Sweep the Sleaze

15 February 2014Design

Oliver Reichenstein, arguing back in 2012 against the ubiquitous social sharing buttons used by most websites:

Social media buttons are not a social media strategy, even though they’re often sold that way. Excellent content, serious networking and constant human engagement is the way to build your profile. Adding those sleazy buttons won’t achieve anything. Social media is not easy — there is no simple trick. Usually, what most people do is not the winning strategy but the safe strategy, and safe rarely wins.

This article and a subsequent follow-up by the same author make strong arguments and have me questioning the use of social media sharing buttons on this site. As I’m trying to build an audience, it seems reasonable to make sharing posts as easy as possible. But perhaps faster load times and a better overall experience for visitors is more important? As I’ve had success with several posts being shared more widely on social media, I’m hesitant to pull the sharing buttons from individual post pages. However, to reduce clutter on the front page, you’ll notice that there aren’t any sharing buttons (nor have there ever been).