Everyone seems to be into the snazzy little sharing buttons lately. It's one of the first addons people decided to put on their blogs after they are up and running. The theory is that adding these buttons will encourage people to bookmark and share your post with others if they think it is especially noteworthy. Great concecept in theory.
In reality, the clicks on these buttons are fairly low. However, every little bit of incremental traffic generated from them helps, right? So why not. Plus, you never know if a whale will bookmark you and bring a ton of traffic.
Anyway, the last thing you want to do is litter the bottom of your site with 100 little bookmark chicklets. It looks bad and makes your site load slower. So what's the alternative? ShareThis
ShareThis is a bookmarking tool for your blog or website that also does a simple "Email This to a Friend" function.
Right out of the box, it comes with all the most popular social networking sites and bookmarking sites. In about 5 minutes, you can have this configured and launched on your blog. It also comes with a handy little plugin for Wordpress that makes the implementation slightly easier. However, you don't need the plugin portion if you are compfortable with it on your own.
You are left with a clean, small button on the bottom of your posts that says ShareThis with a little icon. That's it. Nice and clean. When clicked, it pops open to reveal your sharing options.
For you as the site owner, you can track the usage of these networking tools through the ShareThis website. That way, you can see if people are actually using it!