Kick Start your Social Network by leveraging "Email This" Link

Posted on January 21st 2008

As a webmaster, you've got a number of goals. One of the most important, of course, is to generate traffic on your site, and one of the fastest ways to do that these days is to set up a social network. A social network is what it sounds like: a network of people, gathered for a social purpose. The Internet is full of such networks, and the purposes are as varied as human beings are diverse. There are dating networks, business networks, class reunion networks, parenting networks, school networks; the list is truly endless. Within the diversity, however, there is a common thread: in all of these networks, people are talking to each other, exchanging information, and trading links to sites. From a webmaster's perspective, they're the traffic.

With this in mind, it's clear that getting a social network in action around your website will help to generate the traffic you need, and the high page rank you want. So how can you jumpstart such a network?

Email This” links are one tool you can use to get a network started. Even if you don't know the term, “Send this” you've probably seen and used it at on point or another: they're the highlighted text links, or sometimes buttons, on a website that allows you to send (e-mail) an article to a friend. Using the html coding, webmasters can set the mailto link to open a new message, put in an address, put in cc addresses, and even add text to the message.

So how can you use the seemingly outdated "Email This" link to kick start your social network agenda?

The manual way: You can use the "Email This" link to highlight important text on your site, especially the text that you want people talking about, and you can use the html coding to add previous commenters to the address list, allowing your site's readers to talk to each other

OR

Using Grouptivity: Grouptivity takes 'Send to a friend' to the next level. It's a simple link that looks and feels like the traditional 'Email this' link only much more powerful. With Grouptivity, you gather actual user analytics, you have the ability to track forwarded content, group email conversations and private discussion groups; Grouptivity's is a simple snippet of code that allows you to create content based on what your visitors read most! It's an excellent little widget that's worth trying.