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How big are your icons?

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Icons? Software related? Have you perhaps filed an article in the wrong section, mate? Not at all. This article is all about social issues, not software.

What I want to talk to you about are icons linking to various social networks and sharing services, like Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, and others. For many users, these networks and services are an excellent, efficient and a fast way of sharing information with friends and would be friends. For webmasters, making your content easily available to users of these networks and services boosts the chances of quick exposure leading to increased traffic and possibly revenue. Placing icons linking to popular micro blogs, social news sites and community networks is a smart thing to do.

On one hand, you will have made available tools that can help promote you. On the other hand, users visiting your website will believe you're in the know, since you so gallantly flaunt the slew of lovely, cute icons that point to world's bread and butter of social mingling. On the third hand, lazy users who would not bother bookmarking your website might do so now and become more frequent visitors. It's a win win situation, really.

No problem. So far, so good. Well, there's one problem. Sometimes, you come across sites where the icons are simple huge. Not just big. Humongous. We're talking icons that easily take 20-30% of screen real estate. While we have already established that having relevant icons present is good, making them Godzilla-size could be a sign of desperation or boy-scout zeal. There's such a thing as too much.

You need an example, here we go:

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