Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shared Count Results

Simple, but extremely useful tool to check social shares from your site and the competition.

My blogging has been less frequent of late due to increased client work as well as a number of projects that relate to Pinterest. But I wanted to take the time to briefly share a simple tool that I have found extremely useful in doing research on social sharing.

This tool is Shared Count. While there are dozens of tools that will track social shares across your web pages (many paid), I love Shared Count for its simplicity. This tool doesn’t require a login, doesn’t have a fancy design and doesn’t cost anything , yet it can quickly provide you with basic social share information for any url that you enter.

1. You enter a url on the Shared Count site.

2. It returns the number of social actions that have taken place on that page by querying  the APIs or publicly available data of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Delicious and StumbleUpon.

Here is an example of the results you will get:

See it in action

I put together this Shared Count “report” that tracks the social shares of the three Pinterest infographics I created. Have a look.,,,

Since the Shared Count results are entirely public you can share the results as easy as sharing a link. If you want to capture the information for reports, you can export your results to CSV file.

They same mechanism for sharing reports applies to saving. Just copy the Shared Count url after you have added all the pages you want analytics for. You can save it as text and just copy it into the browser when you want to have a look, or you can just drag it to your bookmarks section in the browser and click on it whenever you want to see the shares for the pages you have added.


Quick Social Analytics

For a number of reasons, you might not want to put a share count with each social button on your site. In those cases, you still may want to see for yourself how many repins/pins, likes or tweets any page is getting. Shared Count makes it simple to do.

Competitive Intelligence

You see a web page or site showing up on a social network frequently (say you see the same pin showing up over and over). You want to understand what type of social activity is causing this page to be popular. In less than 3o seconds you can use Shared Count to understand what type of social shares any page is getting.

Prioritizing Social Share Buttons

If you are thinking about writing a new blog post or even launching a new website, you can use the tool to understand the type of social sharing that already existing content is getting.

Social share information can influence what social share buttons you decide to include on your own site, the order of them and even what type of blog posts you choose to do.

Quirks To Know

Pinterest and Twitter in particular return results that are very specific to the url entered. Having the “www” or trailing “/” in the url can return different results. Facebook and LinkedIn seem to cover all the variations, but the other social sharing service can turn different results based on these variables.

I have found the best format to capture Pinterest pins/repins to your main url is this format:

If it is a individual page you are looking for, you need to see how it is shared in Pinterest and just copy that format. Or type in all the variations and see which one is being shared.

I hope you find Shared Count useful.



HuffPost "Highlights" a new way to view articles.

A new quote highlight page has got me to actually read The Huffington Post.

Sensational titles and  a chaotic website design have kept me from ever making the Huffington Post part of my digital routine. But a new site from the Huffington Post has changed that and may provide a view into the future of online publishing.

HuffLabs, a “innovation division” of the Huffington Post, has launched a new page called HuffPost Highlights. The page has a masonry look (think Pinterest) that spotlights quotes or portions of text that Huffington Post readers have either copied in their brower or have selected using Huffington Post’s highlight tool.

HuffPost "Highlights" a new way to read The Huffington Post

A number of online services have tried to popularize collecting or highlighting of interesting articles or quotes by subject ( is the one I use most frequently), but this experiment by the Huffington Post is the best put together I have seen with the caveat that is it from one publisher.

Jeopardy style news reading.

In a way similar to Jeopardy, where you are given you the question before the answer, Highlight gives you the most popular part of the article (essentially a quote) before you ever see the title. I an not sure this style of discovery is for everyone, but I enjoy it.

It also surfaces what readers think is compelling, versus what one editor decides should be the title to catch the reader’s eye.

I find myself reading the quote, which often has enough context on its own to understand it, and then if I find it compelling enough, I will look at the article title and then sometimes click through and read the article.

Why is Huffington Post doing this

The advantage to the publisher is pointed out by Conor White-Sullivan, director of HuffPost Labs. He told Poynter that:

We wanted to find and expose the buried ledes, the interesting quotes, paragraphs, or snippets of data in articles, and create a new way for users to browse the content on a news site, and discover articles that may have not been featured, but that they may find interesting…

Breaking the personalized news bubble

Like many of us, I live in a personal news vacuum. I get the majority of my industry specific news from Zite, my Twitter follows are highly curated based on my interests and my Facebook feed also is based on my existing relationship and what I like.

The Huffington Post has a certain political and news perspective, but it is broader than the one I have created with personalized social networks and news services. So while I am still getting a selective perspective when using Highlight, it is broader than what I am used to, and does provide a more well rounded view of news.

A new way to view and display content

I can certainly see developers use this technology on other sites, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this type of news feed become a common alternative both for aggregated news across multiple sites as well as a different user interface for many online publications.

I would be interested to hear what you think of Highlights. Feel free to post a comment.