Three weeks ago, newly-relaunched Gawker hit the web with a curious omission: the row of social media widgets frequently attached to blog posts across the web (examples below and to the right of this post).
“These sites festooned with social media buttons—they look like primitive tribesmen clutching pathetically onto shiny baubles they believe to the symbols of modernity,” Nick Denton told The Observer at the time. Facebook was by far the most significant source of social traffic, he said, and therefore a Facebook “Like” button was the only embedded widget needed.
But suffering pageviews has forced Mr. Denton to walk back parts of the redesign, including the ban on share buttons. Gawker sites now include a row of icons representing email, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Facebook, with a dropdown menu that offers more click-to-share options.
Mr. Denton declined to say anything quotatious in a brief exchange by email. “The all-the-rest share button went in nearly two weeks ago! You just noticed?” he chastised The Observer.
Yes, we admitted (as it happens, we might not be the only fans who have become less frequent visitors since the bold but potentially disasterous redesign).
Anyway, does this mean such widgets are now viewed as a necessary evil in Gawkerland?
“Well, we’re down to two: Facebook and all-the-rest,” Mr. Denton demurred. Thanks for sharing!
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries