I’ll take a page out of my social media life and point something out that was an obvious oversight on my part and a great story for anyone who wants to share information on the internet.
Where were the RSS/Share buttons on this blog?
Ben Woelk pointed out that I didn’t have easily accessible means to share the content that I publish. That was true because there was no RSS link anywhere on the site, neither a FeedBurner link, nor a link to send an email to a friend. Thanks to his suggestions, I added HTML to the right-column with RSS feed links and reviewed a couple of WordPress plugins to make sharing my blog easier.
I narrowed it down to a couple of plugins and I may flip/flop with two of them for a while until I am satisfied with the results (unless someone has a better plugin). The two WordPress plugins are AddToAny and AddThis. What I love about these two plugins are three characteristics: free, simple, and customizable.
Both plugins are free via the WordPress.org/plugins site, which have received numerous downloads and popular ratings. Each of these plugins work almost the same way; it displays buttons and links for sharing blog posts and pages to 300+ sites on the web. Some of the popular places to share information are Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, and Digg.
AddToAny and AddThis are simple to install and run. Through the WordPress Dashboard, I can instantly download the plugin and voila! Now my readers can share content with hundreds of websites should they choose so.
The last aspect that these plugins have is the ease in which I can personalize individual features such as visual display, custom icons, and links, without looking through the code and ripping it apart in order to make it show up a certain way. This makes it simple and easy to place buttons without destroying current theme layouts.
What does this mean for TCers? A lot. Consider using social sharing tools to drive more traffic to your sites. My example and thoughts are for WordPress, but there are similar social plugins for content management systems like Drupal and Joomla. These features are helpful because if you run a business, organization, or blog, any reader can share their interest in your products, services, wisdom, philosophy, or advice. Perhaps the next business or professional opportunity may arrive from a reader who came across your website that was shared on another site.