I like this

Even though you can find some nice sharing options for ‘social media’ sites on the bottom of each post here already I’ve decided to experiment with a new one: the new facebook ‘like’ button. (To the right of this post) Clicking on this button will immediately post the article to your facebook profile as a ‘like’, if you’re logged in, and it displays a nice overview of how many people liked the article. In addition, I’ve ‘liked’ my own online persona, the fan page that Levi Boitelle made for me earlier, and put the accompanying Facebook ‘like box’ on the home page of my website.

If you’re wondering how you could add a similar thing to your own website; here is a very quick walk-through. As most of it is lined out very neatly on the FB pages, I will refer to those for most part, in fact, Facebook provides you with a nice how-to here on their Like Button page.

First you will need to decide where to place the button, so open your CMS/Wordpress and find the place where you want to include code for the like button. (Usually you’d want it per post so in wordpress you have to add it per single post.)

Then you can fill in the variables on the ‘Like Button’ page Facebook has (see above) and fill in some preferences, hit ‘get code’ and you immediately get some code that you can enter at the spot that you’ve chose. (Depending on your site’s setup you will need almost no to a bit more html or php knowledge to do this in a good way.)

As you may notice you get the option of directly usable code or a single line of code that uses Facebook’s own markup language ‘XFBML’, which basically uses a Javascript library to generate the appropriate code for you.

As this latter option looks much neater I’ve chosen this one. For this you do need the code that includes the Javascript SDK, which you can find here. You will probably want to include this in your header file. After you’ve used this in your site you can easly add like buttons, boxes and more for integration with facebook by just adding single lines of code, adding a simple ‘like button’ will be as easy as adding ‘<fb:like width=”200″></fb:like>’ to your code somewhere. If you’re planning on including more FB integration, like the box on my home page, I would recommend adding this Javascript SDK in your header file, or a similar place, so you can just do the rest with simple lines of code.

Additional thoughts

Is Facebook the future? Well, this depends on how far you want to look into the future. It seems like Facebook will definitely dominate the near future, so in that sense it may be a good idea to add FB integration like this on your blog/website. However, just like me you may have nice ‘social media’ integration buttons with your posts already. I’ve already got an extra retweet button, and now these like buttons to add to it?! You should be aware that it makes your page even more ‘full’ than it already is, and always be careful not to make your site the visual equivalent of a pinball game! Facebook seems like a good thing to be a bit more present than other sites, but you may want to rethink adding yet another button if you think your audience is not on Facebook to begin with.