How to share links on This.

These notes are for anyone who has snagged an invitation to This. or for the hundreds who have accounts with default avatars and blank profile pages (no shares).

1. Install the bookmarklet

Click and drag the bookmarklet to your browser favorites bar. When you find a story you want to share, just click the bookmarklet. This. will force you to login if needed, and then the bookmarklet will show up, pre-populated.

Bookmarklet example

This. bookmarklet with fields pre-populated.

 What is a bookmarklet?

A bookmarklet is a “one-click” tool which adds functionality to the browser, such as modifying the appearance of a web page, querying a search engine with search terms provided by previously selected text, or submitting the current page to a translation or blogging service.

2. Pick your image

this image selection

Bookmarklet popup image selection.

I suggest you do this first, else you might forget. BTDT.

Try to pick an image that is wide, so that it doesn’t tile forever and look junky. I discovered through trial and error that the width of the image matches the length of the headline.

The choices (Next, Previous) are self-explanatory, if contrary to western culture or “forward” and “backward” positioning on other things web like search results. But the order doesn’t matter; either link will move you through the images, over and over.

The 1/51 tells you that, for this page, there are 51 possible image choices. Only two were horizontal images, however, and only one of the others looked good tiled. Not a hard choice to make.

This image selection

Selected image for this link.

But choose now. Because there’s no going back once you post.!

If no image is an option, this is what the post looks like.

Example with no image.

Example with no image.

 

I got lucky with this balance of image and headline.

A good image example for a This post

Good balance with image and headline length.

 

Visual disaster: bad image choice (default, I forgot) coupled with really long headline.

This long headline

This is what happens when you don’t realize your headline is giganormous.

 

All together now: eyesore!

This. No.

This. No.

 

3. Edit the headline and author fields.

The example above from WHTN19 illustrates this point best.

But this one from the London Review of Books does, too, because the author’s name is included in the headline/title as well as the author field. Of course, I don’t know why we fill in the author field. It doesn’t show up in the finished post.

This bookmarklet defaults

This. bookmarklet with fields pre-populated has duplicated the author’s name.

 

4. Write your pitch.

Why are you sharing this with us? Today? This is the equivalent of your tweet, limited to 110 characters. It is the only social – i.e., personal – information on the site, and the interaction is a one-way street.

This. example

An example of shared links.

 

Happy? Click Add This.

Written by Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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