Thoughts on ‘Sharing Buttons’

by Christopher Paul on May 30, 2012

There seems to be a renewed debate amongst my blogging inspirations on whether to include ‘Share Buttons’ from Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Though many of my influences never had them (as far as I can remember), some do or have had them. Each has their own reasons but I, like most of them, have removed them from my site.

At first, I wanted to increase my readership and help spread my thoughts and the links I highlighted in this space. But after awhile, I stopped caring about how much clout or influence I have and started focusing on what I share and what presentation I want to display to those who come across my site. I found that I preferred speed and minimal design over share buttons. Between Jetpack, Disqus, and other widgets I could use with WordPress, I’ve made sure their sharing options don’t show up. The only external module I have here is Disqus – and only because I’ve not yet given up on comments; I may decide to turn them off but I don’t get trolls and I’d rather give more opportunities for people to have their say than less.

I think, though, the balance I’ve achieved with my current layout is just fine. As you probably can see, I have icons on my sidebar with the three major ways to follow me: Facebook, Twitter, and RSS (It’s not dead… no matter what anyone says). They are straight links; no embed codes. If someone wants to share something I’ve posted, they can retweet my feed or share my page post. There’s a dozen or more other ways to share my content like bookmarkets that I’m no longer worried that someone won’t find a way to share something they truly find interesting enough to spread.

Many of my influencers don’t even have icons (or certainly not large, colored icons that I use). That’s their choice. If text is all they want, I understand and support that point of view. But I also understand why people would want to have sharing buttons, too. Whether it be part of their business model or they want to do whatever they can to grow a career, there are certainly good reasons to include them just as there are to exclude them. Hell, some people feel the need to have multiple blogs/Tumblrs/pages/Twitter accounts to help compliment their traditional site.

They’ll get no judgements from me.

But I do agree that whatever a person chooses says a lot about their style, their goals, and their philosophy. It’s a decision that – no matter what it might be – I’ve given much thought and appreciate what it says about me the writer(s) I read elsewhere.

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