My Share This plugin for WordPress has proven to be very popular. It is being used on a number of high profile sites including Mashable.com, GigaOM, Web Worker Daily, AllThingsD.com and others. It’s a good example of a tool meeting a need. As you would expect, I wasn’t the only one trying to solve the sharing problem.
There are many people approaching sharing from a variety of different perspectives, some with really great ideas beyond what are in the current Share This plug-in. That’s why I’m very pleased to announce that I am working with the good people at ShareThis to build a next generation sharing tool that continues everything that’s been started with my Share This plug-in.
We first started talking a few months ago to discuss what the potential of us working together could lead to. I’ve been very impressed with the people at ShareThis. They have a great (and growing) team in place, and their attitude about “doing the right thing for the user” has really impressed me. Those factors and more made it an easy decision to want to work with them.
Share This is now the owner of the WordPress plugin code, along with the the stand-alone Share This widget code I created (that some folks are using with Drupal), and the Share Icon.
Let’s tackle the rest of the details in an O’Grady style Q & A…
- Why would you want to sell this to someone else instead of building it out yourself?
- There were a number of logical next steps for the Share This plug-in, but even though I thought they’d be great additions to the plug-in, I wasn’t planning to add them. I’ve got some experience trying to scale consumer services and I know how big an undertaking it is. I’m thrilled that I can skip some of the nasty heavy lifting and still help work on the user experience.
- So what happens to the WordPress plug-in now?
- We’re going to make it even better. There is a long list of features that will be added, and they will be great improvements.
- Is the WordPress plug-in still free and Open Source?
- Yes, the current WordPress plug-in remains a published work under the GPL license. We’ll be making a new version available very soon with some great new features that I expect most people will want to upgrade to.
- Will ShareThis be available for HTML page and other platforms?
- Yes, we are working on new releases for WordPress, regular HTML web sites and other popular CMS and blogging systems.
- What about the Share Icon, what happens to that?
- ShareThis is now the caretaker of the Share Icon. Based on the discussions I’ve had with them and the time I’ve spent with them, I trust them to do the right thing for the community. These guys get it.
- Are you still involved with the project?
- Yes, Crowd Favorite is working with the ShareThis team on a number of things and I’m excited to help get the new products to market so you can all use them. This work is one of the reasons my blogging has been so light lately.
- Can I still download the Share This plug-in and Share Icon from alexking.org?
- Yes, these will still be available from my site. There will be a shiny new publishers site over at sharethis.com in the future, and eventually we’ll host things over there exclusively.
I’ll try to answer any questions you have in the comments, and you can contact ShareThis directly with any questions you may have for them.
This post is part of the following projects: ShareThis, Share Icon. View the project timelines for more context on this post.
This is good news, Alex. However, the ShareThis website is blocked by my company firewall.
Can you maintain some type of hosting here for those who can’t access it?
I’ve just installed their FireFox plugin and noticed that it seems to require a login. Is the updated WordPress plugin also going to require a login for the end-user? If so, I would think that that would actually be counter-productive?
I’ll be hosting here for a while, hopefully we can get corporate firewall issues worked out for sharethis.com as well.
The new version won’t require a login; it will work just like the existing version without logging in. However if you do choose to create an account you’ll get some extra features.
I hope new development means better performance also. My GPU usage tracker at my hosting (media temple) states that ShareThis is one of the scripts that take more resources to load on an overall average.
Congratulations Alex. Sounds like a great connection between idea/developer and resource/vision. I look forward to seeing the next gen ShareThis and what this strategic relationship will mean for you.
I have been using share this on a number of sites over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been impressed [edit – ak].
It’s great that visitors who like my content can find the network or bookmark relevant to them without being affronted by thousands of garish icons all over the footer.
Very neat and tidy, and also makes my websites look less try-hard… which they certainly are.
Will wait for the next update with interest.
Just installed it on my latest site and it seems to be working great.
Thanks for all your efforts!
It would be really nice if the default behavior of ShareThis is to open in a popup window, or even better, a lightbox window instead of opening in the parent window,
just from the share this blog site and noticed that they have a share this icon to email a post to firends that opens in a lightbox. Very neat. Hopefully the ShareThis bookmarker will have the same feature.
Hey Alex, congrats. Your Share This plugin certainly is a good one and I’m glad to see the work continued on it.
I’d like to repeat two questions that you asked yourself to try to get a clearer answer: first, will subsequent versions of the plugin remain open source? Second, have you considered a continuous, ongoing license for the Share This icon? I know you said that the new owner will do the right thing, but whuffie is non-transferrable, and so saying they’ll do the right thing is a lot different from *you* saying you’ll do the right thing. In any case, I do hope, since the logo went through a community process in the beginning, that it remains available under an open-license and that the new owners don’t attempt to assert ownership or control over it now that it’s being used in the wild.
planner, the Share This plugin has always opened an inline window by default. It only reverts to a full page view in the event it has been incorrectly installed.
Chris, the plan is for the platform plugins (WordPress and others) to all be Open Source. Consider the Share Icon in the same manner as the feed icon. The feed icon is owned by Mozilla, but they have released it for all to use. ShareThis is doing the same with the Share Icon.
[…] discovered this yesterday when I installed Alex King’s beautiful WordPress plugin called Share This. It’s a thing of total beauty. Customising it with your favourite social site is […]
Alex, your Share This WordPress plugin is a thing of beauty! INSTALLED! 😀
[…] to the next level. Therefore, if you’re a user and/or fan of this plug-in make sure you visit Alex’s web site and read all the details. Also, for a quick demo of the plug-in, take a look at the bottom of this post and give it a try. […]
[…] Alex King Updates His Popular ShareThis Plugin – lotta people use this […]
I’ve had to drop this plugin since moving to WordPress 2.3 and MistyLook 3.5. No problem on the post pages but the About and Archives and Email pages were messed up. I suppose it was the theme, but fyi anyway.
Oh – and one other thing I thought would be cool…
A “Print” tab to go with the other two.
Is there any chance you can update this plug-in to work across pages in 2.3? I would be greatly appreciative if you did this for the community (and well, me too!)
I would like to implement Share This for the basic premiss that I feel has the most potential to become an actual standard icon. I like some standards. Some standards just plain make all the sense in the world.
[…] be available without the great sharing platform being built at ShareThis.com. You can see why it made sense to work with the great folks at […]
[…] Alex King, der Entwickler des originalen Share This Plugins, bereits am 24.09. ankündigte, hat er die weitere Entwicklung (und Vermarktung…) an sharethis.com und die dahinterstehende […]
[…] to release a new WordPress plugin and talk a little about prioritizing with a small team. The news about ShareThis is finally public and I make another trip out to work with the team in […]