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After a couple of days reading through literally hundreds of (mostly positive) reactions I have even less doubts than before—Social Media buttons are useless:

What I didn't make clear enough in the follow up: Even if 20% of the tweeters used the buttons (it's actually more around 15%), how many of the total of all readers use them? 1% 2%? How much additional traffic do these bring? 1% 2%?
Promising to make you look wired and magically promote your content in social networks, the Like, Retweet, and +1 buttons occupy a good spot on pretty much every page of the World Wide Web. Because o
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Reminds me to pull up my "badges of courage" slide from old. Also more evidence for you, when you place Facebook Connect on your site and Facebook goes down, you are totally screwed. 
Social media links (not buttons) are a good service on frontpages. It is often difficult to find the official channels through search. Social media buttons are really good traffic drivers on individual blog postings circulating in a fast ecosystem. Social media buttons should be avoided on all other pages. That is my conclusions based on my own experience with both clients and self published blogs, anyway. A very good and constructive discussion. Thanks for that, Oliver.
+Oliver Reichenstein I think you've read my comments here and posts about UX-A -- User-Experience Arrogance and how apps, sites, now command your attention as if they are they center of a user's universe. What if, as you just tested, a site tried to co-exist, blend in like an ingredient in a mixed drink or recipe for a better web instead of trying to be a bold, new attention commanding flavor?
@Oliver The relaunch of the new iA site is a big social media (Twitter) event. That attracts all the new followers. I really love your new web site, but I find it a tad too minimalistic that the links to the social media destinations are totally gone. But as a "happening" it is a great "provocation" and good fun. It also references the cool nightclubs in Tokyo. The ones where there are no address, just "secret" GPS coordinates! High coolness factor, indeed!
I am reading about Köniz now. Apparently, the town itself have less than 7,000 inhabitants. But the muncipality has around 40,000 like the iA Twitter account. Interesting place. No unemployment.
Well I have a good example that is some rare cases it is usefull. We did a viral action in The Netherlands. With 30,000 mailings. 3,000 of them share their landing page and almost 20.000 people clicked back.
That's only half of Köniz muncipality.
okay! ;) I though it was a marketing term in Germany :P
Well the +1 now only affects my webdesign related searches. Because that are the only people in my circles who use the +1 button :)
And I think their helpfull
Der König von Köniz! I wish I know how to say "priceless" in German, but it is a difficult one word expression to translate. Aber viel spass!
I just read your article and the follow-up, very interesting stuff to consider.  Thanks.
I'm late to this discussion, but I think there's a definite argument to be made that, as the way we use the web shifts from browsing to sharing, the share button is fast becoming as functional a part of a webpage as navigational elements or hyperlinks.
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