March 14, 2008

New RSSMeme Widget Embeds Blogs' Shared Item Statistics

Not to be overlooked on the day of ReadBurner's return to the Web, RSSMeme creator Benjamin Golub introduced a new widget for blog owners who would like to display how often their posts have been shared via Google Reader. The new functionality is powered by Golub's RSSMeme service which, like ReadBurner, shows the most popular items shared, but also offers advanced functionality that ReadBurner does not, including enabling blog owners to track their own feed popularity and shows popular tags for shared items.

For blog owners, displaying interactive details on blog posts is nothing new - ranging from FeedBurner's FeedFlare option to Technorati's tabulating external links. But RSSMeme is the first I've seen that harnesses the power of Google Reader to show just what RSS readers have found most valuable.

While RSSMeme is the first to fill this gap, using it here was a no-brainer. When Golub first wrote me about the possibility of developing the new widget back on March 5th by e-mail, I wrote back, "I'd definitely like to see that. I think it's a magic bullet."

So when it arrived today, I was ready. I took 5 minutes and added it to my Blogger interface, as you can see in the below two examples. Now, the RSSMeme data shows alongside the common Digg, Technorati and StumbleUpon details familiar around the blogosphere. And Golub's not done. While this first iteration simply pulls data from RSSMeme, future updates will enable readers to share directly from the site.

You can also see posts from shared on RSSMeme here.

Additional coverage of the new RSSMeme Widget can be found here:
Mashable: RSSMeme Hits Back at ReadBurner with Widgets
SheGeeks: RSSMeme Widget Released Early

You can get the code for the new widget here:

As to whether I would favor a RSSMeme widget over one from ReadBurner, or vice versa, I think there's no doubt that bloggers will want to show the fullest story. Today, RSSMeme has more aggregate link blogs burned than ReadBurner did when it first shut down. This means my total number of shares will be higher on RSSMeme today. If ReadBurner can lap RSSMeme in total population, I would make the switch. It's an arms race for sure, and Golub isn't on the retreat.