Some think that big innovations happen as strokes of genius: the iPod came out of the brain of Steve Jobs in a lightning bolt, gravity hit Isaac Newton on the head, a hunter gatherer in the Neolithic Age was like, Wait, I should plant these plants next to my house instead of go out and forage for them every day.
As often as that is the case, more often innovation is a slow creep of small improvements by many minds over time, even if some of those tweaks and patches get lost in the later narrative that emerges.
Anyway, here’s one of those tweaks, and it’s cool.
It’s called Simple Sharing Buttons Generator and it’s by Stefan Bohacek. Bohacek is Brooklyn famous for being the inventor of BotWiki, a digital encyclopedia of bots that can be found and used online.
— Stefan Bohacek (@fourtonfish) September 5, 2016
With the Simple Sharing Buttons Generator, users can make customizable buttons to share articles and what have you on social media, but do so in a way that makes your site faster and more private than the buttons provided by Facebook or Twitter themselves.
The privacy issue is that each time someone shares or likes something from a Facebook button, Facebook knows that. Even if you choose not to interact too much with Facebook, these small actions add up.
Love sharing buttons, hate complicated code? The Simple Sharing Buttons Generator was made for you: http://t.co/RbZmf9w3jk
— Adobe Nordic (@AdobeNordic) June 26, 2014
A research paper about online privacy and our digital profiles wrote specifically about the Like function of Facebook. In Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior, published in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, three researchers used a dataset of 58,000 volunteers and were able to determine with surprising accuracy several important facts about people.
“Likes represent a very generic class of digital records, similar to Web search queries, Web browsing histories, and credit card purchases,” the research team writes. “For example, observing users’ Likes related to music provides similar information to observing records of songs listened to online, songs and artists searched for using a Web search engine, or subscriptions to related Twitter channels. In contrast to these other sources of information, Facebook Likes are unusual in that they are currently publicly available by default.”
We tried it out the Simple Sharing Buttons Generator, and we have to say, it seems legit. It felt weirdly good to share something and not give a megacorporation the data of me sharing it.