The web revolves around the social network on one axis and the interest network around the other, these days. When we blog we are exposing our interests, getting a message out there and hoping our Search Engine Optimizations direct enough traffic our way. A lot of bloggers recognize that their blog is just one dimension of communication. It offers a specific mode of delivery. The context of the message is the blog itself and thus it is surrounded by other similar messages. Other prominent contexts exist though that your message can be inserted into. The bloggers that recognize the blog is just one dimension or channel see the value in Facebook and Twitter. These provide a venue where the context surrounding the message is either a social network or an interest network. It is possible to manually put your message in all three places but the efficient blogger would like the process to be a little more automated.
On February 4th WordPress.com rolled out a publicize option when posting. The interface is pretty clean and if you’ve set up the accounts before hand you can send abbreviated excerpts of your posts to Yahoo! Updates, Twitter and Facebook. This is a very cool new feature. However, most of you are not on WordPress.com. Well fear not as there are a few plugins that can give you similar functionality.
Share on Facebook: this plugin adds a footer link to add the current post or page as a Facebook link.
WordBook: plugin allows you to cross-post your blog posts to your Facebook Wall.
Simple Facebook Connect: This is actually several plugins that give your blog extremely nuanced connectivity to the Facebook API. I would say this is perhaps the most complete plugin I’ve seen for this sort of thing, as far as Facebook is concerned.
Simple Twitter Connect: By the same guy that brought us Simple Facebook Connect. A nice feature is it is designed to drive traffic back to your blog, not his plugin site.
WP to Twitter: a basic plugin that posts to twitter with new blog postings or updates to your blogroll. It’s very up to date.
Janrain Engage: This one is pretty exciting to me. It integrates the login/registration system with those of other social networking sites. Your visitors can simplify their life by having fewer passwords to remember. Authentication is passed from the social site back to yours. So, one user can set up their registration to your site via twitter. Another via Facebook, etc. What is even more exciting is that comments they make can be sent back to their social network and they have easy access to sharing via their social networks with simultaneous posting to multiple networks.