Why You Should Social Bookmark Enable Your Posts

A collection of social bookmarks

Some social bookmarks

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 onΒ  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 withΒ  is not generally considered a bad thing. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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

Inspecteur Clouseau

Inspecteur Clouseau

Um… quoi???

Tabernacle!!!

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

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How to Get Social Bookmarking for WordPress.com

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UPDATE ON OCT 23, THIS POST IS NOW SEVERELY DATED!

WordPress has since made social bookmarking a setting on your blog. However, services like Add to Any still has a purpose in that you have access to a LOT more services than the default WordPress provides, and that you can put it anywhere in your post and not just at the very end, where people might forget about it for one reason or another (like galleries). That said, WordPress does cover most of the major sharing services relevant to North America, at least.
Add to Any has upgraded this procedure to an easy one-click move using your browser to let you do this! BRAVO!!!

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to very easily share, store, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web pages via icons that do those tasks within a click or two. As you’ve surfed the web, you have probably come across icons similar to one of these below:

 

Popular social bookmarking icons

Popular social bookmarking icons

 

The problem I have encountered with many of these free services are that they don’t work in the free WordPress.com on which I and millions of other users, literally, are blogging. The reason why has to do with Javascript codes those services tend to use that do not work in WordPress.com. I’ll leave it at that because if you know the technical details of that, you aren’t likely needing to read this post.

Fortunately, the AddToAny service for social bookmarking has an option that doesn’t use Javascript. They provide those Share/Save buttons in blue above. I’m sure there are other similar services out there which offer codes not involving JavaScript, but I found this one to work very well, and best in this process. You can customize it as you like after you try it out and adjust it for your routines, learning style, etc. It’s not an automatic point and click, unfortunately, but it is routine wants you get the hang of it and might be worth it to you if you want to make it easier for others to share your posts.

You have to do this for every post, though, and not just put it in the sidebar in a Text widget.

If you know of an easier option, or have feedback on the instructions, please do share!

But until we find something easier, let’s get it on!

Before you do anything in this routine, click on this link, AddToAny, and bookmark it. You will need it each time you do this so it will be a valuable bookmark.

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1. Publish your post without the social bookmarking icon (window #1).

  • In the few minutes it’ll take you to do this in a more efficient way than including the codes before publishing, you’re not likely to find someone desperately wanting to social bookmark your post… no offense intended. πŸ™‚

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2. View your post (not blog) in a different tab or window (#2).

  • Ctrl+click on your blog title while still in your Edit Post mode.
  • Click on the title of the latest post so its URL is in your address bar, not just your blog URL.

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3.Β  Open another tab or window and click on your AddToAny bookmark (#3).

  • Play around with the Button choices (second choice in the graphic below), if you prefer the buttons to look one way or another but that’s your business. I’m leaving the default to save extra steps.

 

AddToAny blank web page

AddToAny blank web page

 

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4. From Window #2 with your blog post, copy and paste the title and URL, one at a time, into the Page name and Page url fields, respectively, above.

  • You will be much more efficient at this if you learn to use Ctrl+C for Copy and Ctrl+V for Paste.
  • If you have mapped your domain, using your original WordPress.com domain is “better”. I won’t write out how but you can test it if you like. Your mapped domain still works, so it’s not necessary. It’s a slight extra annoyance, but becomes routine quickly, and is definitely worth the extra little typing hassle to me!

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5. Click More Options beside the Get Button Code button, and click the No script (no drop-down menu) option.

 

AddToAny with No Script (No drop-down menu) option checked off

AddToAny web page with No script (No drop-down menu) option checked off

 

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6. Click the Get Button Code button to reveal codes below it.

 

AddToAny web page with codes generated (at bottom)

AddToAny web page with codes generated (at bottom)

 

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7. Click in the box and copy the code.

  • All the text inside the box is highlighted the moment you click inside so all you have to do is copy it, either by the Edit menu command or Ctrl+C.

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8. Go back to Window #1 where your post was made and click on the HTML editing tab (circled in red below).

  • This can be a scary experience for anybody who is allergic to computer code or has codephobia, but trust me, it’s completely safe!

 

Wordpress.com Edit Post screen interface, with HTML edit tab in red circle

Wordpress.com Edit Post screen interface, with HTML edit tab in red circle

 

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9. Scroll down to the very bottom of the codes, click at the very end.

  • Hit Enter twice and Paste, or Ctrl+V.
  • Your codes should appear as you need them.

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10. Click the blue Update Post button near upper right of your WordPress.com Edit Post page the way you would normally update or save a post.

  • Click back on the Visual tab of your editing procedure.
  • You should get something that looks like the icon below if you had not switched button style in Step 3.

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11. Optional: view your post and test out the button by clicking on it and following through with choices.

  • I personally just test it on Facebook. You can follow through to make sure it works without actually taking the last step to post it so as not to drive all your Facebook friends crazy with your blog posts all the time.
  • You will have to find some social media platform that works for you to test, but if you don’t test it and it doesn’t work, someone using it will probably tell you about it. That’s what’s great about the blogosphere and Web 2.0. You just hope they do it nicely.

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If you’re a little more comfortable with HTML codes, I have included what I have done to create my social bookmarking icon bar below. The graphic I created myself, and the URL for it is in the codes in red. However, you will have to figure out yourself how to efficiently put in codes like that because it’d be twice as long a post to explain! It’s not rocket science or anything. Just needs a little more patience. πŸ™‚

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