sep 29

Retweet This

Question: who actually uses those "share this" buttons cluttering up all websites? Seriously, who? Sites are increasingly looking more like this graphic that accompanies the NYT story about those social media buttons. While I'd like to say these are complete bullshit (and I try to convince clients that they are), you can't ignore that ~200 retweet count on Techcrunch posts. Do any of those really matter? Are those influencers, or bullshiters?

(Similarly, isn't it crazy that no one has stopped and wondered how the hell ShareThis and, like Pluck before them, became hot startups? It's like once the legitimacy of user-generated web 2.0 companies was accepted, no one dared ever question the importance of the intermediary ever again.)


I have clicked "Digg this" until the novelty of being a new user wore off. I don't think I ever clicked a Retweet button, but when I used Twitter heavily I did copy and paste an update I found interesting for whatever reason and RT'd it at the beginning. I think I've gone through a share this once or twice, but I found it more straightforward just to copy an paste a damn link. Who ever clicks them are probably first time sharers. The experienced sharer adds browser toolbar buttons. :)

Retweeters of course are twitter users that read Mashable and Techcrunch. It's a circle jerk they have going on: Write about twitter, make it easy for Twitterers to share things about Twitter, repeat that every 48 hours.

posted by JayCruz at 5:13 PM on September 29, 2009

"email this page" is still my favorite.

posted by ryan at 5:54 PM on September 29, 2009

Fuck yes, the "this graphic" you linked to has a non-ironic Twitter link at the bottom. Woooo.

posted by Anil at 6:17 PM on September 29, 2009

"Who actually uses those "share this" buttons cluttering up all websites?"

Me, all the time, on Facebook. "Influencers" or bullshitters? Define the latter, please? I'd like to think of myself as somewhat of an influencer/tastemaker...

posted by Hugh at 2:02 AM on September 30, 2009

I stuck an addthis button on the template of my work's website about a month ago, and people do. About 75% of them are hitting facebook, with e-mail a distant second.

posted by alesh at 3:59 AM on September 30, 2009

We use "Add This" on People do use it, but not a ton, but enough to keep the little button on the page. And we keep the expanded box to 9 items (considering parring down to 5). That NYT graphic is crazy craziness.

posted by Karl Pearson-Cater at 9:58 AM on September 30, 2009

I do keep adding them but nobody uses them except me, and even then only occasionally. It's really more an exercise in programming than anything else, at this point, although I've noticed that getting Dugg DOES seem to add some juice to an otherwise visitorless thread.

I think that Times article is dead on about SMO as the new SEO. The sad part is the only logical conclusion is that in about 3-6 months I will hate people trying to game SMO as much as I hate the people who post here about penny stocks, mortgages, drugs, casinos &c.

The hard part is it's a real delicate balance between gently suggesting people click on those things and coming off like a real click whore. I tend to be more on the passive end of the passive aggressive scale when it comes to begging my people to tell the world what amazing, boring things we're discussing. It'll never make me rich but it does help me feel like a better person.

But speaking of that... along those lines, I've been dying for an opportunity to ask you (as an influencer and/or bullshitter) to look at this graphic and then maybe use your amazing powers to make it go viral. It's another one of those things which either only I find interesting or lots of people would find interesting if only I'd show it to them more (like right now!)

(BTW, in that Times graphic - some of those *are* parody, right? Just checking. For all I know there IS a Web 2.0 "Send to your mom" and I just haven't bothered to learn about it yet)

posted by CRZ at 12:09 PM on September 30, 2009

Actually, about half the time I use Facebook's Share Bookmarklet, and the other half of the time I use the "Share This.."-type things built into sites.

posted by Hugh at 9:17 PM on September 30, 2009

Never use them and I imagine the Techcrunch readers are not very representative. I could see having options to share with Facebook and/or Twitter being useful and maybe even common but everything else seems to obscure to be worth it.

posted by Jake at 10:38 PM on September 30, 2009

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