New feature: improved social sharing

New feature: improved social sharing

As part of our ongoing improvements to the site, we have made it easier for people to share our content on social networking websites like Facebook.

You may have noticed that yesterday evening there are now social share links to Facebook and Google plus attached to articles:

So importantly you can now Like individual articles on on Facebook.

Liking an article shares it to your timeline, which can increase traffic, and also provide feedback to the author and contributor of the article so they know it was appreciated. So if you like an article, please Like it!

On privacy note, don't worry your Facebook/twitter/Google plus accounts are not linked to your libcom account in any way by this function.

On a dorky note, it also means you can see which articles have been most shared on social networking sites. And we would like to know which has been the most popular. The most popular one we have seen so far is the Loukanikos riot dog photo gallery with over 1800 Facebook likes. Does anything beat that?

Posted By

Aug 1 2012 09:21


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Aug 5 2012 13:22

About this, I was wondering if we should change it from "Like" to "recommend".

On the plus side, I think people would be more likely to Recommend articles about things which weren't nice, like a massacre or what have you. Because they would recommend the article rather than be seen to be Liking the event.

However, recommend seems like a more active commitment to something, whereas most people are very used to randomly Liking various stuff. What do people reckon?

Aug 5 2012 18:53

I just 'Liked' Driving the NHS to Market and the sub-heading caption it put on Facebook was...

In this article, which was written close to the end of the cold war, Noam Chomsky argues against the association of socialism with Bolshevism.

confused (unliked for now)

Aug 5 2012 20:37

Please don't un-like it for that reason! I noticed that when I posted it to the libcom Facebook page as well, it's weird I don't know why did that but I can't do anything about it.

Aug 5 2012 21:43

OK, was getting the same issue pasting the link into FB manually. I did some investigation... please bear with me...

I found out that articles must have description meta tag or else Facebook looks for first <p>aragraph with at least 120 chars. Facebook caches descriptions and re-scrapes every 24 hours or when triggered by entering the URL on a debug page.

I don't think you're using description meta tags, I can also see that when sharing an article with a short introduction paragraph, the next longer paragraph is used. When the introduction is long, that's used.

As the introduction paragraph is exactly 120 characters long I thought maybe this was posted and shared when it had a shorter introduction and so whatever else was on the page at the time was scraped, used and cached. However, debugging the URL again just picked up another random paragraph found on the scraped page (you can see what FB scrapes by clicking 'See exactly what our scraper sees for your URL' at the bottom of the debug results). So perhaps the minimum is slightly more than 120, or there are some caveats with that figure, or something else...

Anyway.... hope this is useful information! And FYI, I realised that when you share an article manually on FB, you can edit the header or description by double clicking them.

Aug 5 2012 22:21

Wow, that's useful stuff, thanks. Especially that you can edit the header or description, I never knew that!

One thing which would be good to know is how it identifies which thumbnail to use. Because for some reason many of them it seems to share the thumbnail attached to the featured article on the right-hand side of the page, rather than the image attached to the article

Aug 6 2012 10:13

One wondering which has been the most like page on libcom, I just found this one which beats Loukanikos with over 2300 likes:

working class s...
Aug 7 2012 01:02
working class s...
Aug 7 2012 01:21
Aug 7 2012 08:56
working class self organisation wrote:
and this 1900

well found!

not that I am a nerd

of course not…

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