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Plone 4 gets social: Short review of the Plone products that help to integrate social networks

Short review of the Plone add-ons that integrate social media websites into Plone 4 websites

Popularity of social networks rose considerably over past couple of years and penetrated all other spheres of the web. Now, when website content can be liked, tweeted or pinned, it is important to be quick and introduce these functions to your website.
Wide number of add-ons give opportunity to integrate most popular social networks into Plone and bookmark favourite content or share it with friends. Here is the short review of the Plone products that help to integrate social networks into the Plone-based websites.

XHOSTPLUS Social
sc.social.like
sc.social.bookmarks
zest.social
collective.addthis
Twitter and Facebook widget
collective.sharerizer
Simple Social
collective.portlet.socialnetworks

XHOSTPLUS Social

xhostplus.social 1.4.6 (2013-06-10) is easy to install and use Plone package that helps to display buttons for the 4 most popular social networks: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin on the Plone site.
XHOSTPLUS.social
After activating XHOSTPLUS Social on the Add-on panel you can configure several options in the Social Network Configuration.

XHOSTPLUS.social settings

sc.social.like

sc.social.like 2.0a1 (2013-07-23) is a Plone package that provides simple Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook integration for Plone website.

sc.social.like

Several features can be configured in the plugin settings:

  • different Plone content types for which plugin can be applied;
  • social network icons that can be displayed;
  • horizontal or vertical button style;
  • plugin-specific configurations for Twitter and Facebook.
  • sc.social.like settings

sc.social.bookmarks

You can use social.bookmarks 1.2.3 (2012-06-12). This particular package adds a Bookmark & Share action to a Plone 4 website pages. Any user can bookmark or share a content from a Plone site to a huge number of services (62 providers already included), for example: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Google Bookmarks, Yahoo Bookmarks, BlogMemes, blogmarks, Bluedot, co.mments, Bumpzee, connotea, Digg, Delicious, Linkter, MyShare, Netscape, Reddit, Scoopeo, Simpy, YahooBuzz.
You can choose display style: either icons only or bookmark link with options in the popup.  sc.social.bookmarks icons
sc.social.bookmarks
After activating this product in the Add-on panel you can configure its settings in the Add-on Configuration section:

  • choose which of provided services will be used for bookmarking;
  • select for what content type this options will be possible;
  • tick Use as a content action if you want a popup with links to appear only after mouse hovering over Bookmark text, or untick it if you want permanent bookmarks available;
  • tick Show icons only? if you want to display only icons without text. sc.social.bookmarks settings

zest.social

Zest.social 1.3 (2012-09-12) adds a viewlet at the bottom right corner of the page that allows to share content on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google. Additionally there is a print button. It is possible to share page on some other services using a popup menu.zest.social
There are more than 285 services available for sharing and you can quickly search for them using simple popup window.
zest.social search
After activating zest.social product it is important to enable viewlet on the particular page. To do this go to Settings tab on the editing page and tick ‘Show social bookmarking viewlet’.
zest.social settings

collective.addthis

Collective.addthis 1.3.3 (2013-05-27) combines addthis services with Plone CMS. This package produces a viewlet near the bottom of the page. After clicking on the Share button there is a possibility to share the content via more than 285 social network services.
collective.addthis
You can change configurations on the AddThis settings tab. For instance, it is possible to display the most popular social networks icons beside the Share button to make it easier for visitors. Just select necessary icons from the list, choose their order and press Save.
collective.addthis settings
You can add your account name with which you are registered on http://www.addthis.com and you will be able to view statistic information on sharing. Receiving in-depth report you can learn how sharing is increasing your traffic and what interests your visitors. Use this tool freely for your business.  
collective.addthis add option

Twitter and Facebook widget

Embed portlet 1.1 (2012-09-04) allows to embed Twitter and Facebook widget with the respective Like and Follow buttons into Plone website page.
Twitter and Facebook widget
Except activating the app it is necessary to take code from Facebook and Twitter websites. Useful video tutorial is here Plone: embed code from services like facebook, twitter, ....
Embed portlet in Plone

collective.sharerizer

Collective.sharerizer 1.4 (2012-11-29) simplifies the process of adding a third-party widget to the Plone website. It is not bound to any particular third-party tool, but provides a control panel where the needed Javascript widget can be pasted. Some tools that could be used are Add to Any and ShareThis.
collective.sharerizer
In the settings tab you should tick ‘Display Document Actions Icons’ and add code provided by the relevant service. Here is the example of Facebook Like button implementation.
collective.sharerizer settings

Simple Social

collective.simplesocial 1.8 (2013-11-12) is focused on the integration of Facebook within Plone website, including:

  • Like Button
  • Like Box Portlet
  • Feed Form Portlet
  • Post to Facebook Fan Page
  • Custom Facebook Connect Integration

collective.simplesocial
You would need to create your own app on the developers.facebook.com and insert its information to the settings tab.
collective.simplesocial configuration

collective.portlet.socialnetworks

collective.portlet.socialnetworks 1.2 (2013-01-18) allows to add icons with links to your blogger, digg, facebook, flickr, google plus, linkedin, myspace, pinterest, stumbleupon, tumblr, twitter, vimeo, or youtube accounts.
collective.portlet.socialnetworks
After activating the product go to Site Setup -> Configuration registry. Find collective.portlet.socialnetworks there and add links to the social networks you are active on to the record. E.g.:
facebook|http://www.facebook.com/TalkQuintagroup
twitter|https://twitter.com/quintagroup
youtube|http://www.youtube.com/user/quintagroup

collective.portlet.socialnetworks settings
Number of Plone packages for Social media websites integration increases. It is important to choose the one that suits your website or web application. Consider not only display options, functionality, speed, and number of social networks presented, but also the way such add-ons influence Plone website structure and code.
Plone, social networks and Internet in general are constantly developing so it is important to be familiar with the latest trends. Integrate social media platforms to your Plone website and people will find you.

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