Useless social networking links


     Web 2.0 has brought upon perhaps the silliest design trend to date, that even big media companies are doing. That is the addition of social networking links attached to articles.

     To the right is an example from nytimes.com. How many people honestly take the time out to bother clicking those links to ‘Digg’ the article or share it with their friends on facebook? Nytimes.com is atleast smart about it and saves on valuable screen space by making the list expandable, while some sit there giving you about 8 useless different ways for you to whore their article on your favorite social networking site.

     AddThis makes this easier for companies to add this web 2.0 funness to your blog posts, or news articles through a widget. A widget that offers 36 fucking different social bookmarks. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. You are going to spend more time reading through the choices to share the article than actually reading it. Definitely the first thing I want to do after reading a fine article on foreign policy is share it on mister-wong.com , whatever the fuck that is. I’m sure to show my friends on facebook how sophisticated I am through posting the link in my profile. Out of those 36 links on that widget, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of half of them, literally, and I’m a pretty big web browser.

     I’d bet if you replaced the “Share This” space with an advertisement you’d probably end up earning more for your bang than hoping someone ends up launching your article to the front page of Digg.com

     I just died on the inside a little bit when I saw an article on wsj.com with “Digg This” right next to the RSS feed link. WSJ just lost a few points of credibility right there from me. I can’t really picture a Pulitzer prize winning article being on the front page, right above 1 Male Who is Feeling Anything but Enhanced. Yes, that article is currently on the front page of digg.