Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane... It's a NEW FOLLOWER Tool!!

Hi, I'm Jennifer, but all my friends call me Jenn. I'm hoping by the end of this post we'll all be buddies so please feel free to start calling me Jenn now, lol. I'm thrilled to be writing my very first Member's Post. (I sure hope you like it!) Thanks to all my new friends on IA, I'm truly thrilled to be blogging & creating artwork with you.

I have a blog over at where I wax poetic about art in general, my own artwork, other amazing artists I come across and NEW COOL TOOLS for the Savvy Blogger. That's what I'm blogging about today!! I came across a VERY NEW Cool Tool just a few days ago, only one day after it's launch. Here's a bit of background, before I leap into an effusive endorsement of the New Follower Tool.

I heard an awful rumor last week that Google Friend Connect, the most used platform for following blogs, was being discontinued by GOOGLE (along with a bunch of other Google products). Well, as I'm sure you're doing, I kinda panicked. I hurriedly Googled it (pun intended, I mean, I googled Google, LOL.) YES, it was true... with one caveat, they were only discontinueing it for NON Blogger blogs. WHEW, I'm a Blogger Blog! Yea!! I was safe. THEN the other shoe dropped a couple days ago. I read on another blog that in actuality, Google was discontinuing GFC for BLOGGER Blogs too! (By the end of the year) NOW WHAT??!? 

I started thinking about my experience with Google. I used to love GOOGLE. I loved it's neat ideas and I'd seen t.v. programs about how they treated their staff, wow, great company. Don't get me wrong, Google is my GOTO search engine. I use Google images etc. all the time... But, lately? I was feeling a little watched. Here's what happened.

I've was really ill late last year. I ended up in the hospital for a week in September then a few day trips back for electrolyte/blood transfusions in the months to come. (Don't worry, I'm muuuch better now, thank you for asking, lol.) The stress that my illness caused on my body had an unexpected side effect. This month, my hair started falling out in clumps. (I know, it's just a stress reaction to the illness & it'll grow back, but dang!) I did some research using GOOGLE and found a product called Viviscal that when taken as a pill twice a day makes your hair grow back. It's a dozen years old, time tested, herbal and it WORKS! Well, what I found was that now, every time I went to a blog or site that used Google, I saw targeted ads for VIVISCAL!!! I'm thinking, HOLY COW!! I'm being watched! I am a little sensitive about my seriously thin hair and really didn't want to have everyone who used my computer to see that I was using Viviscal. I mean THINK about it, what else have you Googled in the past that you don't want to share? Ya, scary. For serious. 
I decided I didn't want to use ANY platform that would use or sell my private information. So, who had a tool that allowed me to have followers but didn't break my privacy rules? Brent Riggs THAT'S WHO!! Mr. Linky is well known across the Blogosphere. He's the one who made the Linky Tool that us bloggers use to allow our visitors to sign up and Blog Hop with us. Brent has been making Linky tools for many years and has never sold or used the info he gets when a blogger signs up to use his tools. He's also one guy, not some huge conglomerate. I like that.

Brent was contacted by a group of women who blogged and had heard the terrible rumor about Google Friend Connect. They begged and cajoled him into building a new MR. LINKY FOLLOWER tool. It was beta tested by that wonderful group of women for Brent and the new tool was launched February 1st, 2012! I found out about the new tool on the 2nd and ended up being the 173 sign-er-up-er, lol. Yesterday I signed up another blog of which I'm a member (Inspiration Avenue) and IA end up being the 789th blog signed up! The list of user is growing exponentially and I've been inundated with thank you emails from friends and bloggers saying they are THRILLED to have this new tool. It's so refreshing to have a tool that does only what it should. We just want to connect to our followers. We don't want mail from affiliate sites or Facebook friend requests or targeted ads on every connected site!

So, if you want to sign up for your own New FOLLOWER Linky Tool, just go to and sign up. After the confirmation email you'll get the easy to use code when you sign in. Just add it to your blog sidebar in an HTML gadget. Then you can add your avatar and a mouse-over quote about you, and you can even fill out an "About You" if you choose to (other bloggers can then read it when they click your avatar). Everything is optional, just pick how much info you want to add. Go make this tool the GOTO Follower tool throughout the Blogosphere!

I am now a HAPPY CAMPER, do you see my smile? Yes, thank you Mr. Linky for saving us. We, the blogosphere, Lve You. For Serious! If you would like to, please sign up to both Inspiration Avenue's new FOLLOWER tool and Mine Too! We would really appreciate the Lve.



WrightStuff said...

Jen you are a little star! Thank you for sharing this. Big hug!

WrightStuff said...

Jen... it's me again... does this mean that I will lose the automatic links to all the blogs I follow? You know how you see all the blogs from your dashboard? It wasn't very clear on the google story I read.

Queenie Believe said...

Awesome information, thank you!!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Kat W said...

Thanks Jenn - I'd seen this new linky tool on someones blog & wondered what it was. Thanks for explaining the whole situation with Google & Linky followers - it has been very helpful.
Kat :-)

Jennifer McLean said...

You're so welcome, everyone! I'm just very glad it helps, that was my goal. Yea.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm late visiting Jen, but of course I did a bit of an intro of her last week when I co-hosted. So glad I learned about this and went to Linky Followers and signed up for this. Not sure how it is going to work, because you have to change your icon every time you change your post, which I do daily. It's hard to remember to do all that when I have so many other things to do and places to visit.

Diane ~ said...

goodness what fabulous info you shared with us, Thanks!! and here i just created my art blog... hmmm do you think we will be having to find a new home for our blogs one day? anyway thanks again!! :D

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