Social Bookmarking feature added to blog

Umm well, I sort of had it already, you could either add posts to digg or del.icio.us. But this all was a bit hacky, and the implementation wasn’t too accessible, either.

I therefore browsed around a bit on the WordPress plugins site and tried out a few Social Bookmarking plugins on my local test install.

I found that Social Bookmarking reloaded both offers a wide range of Social Bookmarking services and is also accessible.

However, it displays a button for each service, and this can easily clutter up the page. Also, some feedback both here on the blog as well as through other means, it was indicated that the right service is hard to find, even for sighted mouse users. In addition, whatever service I deactivate, I’ll never get just the ones everyone needs.

So after a day, I’ve now decided to not go with “Social Bookmarking Reloaded”, but instead try out AddThis. Their WordPress plugin is unintrusive, only adds a single image at the bottom of each post. I’ve tweaked it a bit so it has proper alt text on the image.

So when you click this link, a new window will open allowing you to bookmark any of my posts with any bookmarking service you like. They offer even more than “Social Bookmarking reloaded” I believe, so there should be something there for everyone now.

Thank you again for your feedback! It’s very helpful, especially when not always seeing the effects of an idea.

9 comments:

  1. now here’s something that’s been bugging me recently, particularly with more and more mainstream news and university sites adding these social bookmarking buttons on their pages: if somebody is already using a service like delicious or magnolia, is it fair to assume they’ll already have a bookmarklet or extension/plugin to quickly bookmark the current page? if they’re not using such services, will they not feel that these buttons clutter up the page? are these the equivalent of web badges (“xhtml 1.0 compliant!” for the web 2.0 generation), or are they akin to those “print this page” buttons that simply replicate browser functionality?

  2. Hi lachlan,
    yeah you’re right, that many buttons was a bit overkill. A friend pointed this out to me as well, and I’ve now trimmed down the list.

  3. Take a look at http://www.entopica.com/, a new social bookmarking website. It is an online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks online
    Entopica offers a free registration and it is both quick and easy. Register now and discover a whole new world of social bookmarking

  4. Hi Marco,

    From what I can see, AddThis is only usable in browsers that have JavaScript enabled. While obviously most browsers are JS enabled, the key to accessiblity is that a service is accessible to all users (so non-JS options should also be provided).

    While it’s nice to have that AddThis dropdown widget on pages, I wish their pop-up window (for JS disabled browsers) didn’t also require JS to be enabled.

    It’s looking like we’ll have to develop an inhouse solution to this problem so I’d love to hear your feedback on my comment. Thanks!

  5. @Conor: Thanks for your comment! However as can be seen in this article and also in my a href=”http://www.marcozehe.de/2008/07/16/easy-aria-tip-3-aria-invalid-and-role-alert/”>latest Easy ARIA tip, I’m actually of the opinion that JavaScript or AJAX are actually able to enhance accessibility rather than prevent it. So I’ve made the conscious decision to showcase advances in accessibility and break with this rule that is, in my opinion, from the stone ages of web accessibility.

    Granted, the AddThis widget is not yet a prominent example of this, since it does not have ARIA yet, but I’m in contact with the AddThis people and will hopefully be able to showcase an advancement there soon, too.

  6. From what I can see, AddThis is only usable in browsers that have JavaScript enabled. While obviously most browsers are JS enabled, the key to accessiblity is that a service is accessible to all users (so non-JS options should also be provided).

  7. AddTHis is a great tool but you are right….non-js browsers will miss-out. We have just decided to deal with not being able to enable this function with non-js browsers. So we would be interested also for a work-around.

What are your thoughts?