Buttons, Buttons Everywhere

Share Buttons - The Anti-Social MediaLast week Tumblr released a share button, and Google will be releasing a +1 button soon.

Can we stop with all the damn buttons?

Buttons ruin web site and blog design. How the hell am I supposed to cram 8 different share buttons into every post? And why should I? As a self-absorbed, egotistical blogger, of course I want my content shared and ranking high in search engines. That’s what every publisher on the web wants.

But I’m not going to bow to every damn network that makes a button so people can post it to that network. If I did, there would be no content on my blog. All that would be left would be hundreds of meaningless buttons that don’t give my readers any value. It would be like the Hamster Dance, but without anything adorable and terribly annoying. It’s 2011. We don’t need another hamster dance.

If people find content meaningful and useful, they will share it and link to it. We don’t need to make it that much easier for them. And publishers shouldn’t have to worry about remaking their website every night just because another share button is released. We work hard to make our designs useable and matching our personalities, not those of Google, Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, LinkedIn, and every social network.

Let me worry about making nice content. If the content is good enough, my readers will share it. If it sucks, they won’t. That’s how these things work. Buttons will never fix that fundamental truth.

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11 Responses to “Buttons, Buttons Everywhere”

  1. Michael LaRocca May 11, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I love this. I want to share this. Where’s the button?

    Seriously, remember those refer-a-friend things that every “expert” said you HAD to have? Remember how those faded away like the stupid crap they are? This is just deja vu all over again.

    I share good stuff every day without a button, and I fail to share all kinds of stuff which has buttons everywhere. You can program your HTML, but you can’t program me.

    • Jay May 11, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Damn. And here I was thinking I could program someone to make me a cup of coffee.

  2. Amy Phillips May 11, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    word. I have stripped down all the buttons off of my blog (the tweet meme, the GFC, the Networked blogs, etc.) Now, I just have some social buttons on the side bar and the like button. and THAT’S IT!

    however, every time I do a blog design I am always asked to do those ‘cute customized sharing buttons’. *sigh*

    • Jay May 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      You should use the icon set I used on April Fool’s Day that made them all into hearts. It was disgusting. That will scare everyone from using them.

  3. Gijs van Dam May 11, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Practice what you preach Jay, and strip all those buttons from your own wordpress theme. ;)
    Would be nice to see if you’re right about people sharing your stuff anyway without thos friggin’ buttons on your website.

    • Jay May 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      I try to keep them to a minimum, based on where I see people sharing my stuff. I want to make it easier for the people who send love my way.

      I am self-absorbed though and always want new followers for my cult.

  4. Morgan May 12, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I really despise that +1 button. I’m not going to be going back to the search results just to click the +1 button.

    You should create your own button, just to be spiteful. The ‘I’m Anti-This Post’ button.

    • Jay May 13, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      One day I’ll commission a developer to the F%&$ You! button.

  5. julia isabella May 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    The beloved share button… The more of them I see the less I want to share. Truth is, if i ‘stumble upon’ sth that i ‘like’ i will share it if it’s GOOD. Seems to me like already too many people have the urge and deep desire to ‘share’ any piece of information they find - and I end up being spammed on any social site i exist.

    drop the freakin buttons and try to come up with quality content that will make me WANT TO spread the news.

  6. Davina K. Brewer May 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    While you’re crafting that “FYou!” button Jay, I’m in the market for some “what he, she said” and maybe “WTH?” buttons. Making it easy to share for slackers too lazy to copy and paste is one thing.. more is just more. If a blogger wants overkill, maybe add sound to their crappy popup ads - then I’ll know to never return. FWIW.

  7. Fedor Heymann May 20, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    I love how bloggers make the trade off between content, visitors and advertising the owners of these buttons. Somehow they do own you as a blogger. I unconsciously spite the buttons, often I catch myself copy/pasting links directly to avoid using them. Somehow, even in the online world I enjoy sticking to the traditional, long and maybe more challenging way of getting things done. With things changing quickly, we can hope for the buttons to be replaced by the next annoying marketing gag in no time.