I genuinely like Like
Related to the ongoing discussion about blogging and commenting: Lesley kindly shared the link to the little heart-button plug-in she uses at her Bower. Now, I know Facebook’s like button comes in for lots of ribbing, some of it earned. Many people have written about the superficiality of ‘like’ culture. Clicking a button to ‘like’ a cause is a far cry from actually participating in the cause. I get it. But the humble, mockable like button serves another purpose, a kind one, an actually meaningful one. It says: I’ve read this, I paused a moment in my busy day and took note of something you said, I appreciate your words, I’m grateful you shared this thought (or link) with me. It’s quite nice, really, how much companionable message can be conveyed by that quick click. “15 likes” can mean “15 smiles.”
I’ve been noticing this particularly on Twitter of late. For years, I all but ignored the “favorite” button there. I took it literally, understanding it to indicate a truly outstanding tweet, the sort that must by definition be rare. But somewhere in the past year, I realized people had begun using “favorite” as “like.” Quite often, it’s a way to let someone know you appreciated his or her comment even if you didn’t have anything to say in reply. I favorite quite liberally now, just as over on Facebook I like with abandon. And my appreciation is genuine. You’re saying interesting or amusing things, and I like them.
Anyway, I’ve added the like plug-in here, in case you’d like (heh) a way to say hello without leaving a comment. I haven’t yet decided how I want to label it (I’ve left it just ‘like’ for now). Lesley or Sarah, which one of you was it who had a “nodding quietly” button for a while? I liked that designation very much. I’d click a heart for it if I could, and mean it. 🙂
Lesley Austin says:
That was Sarah who used to have the “nodding quietly” label…such a satisfying one. When I labeled my new like button, I couldn’t think of anything quite as nice as that, as much as I tried.
The downfall to the little heart, when you compare it to FB, is that it won’t tell us who the likes are. Your blog has to be set up with users for that to work, as it used to be at Wisteria & Sunshine. Then it is really satisfying with avatars *and* names. Ah well, we will keep trying our best to make it all work as thoughtfully as possible, yes?
On November 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm
Melissa Wiley says:
I really like your “I am here…reading…liking” designation as well!
On November 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm
An interesting twist on the discussion -as I’m not on FB or twitter this ‘like’ stuff is kind of foreign to me, although we do appreciate folks ‘hearting’ the goods in our Etsy shop. I’ll try to remember to like your posts, because I do indeed like your writing. Thanks! 🙂
On November 13, 2013 at 5:39 am
Liss, we need an “Amen” button.
That’s the nodding quietly thing, to me.
But, I like the heart a lot!
On November 13, 2013 at 9:52 am
I’m so sad that my nodding quietly button disappeared when I fiddled with my template, and I can’t seem to get it back. Blogger is becoming increasingly frustrating to use – but you know my theories on that. I’m going to see if I can reinstate the button using this plug-in.
On November 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm
And may I add, it was always a plus to me that “liking” was anonymous. I felt some people who were shy could contribute by liking without having to expose themselves.
On November 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Sorry, me again. Would you mind sharing the link for the like button?
On November 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm
My like means “I’m so glad you write, please don’t stop.”
The discussion in your comments was illuminating to me, I did not realize that the comments were so encouraging to bloggers. I sometimes hold back because I feel like it’s silly to write the equivalent of a big smile and vigorous nod in a comment. Now I will feel more free. At least here.
On November 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm
I’ve been reading your blog for many years but have mostly been too shy to comment (I did comment once, I think, yeeeeears ago). Maybe now I’ll become a frequent “liker” because yours is the blog I’ll click on first when I check for new posts in feedly. And yours is the blog that I always think, “I really ought to comment on this post that I’ve so enjoyed, but … but … but …” Many others have outlined the different reasons we don’t often comment on blogs, especially in these facebookish, read-and-move-on days, but hopefully with this new Like button you’ll be able to imagine all of us quiet nodders out here. 🙂
On November 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Jen Robinson says:
I’ve just started using the Favorites button on Twitter for this purpose, too. I view both that and the Facebook “like” as a little smile that I’m giving to the person. It takes so little effort, but it is a tiny little spark of connection. Thanks for this post, explaining the idea to others.
On November 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm
Amy C. says:
I’ve always liked your blog more than I can say. Glad to know that “Like” says so much all on its own.
On November 16, 2013 at 6:32 am
Becca Lostinbooks says:
Where can I find the plugin? I really “like” this concept. 🙂
On November 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm
Melissa Wiley says:
Here’s the link to the plug-in: http://wordpress.org/plugins/kk-i-like-it/
Alas, I’ve had to disable it already—it was appending itself to every item on my website, not only my blog posts. Four little hearts scattered across my home page alone. Looked a bit desperate, I thought. 😉
On November 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm