The short answer is that you never know who might be interested in your post, or when. But when they share it, it’s like hitting a little promo jackpot that’d definitely be worth your while to social bookmark enable your posts. Give them the chance to do what they want to do. Give your post the chance to be spread among a wider audience when the goodwill someone is willing to give you is available.
If you can buy into that, you don’t need to read the rest of this post. Go forth to social bookmark enable your posts if you blog and haven’t already. I happened to have provided instructions for enabling social bookmarks on WordPress.com yesterday so that might be of help if you were on WordPress.com. Today, I’m following up on why it’s worth your while.
Let’s start with some basics for those who might not know what I’m talking about or only have a vague idea, though I promise not to get too geeky.
Social bookmarking helps Internet users share, store, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web pages via icons that do those tasks within a click or two. If you recognize some of the icons in the batch above, then you know what social bookmarking is, if you weren’t already familiar with the term.
Enabling your post with social bookmarks means giving your readers the ability to click on something you set up to social bookmark via any number of platforms. Otherwise, they might have to copy and paste your URL in some cumbersome process which would stop a lot of people from doing so when they would have loved to share your work with others.
Enabling your post with social bookmarks may or may not be a simple process pending the platform on which you blog and your computer proficiency. The method I shared yesterday is an example. It could be routine with a little practice, but it’s not something that’s all clicks, and you do have to touch code!
But is it worth it?
You will ultimately have to consider that, of course, but consider a few facts I’ve found and stories from my personal experience. Here’s a Facebook point of view.
The average Facebook user has 12o friends (Primates on Facebook, The Economist Feb 26 2009). Dang! That’s a fascinating article I’ll have to blog tomorrow as I’m stuck with this one today. Anyway, for every person who shares it, a notification gets sent out to an average of 120 other users. Hard to say how many would view your article and how many would propogate the chain, but that’s 120 plugs you otherwise would not have had. Then, at a measly 1% success rate of having those notified propogate it further, one other person who might share it would keep that first sharing effort “alive” to another 120 friends, give or take some common friends.
The real success rate might be much lower than 1% as not 120 of the original Facebook friends would view the shared link, but don’t forget whoever shared it probably has a lot in common with at least one Facebook friend that this other friend might share it as well. It’s a bit like love. You don’t have to be a match to everybody. You just need to find the one to help you propagate… although having more than one to propagate with is not generally considered a bad thing. ;-)
The StumbleUpon method works in a different way in that those receiving what is shared is at least looking for stuff on that topic. That boost the chance they’d “stumble it” further, and this could go on for quite a long time. I’ve had posts from my Envirostats blog that’s had a few thousand views, practically all from “stumbles”, and they are still coming a year and a half later! I can’t say Facebook sharing tend to last that long, although I don’t have the metrics in the WordPress.com dashboard to really track that with absolute precision. But I’d bet a lot on it.
There are also other means that work in different styles, from personal preference to share to user votes making it more prominent. I’m not going to describe them but I think you get the idea.
Now who might be interested?
You really never know, nor when it might occur. A post from my Envirostats blog about the impact of farts on carbon emissions has never been “stumbled” to my knowledge, nor shared because I never knew how to social bookmark enable it back when I posted it. However, it’s had huge views because everyday, about a half a dozen people find that post from Googling some combination of “average number farts day”, with “farts” being the operative word. They also find info on sheep and cow fart impact on CO2 emissions and end up looking at both posts. :-)
I’m going back to stick some social bookmarks on them, now that I think about the potential still out there as people aren’t farting any differently now than a year and a half ago! :-)
Then last week, a week old post I wrote suddenly became hugely popular. It was on how people should consider creating a media stir for cash as a mean of child support, citing the 13 year old father Alfie (supposedly) and the Octomom Nadya Suleman. It was “old news” by then, but the 1,200+ views I got for it in two days, and still coming, after 60 views in a week, was from what looks to me to be a French war video game site, Factornews.com
Oh, no. Wait. Sorry. That’s not how they swear in France. That’s fake Quebecois swearing as they’d like to say in France. Take your pick of what you consider the worst from this youswear.com (French) list, do your best Inspecteur Clouseau impression and that’s what I’m saying!
What’s a bunch of French virtual war mongers* wanting to read and share a verbose English story that’s “old news” about a 13 year old English boy father?
[ * meant in sarcastic humour so please don't send me hate mail ]
But are those stories convincing enough for you?
They are convincing enough for me. If you have similar stories, please do share so we can all be convinced!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1