After announcing plans of releasing a social plugin for WordPress.org fans, it looks as if Automattic has successfully ported their WP.com feature for the self hosting masses.
Anointed as ShareDaddy, this plugin allows WordPress fans to easily insert social buttons into their blog without having to dabble with lots of code.
Keep It Elegant, Stupid
One of the biggest annoyances of social buttons is that bloggers feel the need to add every social button under the sun.
While adding social buttons is okay, more often than not they are not aligned properly or (worse) they are displayed in different sizes creating an eyesore for readers.
ShareDaddy seems to alleviate this issue by allowing WordPress fans not fluent in geek to easily align their social buttons as well as maintain the proper proportions.
Analytics Is Key
Another great feature about ShareDaddy is the fact that you can easily view which social buttons are sending you the most traffic.
Stats can easily be viewed in your WordPress Stats blog, which can help you determine which buttons should be displayed for your blog and which ones should be sent to the “share this” box.
Note: Unfortunately this feature only works if you do not use the smart buttons (which boast how many times your site has been shared), so if you don’t mind generic buttons then this feature will definitely appeal to you.
Adding Extra Buttons?
Despite the popularity of Twitter, Facebook and Digg (assuming the latter is still relevant), you may find other social networks and bookmarking services (like Google Buzz and Evernote) better suited towards your blog.
Instead of hunting down yet another plugin (which will probably display your social button out of alignment), you can easily create a new button by finding a 16 x 16 sized icon and locating the share URL.
Note: Ryan Markel from Automattic has already listed over half a dozen share URL’s from other social networks that you can use.
Should I Use ShareDaddy?
The only item lacking about ShareDaddy is the fact that there is no way to use smart buttons when adding third party services (like Google Buzz which desperately needs one).
That fact aside, unless you are already using an elegant third party service (like AddThis) and finding success through it, then you might want to consider installing ShareDaddy upon your blog.
Author: Darnell Clayton
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word “blog” (he called them “web journals” then).
When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.