how this will affect me - or blogs I like to follow - I 'think' I may have a Google + account but I have never used it.I suppose it's a case of wait and see! Chrisx

Fliss said...

Thanks for this news Alison and I have no idea why Google have to keep on messing about with things as I always think if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Seems like Google like to keep us all on our toes and I think I'll have to wait and see what happens as last time there was a change I wasn't affected.
I'm sure you won't be alone as I'll still be here whatever :D

Fliss xx

massofhair said...

Thanks Alison for the heads up. I am also opposed to FB, i read their terms and conditions and was horrified at the power it gives them over our identity and creativity.

I had to get a G+ account but never use it as really don't like how it works. Too much personal info needed once again.

I definitely use a Google account as i have an Android phone and have to sign up for it to work. Really dislike the Google bullying tactics so have given as little info as possible.

Haven't been well enough to blog for a while so am surprised i still have followers. Hoping to get mojo back very soon and start again, good job i blog for me and not to attract followers. It is quite a wonderful thing when people choose to follow your blog, makes a post something special.

Will still be following and reading your posts even if i don't leave comments Alison, you are a wonderful creative inspiration and am sure people will be back.

Take care, lots of hugs
Mo:-) xxx

Princess Judy Palmer said...

While I've had a Google account forever apparently I didn't sign up to follow many blogs with it as I see I'm missing from followers lists many places I go. I'll rectify it as I run across it. Personally I've never fussed over the follower count too much. I allow people to get my posts via email which means they don't have to "follow" me to see what I'm up to. To me I'd rather see comments than number of followers anyway.

A Pink said...

Thank you so much for this insight Alison . I was ignorant to it all probably because I'm pretty new t the blogging world . I have google account so hopefully I will still be ok to see everyone blog but I'm not sure I enven know what you mean by Friends connect - I've seen the words around but never really thought to look into it further - not so much naivity more ot do with I haven't got time.
Thank you too for sharing your reasons as to why you aren't On google + its worth bearing in mind if they decide theres a need for us all to move across to that . If they did then I' m sure alot of us will be jumping ship .

Mrs.B said...

New and Improved - usually means that someone has been messing about!
Thanks for the info Alison, I lost followers a couple of weeks ago. Like you I don't 'do' Google+ or FB, so we will just have to wait and see what the impace tis.
Avril xx

Julie Ann Lee said...

Ah, the mysteries of Google+. When I started blogging about 2 years ago it seemed that I was compelled to be a part of this. I've never really understood what it is or used it properly. It looks as if Google would like everyone to have a Google account and that they would rather like to make Google+ a success by any means possible. Thank you for alerting us to this. If I lose followers and if it becomes impossible for people to comment on my blog I shall know the reason why. How sad it is that Google felt they had to do this. I have a feeling they might come to regret it. xx

Paper Profusion said...

Thanks Alison - noticed some changes to follower numbers alright. Will link to your post tomorrow. Nicola x

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Thanks so much Alison for sharing this in detail, I was wondering what is going on.

Dee Adams said...

Thanks for the info Alison thou I very much doubt that you would be there alone! x

Kay Wallace said...

Mindblowing advancement--and not in a necessarily good way. Thanks for the clear interpretation.

Brenda Brown said...

Just google trying to take over the world!!!! xx