June 02, 2008

ReadBurner Adds Widgets, Accelerating Shared Items Race

ReadBurner, the popular Google Reader shared items tracker, has recently undergone a series of enhancements making it a must-visit Web utility, enabling Web connoisseurs to find the most popular news items, see posts that are rising in awareness, and learn what sites or individuals are the most actively shared or most active link blog users.

Following the acquisition of ReadBurner from Alexander Marktl by Drew Olanoff, Thomas Connors and Adam Ostrow, the team has buckled down to introduce a new, flashy interface for the site, both on the Web and for iPhones (which works great on my iPod Touch), and on a near-weekly basis, has new updates worth noting.

In the last few weeks alone:
* ReadBurner added a page for "Breaking News"
* ReadBurner added a Breaking news feed on Twitter. (@ReadBurnerRSS)
* ReadBurner started a weekly podcast.
* ReadBurner added support for Netvibes.

Today, ReadBurner is adding a host of widgets, which will undoubtedly be popular in the blogging community, as you can now display how often your content has been shared, how often, as an author, your items are shared, or even how many total shares you've posted to your link blog and seen added to the service.

A ReadBurner widget for shares from louisgray.com.

A ReadBurner widget for all shares on my Google Shared items blog.

The new widgets can be found on any ReadBurner page for an author, a source, or a link blog. From any page, for example, for louisgray.com or "Louis Gray's Link Blog", you will now see a widget in the top right corner with a simple "Get This" button. Click the button, and you're taken to a dedicated page with a single line of JavaScript code, which can be embedded into your blog, just like the extremely popular FeedBurner statistics.

Grabbing the code for embedding into the blog is simple.

The widgets are an interesting salvo in the continued back and forth with Benjamin Golub's similarly popular RSSmeme, which, for now, has a leg up in showing share counts by specific items back to the blog. I for one, will be adding total ReadBurner shares to the blog and keeping the RSSmeme FeedFlare for the posts, until continued innovation from one site or another changes my mind.

Be sure you go get your own widgets at www.readburner.com.