I Like Your Blog Post! And Your Facebook Comment. And Your Tweet. And…

Ty-chama’s recent post about her desire to see more comments on her blog made me reevaluate the communal interactions here on Beneath the Tangles.  I’m very happy with how readers chime in with their own opinions, stories, and additions.  Like a call-in radio show, this blog is strengthened by the reader interaction.

It’s not like I REALLY like your post, baka!

Even further, I’ve noticed a definite trend here the last few months.  It’s something I’ve seen on other blogs as well (though I don’t know if it’s been consistent in sites other than my own) – the heavy use of the Like button.

There are a lot of reasons why someone might hit “Like.”  First and foremost, a reader might, well, like your post (fancy that).  Readers might also want to connect with you in some way, but could be too shy to enter a comment.  Or they might not really have anything substantial to say, but want to provide some input.

When I look at my own “like” habits, and I’m an habitual liker, I often press the magic button to let bloggers know that I read your article, even if I didn’t have the time to comment.

Of course, some readers hit “like” because they want you to follow them.  WordPress users, at least, know this to be true.  We get a “like” from someone out of left field and visit their page to find that it has a gazillion followers.

But my favorite reason for liking a post is as a source of encouragement.

It’s the same with a Facebook comment or making someone’s tweet a favorite – we’re giving our stamp of approval.  That might not mean much in terms of authority, but it does tell the writer, “Hey, I really like what you wrote here” and sometimes by inference, “Hey I like what you do.  I like YOU.”

On blogs and social media, where oftentimes our communication is judgmental and harsh (even by those of us claiming to follow Christ), a simple click offers affirmation and warmth.  So go ahead and do it, even if it seems lazy and impersonal.  Go let someone know you enjoy their writing.   They might just like it.

Note: John Sato wrote a related piece recently on the purpose of blogrolls.

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About TWWK

TWWK, known to outlaws and lawmen alike as Charles, lives deep in the heart of Texas, where he drives cattle and boot scoots (not really - though he does sport a pair of rattlesnake boots). Somehow in this frontier, he also finds time for his wife, children, and church. Oh, and anime, too.

Posted on 08.15.2012, in Personal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. *resists the urge to just like the post and leave* :razz:

    My use of the button is quite similar to yours by the sound of it, Most of the time when I ‘like’ a post, it’s either because I don’t have time to comment, or because if I did comment, I’d have nothing to say other than that I like what they’ve written. I’m always happy and encouraged when I receive them (apart from when I suspect they’re just fishing for new followers), and I hope people whose blogs I’ve liked feel equally as encouraged. :)

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    • It can feel like an “easy way out” and sometimes it is, but I do agree with you in that I find the likes encouraging.

      Thanks for liking this post. ;)

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  2. Wow. This post basically said what I have been feeling. So good.

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  3. I’m one of the “haters” of the “like” button….

    Although I can see the upsides of having one like button, I still find it to be a “comment killer”. You know…what do I care if 20 people liked what I said? I care really about the comments (on facebook, since I don’t have a blog)….say something! agree, disagree, but say it! I must be getting old….XDD

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    • No, you definitely have a point. I think the functionality probably differs from platform to platform and from blog to blog, as well. For instance, I think most of the people who “like” a post here wouldn’t otherwise comment; and those that comment don’t usually feel the need to “like” a post. On the other hand, other sites I’ve seen will have posts with dozens of likes, but hardly any comments.

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  4. I admit it – I like it when my account gives me notice that someone ‘liked’ one of my posts! I love seeing who liked it, and when it’s someone that hasn’t commented and doesn’t have a ton of followers, I also feel some regret because I want to know what about it appealed to them. That’s why I still think commenting has a lot of merit to it.

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    • I wonder if “liking” is the first step toward someone becoming part of a site’s community. I’ve noticed that of several frequenters here on this site – they started with “likes” first before sometimes leaving comments.

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      • Maybe. But one thing I’ve noticed while going through my blogroll (and heck, paging through other’s blogrolls) is that the anime/manga community has a very close-knit, core group of blogs that are active and popular. And finding ones outside of those that are active is….. Well ^.^” I think a lot of us will get re-tagged simply because of that.

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  5. I just got a WordPress account purely so I could use the “like” button. :) We need something like that over on Blogger. Comments are often preferable, but sometimes “like” is all that someone can manage, and the little affirmation can go a long way.

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    • How I wish Blogger had that functionality! There are about five Blogger sites that I visit regularly, yours included. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say, but wish I could “like” a post just to let the writer know that I was there and appreciated what they wrote.

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  6. Ahaha….I believe Ty-Chama is a she good sir :p

    Yeah, the only problem with the like button is that you know some of them are scrappers or someone trying to get you to check their blog out, but their blog turns out to be nothing of consequence. Nowadays I do try and comment on posts I find interesting instead of hitting the like button, but if I hit the like button, I’ll still try to comment anyways. Guess it leaves some sort of bad taste in my mouth if I hit like but don’t comment :(

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    • Woops…it’s not like that’s the first second third fourth time I’ve made that kind of faux pas. Even worse since I’m pretty sure I knew that…

      I definitely get what you’re saying. I like to comment if I can, but I’ve found myself lacking time to thoroughly read and comment on posts like I once did. I have the same interest, but sometimes a “like” click is all I’ll give the time to muster. But commenting is definitely a better encourager…in most cases.

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      • Don’t worry ’bout the whole thinkin’ I’m a dude schtick- sorry if it was my androgynous handle and masculine writing-style that threw you off! : p

        Anyway, I agree with everything you said, readers are just as important as writers when it comes to the growth of a blog.

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  7. I actually try to hit “like” and comment at the same time. It’s true, sometimes people may hit the “like” button because a reader truly enjoyed your post but has nothing to really contribute to the discussion. I’m also aware that people may just “like” something just because they want that blogger to check out their blog. Either way, I do my best to comment on the post I read. I don’t mind the “like” button, but I do prefer getting comments to go with the likes as well. :)

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    • Ooooh, the rare double combination. I think you’re just a better person than I am. :P

      I don’t mind the people who like posts so that I’ll check out their blog. I want to check out their blogs and maybe even reach out to them as part of a greater community. But I don’t hand my “likes” out readily – so that person should have something I appreciate, even if it’s a thoughtful post about something I have no interest in, to get some mouse-tapping from me. :)

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  8. Made an account just to like it, haha.

    [This is "JP"]

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  9. I click LIKE if I have nothing to contribute, and to let you know that I’ve been here and read you….. but I often comment if I can. But definitely I read. ( That’s why I have over 3000 emails right now. ) I don’t delete until I have read the entire post. But there’s definitely a backlog. ^o^ ( There are bloggers who post 10x a day, hahaha. I post once or 2x a month before my Euro tour. ) I read the ones I like, and I don’t care if he or she doesn’t read me back. I just want to learn from what other bloogers write about.

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