Social Bookmarking Button Madness

Okay, I understand the need to make it easier for your visitors to bookmark sites on their favorite Web service(s), but enough is enough. I keep finding Digg and del.icio.us icons on sites and pages where they just… don’t… belong! Seriously, Answers.com has deployed a set on every single page. Yeah, because Answers.com answers are just so digg’able. Whatever.

These buttons are annoying more than anything else, serving to show the world just how unpopular your content really is – and I believe that there’s no direct correlation between the number of social bookmarking buttons you place on your page(s) has any direct impact on the number of times those page(s) have been stored in the respective services. Moreover, if a user is really passionate about their selected service, they likely already have a toolbar or bookmarklet installed – further rendering the cacophony of buttons moot!

I had ’em on my site for a little while, then got rid of ’em. They were wasting space and bandwidth – as they’re probably doing on your site right now, too. The only way I might consider bringing them back is if a smart plugin and matching icon are developed. Even then, their future is questionable.

My shit just isn’t important enough to be bookmarked – and neither is 99.9% of the galaxy’s. It’s not that I don’t want it to be bookmarked, shared, or saved – just that I don’t think the buttons are helping anybody, especially if they’re being deployed as they are by the marketing idiots at Answers.com. One or two buttons are somewhat more tolerable, but where does the madness end? Aren’t you leaving out the people who don’t use Digg or del.icio.us by not putting their icons next to the others?

Prove to me that by placing social bookmarking icons on a site, you will see a noticable increase in the page’s / site’s actual social bookmarkings. I don’t believe it, and I’m getting quite tired of seeing them everywhere. Gah! I swear my next post won’t be so negative.

30 thoughts on “Social Bookmarking Button Madness”

  1. Yeah, I was tempted by those icons. I kept thinking maybe I was missing the boat and should have them on my site. But really, digg and del.icio.us (and so on) users are primarily the tech-savvy early adopter crowd. I don’t think they need any help posting content to those sites. They’ll do it if they feel like it, helpful button or no.

  2. Chris, did you switch coffee brands? Seriously, I agree. The buttons just take up too much space and I have NEVER used one (then again, I’m not a big bookmark social networking fan).

  3. These buttons are annoying more than anything else, serving to show the world just how unpopular your content really is…

    Amen!

    That is exactly what I think when I see those buttons. If people liked your content, they’d obviously be digging or “deliciousing” you already.

  4. Agreed. The whole practice smacks of desperation…truly avid Diggers, Reddit-users (Reditors?), and Farkers will decide whether or not to write about your post…

    Then again, studies have shown that putting images of credit card logos on shopping sites leads to more purchase completion…so who knows? Maybe folks can use a gentle reminder now and then…

  5. This buttons have worked for me in the past. In fact I can say with certainty that without them I would have never received the level of traffic I do now. That said, setting up an icon farm at the bottom of each post to create links for every type of social bookmarking service is just stupid — when I see this I don’t even read the article. The only ones that truly generate traffic (in my experience) are Digg and delicious. Everything else feeds off of these two anyway.

  6. Don’t forget that the social bookmark links also break HTML validity most of the time, require javascript, and leak pagerank. I truly doubt that they are worth all that trouble.

  7. Actually I’m just thinking to add this feature on my blog. But looking at your thoughts, I think I will consider it again. I also never use the tag button given, they are more like source of annoyances.

    Maybe they are useful, IF not too much.

  8. I agree they are a waste of space the way people use them AND they direct traffic away from your site when people follow them. People miss the whole point of social bookmarking sites like Digg and Sphinn from a marketing perspective. The goal is to get lots of people top vote for one story, not to create the same story loits of times. These guys explain it better –

    http://www.demonzmedia.com/DemonzBlog/?p=8

    Basically if you don’t have all of your visitors voting for the story and THEN (and this is very important) returning to your site, you are unintentionally driving visitors away from your site and making sure your stories are getting buried within whatever social network people may be using. It’s the same old flawed logic as the ‘Bookmark this Page’ link from many old web pages – if people use social bookmarks they don’t need to be reminded that they’re there.

  9. I think it is the traffic craze. Everywhere says add social bookmarking for your visitors to help them promote your site and stuff. I am pretty sure though that it does not work that way…ohh what the hell.. i l ll use just one… 🙂

  10. Interesting. I read this after the news of the Facebook ‘Like’ button being introduced. It seems we’re going through this phase again in 2010 where sites are putting buttons for Twitter and Facebook everywhere. Wouldn’t you rather put content or an ad in its place?

    Google also dings your site if you have too many widgets pulling from other sites. I don’t see the benefit.

  11. Well I think that if it works with the theme then its fine. I think that you should have only a few on each post and make them small. Then on you website itself off to the side you can have bigger ones. I don’t know I think mine complement my blog because they are low key and simple. Take a look at my blog if you like and tell me if I am wrong

  12. Thanks for the article this is very useful. I added the iframe code from my site and when people like my blog, showing my title of home page instead of the definite article title / cover page of the message that they liked.

  13. Thanks for the article this is very useful. I added the iframe code from my site and when people like my blog, showing my title of home page instead of the definite article title / cover page of the message that they liked.

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