This article refers to private and public following for Google Friend Connect.
Following Publicly: When you follow a blog publicly, your profile image and a link to your Blogger profile will appear in the blog's Followers widget. (Note: the blog owner may not have a Followers widget, but may add one in the future. If they add one in the future, your picture and link to your profile will appear there. Also, even if the blog owner doesn't have a widget, they can still see who their followers are in their Dashboard.) The site you're following will show on your Google Friend Connect profile on all the sites you've joined using Friend Connect, and updates from this site will appear on the Reading List on your Dashboard. Additionally, following a blog will create a subscription to the blog in your Google Reader account.
Following Privately: When you follow a blog privately, your profile image and link to your profile will NOT be displayed in the blog's Followers widget and the blog will not be displayed in your Friend Connect profile on other sites. However, you will be subscribed to updates for this blog which will appear in your Reading List on your Dashboard. Additionally, following a blog privately will create a subscription to the blog in your Google Reader account.