Wibiya helps your visitors to browse your site, share their favorite posts and search through either your blog or Google Blogsearch. Because the toolbar shows up on every page of your site, it can help you to hook in users who arrive through search engines or inbound links from other websites. When a user arrive at your site they are greeted with your default notification, which could be a message inviting them to subscribe to your feed, and periodically updated as you add any new notifications.
One application to rule them all: The Facebook Connect feature integrates your visitors Facebook profile into a group on your site much like Google Friend Connect. Giving your readers the option to connect through a service they likely already have, such as a Facebook or Google account, is a great alternative to having them sign up or subscribe through an RSS reader. People would much rather connect through an account they already use every day rather than make a new account just for one of the many blogs they like to visit. It also displays your latest Tweets in a pop-up window when the reader clicks the Twitter button on the toolbar. Your Twitter timeline will show up in a scrollable window and there will be a ‘follow’ button for the user to follow you on Twitter.
Currently Wibiya is in private beta testing, so you need to request a beta key before installing the toolbar. I got mine in under 8 hours so that should tell you how easy it is.
Setting up the toolbar is a simple 4 step process which takes you through entering the details for your blog, choosing a theme for your toolbar, selecting which apps you want to use in your toolbar and finally, installing the toolbar on your blog. There is a plugin for WordPres and there is also Blogger and Movable Type set up options, and they offer a single line of HTML code which you can use to install the toolbar on any type of blog. Since the plugin didn’t seem to be compatible with my WordPress installation, I elected to use the code and place it in my footer template.
I use the Wibiya Toolbar on a local music scene website I am in the process of setting up with a partner, so if you’d like to see it in action you can have a look at North Bay Scene or sign up at Wibiya to request a beta key and try it out for yourself.