Adding Some Flare

Have you heard about "social media optimization"? It’s the thing that people who game DIgg are doing. It’s a pretty well known fact that getting picked up in Digg or Delicious popular can result in big increases in traffic.

But you don’t have to game Digg in order to benefit from social media. I’ve been benefitting from social media optimization for several years on this blog. My posts get posted regularly to delicious, digg, sphere, and reddit. They get picked up by TechMeme, Buzztracker, TailRank, etc. And I’d like to encourage more of that.

That’s where adding some flare to the blog comes in. At the end of every post on my blog or in my feed you’ll see this block of links.

Flare_2
This is called a "Flare" in FeedBurner nomenclature. And FeedBurner is the provider of my flare and most of the flares out there on the Internet.

How do you get a flare? Well first you need to burn your feed and become a FeedBurner user. Once you’ve done that, you can simply visit the tab in the FeedBurner interface called Optimize and then chose the FeedFlare section and you’ll be taken to the page where you can set up your flare.

That’s all you have to do to get a flare in your feed. If you want the same flare on your blog (and you should want that), you simply tell FeedBurner (using that same page) what blogging tool you use and you’ll get some HTML code to put in your blog’s template. If you have another FeedBurner service running on your blog already (like FeedBurner Ad Network or Site Stats), then you don’t need to do anything more.

I’ve had my flare on my feed and blog for a while now. But today I finally took the time to move some things around and add a few new flares. It took all of a couple minutes. But now I have dynamic Digg, Delicious, and Sphere flares to match the dynamic Technorati and Comments links. By "dynamic" I mean that the link to add something to any one of these services also contains a count of the number of people who’ve already done that. That is going to most certainly encourage others to do it and that’s social media optimization in action (the right way).