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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Socializer, automatic submission of social bookmarks

I hate clutter just as must as every Tom, Dick, and Harry and Socializer will cut down the social bookmarking clutter you deal with every day. The Socializer allows you to easily submit a link to several social bookmarking systems. Instead of having a link to each site, you have a single link to all of them!

This service is so simple and easy to use I'm kicking myself that I didn't put one together first. It almost makes you go "duhh!" Here is Socializer's schematic, could it be any simpler?

And the tool couldn't be any more straightforward to setup. There's no need to register or any of that bullcrap, just insert a snippet of code (JavaScript or PHP) and Socializer does the rest. As if that isn't idiot proof enough, there are specific instructions on how to integrate the service with Wordpress, Movable Type, Blogger (me), and Blogware.

I posted about the sociable bookmarking plug-in that I created for Blogger not too long ago and if I had only known about this, I wouldn't have wasted my time (thanks Kiltak for posting the plug-in though). The biggest problem with maintaining links to sociable bookmarking services is that each one has its own API, and that gives me one huge API headache.

To use Socializer with Blogger all you have to do is insert this small snippet of code into your template.
<a href="http://ekstreme.com/socializer/?url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>">
Social bookmark this</a>
Now you might be saying, "Are you crazy? You want me to change my template?!?! I don't know the first thing about HTML, etc.!"But don't fret because all you need to do is copy the code above, go to your template in Blogger and paste it directly after "<$BlogItemControl$>". If you're having trouble finding this section of code, search the page (CTRL+F) for it, it only appears once. Now save your changes and click republish and you're done.

That's it and its certainly less painful than a trip to the dentist so you shouldn't procrastinate about it any longer. If you want to get more fancy, you can use the Socializer logos (, ) like you would use the digg or del.icio.us logos. To add this, the code is slightly different:
<a href="http://ekstreme.com/socializer/?url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>">
<img src="{insert URL to icon}" />Social bookmark this</a>
For this you will need to have a server where you can upload image (Flickr, etc.) and also need to know the URL of that image. You can grab a copy of the icons (small or large) above and upload them to your server. My personal recommendation is to use the smaller 16x16 pixel icon because this is the standard size of most sociable bookmarking icons. Paste the URL of the image into the snippet of code above where "{insert URL to icon}" is. It should look like this when done properly:
<a href="http://ekstreme.com/socializer/?url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>">
<img src="http://www.myurl.com/Socializer16.png" />Social bookmark this</a>
Now that you have the code ready, just copy and paste it into the same spot as mentioned before, save changes, and republish to make your changes go into effect. Whenever you make changes you should always confirm the changes posted properly and that you didn't mess anything else up in the process. Another good note is to ALWAYS make a backup of your template before editing it. If for some reason you make a mistake and mess something up, you will be able to use the backup copy.

Well that's Socializer and how to set it up with Blogger. I hope you and your readers enjoy using it, its a great service. I'm planning some house-keeping around here in a couple of days at which point I'll be changing everything over to Socializer, which will make my life and yours easier and less cluttered with social bookmarking icons. Now only if I could apply the same theory to my office desk.

Back to the grind, happy surfing!

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