Social sharing

I was hoping that today I was going to be able to say that I had done a great job, and now all my social sharing stuff was up and working. This is not the case.

As I mentioned yesterday, I do want to make sure that people can share my content, and when the book is launched (presuming I ever get time to finish editing it) I want to be ready so that those people I know well will share information about me and about my book. So it all has to be ready!

My first issue this morning was deciding what to do about Facebook. There seem to be so many routes that you can go. There is a special page devoted to Social Plugins at http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/ which is devoted to the options. I could decide whether I should direct people to my Facebook page (which is easy – I just need a button and make it a link), or whether I should include a LIKE button (which can alternatively be RECOMMEND) or whether a SHARE button would be most appropriate. All three seemed a bit like overkill for me.

But then there is a similar issue with Twitter. Do I just send people to my Twitter page so they can decide if they want to follow? Or do I give them the opportunity to tweet about my web page, or do I give them an automatic FOLLOW button?

You can see the problem – it’s possible to have multiple buttons, just aimed to confuse.

And then there is the Google +1 button. I have spent several hours trying to implement this. And the reason for the problem is that you get the button (easy) and then you get to programme a SNIPPET which links to the graphic you want to use, the title, the description. But despite trying three different (recommended) ways of doing this, I am still getting a random graphic, description and UNTITLED message. You can start by going to the get the code page – which is not for the faint hearted. There is very little description of what you are supposed to do – and unless you have some basic knowledge of web design and how web sites work, it’s not that easy.

One option is to use one of the aggregated button sites (if that’s the right word) like ADD THIS or SHARE THIS – but the buttons may not work as you want them to. Some of them show the number of people who have “shared” your site – and as in the early days this will be displaying numbers in single figures on my page, I’m not too sure whether I want this.

So now I really am going to finish my editing. I have emailed the Google developers to find out why the code isn’t working properly, and I’ll post the response – and hopefully when I have found a way through all of this, I will be able to provide some more information.

A few links to look at anyway, if you are keen to work on your own social links.

PS as I was typing the last sentence, I had a response from Google to say that my email had bounced. What joy!

»