Comments on blogs.
This a blog about blogs. A meta-blog if you will.
Comments on blogs especially are designed to provoke intelligent discussion. I used to follow interesting blogs to see if interesting comments would arise. If I do that, I get an endless stream of notification containing “thanks” “appreciate it” “keep posting” – or (and what triggered this blog) “I appreciate your appreciation”. While it’s nice to be polite and show appreciation, this endless stream amounts, in my opinion, to spam. Especially when the “Wow that was brilliant” gets a “like”. You have to start questioning the commenters’ intentions.
I’m not alone in this: http://email.about.com/cs/netiquettetips/qt/et070601.htm
On British TV a few years ago there was a sketch in a sketch show that featured impersonations of well-known flamboyant actor/celebrities.
“You were fantastic, dahling”.
“No, you were, more fantastic”.
“No, you were…”
ad infinitium, ad nauseum
Bleurgh . It’s rather saccharine and very wearing after a while. As the satirical magazine http://private-eye.co.uk/ would say, it’s all a bit ‘luvvie’ – candidates for pseuds corner.
It occurs to me then that perhaps one way of greatly reducing noise would be, as is common in many online communities, to add to the Rules of Engagement that “me too” and “thank-you” posts are not permitted (or at least, heavily discouraged).
We already tell people not to ask for points, because it’s like saying to a small child “say thank-you”. In that spirit then, if we like what someone has posted, the correct response is to “like” it, or award if 4 or 5 stars. I don’t think there’s anyway to get this happening voluntarily, so it will have to be in the Rules, and enforced by moderators.
It’s the only way I can think of to stem this endless stream of what becomes after a while, meaningless.
Edit: you can vote on the idea here: Improve the quality and usefulness of comments : View Idea
Update: I just checked a few blogs written since the new policy of not awarding points to “likes” came into force. I specifically chose those by authors who previously “liked” people who thanked them. There are two observations.
1. The author continues to “like” comments.
2. The number of “thanks that was great” comments has dwindled to almost zero.
So it seems that many “thankers” were just in it for the points. Not terribly social behaviour, was it?