While we were setting up this blog we’ve come up against the inevitable multi-lemma of which social bookmarking network (SBN) to use in order to
blatantly promote ourselves make our opinions known more efficiently. Now, instead of going into tough questions such as “Will most of our readers be using de.li.cio.us or digg?”, the obvious solution would be to install one of these catch-all widgets available in WordPress that let you choose as many as you want out of the not-quite-so small number of bookmarking networks.
A brief googling revealed some of the available widgets: Peter Harkins’ Sociable, the Bookmark Widget as well as Gath Adams’ Social Widget more ‘dirty’ approach. We went from Sociable (nice homey webpage but buggy code) to Bookmark Widget (can’t the icons just go below the post?) to simply doing it ourselves.
Tinker, tinker, and the result can be seen at the bottom of any post. But wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of the clutter though? I mean why bother with a multitude of addons when really only one would suffice? In other words, the core information that needs to be propagated is common for all addons: the post url, the post title and the fact that it’s important or interesting. Then there are less crucial but still significant parameters like tags, categories or a summary about the post. And finally there are various bits of info used by some SBN but not others like notes, region etc.
So in principle it’d be possible to create an ‘Ubersyndicator’ represented by a single icon below every post. And whenever someone wants to store said post for future reference and sharing with their friends, they would click on that icon, fill in as much (or as little) info they want in a form and the widget should be able to propagate the input info to all the SBNs that allow that level of input.
That way everybody’s happy. The bloggers get rid of the clutter and they don’t have to choose where their readers publish the work of art they crafted. The readers store whatever they consider interesting in more than one place with a single click – regardless of if that blogger has included their SBN of preference and they share it simultaneously into more than one network (if, for example, they have friends both in del.icio.us and digg). The SBNs themselves also win out as they don’t have to compete for attention or ‘real estate’ in blogs – instead they can focus their energy in organising all that information, for example.
It would also be ideal if this is implemented as a Firefox plugin that manages to get things done while the visitor stays in the interesting page they’ve found – instead of loading a form the way del.icio.us does and then loading back the page. A very good selling point would also be to include in this plugin a simple interface for users to add an SBN of their choice to the list of networks the ‘Ubersyndicator’ propagates to. That way ‘regional’ SBNs can also benefit. I know for sure that back in Greece, services like buzz.gr, mindblog.gr and checkit .gr (a very able digg clone in Greek) would reap considerable rewards from it.
Update: A few days later I did bump into OnlyWire, which seems to come close. It still fails to support some important SBNs though (where’s Digg? Slashdot?) and I’m not sure about its expandability.tags: idea, product
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