GMAIL USERS: We hope you’ll join the discussion over on Mashable’s Google Buzz account.
We’ve discussed how you can integrate Buzz with your other social networks, but what about integrating Buzz with your blog? If you use a self-hosted WordPress blog (sorry, WordPress.com users), there are already a variety of Google Buzz plugins and add-ons available.
While it’s clear that people are really taking to using Buzz to share content and communicate, the service will undoubtedly reach more users as its sharing tools are integrated into other social sites. From buttons to social stream in your side bar, here’s how you can integrate Buzz with your WordPress blog.
Google Buzz Buttons
Mashable started sporting some nifty Buzz buttons a few days ago and lots of our readers have wanted to know how to add a similar feature to their own blogs. As it stands right now, how our Google Buzz buttons work (and how the buttons other sites are using also work) is that they create a share link from that post to Google Reader. As long as Google Reader is connected with your Google Buzz account, your publicly shared items will also be shared on Buzz.
Already, a number of enterprising WordPress plugin developers have answered the call to add Google Buzz buttons to WordPress posts.
Let’s take a look:
Google Buzz Button
Internet Techies created the Google Buzz Button plugin that allows you to add a “Buzz This” button to each of your WordPress posts. That icon probably looks pretty familiar – that’s because the button was designed here at Mashable (though it isn’t the same plugin).
The plugin options are relatively limited – you can choose what “rel” attribute you include with the link (the default is “nofollow”) and you can choose to display the button before or after your post content. You can also specify the icon’s height and width. Making some changes to your WordPress theme’s CSS options, you could further customize the appearance of the button, but as it stands, it’s a pretty basic (and easy) way to add a Buzz button. If you want to add Buzz manually to only certain posts, there is a template tag that you can add to those posts.
Another button plugin option is WP Google-buzz from Arpit Shah. This button is extremely similar to the Google Buzz Button plugin, but it adds a few more options. You can choose to show the button before or after content or to add it to posts manually, but there are also options for what style button you want to use. Depending on how you have your blog setup, you might want to use a different size or style of button.
Hameedulah’s WPBuzzer is the most robust of the Google Buzz button plugins as of right now. The style of the button is almost identical to what Mashable and the Google Buzz Button use (albeit, not quite as clean), but the options are where this plugin really shines.
You can choose where you want your buttons to appear (on posts, on pages, on the home page, in your RSS feed), whether your want the button to appear before or after the post, the target for the button (a new window or a pop-up share option) and even the CSS style. You can also choose to use a small or large button.
The biggest feature is that you can track share counts (just like we do at Mashable) if you have a Bit.ly API key and login.
The Light Social plugin takes a slightly different approach to the Google Buzz button. Light Social is a plugin that inserts a set of social share links at the bottom of each of your WordPress posts. This way links to Digg, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all automatically at the bottom of the post. The developer of Light Social updated the plugin to include a Google Buzz icon and share link as well. If you want to add lots of social options to your posts – Light Social is a good approach.
Buzz In Your Sidebar
It’s one thing to let other people share your content to their buzz accounts, but a big advantage of Buzz is that you can aggregate your social activities into one place as well. Check out these options for adding some Buzz to your sidebar!
Google Buzz ER
If you want to share your Buzz content on your blog, check out the Google Buzz ER plugin. Google Buzz ER is extremely cool. It’s a widget that will display your public Buzz content. Just enter in your username and define how many Buzz entries you want to display and drag the widget to your designated choice in your blog.
That’s it! Now you have Buzz in your sidebar! Plus, as an added benefit, other users can click on “comment” to immediately respond to what you share. As of right now, the Buzz API doesn’t allow other people’s comments to become viewable, so only your public content is going to appear on your blog.
Buzz Your Comments
There are a number of different all-inclusive comment solutions for WordPress – there’s Echo, Disqus (which we use here at Mashable) and IntenseDebate. IntenseDebate is owned by Automattic, the people behind WordPress.com and some of the main contributors to the WordPress.org project. So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s the first of the solutions to offer Buzz integration into its service.
If you use IntenseDebate on your blog, you can now easily add a Buzz It button to the top of your comment form. This won’t let people Buzz their own comments (we expect something like that will come in the future), but it adds another “Share on Buzz” option for your post to your visitors. If you use IntenseDebate, you can activate the Google Buzz This plugin by enabling it in the Plugins Directory.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
As Google Buzz continues to evolve (remember, it isn’t even a week old), more and more integration options are going to sprout up. Let us know what sort of integration options you’d like to see in the future in the comments! If we missed one of your favorite Buzz plugins, let us know!
Reviews: Digg, Disqus, Facebook, Google Buzz, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Mashable, Twitter, WordPress