10 Ways to Be a Jackass in Online Discussions

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Please apply the following rules to discussion boards, comments entries, and Facebook and Twitter postings if you wish to raise collective blood pressure.

  1. Use all caps. I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE DO THIS EVEN THOUGH THEY’VE BEEN WARNED AGAINST IT FOR YEARS.
  2. Stay off topic, perhaps discussing the demise of the semicolon, one of the most misunderstood pieces of punctuation. You can use the semicolon to join two independent clauses that bear a close relationship; a period is sometimes just too much. Independent clauses can stand on their own as sentences, but a semicolon can bring two of them together. Wait. Where was I?
  3. Make it personal if you disagree with someone. As in, “You don’t like cilantro? You’re a pathetic and ugly sad sack.”
  4. Jump to the end of a discussion without reading the whole thing. That way you can make clueless statements or ask obvious questions that cause everyone to write you off.
  5. Slip little spammy messages into your postings.  (Seriously, though. Click here to read more about how you can be a better person for $9.99 per month.)
  6. Curse like a **** sailor.
  7. Make sure 2 use ur worst speling n grammar.
  8. Post irrelevant personal messages to everyone. (Andrea: doesn’t this remind you of the time you threw that flaming marshmallow at Travis’s head?)
  9. Be sarcastic. E.g., “Smooth move, ExLax.”
  10. Hit Submit before you’ve finish

[Image: Flickr user devittj]

Widget Worth

We never expected to spend as much time as we do building widgets. Increasingly more often, our clients come to us for Twitter stream sidebars, custom Facebook pages and Facebook Like buttons. We’ve known anecdotally that there’s a growing demand for these social media hooks, and now there’s justification.

Lijit, a provider of search, content delivery, and analytics tools for online publishers and networks, has just released a report that reflects how many publishing organizations rely on social tools blended into their sites. Many, many sites have widgets installed, implying that websites are not stand-alone and serve as a hub for more wide-reaching campaigns. Over the past two years, they found:

  • 2010: 735,834 sites surveyed, 84.8% with widgets installed (13,541,022 widgets)
  • 2009: 744,848 sites surveyed, 84.7% with widgets installed (13,826,562 widgets)

Why the huge numbers?

“To either make their sites better, or to give them more understanding about the readers that visit their site, or to make money,” says Lijit CEO Walter Knapp in an article in EContent Magazine, which featured the study.

The article outlines the wealth of social tools available for augmenting the site and also extracts key date from the study. A helpful benchmark in case you’re deciding whether you want to add a widget to your site.

Check out the top 50.

Top 50 widgets and tools implemented on publisher websites

Top 50 widgets and tools implemented on publisher websites