Soooooooooooooooooo I suggested in another thread that we should have social media buttons on this site, of the share/like/tweet variety. Probably just the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. Maybe Digg, but the listings here just don't seem very diggable. This isn't the sort of thing to be dugg.
Now, it might seem odd that we'd want people to share the listing here and not the actual story, but there's a matter of context. It's hard to make a weblit site look like anything other than "some person who put up a blog" to someone who doesn't grok weblit. There's the self-publishing stigma, there's the fact that it's not a familiar publishing medium to people, there's the sense that this is something that anyone could just do for themselves and therefore it doesn't count...
On the other hand, web portals/directories are very common and well-known. They tell people "This is an established concept. This is a real thing. This is not just something somebody threw together."
So, yeah. I think getting sharing buttons on the entries would be a good idea. I also think that a "Read From The Beginning" link that's more prominent on the listings would also be a good idea... we should all make it easy for people to jump to the beginning, but the fewer clicks it takes someone to get where they need to be, the better.
(Actually, come to think of it, there needs to be a more prominent link in the listings in the first place... is it just the thumbnail? No matter how natural or intuitive it seems to one person to click on that to get the site, it's not going to be that way to everyone. Put the word "Link" or "Site Link" or "Click To Enter" under it and the listing becomes way more useful.)
But, the long and the short of this is that I've been planning to do a big advertising push for Tales of MU in the near future, bigger than I've done in a while and possibly bigger than I've ever done... now that I've had the thought about social media, I'm planning on making half of the ads direct to the listing here instead of the Tales of MU page, at least initially. If I see no benefit I'll stop doing it, but I have an inkling that it will improve things. I'll get fewer hits from the ads that target the listing but I imagine it will result in more readers, because there's a gloss of legitimacy, there's a context, there's the message that says "Web Fiction: It's An Actual Thing!™"
And anyone who doesn't find the entry for Tales of MU appealing will still have discovered the WFG.
I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts or any relevant experiences relating to this? Has anyone else tried advertising their listing?