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All posts by Kori Hill

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

(Blog title: Shakespeare reference, Olsen Twins movie, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban score track #5? You decide.)

AddThis has offices in Washington, DC and New York City, both of which were hit by now infamous Hurricane Sandy this week. While NYC is still in the dark (and we’re thinking about them every day!) that didn’t stop some A-Teamers here at AddThis HQ from getting in the Halloween spirit yesterday, as well as some members in our LA office and other remote locales.

Our 2nd Annual Halloween costume contest saw a variety of crazy characters. Three of the “best dressed” won prizes in the following categories:

  • Funniest
  • Scariest
  • Most Creative

AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Jeannie in LA won Funniest with her hilarious Stewie outfit:

Will in LA won Scariest with his impersonation of Tony Montana from Scarface:

And Leiser from AT:HQ won Most Creative with her interpretation of a “data dump”:

Congratulations to you all!

And in the name of honorable mentions, here are some more photos of the wacky Wednesday wear:

Tiffany as Janet Jackson in the Control era, Kori as Penny Lane from Almost Famous, Collin as an AddThis “adult publisher” and there’s that data dump lady again!

Stephen as Magnum PI!

Paul as Superman and his superdog!

Joe, from our NYC office, is Frankenstorm/NYC reporter. Sandy can’t mess with our sense of humor!

Tracy was a cowgirl and her horse.

Natalija as a “Roman” Goddess … every other day she’s just a regular goddess. :)

Does this look like fun?! If so, check out our open positions! If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t worry, it’s not mandatory to dress up on Halloween. :)

Site of the Week: ET Online

Are you already hearing the Entertainment Tonight theme music in your head? Or picturing the lovely, ageless Nancy O’Dell? Well, the online hub for this popular entertainment show is not only a great source for celebrity news, but they also do an amazing job at leveraging the AddThis social capabilities.

While AddThis is traditionally known for our sharing buttons, and that’s been largely what we’ve covered in our Site of the Week posts, we do offer a variety of social tools to help drive traffic and engagement. ET Online uses a number of these tools in some very clever and aesthetically pleasing ways! Let us break it down for you.

Follow buttons

ET Online uses custom “Follow” buttons to encourage their users to engage with their brand on external channels like their Facebook fan page and Pinterest boards. The advantage to using AddThis to power these buttons is that we give an extra layer of insight into which pages users are clicking on them.


Trending Content

ET also uses our Trending Content feed to display their most popular articles. The trending feed is a great way to keep users onsite and recirculating traffic. While feeds such as this are common, we provide a simple and customizable solution that also includes more stats in the AddThis analytics dashboard.


Welcome bar

Another great tool for driving engagement and to help increase conversions is our Welcome bar. ET Online employs our Welcome bar to greet users that are coming in from Twitter and Facebook and encourages those visitors to follow them if they are not already.


Sharing

And last but certainly not least, ET Online has a great example of how to use 3rd party buttons via the AddThis platform to power your sharing implementation. Using AddThis is the best way to get all of these buttons in one place instead of diving into each individual services’ documentation.


Kudos to ET Online for covering all their social bases with the full suite of AddThis social plugins.

If you have any questions about any of these implementations, please do not hesitate to reach out. We’d love to assist you in getting all of your own AddThis tools.

Site of the Week: Cheap Flights

It’s getting to be that time of year when it’s time to start planning your holiday travel. And this week, we’re here to help you not procrastinate! CheapFlights.com isn’t just for plane tickets – they have hotel listings, travel tips and all sorts of great resources for planning your voyage. But hey, we were all ears at the “cheap flights” part too.

CheapFlights knows the importance of social and is using a version of our vertical scrolling sharebar. This sharebar is great for any site that is looking to implement social buttons in an optimal place for sharing, but without getting in the way of any other design or UI factors that might be more important for conversions.

Look at those numbers!

Another great AddThis feature that CheapFlights is employing are our Follow buttons:


Just as we recommend, CheapFlights has these buttons enabled across their site so users who are clicking around, or who might enter on a random page via search, won’t miss their chance to fan or follow the brand. In our AddThis analytics we give you insight into what pages are garnering these clicks to your external channels.

The AddThis Follow buttons are not limited to the ones you see above – we also support YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and more.

 

Want to see more great AddThis implementations? See all of our past Site of the Week candidates and check back every week for more great highlights.

AddThis Site of the Week: HelloWallet Blog

In this edition of Site of the Week, looking for tips on how to track small purchases (that always add up to larger dollar signs)? How about some pointers on how to financially plan for that family vacation? Enter the HelloWallet blog!

HelloWallet is a friendly, digital financial service for individuals to help them manage their money. They also deliver financial advice using a technology-based model. We love them for a variety of reasons, but think it’s worth calling out that they have a SMILE in their logo. How can you not appreciate a service that looks to make finances fun?

The HelloWallet blog isn’t just a place for company news, but where the team dishes out some high level tips and tricks for being financially responsible. We’re not talking boring, ol’ “don’t spend more than you make” type of topics, but fun articles like “The True Cost of a Twinkie”. And those are the articles always worth sharing! So let’s take a look at how they are using AddThis:

On the blog main page, next to each article preview, HelloWallet has a custom share button with the new sharing menu on hover, along with our Facebook Like, Twitter tweet and LinkedIn 3rd party buttons. This gives regular readers a quicker share option to all their preferred destinations.

On each article page, they again use 3rd party buttons and our native AddThis share counter for the full service menu. The buttons are prominent and near the title, always a good practice for increasing social numbers.

Finally, HelloWallet is also using our Address Bar Sharing feature. AB Sharing allows them to track the articles that are being shared by using the good old fashioned copy and paste method. It is still the most common way to share today and the best mechanism for having insight into all social sharing.

Now excuse us because we’re feeling inspired to go clip coupons and be financially savvy! Thank you, HelloWallet!

If you have any questions about any of the HelloWallet AddThis implementations, please let us know.

Shopify and Magento can now take advantage of our latest sharing tools

So you have an ecommerce site and you want to take advantage of our latest release and exciting redesign of the AddThis sharing experience? You’re in luck! Our Shopify and Magento plugins have been updated and are ready for download.

All you need to do is head on over either the Shopify or Magento AddThis plugin page to update or download the latest version for your site.

In case you missed the updates, here is a preview of the streamlined menu, also displaying our new end user authentication for easy, one-click sharing. Our tests of the new menu in action have shown an 11% increase in sharing!

New Sharing Menu

We’ve also refreshed our email sharing form, optimizing one of the most important avenues for sharing on an ecommerce site. Check it out:

If you aren’t already leveraging the AddThis platform and insights on your ecommerce site, here are some stats to give you a little nudge:

  • Sharing on Shopify via Twitter is 23% higher than average across our platform
  • Shopify users love their Macs, as sharing via a mac is 4x higher on Shopify than average across our platform
  • Magento users are 46% more likely to share via their iPads
  • Magento users are 57% more likely to share to Facebook than average across our platform

If you have any questions or feedback about our ecommerce plugins, please let us know.

October Hackathon 2012: Robotics for the Remote Worker and Plenty of Plants

Another successful AddThis Hackathon is in the books! We measure the success of a Hackathon in a few different ways:

For those not familiar with hackathons, they are our 24-hour sprints of innovation. A-Teamers group up, or work alone, on a new project outside of what they are currently working on in their day-to-day. The energy surrounding a hackathon is always fun and familial. They are a very important part of the AddThis culture.

WINNER: Telepresence Roomba Robot

The winning project of this installment of all-night coding was quite impressive. The team went out to solve a common challenge we face at AddThis. Since we have multiple offices across the country, sometimes communicating and collaborating requires extra effort. So, the team created a telepresence robot using a Roomba, a MacBook Air, foamcore and a rocket launcher. And the entire thing was controlled from a Google Hangout! See it in action:

Congratulations to the winning team! It was well deserved.

Honorable Mention: AddThis Garden

The unofficial “runners-up” also deserve Earth Day Award 2012. “AddThis Plant” went on a mission to “green” our new HQ office in Virginia. It is an extensive project of plant growing, caring and loving with the end goal to have a nice array of beautiful oxygen-producing decorations for our work space. Check them out:

And those are just the official winners! There were many other brilliant and noteworthy projects that did not go unnoticed or under-appreciated. Some of which will be used to make everyday AddThis processes more efficient — a win all by itself!

Like this? Check out more posts about AddThis Engineering.

 

AddThis Site of the Week: E Book Browse

It’s Friday, you are antsy for the weekend and possibly looking for the occasional distraction. So for today’s AddThis Site of the Week, we decided to help you with that.

E Book Browse is a website that allows you to search for books and documents that are available online. If we were still in college, we’d totally be using this site to help us write our paper at 2am the morning it’s due.

E Book Browse also uses AddThis for their sharing tools. Fancy that!

The implementation covers two basic and important best practices that we like to preach:

  • Make your sharing buttons discoverable.
  • Present each individual user with the services they prefer.

As you can see in the screenshot, E Book Browse has their share buttons prominently placed next to the most important content on the page – the book! There are tabs displaying 4 share services and the AddThis + symbol, which opens our menu on hover.

AddThis Menu on Hover

As for providing a more custom experience for each user, they are using our “preferred services” feature. We display services based on individuals’ past sharing history, as well as what is most popular across our network based on geographic data. It is designed to make it easy for users to share to their preferred destinations and to increase sharing.

We think Barry (the “author” of The Playbook) approves of that.

AddThis Site of the Week: Serious Eats

In our second installment of Site of the Week, we decided to highlight a site that covers something we don’t take lightly around the AddThis offices … food. They take this topic very seriously too, which is why their site is so aptly named: SeriousEats.com.

Serious Eats covers all sorts of food – upscale, downhome, exotic, and simple. Doesn’t matter, as long as it’s delicious! We can certainly get on-board with that.

Of course, one of the great things about food is being able to SHARE it. Whether it’s ordering a meal family style or pinning that drool-worthy photo of a grilled cheese to your Pinterest board. Fortunately, Serious Eats has a great sharing implementation to make it simple to share to their favorite social destinations. (As for literal sharing, that’s up to you, but we expect an invitation!) ;)

The food site is using a vertical sharing bar with our 3rd party native service buttons, which scrolls with the user as they move down the page. Go ahead and see for yourself! It’s like a trusty sidekick, never leaving you and waiting for just the right moment when you are ready to send to your networks!

 

Then, if you want to share a specific picture from their hunger-inducing photo galleries, they have additional buttons on each slide to help you with that too. While not currently in place on Serious Eats, another recommendation for our publishers who employ photo galleries is our photo sharing toolbox.

We can’t recommend enough that you visit and bookmark this seriously delicious site.

Now, excuse us while we go raid the fridge!

If you would like to submit a site for this blog feature, please send us a note. To get more information on criteria, check out our first installment.

New! AddThis Site of the Week

Introducing a new weekly blog feature! We’re always talking about the size and scale of our 14M domain network because we’re proud and humbled to be connected with so many of you and the great work you’re doing. We are inspired by all the different ways publishers and site owners customize our tools to create beautiful and unique web experiences for their users. It’s about time we start highlighting some of the standout integrations of our tools. So, welcome to the very first AddThis Site of the Week!

Letters of Note is a blog that gathers interesting notes, postcards, memos and other forms of correspondence from time periods throughout history.  We appreciate the simplicity of their design because it lets the content stand on its own.

Letters of Note uses the new AddThis sharing menus to create a streamlined experience for users to share the amazing and often inspirational content. We love how the button blends into the site unobtrusively, suggesting that users share with what feels like a gentle nudge. It feels almost like you should share because it blends so well with the user flow. Maybe we’re biased, but we love the orange! Then, once the user shows interest in sharing by mousing over or committing to a share by clicking, the full menu puts an array of custom options at their fingertips.

Initial results show that the new menu increases sharing by 11% across brands and, since our launch, the expanded menu has seen a 4x lift in shares.

We look forward to featuring more of the amazing sites that use the AddThis tools and hope that by doing so, we will promote creative ideas as well as highlight some best practices for using our tools.

If you ever want to submit a site for AddThis Site of the Week, please feel free to shoot us an email.

Football Gets the Biggest Social Spike Last Night, But Bill Creates Lasting Buzz

Last night, prime time television was a battle of American politics and the opening game of America’s most popular sport. While the 2011 season’s Super Bowl winners, the New York Giants, saw the biggest social spike across the AddThis network at the time of kickoff, former President Bill Clinton, one of the keynote speakers for the evening at the DNC, managed to create a sustained interest during his speech.

Way to bring the buzz, Bill! Our geographical data of social mentions across the US shows us that both New York and Massachusetts had more to say and socialize about Mr. Clinton than his home state of Arkansas.

The darker the state, the more intense the interest.

Finally, we pulled a tag cloud of most popular terms associated with Bill last night. One reason we love tag clouds is because of some of the things we find when researching the seemingly random terms that show up. For example: the word warlord shows up because people were looking for the clip from SNL featuring Phil Hartman, playing Clinton, talking about how warlords will take your chicken McNuggets.  Clip here (fast forward to 3:55 mark).

Like these data posts? Check out our whole Data Trends blog category!