You’ve probably seen the “universal sharing” icon Alex King put together for Share This. Unfortunately, it’s now owned by the people behind ShareThis.com, and has some slightly annoying terms attached to its use.
Alex King’s Share Icon is “now wholly owned and trademarked by ShareThis.com/Nextumi Inc.” That’s kind of against the overall idea, is it not? Look at the standardized RSS icon. It was developed by Mozilla, for the Firefox web browser, but it’s a open-source-style idea. Everyone uses it, and it represents RSS. The icon means “this is a RSS feed,” not “this icon is property of Mozilla, and we recommend that you use the linked feed with our web browser.” An icon like this should be fairly open. Branding should not be mixed with something like this.
The Open Share Icon Project‘s goal is to get the ball rolling with a new, much more open, icon. Pictured above, the icon looks pretty good, and shares (pun unintended) the same green look of its predecessor. The creators say that the icon represents “one cupped hand passing ‘something’ to another cupped
hand (as in ‘pass it on’ or ‘sharing’), and at the same time works as an ‘eye’ reference (as in ‘look at this’).”
I’m glad that someone is making an effort to introduce a new Share Icon, and I think the Open Share Icon Project has done a great job with their icon. However, I have some advice for them: Use the OpenShareIcon.com domain you have (yes, I checked…), and set-up a nice, clean page to showcase the icon, along with a large, unmissable download button. Include a link to your Google Group, for news and discussion. I think it may help the spreading of the icon a bit.