Monday, September 28, 2009

"Add This" makes sharing content on social networks a snap

I found this article in the New York Times particularly interesting. I noticed that after connecting my Flickr account to Twitter and Facebook, that each time I posted an image to Flickr tagged with my special "snaptweet" tag to flag it for Twitter and Facebook, I was getting a lot more views within just a couple of days than I would normally get if I relied strictly on Flickr users' sporadic browsing. I found the same to be true for blog posts that were trumpeted over Twitter and Facebook. I have used other websites "share" options like YouTube and NY Times but assumed adding that functionality to my own blog posts (so posts found on a Google or Yahoo search could be shared with the researchers friends and colleagues) would be more complicated than I wanted to tackle.

But the NYT article mentioned a service called "Add This" so I checked it out and it made the whole process pretty painless! They provide the code to add a share widget to either a website or a host of other content management environments including Blogger. I use Blogger so I copied the Blogger template code and opened my Blogger template and pasted it in right where it said to do so. At first I couldn't find the right line of code but the key is to be sure to click on the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox just above the window displaying the HTML code, then you see all of the code not just abbreviated sections.

In the last century, traditional media organizations hustled to get their product in front of the chatty elites; news magazines, for example, hand-delivered copies over the weekend to politicians and to other media. In the age of Twitter and Facebook, anyone can become a chatty elite, the social director of his or her own private admiration society. The hand-delivered copy has morphed into a Web article’s “share to Facebook” button.

Underscoring the trend, social networks are now an important source of traffic to many sites, in some cases challenging search engines as the top source of new visitors. For example, the leading referrer to PerezHilton.com, a popular gossip site, is Facebook. Nearly 15 percent of the gossip site’s visitors come from the social network, according to Compete.com, a tracking firm. Google ranks second, driving about 9 percent of visitors. - Share the Moment and Spread The Wealth by Brad Stone, NY Times

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