I’ve been playing around with Facebook’s “I like this” or, if you prefer, “I recommend this” button and have manually implemented it on top of some posts like this one. I also checked out all the other new Social Graph related features that Facebook added.
Indeed, manually, because although the blog platform I use, TypePad, was the first in the “Like” button program, it hasn’t really done spectacular things with it yet but, then again, it's all so new.
You can add a “Like” or "Recommend" button for your blog in general via TypePad, but as far as I can tell, it’s impossible on a post basis, unless you have access to the source code of TypePad.
We also played with all the other social Facebook apps and my personal favourite, is the "Recommendations box", that's why I added it 🙂
Anyway, back to the “Like” button. It is spreading fast. The last figures I saw talked about over 50,000 online media, and I guess it’s much more by now.
I still don’t know what to think about it. Of course, Facebook really has a strong weapon in its hands with the “Like” button and other nifty features it announced at its F8 developer conference, and you can bet that many site owners and bloggers will rush to the “Like” button because it’s an excellent way to get your content “spread” in a new way: by real people who like and recommend it. And in a way, thus even attach it to their online identity.
As always, it will depend from the content, but I guess I don’t have to remind you how many people use Facebook and if you have a few influencers liking your stuff, you can bet that you might be surprised when looking at your traffic sources one day soon.
For most websites, Google is still by far traffic source number one, but as I have noticed with this blog and the sites of some customers, Twitter, Facebook, social bookmarking sites and other social networks can sometimes show surprising results.
The rules of linking are changing
I have done some pretty cool things with Twitter and social bookmarking myself but, still, Google remains number one if you’re not doing social media optimization on a permanent basis. The thing is, social media are about real-time, search engines are still more about “all-time”, although of course this is changing fast as you know.
I’m wondering what will happen if more and more people, sites and blogs embrace the “Like” button, despite all the concerns from privacy, open web and other advocates. And remember: this button is just a small piece of the whole ‘Open Graph’ story that Facebook is rolling out.
However, if the “Like” button, really takes off (and it seems to), the rules of linking have changed.
What was once mainly a web of links between online properties, increasingly becomes a web of links between content and people. It was already happening of course. In the end, social media brought a dimension of links between people but also of links between people and content.
But Facebook is trying to take it much further. If the company pulls it off, I guess Google won’t like what happens then… Yes, what Facebook is doing, is a battle for the domination of the online world. And you are what the online giants want.
Who ever thought that something called hypertext and a few standards and protocols to send data between a bunch of computers (obviously, a very big bunch now), would ever lead to all this?
And we still have the “web of things” and RFID knocking at the door.
Believe it or not: we are slowly moving out of the digital prehistory. What comes next? The era of the divine yet monopolistic Egyptian pharaos, the dark ages, the semi-democratic Greek empire or do we skip all that and go to the “Aufklärung” right away?
The future will tell, in the meantime I’d like to know if you like the “Like” button (and all the other new possibilities).