Because Google said so. Actually, they've decided to replace Google Friend Connect (followers widget) with Google + Badges. You can learn more about it here.
What Does This Mean?
Well, it means basically that if you follow via that little followers button you will need to find a new way to follow non-blogger blogs. I'm not positive what this Google + badge really is, but I am pretty certain that Mint Tea & A Good Book won't have it because you have to be 18 to use Google + in the first place.
How Can I Stay Subscribed to My Blogs?
You may have noticed how (semi-recently) I added something new to the Mint Tea and A Good Book sidebar. See the little things above and below the followers widget? Those can help you stay connected to your favorite blogs. The top one, or up close this one.
For this one, you just type in your email to the little box and you should get updates straight to your inbox. Let me know if you have any problems with it!
The next one I've had a TON of people use these past couple months, it's the bottom one, or up close- this one.
I'm so happy that so many people have been using this lately instead of the followers widget! This means when Google Friend Connect goes away for blogger (I don't know when that will be) a lot of you will still stay subscribed to this blog.
To use this one, click the top one (unless for some reason you want to subscribe to the comments on this blog) and you should get a drop down menu like this.
If you use google reader, then I would click add to google because that will add it straight to your google reader updates. The other ones just depend on what you prefer. Or, you can click feed-burner (the one that says Atom) if you prefer that. To use the feed-burner subscriptions you can just click the "subscribe with google" button that will automatically add the blog to your Google Reader. The button looks like this.
If you use Google Reader than you can also do it another way. You probably know how Google reader shows you all of your subscriptions at one time. (see right) At the top of that page you should also see something that looks like this.
You can just enter the URL of the site you want to subscribe to and that will automatically subscribe you and that should add it to your feed.
How Do I Know If I Will Be Unsubscribed When GFC Disappears?
The good news is, the majority of you who read Mint Tea and A Good Book, should be okay when the GFC widget disappears. However, there are some of you who will lose your subscriptions to all your blogs when it disappears.
From my understanding, if when you follow a blog, you just click follow, then you will have some trouble when GFC leaves. I think that if on your google reader, the blog name has a little blue feed-burner symbol next to it, then you are okay. I'm not 100% positive about that, so please correct me if I'm wrong. It's still a bit confusing to me too. I think there's another way to tell, but I'm not entirely sure how it works.
That's all I really know, so if anyone else has any further information, corrections on what I said, or questions please email me! I want to make this transition from GFC to not having GFC as painless as possible. Thank you! :)