Web Share Widgets

perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/js/share_widgets.html

Web Share Widgets

Xah Lee, 2010-02-22

These days, there are lots of websites that have tiny icons that allow readers to add the article to blog sites, or bookmark sites, social networking sites, such as facebook, blogger, twitter, delicious, digg, stumble upon, etc. Sites that includes such share widgets includes times.com, nytimes.com, cnn.com, usatoday.com, washingtonpost.com. You can just go to http://news.google.com/ and click on news articles to arrive at a site and look at their share widgets. For tech sites that have share widgets, there's http://blog.wolfram.com/, http://arstechnica.com/, http://slashdot.org/, http://tomshardware.com/, etc.

Is there a sharing widget plug-in for web masters?

If you look at their sharing widgets on major sites, looks like most are home cooked.

Adding A Share Widget To Your Website

I spend 10 min and found 2. One of them is addthis.com, and the other is sharethis.com. The sharethis.com site requires you to register. I bypassed it at that step. The addthis.com is quite simple. In 1 min you get this code:

<a class="addthis_button"
 href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250&amp;username=xa-4b825887460aedf2">
<img src="http://s7.addthis.com/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif"
 width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/></a>
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://s7.addthis.com/js/250/addthis_widget.js#username=xa-4b825887460aedf2">
</script>

It shows up like this:

This seems something i can use for my website.

Though, actually it is easy to create your own links. All the little icons you can pull. Most if not all these social networking sites have API that lets you submit sites, pretty much just like this: “http://bookmarkcenter.org/add.php?url=http://articles.com/nice_article.html”, though the url after the question mark needs to be Percent encoded.

Should Your Site Have A Share Widget?

One decision i have to make is whether my site should have such share widgets. It might be just a temporary fad for teens. Blogs began with such a perception, but today they are important tool in communication with major world impact. Web syndication (RSS/Atom) had such a perception too, when it began in about 1997, but is today a widely used standard.

Majority of people who uses the web probably do not use any of the social networking or blog or bookmark sites. But a minority, probably in hundreds of thousands, do. Having a link right there to let them talk about a article is convenient. So, from a tool point of view, it is really good to have such a share widget. A important benefit for the web site owner is that it certainly does increase your traffic, when your article is discussed about in some site.

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