In case anyone was doubting whether bloggers are megalomaniacs at heart, the folks at Blogger.com are now encouraging us to prominently display a list of "followers" on our blog sidebars. Heh.
Amusing word choice aside, a closer look suggests that there's more to the gadget than I'd initially thought. For example, you can click on a reader's portrait to see their public profile [if they've filled it in], including a list of other blogs they read/"follow". So, at a minimum, it offers a new way to find possibly-related blogs to check out. (In the same way, I suppose, it could bring readers of other sites to find this one, if you sign up.)
The gadget also makes it extremely easy to actively recommend this blog to your friends, should anyone feel so inspired.
Finally, on a more symbolic level, it might serve to develop the blog's "community", by introducing regular readers and commenters to each other, and explicitly recognizing them as part of the blog itself. (And I expect Google will continue to add more social-networking features.)
Anyway, I figure I may as well try it out. Feel free to join in, and let me know what you think.