Continuing from my guest spot on LinkersBlog, I am looking at plugins that are geared toward just one or two social sites, rather than large numbers of them. So here are a few plugins that focus on Digg and 2 or 3 other sites.
Everybody wants to be Dugg. You might not keep more than a fraction of the people that visit you site as readers, but that fraction can be a huge gain in regulars for most people. That is one reason most plugins include Digg in their list of bookmarking sites. This article at ProBlogger can give you an idea of what making the front page there can do for your site. Or to it, if you aren’t ready for it.
WP Digg This gives you exact control over what pages and posts it appears on. You do not have any options for different icons, and it does not appear automatically anywhere, you need to add a custom field to the pages and posts you want it on. You can set the icon to appear on your Home, Category, Search, and Archive pages, but unless they have full articles on them, you probably don’t want to.
You only have limited control over where the icon appears on a page. You can change some CSS styling on the option page to float it to the right of the post. But it will be at the top of the post, there are no options for placing it at the bottom. Adding the custom field is not the most intuitive process, but not too difficult. And the lack of placement options on your posts is somewhat irritating. But a simple enough plugin to use, and it does what it says it will.
Vote It! is technically not just a Digg plugin. It installs with Digg already set up, ready to use, which is why I put it here. But you can also add in other social sites to it, using the code you get from the other sites. There are 4 preset locations for placing the buttons, and the option of placing it manually if you are comfortable with hacking a PHP file. You decide which posts and pages you want the buttons on by checking a box on the edit page for each service. This gives incredible flexibility, since you can pick and choose exactly which social sites you want on which posts.
In order to use this flexibility, you need t0 go to the social sites and get their code for adding buttons and adding it on the option page. For some sites, that is easy, for others, it is not. And adding very many sites could easily get irritating. Another limitation is that in order to have buttons on all your posts, you need to got to each one and check the service you want there. There is no automatic addition of the icons. But if you have just a few places you want to target, or you want to target particular social sites with certain posts, and you are comfortable with working with php, this is a plugin to keep in mind.
I originally wrote about the diggZ-Et plugin for just that one service, but since then, the developers have combined their 4 plugins into one, S-ButtonZ. It included Digg, Reddit, dZone, and Yahoo Buzz right now, but the authors are planning on adding more. You can choose exactly which ones you want to appear, which then allows you to set options for the ones you chose.
You have a large amount of control over where the icons appear. You can choose from pages, posts, and archives, both category and tag. And you have 4 places you can put them on those pages, which can help keep them out of the way of any ads you may be showing. And you can place each of the icons separately on the page. The best part is if you do not want a particular page to have a particular icon, you can drop a comment code on the post or page and it will not appear, without affecting the rest of your blog. The amount of control you get is very nice.
Digg Digg has the same sites available as the S-ButtonZ plugin, Digg, Reddit, dZone, and Yahoo Buzz. It is in fact a lot like the other plugin. You can pick and choose which type of pages each button shows up on independently from each other, as well as their placement on the page and which icon appears. All of the options are easily done by checkboxes or dropdown menus.
The actual place options are somewhat limited. Basically the icons can appear before or after the page content, or it can float on the right or left of the top paragraph. You can place the icons elsewhere, if you are willing to dig into some PHP files. The icon options work pretty well for these locations, but the choices are more limited than in S-ButtonZ, especially the Yahoo Buzz options. A solid plugin, which does what is intended and is easy to use.
PopuList is not a plugin for linking to the social bookmarking sites, rather a way of seeing how your posts do there. It looks at Reddit, Digg, del.icio.us, and StumbleUpon to see how often your pages and posts are saved or voted for at those sites. A nice way to see things all on one page on your dashboard.
While Digg is considered the social site it is not the only ways to get links or to bring people in to your site. Darren at ProBlogger has an article about the synergy between StumbleUpon and Digg, illustrating the benefits of both sites. So while you may want to stick that Digg icon up at the top of your post, do not forget to give your readers other options for promoting you.
While each of these plugins makes it easy for your readers to submit your posts, there needs to be something more before that will happen. You need to have quality content that will stand out there. That is by far the hardest part of this blogging stuff.