How to use the Addthis button PROPERLY in the side bar of a wordpress.com blog

ADDTHIS is popular with bloggers, as it faciliates multiple social bookmarking options in a blog.

If you are a wordpress.com blogger and you use the Addthis button in your blog, then I suspect your button is linked to http://www.addthis/bookmark.php .

addthis-button

The button is linked in this way in ALL the wordpress.com blogs I have seen so far. This is how I derived at my suspicion.

I also assume that you use the Addthis button to encourage your readers to bookmark the blog post (s)he is currently reading.

Did you know….
that there is 100% chance that the reader will not be able to submit his/her preferred blog post using Addthis in your sidebar?

Why?
Addthis bookmarks ANY url that is present in the address bar of the browser.
And it’s not ALWAYS that the address bar of your blog is occupied with the permalink of a blog post that the reader wants to bookmark!!!

What sort of url’s can occupy the address bar of your blog?
-The home page of your blog
-A search result page (if someone used the search box to look for something)
-A tag page (If a reader clicked a tag)
-A category page (If a reader clicked a category)
-A “Previous entries” page (If a reader clicked a “Previous posts” link under a post)
-A “Next entries” page (If a reader clicked a “Next posts” link under a post)
-An “Archive” page (If a reader clicked a month from the Archives)

You do get the idea, no? If not, why not experiment a bit? Click around your blog in the ways mentioned above. If your blog is configured to show more than one post, you will have at least two posts in the window. Say you want to bookmark a post. What do you do? Click the Addthis button in your side bar, of course.

You will be taken to the Addthis page that has this url in the address bar:
http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

The peril is not obvious as yet. Choose a social bookmarking site from the list, log in to your account and save the url from your blog. It is NOT the url of a blog POST!!!

My verdict
You should never test the patience of the average web reader. Web readers typically have a short attention span and they are not going to remeber clicking the permalink of a blog post (the only way to make Addthis work for a wordpress.com blog post) in order to save it. They don’t have to do so in non-wordpress.com platforms and therefore they are not habituated with it!

So, what to do?
In my opinion, Addthis in the sidebar can be used only for one purpose – to encourage the reader to bookmark the ENTIRE blog. And how do we ensure that the reader is able to do that? We have to modify the Addthis code.

How to modify the Addthis code for the sidebar of a wordpress.com blog
You must Include your blog url and blog title in the Addthis code.

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?&url=http://EXAMPLE.wordpress.com&title=BLOG_TITLE

Please copy the above code and make necessary changes. Then link your Addthis button to it.

Is there absolutely no way to make the side bar Addthis button to bookmark an individual blog post?
There is no user-friendly way to use the Addthis button in your side bar to bookmark a blog post. Sorry.

However, if you are really desperate, you can use the Addthis button linked to the original unmodified code. But please be sure that you include an instruction right above or below the button. Something like this maybe:

To bookmark a blog post using any bookmark manager, please click the permalink of the post first and then click this button.

If you are lucky and if your reader is not in a hurry (s)he will take the time to make an extra click to bookmark your post.

A suggestion
If you want Addthis to be able to bookmark a blog post, you should have it under the blog post. But you must first modify the Addthis code to work for that blog post and link the Addthis button to it.

You can learn how to automatically modify Addthis for wordpress.com blog posts. This easy process will enable you to modify the Addthis button in such a way that all that a reader has to do is click the Addthis button and (s)he will be able to bookmark the blog post. Even if the address bar is not occupied with the post permalink. :D

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17 thoughts on “How to use the Addthis button PROPERLY in the side bar of a wordpress.com blog

  1. Hi NG- Okay, now I got it… what about these? How do I get a code like yours in Bookmark widget at your Me Me Me! Widget? And that one Get Email updates? I used feedburner, but when I paste it into the sidebar, the box where to enter email add disappears.

  2. hey baikong,
    the addthis button in my sidebar of my blog is configured in the way mentioned in this post! :D

    as for the feedeburner email update box, my box is just a static image that looks like the real thing! you can’t paste the feedburner email update BOX code in wordpress, cos it will be stripped by wordpress. what you can do is link an email-update box to your “get email updates” link. feel free to steal my “get email update” image if you want! :D

  3. This is a very good explanation of the AddThis.com problem, I’m impressed. Honestly. (I think I’ll even add this is further reading material in my GetSocial post if you don’t mind?)

    However, you *can* automatically make 100% working AddThis.com buttons (or fix defective ones) for your Blog/Posts by using GetSocial.

    GetSocial is a friendly, free and easy to use tool that generates social bookmarking buttons for wordpress.com blogs.

    You can get it here:

    http://hillelstoler.com/2008/05/18/getsocial-social-bookmarking-for-wordpresscom

    Hillel :)

  4. hello hillel,
    thanks for your comment. no, i don’t mind if you use the info in your post – but i would appreciate it if you could use only an excerpt and link to my post. so that readers can swarm my post too! :mrgreen:

    i am yet to try getsocial. gotta do the .net d/l thing first! it seems promising. thanks for getsocial.

  5. Pingback: How to use the Addthis bookmarklet to automatically create social bookmarking links for wordpress.com blog posts « Netty Gritty

  6. Thanks for noticing that my ADD-THIS button is not working perfectly. I’ve got fixed it… Thanks a lot.

    About the blog aggregator for bangladeshi bloggers, we must unite. Please tell all of your blogger-friend to view the post and spread the word in Bangladeshi blogosphere.

  7. Pingback: social bookmarking for wordpress.com blogs « lazy-bit

  8. hey, thanks for the comment :-)
    yeah I actually noticed my copy n paste being crippled.

    So thanks again for this info and howto :-)

  9. Pingback: GetSocial - Social Bookmarking for Wordpress.com « Hillel Stoler (and other cool stuff)

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