My former student Mike Rubino makes a good point about the encrustation of social networking icons that are clogging up the interfaces of content-rich websites.
Now, instead of a website having the normal “E-mail this article”;
“Print this article”; and the occasional “Digg this article” link, it’s
got a slew of other services. You have the option to “FARK” something,
“StumbleUpon” something, or “Redd” something.
Because no service is emerging as the clear victor (and other
services keep cropping up), websites are forced to include everyone out
of fairness. Sites are going to such extremes that they can no longer
fit all the little icons along the bottom, causing them to include the
“more…” button. Not only is it all confusingly unnecessary, but it’s
also ugly design-wise since not every logo is of the same quality. The
Del.icio.us logo is hideous, especially next to the Facebook or Digg
logos; the same goes for Fark. Media websites that feature large
amounts of articles and features aren’t always going for the most
aesthetic design, but junking it up further with all these little icons
(not to mention the ridiculous amount of comments at the bottom of
every article) is just a mess.