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The social psychology of the Share bar

Across all the Offbeat Empire sites, we've always had our sharing bar (you know, the thing that allows you to easily Like or Send via Facebook, Tweet, Pin, etc) at the end of the each post. The theory here was basic: you read the post, then you share.

But I had an aha moment looking at another blog where I realized that share bar also gives an indication of whether you should read the post…so I moved it. The results were immediate and dramatic.

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Disclaimer for sponsored posts and other monetized content

My strategy for much of the advertising on the Empire has always been that it doesn't FEEL like advertising. I do this not because I'm trying to trick anyone, but because I find disruptive advertising annoying and bothersome… so therefore, rather than have sponsored posts written by some random advertising client, all our sponsored posts are written by us, in the same voice that the rest of the posts are written in.

I've invested significant design and developer time/money into trying to be as transparent as possible about my monetized content, but there's still confusion sometimes.