If you're a blogger, you know how social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be a great source of traffic and engagement for your blog. That's why I was super excited last week when Squarespace, the blog/CMS platform creator and platform of choice for Big Picture Web, rolled out their new Social Media Widgets functionality. Today's post takes a look at the new Twitter, Flickr and RSS features of the Squarespace.
I've been looking forward to the social widgets roll-out since Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena announced them in his recent Squarepace 2010 Roadmap post on the Squarespace blog - which was written thanks, at least in part, to this Big Picture Web post on the quest for the best blogging platform.
Anyway, I heard rumors Wednesday morning that the social widgets were in place. I rushed to log in to see that they were indeed available for configuration. As with most Squarespace website development, I had the Twitter widget in place and functioning within minutes. A few minutes later and I had my new Twitter widget styled to my exact liking. What you see in my right margin took a total of five minutes to configure. So far so good!
The implementation was so fast and easy, in fact, that I had time to implement the new changes, break the news on Twitter and congratulate Senior Squarespace Designer Krystyn Heide all before it was even officially announced. Heide responded that they were still officially in soft launch but the big changes were unveiled later that day via the blog. It took less time to master the new widgets than it did to fully roll them out.
Squarespace doesn't mess around when it comes to implementing new features like the Twitter widget. Creative Director Tyler Thompson explained this week via Twitter that Squarespace imports and hosts all your Twitter information for use with the widget. That means if Twitter goes down, your tweets will still show up on your blog.
Plus, you won't have to worry about Twitter gumming up your blog's load time by trying to fetch new tweets each time the site loads. Especially considering that Google has come out and said that they look at a website's load time in their ranking algorithm - that fact is thanks to last week's episode of Marketing Over Coffee, the best online marketing podcast ever - it's nice to know that Squarespace is hosting and (quickly) serving your tweets through the new social widgets functionality.
The new Squarespace social widgets are just the first in several new social features, according to Casalena - next up are Digg and Delicious. I've implemented the Twitter, Flickr and RSS widgets here on Big Picture Web and really like what I see so far. Squarespace, if you're listening, I really hope you consider incorporating the new Facebook Like functionality as well. Ultimately though, I'm very pleased with the social widgets and can't wait to see more features like these rolled out on the Squarespace platform.
What about you? Did you like the new Squarespace social widgets? Did you implement the Twitter widget? Flickr? RSS? Was this worth the wait or does Squarespace need to roll out more features, more often?