Popular sites such as Time.com, Dow Jones Market Watch, ZDNet, TechCrunch and GigaOM utilize the Sphere widget in order to allow users relevant and personalized search platforms based on their own interests and reading habits.
I’ve just partnered with Sphere to also implement the widget here on CostPerNews to help facilitate conversation and promote good content. I consider Sphere a cross of StumbleUpon and Technorati with a dash of Techmeme thrown in for good measure.
What I do enjoy about Sphere, and the reason I encourage all of you to use it, is the fact that smaller blogs with less traffic but higher quality are easily discovered using Sphere. About a third of the feeds I subscribe to are a direct result of my use of Sphere. These are blogs with well constructed and highly interesting content about Sumerian archaeology, string theory, pencil fetishes (I’m a pencil/pen collector), and of course, online marketing and the social web.
To get the Sphere widget placed on your site is a complicated process involving personal emails with the Sphere team and a regular check of the content you are producing. This is especially true for WordPress blogs. That does help keep the quality of “sphere’d” sites high, though.
I’ve also installed a button for the Jaxtr service over on the far right sidebar. The service is still in an invite-only private beta, but I’ve enjoyed the tests I’ve been running through Jaxtr. Basically, if you have VOIP set up on your computer, you can click to “call me” on my mobile without having to go through Skype or a similar service. Behind Jaxtr is a founder of LinkedIn, so I have faith in the service.
Jaxtr is intended for the MySpace/Friendster crowd. When you contact a person through the Jaxtr button on their site, neither the caller nor the recepient of the call has their number displayed, so it is ideal for some types of affiliate marketing programs as well.
Yes, I know it is problematic for some to throw out that kind of immediate access and contact (my number is 803-413-6834 for good measure), but when I’m not at my computer, I have my mobile with me, and it’s a convenient way to reach me.
So, give that a try. It’s for you to use and abuse as you see fit (though please do more of the former than the latter).
Let me know if you have any other ideas to make this site the best possible place for discussion and information!