Technology Bloggers is a community blog, therefore it is only right that the community are consulted on the decisions made.
My question to you is which social networks do you use, and which would you like to be able to connect with on the blog?
There are four main places you can get social on our Technology Bloggers at the moment: the first is the social icons in the header; the second is our social buttons on the sidebar; the third is the social buttons at the top of articles; and the forth is the social icons at the bottom of articles. Check out the image below to see them all.
Technology Bloggers social icons and buttons
My worry is, that we are not providing the buttons/icons you want. I just assume that everyone wants Facebook and Twitter, but do you use them?
In the image above you can see all of the buttons we provide you with. I never really thought we had that many, but putting them all together, there are a lot!
If I know what everyone uses, I can get rid of any unnecessary buttons, and potentially add some more useful ones in.
Which social buttons do you want? Let me know in the comments.
About a week ago, I posted about how Technology Bloggers now supports Google Authorship, so that writers can now claim posts as their own via linking them to their Google + profile. This article is also about the blog integrating further with Google’s growing social network: Google +.
Until recently it was not possible to create a sitewide Google +1 button, so that users could +1 your entire website; before you only used to be able to +1 the exact page you were on. However thanks to one of Google’s recent updates, it is now possible to +1 an entire site!
If you are a website/blog owner, then this article is probably going to be of particular use to you 🙂
I have recently added a sitewide Google +1 button to Technology Bloggers sidebar, which sits on the sidebar, next to our other social widgets.
To get a +1 button, you need to visit the Google +1 Button customisation page. There you can choose the style of your button, how big it is and the language used. What most people probably then miss is the ‘Advanced options’ link.
If you click ‘Advanced options’, you get a whole new set of options drop down. One of these options is URL to +1. Usually when you place a +1 button on your site and a user clicks it, it +1’s that exact page. However if you enter your sites URL into the box and then get the code, when a user clicks your +1 button it +1’s your entire site.
When someone clicks +1, they will also be given the option to share the content/page to their circles. Usually Google will fetch the page title, and choose a selection of text and an image from the page users are currently on, however it is now possible to customise this too by customising the +Snippet.
Scroll down the page and you are able to select the type of page users are on, is it a local business, article, book, organisation, event, review etc.? You can also choose the title, description and image of the share. If you have created a sitewide share button, usually the button will offer users to share the current page, however by customising the +Snippet, you can make it so that your chosen title, text and image are what are shared, not the one Google automatically selects.
To implement the snippets you just have to add a few meta tags or some HTML code to your page.
One small problem I have come across when implementing this on Technology Bloggers is that you can’t successfully run 2 +1 buttons on the same page. That means that if you want to have a sitewide button, so users can +1 and share your homepage, and a button on every individual page, where users can +1 and share that page, it is not entirely possible.
The code of the button determines the URL to be +1’d, so it is completely possible that you can have 2 buttons, 1 for the page and one for the site, however the problem is with the +Snippet and the sharing, as both buttons inherit the meta data, meaning that when you share the individual page, it doesn’t share data from that page, but your generic sitewide text, image and title.
It isn’t really a major fault, and with a bit of clever scripting (and a lot of time) I am sure I could get it to work the way I want it to. I am sure Google will release an update at some point which allows you to have 2 +1 buttons, one for the site and one for the page, but in the meantime, we will just have to put up with it not working exactly as we would like it to.
UPDATE: I managed to resolve the problem easier than I thought. I added the +Snippet to the theme header, however told it only to appear on the homepage. The button is designed to fetch the +Snippet from the page users are on, unless the button is designed to +1 a specific URL, in which case, it goes to that URL to fetch the +Snipped – the homepage, where the +Snippet for the entire site is.
You and +1
So what is your opinion on the +1 button, do you use it in the same way/to the same extent the ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ buttons, or is it not as important? If you own a website or blog, will you be adding a +1 button to it, and if so do you think it is better to have a sitewide +1 or a unique URL +1 button – or both!
For years websites like MSN and Facebook have been growing in numbers. Many rivals, less efficient and less popular social networking website, have died out as they are crushed by the giants. But Facebook seems immune from the possibility of extinction, with a growing number of users currently at over 640 million users!
MSN had a golden period and enjoyed strong competition with Facebook. But the Microsoft owned site has 120 million users and falling. It looks like MSN will be joining the likes of Bebo, Digg and Myspace. I myself deleted my Myspace account when I decided to hop onto the Facebook bandwagon.
But for years it seemed that Facebook would never be challenged, and that was the case, until, now! A company which has 15 times the amount of revenue is stepping up to the plate. Google. The internet giant is taking over world computing. With 85% of the world using Google as their search engine, 15% of internet browsers in the world are Google Chrome – but this is fast growing – and now the $30 billion company is preparing to take on Facebook with its own social network – Google+.
In its two month infancy it is showing similar trends to Chrome and is rapidly growing in usage with 20 million worldwide users at the moment. Although this may seem puny, bear in mind it isn’t open to the world public entirely just yet. At the moment, Google+ is an invitation only site until it opens fully in a couple of months.
I have put my name down to use it on its somewhat large waiting list. But what is all the hype?
Circles – This allows me to group my friends, so for example:
Music pals – Joe, Tom, Abby…
School pals – Michael, Adam…
Work Colleagues – Jane, Adam, Monica…
Hangouts – A 10 people group video chat
Sparks – Using Google’s search engine you can search for interests
The Stream – Users can see their Circles’ updates – similar to Facebook’s wall
+1 – Allowing people to recommend items and websites
These are just some of the functions available to use on +. But is it what we are looking for?
In my opinion yes, just like Google Chrome did with Internet Explorer it will provide a breath of fresh air to the social networking industry and I think will be a very realistic competitor to Facebook.
It seems like it is made with much more quality and with far more enhanced features than Facebook, which has many problems, technically and pragmatically.
So I for one am really looking forward to joining it and setting up my profile when it becomes open to the public.