You find them on blogs, personal websites, corporate sites and even on Diaspora: social sharing buttons! The past few years share buttons have popped-up in many a place, turning dull content headers and footers into colourful pixel art. One button, however, is still missing from the collection: a “Share on Diaspora” button.
Share button attempts
A few months ago Maxwell Salzburg created a Diaspora Bookmarklet on a special request by his sister. Ever since its release people have been toying around with the bookmarklet code to develop their own “Share on Diaspora” buttons. Lots of them!
One that seems to have caught a lot of attention is Mur’s share button. Although its visual design can be called original, the technical back-end is almost entirely the same as that of any other Diaspora share button.
A guy called “Burnman” decided to go even further by releasing a Diaspora share button plugin for WordPress. Simply install and activate the plugin and a Diaspora share button will be added to all your articles! Sounds great right?
these share buttons are all massively flawed. Do not put them on your blog!
As said before, these buttons are based on the bookmarklet code. This code contains a reference to the pod the code has been taken from. In many cases this is the official pod at joindiaspora.com. As a result, these buttons cannot share content to any pod other than joindiaspora. They are simply useless to people on other pods.
What a real share button should look like
There are three requirements to be met when designing a Diaspora share button for broad adoption.
Facebook’s “like” button automatically connects to Facebook.com, after which it will check whether someone is logged in. If yes, then the message will be delivered to the logged in account. In the case of Diaspora, however, the user needs to manually tell the button where to forward the message to as the Diaspora network consists of multiple pods. Based on the information provided by the user, the button can connect to the right pod to share the content with the users’ contacts.
Of course you do not want to have to tell the button which pod you are on every single time you click it. To ensure that the button works as fast as a Facebook or Twitter share button, there will need to be a way to save the pod url locally. This can probably be done using cookies. I am not a web developer though!
It should also be possible to reset the share button to allow connecting to a different pod, for example when your sister goes on your computer and she is not on the same pod as you.
All the above steps are extra steps that need to be made entirely because of the federated nature of Diaspora!
A working share button!
While doing some research for this blog post I came across a share button that works for all pods. If you use a share button that does not support multiple pods then copy/paste the following code:
You can check this button out right here on Diasporial!
If you use a Diaspora share button on your website which does not ask the user which pod they are on, then burn it!