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The last time there was a rant like this, I did an analysis using real-world data:

http://luigimontanez.com/2012/actually-social-media-buttons-...

The Nieman Journalism Lab followed up a few months ago:

http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/11/tweet-buttons-are-less-of-a...

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While I don't actually disagree with your conclusion (and am more than confident that you know more than me about social media), this data only supports the hypothesis that "people share content using social media buttons", right? It doesn't necessarily refute the idea that "people will share content just as much if it doesn't have social media buttons" -- that is, there's no proof that the subset of Twitter links you found wouldn't be shared manually if there was no tweet button.

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That's the problem with an audience like HN. We are not average internet users.

Oftentimes an ugly site with ads and popups everywhere will perform better than a beautiful, minimalist site. Sorry, but that's just reality.

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[citation needed]

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Oldies but goodies... I save these links to remind myself pretty and minimal doesn't necessarily mean better.

http://www.mrgreen.am/affiliate-marketing/the-ugly-truth/ https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1338459

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I can confirm this. All web projects I worked on which were minimalistic, clean and well designed had less stickiness (page impression count to visits) compared to sites stuffed with content, pics, links, extra widgets here and there.

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That could just mean people found what they wanted.

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No citation is needed for an unactionable assertion. Do you really believe in the entire history of every web page ever, this is untrue? The statement was more or less tantamount to use metrics to make decisions.

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So you're saying you don't have any numbers to back that up?

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I consider myself a "power user", relatively speaking, of the web...in that I know how to copy-paste URLs and titles into Twitter using all manner of computing devices. And I can even look up the author's Twitter account to ping them in the tweet. You laugh at that, but just yesterday I had a media professor tweet asking for my email address, even though it's listed several times on my blog and I can't direct-message her with that info until she follows me.

But I'm starting to find it inconvenient when social buttons aren't used. Maybe it's because I'm getting older...but partially because web developers are either moving too fast for me, or have no concept of graceful degradation. For example it is now impossible, from what I can tell, to provide a "right-click" tap on the New York Times website when you're on an iPad. That is, you can't hold to highlight text (which is helpful when tweeting the title of Tweet).

So call me a surrender monkey. Social buttons are the web-widget we deserve in the fractured development landscape.

Edit: I also have to dispute the OP's contention that the buttons are never used...blog posts of mine that get shared a lot almost always involve the Tweet button...It's easy to tell because I've configured the button to post the title and my name in a way that you wouldn't if you were manually creating the Tweet itself.

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But I don't want to tweet the title usually I want to find a nice quote and edit to fit. If I can't and the site tries to editorialise me pasting to twitter then I will not tweet.

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Note that the first link is written by the guy who started Upworthy. Those social media buttons are probably pretty awesome if all you're doing is repackaging other people's content with linkbaity/one-weird-trick titles.

But if you're actually in the content game? hmm..

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> Note that OP is the guy who started Upworthy

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I work for a very large e-commerce site and we did a similar test, we found that when we put Facebook like/share buttons on our product pages, social activity increased but it had a severe impact on conversion. My theory at the time was people were simply distracted - the second they saw Facebook, they got lost in all their friends status updates and forgot to come back and complete their purchase.

Edit: I should clarify - the extra traffic we received as a result of the extra social activity was tiny and in no way made up for the damage to conversion.

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Nice. Numbers are good.

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I predict that GitHub will acquire Campfire.

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My bet was going to be Atlassian. They have the clearest competitor to Campfire (Hipchat), a history of pulling off acquisitions (Bitbucket) and from 37Signals perspective could probably make a better case that they could take care / migrate their customers.

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I doubt unless they want to kill Hipchat and use Campfire.

We will not sell either of these products to a company that is planning to shut the products down.

IMO Hipchat is a better chat tool than Campfire.

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Why kill either? They are already a big player in the market, if they have Campfire too their will dominate it.

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Maintaining two products that overlap that much is going to look like a waste sooner or later.

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They could just have two different frontends, everything else the same.

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Not sure why anybody would want to acquire Campfire? It's an utterly terrible product. If GitHub wanted to added chat collaboration features they'd write them from scratch based upon WebSockets / Socket.IO... not the legacy polling that Campfire does!

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GitHub are known to have invested a lot in using Campfire, for example their bot Hubot integrates really well and they use it to manage the majority of their infrastructure.

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It's definitely possible but I wonder what Githubs strategy long term is and how it would fit into that. While I'm sure there are lot of people that use Campfire at GH (or maybe not), it may not be right for them to take care of and expand.

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But Github is already doing what 37signals is aiming for and that is being a company focused on a single product. I'd think they want to maintain that.

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Whilst GitHub itself is definitely the focus at GitHub, Inc. They also have other products, they have a job board too, and Speaker Deck, and Gauges.

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They sold Gauges: http://fastestforward.com/blog/archives/2013/11/01/fastest-f...

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They actually sold Gauges to Fastest Forward a couple months ago. Hopefully the new owners will give it some much-needed love; it's pretty, but... let's say unnecessarily minimalist. (If there's a way to get it to give me all the referers in a time period other than day-by-day, for instance, I still haven't figured it out.)

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Aren't GitHub involved with Gitter somehow? https://gitter.im/

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I thought they were done by two separate group. Would be great if Gitter was part of Github though.

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It's telling that we only know him as "the guy from PlayHaven" while we all know Adria Richards by name. In that picture Adria took at PyCon, I'm not even sure which guy got fired.

Okay, so the PlayHaven guy got fired. Adria had death threats made against her, was the subject of a beheading picture, had her home address and phone number publicized, her employer was DDOSed, and she was ultimately fired, like the PlayHaven guy.

That's misogyny in action. That's what needs to end.

On one side, it's a few people using their real names and identities to be harshly and specifically critical on Twitter. On the other side, it's an avalanche of anonymous death threats. I know which one bothers me more.

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Okay, so the PlayHaven guy got fired. Adria had death threats made against her, was the subject of a beheading picture, had her home address and phone number publicized, her employer was DDOSed, and she was ultimately fired, like the PlayHaven guy.

Neither one is acceptable. The mob action is obviously worse, but both punishments were wrong.

What should have happened (wishful thinking I know) is that AR could have told the guys to knock it off, or gone to staff without tweeting a picture to make a complaint if she was not comfortable with a one-on-one disagreement.

In that case the very competent PyCon staff would have mediated the complaint, and no one would have heard about it beyond a small circle of a few dozen people.

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This kind of thinking is anathema to SJW ideology. Example: https://twitter.com/eassumption/status/416999484581625856

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Interesting.

Jumping to the worst possible conclusion / interpretation of someone's words seems to be a hallmark of this style of 'activism'. Which leads to especially aggressive debates and misunderstandings, especially when people are on Twitter and constrained to <140 characters.

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The one tweet in there about private conversations enabling power dynamics is interesting. jdunck told me via email that he refuses to even discuss this stuff privately because I have to own up to my comment publicly, which really confused the hell out of me. But now it makes more sense.

I was also ready to just accept it as SJWs wanting help in a group from someone who calls them on their bullshit. Probably a little of column A, little of column B.

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private conversations enabling power dynamics

Public conversations also enable power dynamics.

They just enable power dynamics of a different sort - mobbing, pile-ons, and other forms of collective shaming.

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I think both sides are assholes, and should collectively shut up and let calm, reasonable people handle these problems like adults.

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This is my feeling as well. I get that anonymous death threats are an issue, but the counterweight is not made any more palatable by that fact. I also agree with grandparent about anonymous misogyny, but not that one group is less troubling than the other.

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Founding engineer from Upworthy here. My email is my username @upworthy.com -- Happy to talk.

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ISP: Comcast Xfinity

Location: Atlanta, GA

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There are two really interesting, and frankly devastating, double standards at work here:

(1) We all know Adria Richards's name. We know all about her. Her personal address has been spread. Things she wrote in the past have been used against her. But we don't really know anything about those guys. We know who they work for and what they look like, but there's been no widespread effort to expose them in the same manner that Adria's been exposed.

(2) When that guy lost his job, everyone thought it was a great injustice, and that Adria should make a heartfelt apology to him. But when Adria lost her job this morning, there were no such pronouncements going the other way. No one declared, "That dude really needs to apologize to Adria for making the dick joke that eventually led to her getting let go." That's not an argument that's being made anywhere.

Ask yourself why these things are happening in one direction. In an equal world -- a balanced world -- things should cut both ways. These tactics should be used by people on both "sides". But in this instance, that's decidedly not happening.

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(1) Adria was the one using her non-anonymous Twitter account to publicly out these two individuals. So, by her own actions, we know her name.

(2) There is a direct set of causalities leading from Adria's actions to the first firing. It wasn't (IMO) Adria's fault that he was let go, but it was a direct byproduct of the way she dealt with the situation. On the flip side, Adria did not lose her job because that guy made dick jokes. The causality there, while perhaps still arguable, is far more uncertain. There are numerous other ways Adria could have dealt with the situation which would not have resulted in her being fired.

Furthermore, regarding it being a double-standard in general -- Had Adria been a man, I suspect that both your #1 and #2 points could still have been true given the nature of the events. But hypotheticals are tricky, and in either case there would probably be numerous double standards at play. But the divisiveness of how it was handled makes it hard to address the real issues, which is highly unfortunate.

And lastly, to be clear, I could never, ever condone the hurtful, misogynistic, vitriolic backlash against Adria that we saw. I'd like to believe that much of that was from the froth-mouthed fringes of an otherwise reasonable community, but nonetheless I do wish there were a lot more being done to address that part of this debacle. I myself flagged a Facebook comment, but gave up when nothing really came of it and hurtful comments started coming into my own message inbox.

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(1) She publicised herself widely, posted the picture on Twitter, wrote a long blog post on her blog, named her employer directly, claimed her employer backed her actions, has all her contact details and photos on her blog and Twitter. She made herself public.

You don't know much about the guys as they didn't make public claims or announcements.

You appear to be saying they should be identified, named and shamed... which is exactly what Adria tried to do, and look where that ended up

(2) The guy in question apologised almost immediately on HN, a very well written, and seemingly honest and heartfelt apology for making a mistake.

The PyCon organisers took the guys and Adria into a room and discussed the matter at the time, and all were said to have apologised and agreed the matter was over.

If "everyone" thought it was an injustice that the guy lost his job, but felt it was fair and reasonable that she did, perhaps this tells you something. Perhaps it tells you that "everyone" thought her actions were wrong (as the instigator of this affair), and the guy did little wrong

The "reason these things are happening in one direction" is that Adria behaved like a jerk. Quite simple really.

Not a woman jerk, not a black jerk, not a Jewish jerk ... just a jerk.

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Regarding point (2), you are completely wrong. You are saying that because lots of people harassed Adria, therefore she was a jerk and deserved it. That is trivially disproved by noting that ethics as such exists, and is not simply whatever a group of people does. The reason this is happening is because people like you are shitheads who are doing bad things or enabling other shitheads to do bad things.

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> but I can speak for the other women that I know.

Are you certain of that? Really think about it. Put yourself in the shoes of these women you know. Would they really want you speaking for them?

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He doesn't know me but i think hes doing a better job of speaking for me then adria did.

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> people like mongoDB because it's fast on a single node and they can use SQL rather than having to learn something new

You can use SQL on MongoDB? And thanks for telling people who like MongoDB why exactly they like it.

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If you go through the trouble of setting up an A/B test and determining a statistically significant result, you're not blindly following it when you implement the winning variant.

It's totally cool to disregard the result an A/B test gives you. But don't justify that decision by saying that if you do follow the results of well-run A/B test, that it's somehow blind.

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I gave a talk about Search-Friendly Web Development a few years ago:

http://www.slideshare.net/luigimontanez/searchfriendly-web-d...

http://blip.tv/rubynation/luigi-montanez-search-friendly-web...

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