I’m constantly hearing stories of how small changes like this have a massive impact on key site metrics – e.g. conversion, and this could be the same. The word ‘subscribe’ always conjours up thoughts of payment for me and I like follow much better. I have just changed the heading in my right sidebar accordingly – although the buttons still say subscribe :(.
The Google announcement of the ‘follow’ terminology is accompanied by details of social features they are adding to Blogger and Google reader which sound like they will operate a bit like MyBlogLog and maybe even Friendfeed. Interesting stuff, although it sounds like it will be restricted to Google properties – which is a shame.