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A Strike Worth Sharing

After our awesome Q1 meeting, our entire team (east coast, west coast and everything between) went bowling. Here are some of the highlights of our evening. Thanks to everyone who could make it out. It was a fun way to start a great year.

Transporting the team to the bowling alley.

Peggy explains the rules of the tournament to the teams.

Mike clears his mind, and prepares to throw a turkey (3 consecutive strikes).

Robert throws a strike of his own, executed with immaculate form and surgical precision.

Will provides real-time color commentary and analysis.

Aaron suffers the endless shame of a missed spare.

The finals were won by a microscopic margin—an epic victory.

The undisputed 2011 bowling champions. They are proud, humble, team players.

Check out the rest of the gallery. ^_^

Afternoon Snack

Recently, Stephen picked up a popcorn machine. Folks, this is the real deal—pure crunchy buttery goodness. I’m not sure what compelled him to get it, but I give him credit for having great taste. This popcorn is way better than the microwaved stuff. I had no idea what I was missing.

Stephen is the gentleman operating the popcorn kiosk above.

Say hello to Rich and Justin. They are popcorn connoisseurs.

Mmmmm… tasty. I think it’s time for round 2.

AddThis Twitter Account Has Presidential-Level Authority

AddThis has been ranked as the #3 Twitter profile in a list of the Top 25 Most Influential Twitter profiles by page authority in an article by SEOmoz! We are third place only behind Barack Obama and Mashable.

We also rank fourth overall when factoring in individual Twitter accounts, being beat by notorious tweeter Ashton Kutcher. But we still out-rank the likes of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, tangledKanye West and Conan O’Brien.

Some other big name tech services on the list are Twitter, Google, YouTube and TechCrunch, just to name a few. We’d say that’s pretty good company!

Thanks so much to our community and all our wonderful followers, as well as SEOmoz for the awesome article!

How We Celebrate Birthdays at Clearspring

(Originally posted on the Clearspring blog.)

Clearspring (company behind AddThis) is really one big gigantic family. While we spend most of the day with headphones on and heads down working on AddThis and the Audience Platform, we like to have a lot of fun too.

The fun has recently manifested itself in how we celebrate birthdays…

For our Senior Engineer Charlie Reverte‘s birthday, his desk was transformed into his very own magical kingdom, which included his own balloon cape and crown.

For our SVP of Social Products Will Meyer‘s birthday, we built him his very own private office (aka big sheets of plastic around his desk in the pit.)

So… what should we do for the next birthday? We’re open to suggestions.

Wanna join in the fun? Join the team.

Share the Country Strong Challenge with AddThis

When working to produce content for the Web, you always have to remember the rule “content is king.” If you want users to get excited by the content and share it with their friends, you have to produce something those users will find exciting.

As we’ve talked about before, contests are one way to garner excitement with your users on the Web. A good example is CMT’s Country Strong Singing Challenge. Contestants compete to win the Grand Prize of a trip for two to Nashville, an opportunity to meet a Sony Nashville music executive, a visit to the set of CMT’s Top 20 Countdown show and the possibility to perform on CMT.

Due to the exciting nature of this contest, users who are fans of country music, the movie Country Strong, or CMT and who want to be seen as “in the know” will share this with their friends.

What are other examples of content that you’ve seen users naturally gravitate towards sharing?

My First Day at Clearspring

Hello! My name is Kori Hill and today is my first day as a Community Manager at Clearspring.

So far everyone has been very welcoming, but of course, a special shout out to Justin Thorp, my community manager mentor! He’s been awesome and I’m highly impressed by how well he’s managed such a big and important job by himself for so long! I only hope to continue on with the excellent example he has set.

I have spent most of my day getting up to speed on the awesome AddThis platform and learning all the various ways we reach out to customers to make sure you are getting the best experience possible! Even though I’ve been using social media tools for years now, every day it still amazes me the power they have and the channels they open for getting in touch with the people who matter.

Speaking of the people who matter, I very much look forward to interacting with all of you — whether it be on the blog, in the forums or some shout outs on Twitter. (follow me: twitter.com/korihill)

Please feel free to ask me any questions you like! I’m always available here – kori@clearspring.com

Cheers!

Kori

Site Maintenance Tomorrow Morning

All,

We will be performing routine maintenance to the site tomorrow morning, 08/31/2010 @ 4:00am EST. The maintenance is expected to last about two hours. During this period, there will be no access to the Forum nor will modifications to email templates be available.

Please note that this maintenance will in no way affect sharing, analytics or overall button performance.

As always, thank you for using AddThis.

The AddThis Team

Planned AddThis Firefox Toolbar Downtime This Saturday

Hey guys, starting at Noon this Saturday July 24th and going for 4.5 hours, the AddThis Firefox Toolbar won’t be available for download. This is due to some planned maintenance on behalf of Mozilla Add-ons, where the AddThis Firefox Toolbar is hosted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. I’ll update this post, when the maintenance is complete.

Updated 7/27 – This planned maintenance got moved by Mozilla to Saturday, July 31.  Will update as we get more information.

Kicking Off Q2: Margaritas and Practicing Downward Dog

To start the quarter off right, here at Clearspring (the company behind AddThis), we brought the whole company down to World Corporate Headquarters in McLean, Virginia (VA) for some company meetings and bonding time.

It’s always a blast to be able to see everyone.  Here in VA, we talk to our New York City and Los Angeles offices all the time on the phone and via e-mail but it’s SO much more fun to hang in person.  Plus, you can just get so much more done.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

My favorite feature of the AddThis browser extensions for Firefox and Internet Explorer is that it’s easy to customize my browser menu with my favorite services. Did you know you can Translate any page on the fly? Make The Book Of Eli downloadprinting easier by removing all of the navigation and other page elements, leaving just the content, with one click? Quickly share a link using your computer’s email application, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and other email services? These and other services save me time and make sharing easy.

Sometimes we get asked why anyone would need over 230 AddThis services – why so many? The answer is, AddThis is used by hundreds of millions of people all over the world, and there are lots of different ways to interact with a webpage. Some services are more popular than others in different countries, and everyone has their own favorite ways to share. We created the AddThis Service Directory so anyone could submit their service; the AddThis menu then optimizes and personalizes the list to show the right services to the right person at the right time.

To demonstrate, here is a list of my favorite services that I’ve selected to be in my Firefox AddThis menu, using the Options… feature to create and order my list:

jimsfavorites

I can add any service from the complete list on the left, and change the order of my selected list using the arrows on the far right.

Here’s a little more information about my favorite services; clicking one will share this page so you can see how each works.

  • Email Program: This service allows me to share any link to my computer’s default email application, opening a new message with the link already in the message body. No more copy-pasting links.
  • Blogger: Share any link to one of my Blogger blogs. Blogger’s compose window let’s me pick which blog to share to, where I can save the post for later or go ahead and publish. Easy.
  • Twitter: This lets me tweet any link; AddThis will automatically shorten links only if needed.
  • Facebook: I post a lot of design-related links to Facebook, our most sharing popular service.
  • Translate: Handy if you encounter a lot of pages in other languages. This service uses Google Translate to instantly determine the language and translate the page. You can even continue to browse the site in your own language thanks to Google’s use of frames.
  • PDF Online: Quickly save any page as a PDF.
  • Google Reader: Post and tag a link to your Google Reader shared items.
  • PrintFriendly: Strip out navigation, ads, images and any other page elements you like to print only the content of a page. Quick and easy reading as well as printing.
  • Print: I can use control-P, or use my browser’s menu, or some other way to Print. But hey, I’m using this menu all the time, so it’s convenient.

There are lots of other services and utilities to discover – what are your favorites? As always, we love feedback, so let us know how we can make AddThis even better.

Jim Lane, Director of User Experience for AddThis

A quick post-script: You might have noticed that Email Program is not yet available in the current version of the Firefox extension. You can get this service by installing the latest experimental version of the AddThis for Firefox addon on Mozilla. Just visit that page on Mozilla.com and scroll down and select “Get the Newest Version Now”. You heard it here first!