I think that one of the most enjoyable sides to Blogging, unless you happen to keep your blog private of course, is the socialising side of it. I have found that when compared to forming online friendships via other social network methods such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, blogging is the only way that you can feel confident that you know the person concerned and can decide whether you feel comfortable in forming an online friendship with them. Because of the more detailed information contained inside their blog posts, its easier to feel as if you actually know that person even if they live at the other side of the world from you and you will probably never meet each other in person. It would be very difficult to do this from the limited insight you can gain from a short sentence or a 140 letter comment! So how do you find other peoples blog posts to read them and then form any online friendships on Blogger or Wordpress?
Let’s take a look shall we? I’ll begin with Blogger.
Making new friends on Blogger.
By far the easiest method of reading other peoples blogs on Blogger is by using the ‘Next Blog’ tab from the Navibar above your own blog. Clicking on that takes you to a variety of other blogs so that you can read them. If you like the content you can then click on the Follow tab from the Navibar or alternatively click on Follow from the Follow Gadget if they have included that on their blog. You can also leave a comment on that persons blog so that they can then return the compliment by clicking on your name or Avatar to visit your blog.
If you need more explanation about Following someone’s blog and what it means then toddle off to http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=104226 where all will be explained. Don’t forget that you can include a Follow Gadget for your own site as well. Its available from your Add and Arrange Page Elements in Design from your Dashboard. Do remember to place it where your visitors can easily see it won’t you?
The other method of finding new blogs to read (and thereby making new friends) is via your Dashboard itself. Under the area where your blog is listed, you will find your Reading List. This area includes any blogs that you are currently following, Blogger Buzz for updates of what is new on Blogger, the new Blogger in Draft, again showing you the new updates as they happen and finally Blogs of Note where you can read blog posts from those blogs that Blogger consider are worthy of being read and followed.
If you make use of Google reader, the blogs that you follow with automatically be added to your reader as well so that you can read them from there. Lastly of course, you can use another method that I often employ, that of making friends with those who comment on my friends blogs. So if I head off to read a friends blog, see a comment from someone who isn’t currently a friend of mine but I like their comment, I can then click on their Avatar or name to then take a look at their blog and have a read. If I like what I see, I can then either comment or Follow their blog.
The other method of making new friends if a friend happens to have included the Follow Gadget on their blog is by clicking on someone’s Avatar picture shown inside the Gadget. . You will then be able to access the Google Friend Connect window where you can choose to either Add as a Friend, Send a Message, see a synopsis of their Profile, access their blog if they have one, and also view all of the other Sites that they have joined. I actually prefer this method of making new friends on Blogger.
Making new friends on Wordpress.com
Again, as on Blogger, by using the Wordpress Toolbar at the top of other blogs on Wordpress, you can click on Blog Info and then from that drop down list, choose either to Follow that Blog or add it to your BlogRoll. Your Blogroll on Wordpress differs from the blogs that you Follow in that it can be also added as a Gadget in your sidebar for others to access as well. To read all of the new posts from any of the blogs that you follow, you simply go to your Dashboard and click on Blog Surfer. You can also alter how many posts from each blog that you can view inside your Blog Surfer by changing the Display Posts box.
In addition you can make use of Readermatic which is available from the list in your Dashboard sidebar as well. This acts in exactly the same way as Google Reader and allows you to read any of your favourite blogs from your Dashboard instead of actually visiting them. On Wordpress there is no ‘Next Blog’ tab in the Toolbar but there is an excellent Search box available from your Toolbar. By using this method, you can search by any word for any blogs on Wordpress containing that word, so a search for Grumble brings up the following multitude of blogs with similar grumblers such as myself! I can then click on each name or Avatar to go and have a read of each blog. As soon as I find any that interest me, I can then leave a comment or alternatively, use the Blog Info tab from the Toolbar and then either Follow or add to my Blogroll.
I can either click on someone’s Avatar or name who has left a comment on a friends blog or alternatively take a look at their Blogroll if they have included it on their blog and click on someone’s Avatar from there. Making use of Tag Surfer from your sidebar is another method of reading the blog posts from other bloggers on Wordpress who are talking about the same things as you. NOTE. For others to be able to find your blog posts and read them using this method, you must include your tags via the Wordpress tag feature and not any other. ( Live Writer let’s you include your tags via Wordpress.) You can also add other Tags as well from the Tag Surfer page if you wish to search for a specific theme or item. This feature is intended to allow you to find ‘like minded’ bloggers who are blogging about the same subjects as you tend to do.
So there are all the different methods of scouring both Blogger and Wordpress in order to find and make new blogging friends. Hope that you find it useful and if you know of any other methods that you use to make new friends on either platform, do please add them via comments. Thanks.