to like, or not to like

Like a Post? Well Then, “Like” It!” So says Andy P from Automattic Inc. Okay, he said this in August 2010 already, but I’m sure he’s still saying it. And to think this feature made its debut around the same time that I started blogging!As a newborn blogger, being able to press a Like button was the last thing I worried (or cared) about. Most of my energy went into naming my blog;  thinking about what I’d write about;  should I / shouldn’t I?;  choosing a theme;  will anyone read it?;  what if someone reads it?;  will anyone understand it?;  designing an avatar; stressing about churning out frequent posts . . .   I’m sure most of you know the drill.  Back to Andy;

We’re hoping this will be an awesome new way to discover other interesting bloggers, and start new conversations with people who — literally! — like you. If you haven’t updated your Gravatar profile yet, now would be a great time to upload a picture, a link to your blog, and any other details. Editing your profile is easy, just remember that all of your profile information is public.

Of course, I never read Andy’s introduction to the “Like” feature, but I did see the button at the bottom of posts.  Taking a chance,  I tentatively pressed that button 9 times during my first 4 month of blogging.  Nothing happened.  Nothing exploded.  Good.  Good!  Had I known then, as a blogbaby, about Andy and his cronies’ true intent for the Like button, I probably wouldn’t have pressed it once!  I was very shy starting out in blogworld, you see, and scared to death that someone would notice me.   Since moving to my new blog at the end of November 2010, I have pressed that button 99 more times.  Does that mean I’m out of hiding?!

My “Like” number will either amaze you, or make you LOL, but I’m only just starting to appreciate the “picture is worth a thousand words many thoughts”-concept behind that yellow star.  It can mean things, obvious and not,

1. like – you know, I read your post and I truly liked it so I’ll leave you a comment to boot

2. like – you know, I think your post is tops, even if I can’t/don’t know what to comment on it

3. like – you know, don’t get too excited, I just want to temporarily bookmark your post for a later read

4. like – you know, you are not alone

5. like – you know, don’t despair!  I read it and liked it, I may return to comment when I have more time

6. like – you know, it sounds like you needed a little moral support to chase away the blogging doubts

7. like – you know, I think we can become friends

8. like – you know, you don’t have share buttons, and I don’t want to forget to send this to a friend

9. like – you know, I like what I read, and I’m thinking about subscribing

10. like – you know, this inspired me – I might want to blog about it some time

11. like – you know, this is a keeper and I never want to lose it

12. like – you know, I really wish you’d just come visit me so that my STATS can improve  . . .

FYI – I’m more LIKE-happy, than STATS-manic.  Just so you know.  Don’t want you getting the wrong idea about why my Gravatar is getting comfy at the top of your post!  It doesn’t happen a lot that someone press a “Like” on me, but when it happens without a comment, I have a really fun time trying to figure out if it means more than just ‘like’.

And yes, Andy, I do stroll past the Gravatar couch on a mutually liked post from time to time to find new blogs and blogbuddies, thanks! For the most part, though, a comment is what will lure me to someone else’s blog.   The one thing I regret about the Like-feature is that I can’t press “Like” more than once on a post that I really, truly, absolutely like.  I don’t want my Gravatar taking over on that comfy couch at the top of posts, you understand.  I am just curious to know to what degree people “like” what they see on a blog/s.  For now, I’ll just keep on guessing, I guess.

So, dear reader, how many times have you used the Like button?  Are you sending secret messages when you use it?

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18 thoughts on “to like, or not to like

  1. Interesting post. I usually use Like without a comment when I really like the post but can’t think of anything to say at that comment. Also I must confess that although I intend to, I rarely get time to go back and re-read the posts I liked 😦 There’s always great new stuff to read!

    • Don’t feel bad, Harsha, that happens to me too!

      Still, it is nice to know I don’t have to get chin deep in archives to find something I want to read again or maybe reference in a post later.

  2. I almost completely ignore the “Like” button (except, of course, when someone uses it about one of my posts!)…

    If I like a post, I generally like it enough to leave a comment…

    I often share posts that I found really interesting/funny/moving on Facebook.

    Wendy

    P.S. Thanks, clouded, for “Liking” my posts!

  3. I am more like Wendy, in that I will leave a comment rather than “like”. Although I have been known to “like”.
    My comment says that I “like” your post, clouded marble!
    Sunshine xx

    • I’ve seen your “like” around 🙂

      I really do appreciate the comments as much as, if not more than, the “Like” rating. Maybe because I don’t always find it easy to leave a comment myself.

      Thanks for “like”ing, Sunshine!

  4. Great post! I’ve wondered about this before, just not in such an in-depth manner as you have! 😉

    I usually “like” a post for reasons #1 or #2, sometimes #9 (but since I’m already subscribed to your blog that wouldn’t apply here). It never occurred to me to use the “like” button to bookmark posts. I actually do that in my browser for the really outstanding posts.

    So I can truly say I use “like” only to let the writer know their post is good, and not for any “ulterior motive”.

    I’d add two more to my personal list of reasons to use the “like” button:

    1. I really like your post, but my head hurts and I don’t have the mental capacity or the manual dexterity to compose and type a comment.

    2. I really like your post, but am way behind on my blog reading (because my head hurts!), and everybody else has already said everything that I thought of or which is clever and witty.

    • Thanks Lisa! Great minds, and all that, hey?! 😉

      I was thinking about your #2 last night when I saw how far behind I am on my blog reads. And yeah, sometimes, by the time I figure out what I want to say someone else got there before me.

      Using the browser to bookmark is a good way of doing things, only, I’m not always accessing WP from one particular PC. Hmm. . . maybe Automattic should add a “bookmark” button so that “like” doesn’t get muddled up? 🙂

  5. Pingback: Why I “like” you | notes from africa

  6. I usually use the Like button as a bookmark. A way to get back to a site later. If I really “like” the post I will usually leave a comment.

  7. I came here from Lisa’s post about ‘liking’ – and thought your list was very comprehensive indeed. I’ve only recently discovered that I can actually SEE a list of all the posts I’ve “liked” on http://wordpress.com/#likes. What a relief! I’d been wondering how I could keep track…

    Unlike you, I haven’t used the “Like” button that much – instead, I tend to leave comments scattered about all over the show… and then promptly forget when and where and on which post I commented – and of course I always forget to tick ‘subscribe to replies to comments’, … silly…

    I know that you can access your most recent comments under “My Comments” – but I don’t know why WordPress doesn’t keep track of ALL “My Comments” – or at least a couple of PAGES of them.

    But NOW, of course, I shall use the LIKE button FAAR more liberally. Because, after all, almost ALL those items on your list apply. 😉

    • Thanks for coming over, Reggie!

      I often forget to subscribe to comments myself, so I know what you mean about “My Comments”. It only keeps track of about ten blogs with the most recent ‘activity’ on.

      I’m glad I could introduce you to more uses for the “Like” button, although I’m not sure how Andy and them will feel about it surpassing the original intent 🙂

  8. Pingback: my tribal philosophy « clouded marbles

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