Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Beating Blogger

Back at the beginning of November, I and many other bloggers started to experience huge difficulty in following new blogs or ceasing to follow others. The problem featured largely in Blogger’s Help Forum for weeks, and a fix was repeatedly promised, but doesn't yet appear to have materialised. 

Until shortly before Christmas this was my situation too, until I accidentally stumbled upon a solution to the problem of followed blogs failing to appear in Google Reader. My fix doesn’t cure the problem of your list of Blogs I’m Following being inaccurate, both on your dashboard or in your profile, but it does mean that ALL the blogs you follow, including newly added ones, will reliably appear whenever you go into Google Reader to view new posts.

This is what you do.

For each blog which you have started to follow since the beginning of November when the problem first arose, you need to repeat the following three steps:

1.       Go to the blog concerned, and in Google Friend Connect, stop following the blog.

2.       Then start to follow it again by clicking “Join this Site” in Google Friend Connect.  (Don’t even think of using the Follow option at the top of the page. It just doesn’t work properly any more.)

3.       Now – and this is the vital step, which I hadn’t noticed before, but which makes all the difference – when you get the pop-up which tells you:

Congratulations, AAAA
You are now following BBBB

click the little box below, labelled Done.

It’s such a small box that it’s very easy to overlook, and even when you see it, if you’re like me you may think it’s a statement, rather than something requiring action.

However, I now know from experience that if you click on this little box every time you begin to follow a new blog, you will always, and I do mean always, get its new posts appearing in Google Reader, even when, as often happens, they don’t show up in your list of Blogs I’m Following.

In your list of subscriptions on the left of the page in Google Reader you will find that your followed blogs will now be divided into two sections, with the blogs you followed before the problem arose appearing at the top, and a second list of more recently followed blogs underneath. A bit of a nuisance, but I can promise you that they won’t disappear from there and you won’t miss any more new posts from your favourite blogs.

Image by digitalart 


  1. OOOOOH Perpetua...I've just given it a go on your blog.

    If you have caracked it you truly are a genius...I might just have to kiss the hem of your garment if ever we meet!

  2. Super! I have hated missing out on favourite blog thanks to this bug.
    Thank you very much....and it's not the first time you've outBloggered Blogger!

  3. It seems Blogger has its own personality with its own quirks just like the rest of us.

  4. ROFL! SP, I really do think I've cracked it, quite by chance. Since I laboriously refollowed all the blogs that kept disappearing, they've stayed put and things have been so much easier. I should have done a quick post as soon as I discovered this, but life got in the way! :-)

  5. Thanks, Fly. To be honest, if Blogger had designed the pop-up properly in the first place, none of this agony would have been necessary. I truly don't know whether the little box has always been there or whether it is new. I just know that I hadn't registered it before my Eureka moment.

  6. You never spoke a truer word, Rubye. Blogger is packed full of personality quirks. It's just a shame that they are of the annoying, time-wasting variety, rather than the cute and helpful. :-)

  7. Thank you I've been having a 'devil' of a time trying to keep one blog in particular and now it looks fixed. Hadn't figured out the bit of 'not following'...

  8. I'm impressed! I use the feedreader (Google after migrating from Bloglines) and tend not to notice much in the way of problems other than that the Primus' blog vanished and now appears to be nameless - even though his new posts appear. Very odd. I suspect I'm an idle blogger - and that sounds quite rude, no?

  9. You're very welcome, Broad. I'd done so much teeth-gnashing myself and was so pleased when it all went away, that I had to pass on the tip.

  10. Thanks, Christine. If you understand how to use a feedreader rather than Google Friend Connect I'm impressed in my turn! I tried more than once to solve the problem by doing direct subscriptions in Google Reader to the disappearing blogs, but they just went on disappearing..... For some reason this is the only way that has worked for me.

  11. Hi Trooper and welcome! Google Friend Connect is the system that lets people join your blog via the Followers widget you have on your sidebar. The rest is, I hope, self-explanatory. Hopefully Blogger will get things working properly again very soon.

  12. Ah, only a LIBRARIAN would figure this out! Thank you!

  13. LOL, Nerima! It all comes of that dratted librarian personality trait of liking to have things in order. :-) Not everything, I hasten to add, or my desk wouldn't be the mess it is at the moment.....

  14. I'm about to give up on Google Reader - not only does it not pick up on some blogs ( I lost yours for ages) - it also won't delete the ones I unsubscribe from - they just reappear in a few days time

  15. Mark, I quite agree with you about the annoyance of not being able to stop following some blogs, but I do guarantee that if you use my method you won't lose any blogs you do want to follow.

    I gather from a comment in the Blogger Help Forum, that Google is about to scrap Google Friend Connect and provide a new following mechanism just for Blogger. We'll see....


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