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Tag: Fun

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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Sharing to Google Buzz Using AddThis

The Web is all a flutter over the recent launch of Google’s most recent foray into the Social Web, Google Buzz. Within hours of my friends getting access, they all wanted to know if they could share to Google Buzz using AddThis. I’m pleased to say the answer is yes.

Within Google Buzz, just make sure that Google Reader is listed as one of your “Connected Sites”. Then, when you share to Google Readerthat link will show up in your Google Buzz feed. It’s that easy.

This means that you’ll be able to share articles to Google Buzz from any of the over 600,000 websites that have integrated AddThis. There’s no need to add an extra button to your page. If you have AddThis, you’re ready to go.

You could also share to Google Reader and thus Google Buzz from our Internet ExplorerFirefox, or Chrome browser extensions.

In the meantime, we’re looking into ways that we can more directly integrate. We’ll report back when we have more information.

What Do The Gorillaz and Team USA Have in Common?

So… what do Grammy award winning music group The Gorillaz and Team USA for this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver have in common? They both use the AddThis sharing platform to make their widgets shareable. (Shown below.)

Our mission with the AddThis platform is to make it easy for anyone to share anything, anywhere. Whether your users are enjoying your website, widgets, or anything really, they should be able to share it to every corner of the Social Web. We’re building out our platform and tools to make that happen.

Looking to incorporate AddThis into your own widgets? Have you seen the Flash examples and code samples that we’ve put together?

Here are the widgets…

AddThis Being Highlighted in Two Social Media Marketing Books

Here at World HQ, we were very flattered to find out that AddThis is being highlighted in two social media marketing books. One just became available and the other will be coming to a bookstore near you this spring.

First, there’s “Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections” by Eric Butow and Rebecca Bollwitt, which is available now. I just received a copy, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’m a HUGE believer in blogging within business. It’s allowed us to all stay in touch. *smiles*

Secondly, there’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing“, which is written by Jennifer Abernerthy. This book won’t be available until early April 2010 but you can pre-order it on Amazon today. From what I hear, it’s going to be pretty awesome, especially if you’re new to social media marketing.

As we continue to evolve and push our platform and tools to new levels, we’re excited to be a standard part of the social media process and conversation.

If you ever have any feedback about how we can serve you better, don’t hesitate to e-mail me – justin@addthis.com. Thanks!

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:

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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!

Sharing Your Shopping from Cyber Monday

Monday, after the long Thanksgiving break, we all slogged back to work and while at work, started to buy online all the new toys and gizmos that we want to give and get this holiday season. Yes, it was Cyber Monday.

Well, we looked at 15 of the top e-commerce sites that use AddThis to see if there was any interesting data that popped up. We found a few interesting nuggets…

  • From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, there was a 78% increase in sharing on those e-commerce sites.
  • The top 5 services for those e-commerce sites were E-mail, Facebook, Print, Google Bookmarks, and Delicious.
  • From the previous Monday to Cyber Monday, e-commerce related services like Amazon Wishlist and Kaboodle both saw ~20-25% increases in usage.
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We’re going to continue to keep an eye on this as the holiday season progresses. We’ll let you know what we see.

Tis the season for Web Awards…

Tis the season. No I’m not talking about the jolly guy in the red suit but he is coming soon. I’m talking about the time of year when some of the biggest industry observers and luminaries within the Web industry hold their award competitions.

First is Mashable’s 3rd Annual Open Web Awards. We’re so excited that AddThis is a finalist within the “Best Social Media Gadget” category.

Secondly, the 2009 Crunchies Awards are now open for nomination. This is the award competition co-hosted by the publications GigaOm, VentureBeat, and TechCrunch.

If you have a few minutes, would you mind giving us a vote and a nomination?

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We thank you so much for your continued support. Over the last year together as partners, we’ve been able to build something great with AddThis. We see these two award competitions as a great opportunity to let the world know about what we’ve been able to do together.

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Formal Fridays

Now, at just about every office in the DC area, you’ll most likely see men and woman wearing suits in every direction that you turn. Well, buried in the heart of McLean, Virginia, just outside of the Beltway with the world’s largest concentration of government contractors, is a stronghold of startup culture. It’s Clearspring’s World Corporate Headquarters. (Note: Clearspring is the parent company of AddThis.)

Most offices in DC will take a break from wearing suits on Fridays and dress a little bit more casual. Well, at Clearspring, we’re pretty casual all the time. We think people do the best work when they’re comfortable being themselves. So… to have a little fun, we have turned the Friday tradition on it’s head and have Formal Fridays. On Fridays, we all wear suits. Well, most do.

Not to get all gooshy but it’s this kind of light hearted yet serious atmosphere that’s created by the amazing people I work with, which helps makes it fun to come into the office everyday.

Yes, Cyrus (smiley guy in the front) is holding a Dalek. Yep, we’re that geeky. Oh, of all the smiling faces in the photo above, take a guess at who the leader of this merry band of suited rebels is. stick out tongue

Enjoy more photos…

Photos from the September 2009 Hackathon

A couple of times a year, we hunker down for 24 hours of straight innovation and fun with an all night hackathon. Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in my second. It was a blast and I’m excited for you all to see the great things that we produced during those hours.

Here are some photos…

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Two of our engineers, Matt and Rich, are based out of NY. They participated virtually in the hackathon.

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And… here’s my favorite photo. Steve decided to bring in his BIG nerf gun.

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We Found a Spy in Our Office

Our Office Spy

All morning, we’ve been hearing noises coming from the ceiling of Clearspring’s World Corporate Headquarters in McLean, VA. It sounded like something was in the ceilings. None of us could figure out what it was.

Well, as you can see from the photo above, we identified the spy that had infiltrated our office. It was a bird.

It was pretty entertaining to watch as a handful of our engineers spent a good 10 minutes trying to catch it. We were able to safely get it into a box and release it outside.

Now the investigation begins where we try to figure out who was trying to spy on our office and discover our secret new technologies that will give us world domination. Could it have been Twitter or Flock perhaps? Hahaha. Rimshot

Hope you’re all having a great day.

PS – This is not an April Fools Day joke. We really did find a bird in our office.