For some reason on my newest answer I have a box on the bottom asking me to share my answer on random social networks:

None of my other answers have that little box....

How long does it stay there, and why is it there?

This happens on all new answers. It does not seem to be random....


We're experimenting with tweaking the rules on showing the share buttons.

New rules are the old rules, but without the length and random constraints.

I honestly expect this to do nothing to their usage*, and if the number bears this out we'll be pulling them**.

*Which is abysmal.

**Though I may have to crack some heads to get that done.

  • 3
    Now that Rebecca's hands are safely on the keyboard typing out bug fixes, you can steal her contractually-dulled-but-still-menacing stick to threaten anyone who gives you trouble.
    – Tim Stone
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:24
  • @amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA well, you just added the bug tag... Jun 19 '12 at 16:27
  • @KevinMontrose I never really realized it was a total bug until I saw your update to the post explaining when we get the share icons. Jun 19 '12 at 16:28
  • I don't use them because I don't like patting myself on the back. Now, if they showed up randomly under highly upvoted (accepted?) answers, I might share other people's answers more readily.
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:30
  • @jcolebrand yea, but it only seems to show up on your own answers and only for you and only for the first hour (and only....) Jun 19 '12 at 16:30
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    Won't this increase the number of users who are sick of them, instead of increasing the number of users who use them?
    – Toomai
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:34
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    @Toomai Probably. And believe me I'd rather they were gone. This is gathering data to make the argument that nobody uses them for good reason, the random and length constraints made it hard to build a convincing argument. You can think of this is lifting the Science Hammer in preparation for dropping it. Jun 19 '12 at 16:37
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    Hey Neal, that's my POINT. I'm trying to offer an alternative to Kevin.
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:37
  • @Kevin, I really wish you would approach the team about changing the mentality from "show my answers" to "help me evangelize the network more easily" because there are some of these that I would evangelize, but very very few of my own.
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:38
  • @jcolebrand analytics show us that a great many of posts are shared, but nobody uses the share buttons to do so. Note that we always show the question share buttons to everyone, always, and they also get garbage usage. Looks like people would much rather copy/paste links than use those buttons, no matter what the display rules are. This change is testing that hypothesis. Jun 19 '12 at 16:42
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    Wait, so there's been a method in the past to share an answer that wasn't mine? I feel like this conversation would be so much smoother over chat, because I think we're talking across each other. I want to share the occasional Skeet answer on twitter, because it blows my mind. I don't currently have a button to share a skeet answer, so I have to use the link. When Skeet asks a question, I can tweet that, because it has a button. Where's the button for me to share Skeet's answer?
    – jcolebrand
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:46
  • @jcolebrand I'd assume people are just copy+pasting the referral links from the "link" link.
    – Tim Stone
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:49
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    'abysmal' I stopped trying to use those links because they showed up like 1% of the time...just shared the question instead
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 19 '12 at 16:58
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    @Toomai - status-god-willing really. Jun 19 '12 at 17:09
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