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.
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.