If you have a WordPress.com account, you’ve most likely seen this option found on the left sidebar in the admin section. It is down below the “Settings” category. Clicking through you see some options to share information out to a select few social community networks you may (should!) belong to.
The question is, how important and useful is it to bother setting these automatic notifications up? Does it really matter that much in the grander scheme of things?
The first way to answer this question is with another question (typical, no?). What is the purpose of your blog posting? Are you simply capturing random thoughts that scurry through your mind with no real desire to seek fame and fortune from your scribblings? If this is the case, then don’t bother with the Sharing functionality here.
If on the other hand, you are attempting to promote your personal brand, or some new product or service, then obviously getting the word out to others is important. Plus, if you’ve ever had a self-hosted WordPress.org blog, you know there are greater limitations on functionality here at WP.com than there are on the seemingly endless number of plug-ins one can add to their own install.
But the good folks here recognize the need for functionality (safely implemented, hence the prevention of letting us jack up their installs with a bunch of potentially hazardous plugins!). As such, there are areas in the admin section, like this Sharing setting which provides additional features for those in the need.
Clearly in this new world of independent publishing and writers running willy nilly posting up copies of their magna opera for the unsuspecting masses, getting the word out is paramount. These sharing features are just the option for those authors, like me, who have opted to maintain their online presence here at WordPress.com.Say you are an aspiring writer who, like myself, is nearing the end of writing and self-publishing his first novel (a little ditty entitled The Perfect Meal. If you, like me, are under the impression that once CreateSpace and Kindle have finished the approval process and placed the book into their systems, the only thing left is to check the sales stats, well, you, LIKE ME 🙁 would be left wanting for more.
Most of us have accounts for the following, however if you are living under a rock, get with it!
So what these services do is every time you publish a new blog post, your title and link is pinged out to those communities. Simple, easy, automated. Just do what you do, write, and post, and forget worrying about sending a tweet to let your 621 followers know about it. Already taken care of.
A little further down the page is the “Share Button” section. This makes it easy for those folks that found out about your great blog post while playing in the one of the social communities you automatically pinged from above to share the news out to the communities they favor. I’m sure this functionality will vary from theme to theme, but usually the “share” button should display just below the text of your post, and above the author profile box. While you aren’t required to have accounts with the share button services, it certainly won’t hurt you to cultivate your personal brand in as many of them as you have time for.
To date, you can add easy share buttons for the following:
- Google +1
- Word Press This
There is also an easy button for emailing the page link and quick print. The print functionality is extremely cool in that it strips out all the web theme related colors and graphics and provides the visitor with a well laid out print page of the blog post content. Plus, it adds your WordPress.com user (author) information box at the bottom.
This info box is a great place to use the website and the printed pages to market yourself and your products/services. Or the release of your newest book 😉
So, the round about answer to whether it’s worth messing around with the Sharing functionality herein? Absolutely. It is set and forget and there’s nothing wrong with that!