Be ‘digged’ and die happy

Social bookmarkin icons

You may have noticed a new funky little ‘Share the love’ icon appear at the bottom of every article over the last few days. Go on, hover the mouse over it and see what happens.

I’ve got absolutely no evidence that anyone has ever used the social bookmarking icons or the Share This plugin that I’ve previously used, so I’ve ditched the plugin and packaged the little bookmark icons into a neat and clutter-free solution that might just be intriguing enough to make readers hover their mouse over the link.

It was a right royal pain in the ass to get it working in Internet Explorer 6, but I got there in the end with a little help from a suckerfish. I downloaded the social bookmark icons from Fast Icon and the others were drawn by yours truly in a matching style.

Now that I’ve gone to all the effort of creating this little social bookmarking drop-down of joy, if I don’t get ‘digged’, have my server killed by a deluge of traffic, and receive reams of derogatory comments by hordes of hateful pubescent teens by the end of this year, I’ll be very disappointed!

Many thanks for the recent comments: David, Johno and Asgeir.

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12 fantastic comments

I can see how having the Digg and RSS buttons are nice. However, I don’t see the point in the del.icio.us and StumbleUpon icons. Anyone who uses these services at all should have them ready to use in their browser. Especially SU. Without the toolbar, you can do virtually nothing.

I like the Share the love but I agree with Jake I have built in extensions I use for del.icio.us as a reader of many blogs I often use an “email this” link to send posts to my non-blog reading friends.

Jake makes a good point, but is there a chance that showing those icons will encourage readers to submit?

Elysa,

Thanks for suggesting the ‘email this’. I might add that one myself.

You’ve done a great job with that Aaron, and I’d love it to work for you.

Jake – Very true! My stats tell me that whilst I’ve been stumbled a few times and had a few mini waves of SU traffic, I don’t think anyone has ever clicked an icon – they must use the toolbar. Perhaps I’ll revise what icons I display.

Elysa – An email link makes a lot of sense actually. Far more people use email than use any of the social networking sites. An email link will be appearing very soon :)

David – Cheers mate. I know I’ll hate it if I get dugg, so I’m not sure why I’m promoting it. Maybe I’ve got some kind of self harm tendencies.

I’ve got a new site design coming out and I’ve been debating about using the “Share This” plugin. I think I still like the share icon, I just don’t want to confuse my readers with tons of options. If someone uses an obscure social bookmarking tool, then I bet they know how to save to it using a bookmarklet. I’m keep. Nice move, Aaron!

Hi Justin – I think its true that most users of social bookmarking sites will probably use their own plugins/bookmarklets etc. However, I think displaying the icons can achieve a couple of other objectives: firstly it can be a prompt or reminder to someone who may not have bookmarked had they not seen the icon; secondly it raises awareness of the bookmarking service to users who may be unfamiliar with them. This second objective may not have immediate benefits but by promoting the use of these sites we are creating a larger user base who one day may come back and bookmark us.

I know when I started blogging earlier this year I was unaware of most of the social bookmarking services and it was contact with plugins like Sociable on other blogs that made me aware that some of these services even existed.

I would urge all of you to check out the madKast share widget. I am the co-founder of this tech startup, which was profiled on TechCrunch last month, and the madKast widget provides all of the functionality — and more — discussed above.

Plus, it is the first share widget to save your friends’ contact information across sites, as well as allow you to share a full blog post via MMS text message. Soon we will be rolling out advanced analytics that will allow publishers to see how, and with whom, visitors are sharing posts.

Last but not least, putting madKast up on your site takes less than a minute and requires only your e-mail address.

We’d love to hear your feedback about madKast as we strive to make it the most useful and powerful share widget out there.

If you’d like to see the madKast share widget in action, go to okdork.com and click on the green share icon next to the title of each post.

Feel free to comment or ask questions –> feedback@madkast.com.

Thanks!

Josh
Co-founder, madKast.com

I agree with you: the clutter-free icon appeals to me much more than the row of different ones.

Ok i was using the share this widget, but it was chewing up a lot of my server resources due to its scripting. As im on MT these days i cannot afford it as every time a page loads it does a call up.

I myself just created a wonderful row of icons and left it at that. But yours looks a lot slicker.

Also SU and del icons are useful but not required. I myself left it in just incase. Finally perhaps you can include the submit to facebook as well as release a widget for your simple version?

Josh – Thanks for stopping by and letting me and my readers know about madKast. Personally I am happy with my solution as it is integrated with the look and feel of my site – something as a designer I take quite seriously. However you solution does seem to have a lot to offer.

Traveller – Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

DT – I will get round to adding Facebook eventually. Also, I’ll investigate releasing a simple plugin/widget for the drop down icons. I haven’t quite cracked WordPress plugins yet but this looks like a good project to learn how to create them.

Please do and do let me know when you do. Its a great way to drive traffic to your site!

DT – I’ve just created it as a plugin and it is now runnig off my site as a plugin :D

I need to tweak it, add a few more icons, make it easily customizable and package it up for general release.

I’m going away later this week so it may not happen until I return, but keep your eyes peeled ;)

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