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Category Archives: Features & Tips

The AddThis Flash Cookie… We Need Your Feedback

Wow! 2008 has been quite the year. In the last six months alone, a lot of exciting things have happened. In September, AddThis became part of the Clearspring family of sharing products. Since then, we’ve been heads down working to make the tool the best it possibly can be.

As we announced back in October, we’ve started using a Flash cookie (the same one that’s used in Clearspring’s analytics engine) to help give us insight into how we can give you all a better sharing experience, deep publisher analytics, monetization capabilities, and more.

There has been a lot of discussion around this. We’ve been tracking all of the conversations, reading every piece of feedback, and responding as much as possible. We really care about you guys. You guys are the reason why AddThis is the success that it is.

Well, from when we started using the Flash cookie, we’ve learned a lot. In this post, we wanted to tell you a bit more about the roadmap for AddThis and what the Flash cookie is allowing us to do.

First and foremost, our goal is to provide you with a tool that’s going to help your content get the most sharing possible and then provide you the data so you can learn about how your content is getting shared.

With the cookie, we’re going to be able to provide you with data about the number of unique visitors that you’re getting. For this, the Flash cookie allows us to give you guys the highest level of precision. This report is coming soon.

It will also allow us to have “smart” personalization within the AddThis hover menu. Having integrated with over 40 different social destinations, the current default AddThis hover menu consists of the services that our stats say that your users share the most with. But what if your users mainly share to Twitter? They’ll have to go to the pop-up menu, which is harder to use because it’s a pretty big list.

Our smart personalization will help us learn which services your users like to use the most and bubble those up to the hover menu. This makes it more likely that your users will share because the social destinations they use most will be front and center for them to use.

So what do you guys think?

If you have questions/concerns/feedback about this cookie, we want to hear from you…post a comment or send me an e-mail – justin@addthis.com

Update: As of 3/11/2010, we no longer use a Flash cookie for tracking–personalization is not affected.

How I Installed AddThis in MediaWiki

As part of a side project, I’ve been playing around with the ever-popular wiki software MediaWiki. It’s the software that’s used to power Wikipedia.

After I got MediaWiki installed, I wanted to figure out how to install AddThis on all of my pages so they’d be shareable. Here’s how I did it…

Obviously, first I created an AddThis account. From there, I clicked on the “Get Your Button Code” button in the upper right-hand part of the page. I created a sharing/bookmarking button for a website and got my AddThis button code.

Next, I found the appropriate file for my MediaWiki skin. If you’re still using the default skin, it’d be skins > MonoBook.php. Open the file in your favorite coding application.

The file will show all the PHP that marks the beginnings of the HTML page.

I wanted to put the AddThis button right after the page’s title. If you’d like to do that, find this code <h1 class=”firstHeading”… After that line, paste the AddThis button code.

Finally, I published that file and I was set to go.

Let me know if you find these instructions useful. Drop me an e-mail – justin@addthis.com

AddThis WordPress Plugin Redux

As a holiday present from us to you, we’ve finally updated our WordPress plugin. It’s way more customizable, and integrated with the WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to know anything about PHP to make changes.

Download it here:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/addthis/

As always, we appreciate your feedback! Many of the features of this new plugin came straight out of forum discussions.

Enjoy!

Check Out The New AddThis Video Tour

We’re really excited about AddThis and how easily it can make your content shareable. We’ve been brainstorming ways that we could share our excitement and the value proposition with you.

Our genius creative director recently put the finishing touches on an AddThis Video Tour, kind of a 60 second commercial, and I wanted to share it with you guys.

As always, if you ever any questions, thoughts, feedback, or you just wanna say hi, e-mail me – justin@addthis.com. We ALWAYS love meeting our users.

Snap + AddThis = Shared Snap Shots

Today, we are very pleased to announce a new partnership between Snap and AddThis.

You’ve seen them everywhere…Snap Shots are a great tool that allows you to look at web sites/pages without clicking on the links.

Now, you can not only look at these web sites/pages, but you can also bookmark them and share them with other people with just a few clicks. See the AddThis ‘Share’ button in the sample Snap Shot below.

When you click the button you can now bookmark and share the Snap Shot via Email, Digg, Delicious, Facebook, MySpace, etc:

Enjoy! See you around the Snaposphere!

-Dom

New Features – More Customization of the Button

Well, it’s 2008. Hope you all got a chance to try the new features we added last month to your analytics interface. We already received some great feedback.

We’ve been busy preparing to move to our new platform. This new platform will enable AddThis to scale more easily and provide additional powerful capabilities to the service. We have now reached the milestone of 100 Million buttons served per day, so it was time to move again. The move will happen next week, the transition will be completely transparent.

We have also been busy coding new features for the button (widget). Many of you have asked us for more ways to customize the button, as well as for an email function. We listened…so here are the latest enhancements. Thank for your continuous feedback!

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Button customization – You now have full control over the customization of the the button image, text, and style. We essentially moved the button image and link outside of the javascript, so you can now change the image, text, or style of the button as much as you want, and very easily.

Service options customization – You can now customize the list of service options that appear in the dropdown (e.g. Del.icio.us, Digg, Facebook, etc). You can even remove the “More” choice completely, if you only want to provide access to the most popular services.

Dropdown positioning – We also added the ability to re-position the dropdown vertically or horizontally, if needed.

Email a Friend – We have added a new service option: Email. So when selecting your options for the dropdown, you can now include the keyword ’email’. When the user clicks on ‘Email’, the dropdown will transform itself into a tiny form to send an email notification to a friend.


>> Here is the documentation for the new features <<

Happy Customizing!

AddThis WordPress Plugin (drop-down version)

Hot! Hot! We’ve got it! We now also have a WordPress Plugin for the new drop-down version of the widget. This Plugin will automatically insert the AddThis widget below each post in your blog (see it below this post). It’s very easy to install, you don’t even need to change anything in your templates. Here are the instructions:
1) Download it on your computer, and unzip it
2) Upload it into your wp-content/plugins directory
3) Log into your WordPress blog, click on the ‘Plugins’ tab, and click ‘Activate’

Like the other plugin, this Plugin also supports Stats. If you want to get bookmarking statistics (e.g. top bookmarked posts over various time periods), open the .php file and set the ‘addthis_username’ variable to, well, your AddThis username.

Edit (2008-12-23):

We updated our plugin. You can download the new and improved version here:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/addthis/

New Feature: Top Destination Services

We have just added a new feature to AddThis, it’s a graph in your stats section that will show you where your users bookmark your pages (e.g. Del.icio.us, Digg, Google, etc), or subscribe to your feeds (e.g. Bloglines, Google Reader, etc). Many of you have asked for this feature, so we went ahead and added it. Here is an example of what it looks like.

Top Bookmark Services
Now, to make sure you don’t all jump into your account and check this new feature at the same time and bring our servers down, we are using an invitation-only model. To use the feature you will first need to unlock it (the first time only). The code to unlock the feature is : addthis-stats

So go ahead and unlock that feature. If you like it, feel free to invite your visitors by posting the access code on your website or blog, so they can also benefit from those cool stats.

Related to this feature, we have also added a new section on the AddThis website: AddThis Trends. This section shows the exact same statistics descibed above, but aggregated over all the AddThis accounts. We also included a very interesting graph that shows the popularity evolution for the top bookmarking services month-by-month (see below).

Top Bookmark Services (over time)

Social bookmarking is evolving very fast. The graph shows that Favorites is falling in popularity while social bookmarking services continue to grow. Favorites here means local bookmarking (for any browser). Another interesting thing we are noticing is that the smaller bookmarking services together represent a very large portion of the market. So only including Digg and Del.icio.us badges is no longer enough.

Top Bookmark Services (May)

AddThis WordPress Plugin

We now also have a WordPress Plugin. This Plugin will automatically insert the AddThis widget below each post in your blog (see it below this post). It’s very easy to install, you don’t even need to change anything in your templates.Here are the instructions:
1) Download it on your computer, and unzip it
2) Upload it into your wp-content/plugins directory
3) Log into your WordPress blog, click on the ‘Plugins’ tab, and click ‘Activate’

And yes, the Plugin also supports Stats. If you want to get bookmarking statistics (e.g. top bookmarked posts over various time periods), open the .php file and set the ‘addthis_username’ variable to, well, your AddThis username.

Edit (2008-12-23):

We updated our plugin. You can download the new and improved version here:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/addthis/