Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to add social networking features to YOUR website or blog

If you believe that social networking will play an important role with your presence on the web, whether it is for personal or business purposes, I am sure that by now you already have accounts with various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

While these social networking sites are great, there are times when you would rather that these social networking features are available right on YOUR own website or blog (assuming that you have one). This is for a good reason, since normally you want your visitors go to your principal website or blog, so that you have more control about how to communicate with them there.

Most social networking sites understood this need in the marketplace, so they usually do offer many web widgets that allow you to add various social networking features to your website easily. These are of the first-generation web widgets, where to use them you just need to get the code from them, and insert it into your website.

The website offers a number of 'deepWidgets' that wrap around those widgets from social networking sites to make them nicer to use and easier to manage. Compared to adding such social networking widget codes to your website on your own, you get the following benefits:
  • As with all the widgets from, you get to add, remove, and configure them through an easy-to-use web-based administration portal (i.e., the deepWidget Sandbox), so that you don't have to worry about having to constantly dealing with inserting the widget code into your webpage or blog.
  • Such widgets are encased in a floating panel, so that you don't have to worry about how you should alter your page layout in order to accommodate them.
  • Some of them come with some usability enhancements to give your visitors a better usage experience. For example, the floating panel can be minimized to become a tab on the side of the page, various animation effects are available, and there is an optional lightbox effect (which dims your page) to focus your visitor's attention on the panel that slides out.
  • You can combine such widgets with other tabbed widgets from to create a group of tabs that sit on the side of your webpage. This practically adds an entirely new layer of functionality over your original webpage! And of course you can rearrange, add, remove such tabs without touching your original webpage code.
  • You can add sophisticated 'mashup' functionality (upcoming) in a matter of minutes. For example, you can specify that a tab is to become visible only when certain part of your page becomes visible. More on this later in another post, but you can get a sense of this by simply looking at this very post, where you will find a couple of widgets become visible only when you have scrolled the bottom part of this post into view.
On the right side of this post are a number of deepWidgets that offer Facebook features. Just click on them to try it out! You can have the same thing, with your customizations, through the deepWidget Sandbox.

If you are not familiar with deepWidget here are links to additional information:

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