…I think it’s about time. There are many great posts/answers to some topic that deserve appreciation, without the necessity of a re quote and single word answer. However, in light of Facebook probably owning the rights to the use of “like”/“unlike” maybe it may spark a new idea/solution for sincere appreciation of a truly poetic statement…
Perhaps the moderators have already answered this question for us…
I don’t see it as juvenile at all. It’s a way to contribute without saying something. I can listen to a speaker at a conference and nod my head in agreement, or clap my hands in applause without saying anything and the speaker knows that someone is listening and that someone agrees with his/her opinion. This also has the reverse effect when someone disagrees with a point. On an online forum there is no way to do that.
The Facebook like button is so much more involved than just a simple response to a statement. I think they’ve lost their vision for that element in my opinion.
Nodding your head is not something the speaker sees. It’s just for you and more automatic than anything else. Clapping is only appropriate due to the 1 vs. many dynamics of a speaker and audience. You don’t clap when you have a one on one conversation. If you do clap, you are “that guy”.
An internet forum is much more like a conversation at a table with a few people (even though there maybe be more involved or lurking) and I think proper discourse is the same IRL as online.
I don’t think we want this to be a typical internet forum or comment section that devolves into “first!”, “+1”, “likes” “downrankings” and trolls… I think we can do better. If you agree and have something to add, pleas do. If you agree and don’t, just be happy you gained whatever grain of knowledge you received, or even better, contribute something else yourself.
Perhaps “like” has morphed into it’s own semantic on the internet. As I’m writing this, I glance over to the “smilies” and see a whole host of emotional responses to a commentary of tone of voice. Perhaps something as simple as that can be arranged to begin with. Although it leads to too much ambiguity. I agree facebook has done wonders with using the “like” button to gauge self worth, not a fan but what else can one do?
Maybe the button used denotes more support/agreement/poetic/preference/concur…etc. However, I don’t think there should be a “dislike” or the such, button. If you aren’t in support, the dialogue is meant to initiate the response as to why. That’s where the value of the forum is the greatest. Moderators do a great job to weed out the trolling up front, Kudos.
…who knows? This has a potential for a paradigm shift in virtual dialogue…
If you care to participate in the discussion (note the “Discussions” heading in the banner above) please “say” so via the written word. I value what you all say, it affects the way I think. But to simply click a “Like” button seems, to me, a bit egocentric, and it conveys no relevant information.
For that matter, “post counters” fall into the same category.
The way I see it, is as Lew pointed out, this is/should be a discussion forum. If you see something you like, good for you. Save the image, or link or whatever. If someone says something you agree with or like, remember it, or pat yourself on the back for being likeminded.
If it’s a project or portfolio review, sure you can “like” it, and take the easy way out, but having to actually type something opens the opportunity for a broader discussion. You might “like” it, but maybe offer points of constructive criticism, or what aspects you found appealing.
If everything is distilled down to clicking a like/unlike/good/bad button, what kind of conversations or real value would the boards have.
There are plenty of other corners of the internet where you can post something for “likes”. I don’t think this is one.
Just as an example, look at this thread. If it was only “likes” we would not be having this discussion about the merits or values of the “like” button proposed. I would value much more 2 people explaining why they think it is a good idea (and I’m open to being convinced if the argument was strong enough) vs. 20 people clicking a like button.
I don’t disagree with either of both of you very valid arguments. I think you might be taking it a bit too seriously though. If there were a Like button or similar functionality, would that really stop anyone from contributing their opinions? I really doubt it. We would still have the same level of discussion as ever, in my opinion.
But here we are, 3 moderators with post counts in the thousands discussing this topic back and forth. What do the rest of you think? We can’t be the only ones with opinions on the pros and cons of a “Like” button…
I mostly agree with rkuchinsky’s viewpoint, but only to a certain extent. I think the need for a “like” button is inversely proportional to the level of activity (and, perhaps more important, the level of civility) on a forum; that is, the more participation from members there is, the less need for a “like” button. Still, I think there is a valid purpose for the “like” button when there is a large amount of newcomers on a consistent basis.
As with most forums of a dedicated nature, there are “experts” (true or self-acclaimed), and then there are “newbies”. Whether the experts remember or not, there was a time when, as a newbie, you had a sense of “I don’t know anything so I’m afraid to speak up.” (Of course, there are those who are naturally outspoken, so they may not have the same issues in a new environment.) I frequent many forums and I think the only thing worse than a “newbie question” is a long-timers’ sense of authority and dismissive attitudes, which unfortunately happens more often than not. In short, a newbie needs a somewhat thick skin to participate in a forum.
Core77, of course, is not hostile at all, BUT it still attracts many students and potential students who may be timid at first. A “like” button, in this case, can help ease the transition into the community if he/she gains support from his first couple of posts. It IS just like a pat on the back, but it can mean a lot to a newcomer to gain the confidence to speak up even more.
Also, I’ve seen topics that are interesting but I had no specific thought to share at the moment. Without a like button, overtime I assumed that the topic was uninteresting to others on the board and so I forgot about it, too. But, as we designers know, many topics are worth re-visiting after changes of the professional/economic/social/political sort. Just because a topic was covered 6 months ago, it doesn’t mean people’s perspectives/interests haven’t changed, so a tally of stars can also mean people’s interest in a particular issue has been recently piqued but they have not said anything because they are insufficiently informed or prefer to listen more before adding their thoughts.
My 2 cents: while I understand the value of a ‘like’ button to easily differentiate useful posts from less useful ones, I think a big part of the Core77 forum is the involvement needed. That involvement is a big part of why it is such a quality forum. I get to read a lot of different opinions/views because of it. I feel a ‘like’ system will detract from this involvement. Useful posts are pretty easily recognizable anyway, because of the amount of replies they generate. They float to the top. Not to mention that the current moderators are really doing an awesome job.
edit: Having just read dhu’s post, his last paragraph is a valid point. But I’m not sure ‘likes’ are the solution for it.
I think the problem with “likes” is that it’s been so closely associated with the thoughtless nature of the Facebook “like.” I agree: “like” is probably not the ideal solution. C’mon, we’re designers! We can figure this out.
Many forum posts and conversations already contain points I agree with, so I’ll read a topic with interest but not contribute (time zones can play a part, sometimes I get on the end of a good discussion a few hours after it’s blown itself out…like this one).
Personally I enjoy the level of discourse on these forums without a ‘like’ button, if I feel I can contribute something. I want to read the reasons behind someones point-of-view, and I don’t need to agree with them or even ‘like’ what they have to say.
I try approach a forum discussion if it were a party where I don’t know many people; some people are already in conversation and you should be polite, and only interrupt if you have something to say. It means you can sometimes be circling around people who know each other and it can be embarressing to chime in (especially if you are new, don’t know anyone, don’t know as much about the topic, don’t want to come across as an idiot). I wouldn’t want anyone to just shout out “like!” when they feel like it.
I personally like the idea of some sort of “like” button. It doesn’t have to be associated with Facebook, I see it being extremely useful in Youtube comments. Since there are so many responses, the Top Comments helps me get straight to the most relevant post. Same with Amazon reviews, I always read the Most Helpful review first. In a forum, I think this would help when reading through a thread discussion that is already several pages in, and rather than sifting through all of the one-liner posts page by page, I would be able to quickly see what kinds of relevant conclusions came out of the discussion. Although I suppose there might have to be some sort of change to the format of the forums to allow this feature.
This is exactly what we don’t want to happen. We don’t want the forums to turn into Reddit where no one knows what’s going on, and what has been said previously. The beauty of the discussions is the timeline format that allows you to see the posts as they happened. Good answers spawn good answers, bad answers spawn further discussion.
Some good points brought up though with regard to newbies and seasoned users…