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With 'followers,' Blogger gets--surprise!--more social

Google's blog publishing platform will soon allow members to track other Bloggers through a "dashboard" and display a graphic of their own followers.

Follow that blog! Google

With blog platforms Movable Type and WordPress adding social-networking features to their software, it was only a matter of time before Google's Blogger did the same.

A post on the official Blogger blog earlier this week announced that users would soon be able to display their "followers"--other Blogger members who have subscribed to them.

The optional feature--along with a notification on blog owners' "dashboards" of how many people have subscribed to their blogs through Blogger--will be rolled out in the next few weeks. A new tab on the dashboard, called "Blogs I'm Following," lets Blogger users keep track of updates to the blogs on their subscription list.

The problem with these sorts of features is that they're inherently limited to readers whose "following" is directly tied to the Blogger software and its members, so it will reflect only a slice of readers. A follower widget (or gadget, as Google calls them) claiming 21 followers only refers to Blogger members, not to the overall number of people reading the blog, which could make the owners of smaller blogs get a bit image-conscious.

But with its Google ownership, Blogger is tying the new following feature into some of its other properties, like Google Reader and the forthcoming Google Friend Connect. The "Blogs I'm Following" tab, for example, can be imported into Google Reader.