There was an “iconistan” meme going around a couple weeks back that I’ve actually been thinking about for a while. Iconistan is the name coined for those annoying little “digg this” or “add to del.icio.us” buttons showing up in blog templates just after every post.
I am envisioning a new service (working name “PostToast”) which generates a toolbar after each blog post that is personalized by the reader. If I as a reader have an account with PostToast, every blog I read that has the PostToast toolbar will just show the buttons *I* have selected. Implementation wise, this would be very similar to MyBlogLog.
The goal is to:
1. Give your readers useful buttons. As a reader, buttons associated with each post are very slightly more useful than bookmarklets or browser tool bar buttons. A button next to a post will already have the permalink URL. They are also in the context of page – right as you reach the end of the post. I’m stretching a bit to justify them here, but we could add all kinds of stuff to the toolbar to make it useful – like email to a friend, or scrape images into flickr. The reader would choose once which ones they wanted to see.
2. Give your posts greater exposure without compromizing the design of your blog. The default PT toolbar would be customizable with CSS, and less obtrusive than the usual pile of icons (I’m imagining a drop down or slide out menu).
Now, I have noticed most top bloggers do not have these buttons on their sites. However, the buttons are fairly prevalent amongst less established bloggers (perhaps out of desperation and cluelessness). This is a tiny but highly valuable bit of realestate to stake out.
I finally found this implementation of the idea: AddThis. I’m not sure they’ve grasped the reader-personalization aspect, but they’ll get there. Also, in searching for this, I discovered how much activity is going on at widgetbox, wich is cool to see.