Liking me? Liking you!

likeI stumbled into an exchange on Emilio’s blog about the Like button.  This is part of a larger conversation that Cee and I have been having.  I’ll get back to the Like thing in a minute, but first I wanted to warn you that I’m going to quit following all of you.  But only for a few days.

Here’s my dilemma…. I only recently discovered the WordPress Reader.  Before that, I joined blogs by email subscription, and I joined a lot of them as I was reaching out to people.  Soon my email became swamped.

I turned off email notifications just to save my sanity.  There are over 1500 of you following this blog and that generated a lot of email.  Mail that wasn’t blog related got lost in the deluge.  It had turned into a nightmare for me.

When I turned email off, I started missing notices of blogs that I had been following for a long time, from people who were ardent supporters of me from the beginning and whose work I enjoyed.  They didn’t show up in my reader.  I tried unfollowing them by email and re-following them but they still don’t appear in my reader.

I’m desperate, so I’m going to try unfollowing everyone and then add you back in manually so that (hopefully) you’ll appear in my reader.  It’s going to take me the whole week to get all of that done, so don’t be surprised when you get a notice that I’ve joined you.  I’m just trying to get you shifted over to my reader so it’s easier for me to visit with you.  I want my reader to be full of people I know and like instead of bits of odd stuff.

Which brings me back to the Like discussion.  Some people are removing their Like buttons to force people to read their content.  The argument for this seems to be that they think people are just zipping through and hitting Like in order to keep their viewer count up.  While I’m sure that’s sometimes the case, and I will admit to doing that myself from time to time, that’s not the real purpose of the Like button.  To me, it’s my way to saying hello.

I work a demanding day job, and have various obligations and interests that take time from my evenings and weekends.  Many of you are in the same situation.  I like being able to scroll down through my reader quickly and just Like people.  Sometimes I stop for a longer visit.  Sometimes I actually stay for some quality time with you, or leave you a note.  But even on my busiest days, when all I have the time and energy for is to scroll and like you, it has meaning for me.  There are banners I see that make me smile every time I see them.  Names that pop up that remind me of wonderful conversations.  Pictures that I see that make me feel good, even though I only stop for a moment to see them.

For me, being made to leave a comment is like being forced into Small Talk.  I want the freedom to just Like you.  It’s my way of saying hello and giving you a little wave just to let you know I still think of you and appreciate you.  I hope that you see my gravatar and smile, knowing that I stopped by.  Yes, I’ll still leave a comment if I have one that adds value to the topic.  But sometimes I just want to enjoy what you’ve done without stopping for Small Talk.  I hope you understand that.

As an author, I enjoy seeing all the people’s faces when you like me.  I don’t care if you just do it as you’re scrolling through.  You’ve seen me, and that will trigger something in your minds.  Hopefully you’ll smile at a graphic or a title.  Hopefully you’ll stop to read and leave feeling a little more uplifted then when you came.

I love it when you comment.  I read them all, even if I don’t take the time to respond to your comments because I’m racing between events.

There will be plenty of differing opinions on this, I’m sure.  Just know that if you’ve seen me like you, that I’ve left a smile behind as a thank you for adding a little sunshine to my day.

Virtual hugs.  Make your day be deliciously quiet.

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  Look for my ongoing series celebrating introverts (Sunday), writing prompts (Wednesday) and introvert cartoons (Thursday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime.  Come and share with like-minded introverts.  I also contribute to the food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.

81 thoughts on “Liking me? Liking you!

  1. Although I use likes to like a post, I also tend to hit like when in a rush – kind of as a bookmark of sorts. I have a scan through a post and if it piques interest I ‘like’ so later when I have more time I can enjoy the entirety of the post. 🙂

  2. Wonderful post. I’m with you. Sometimes I read every word of a post, sometimes I skim through due to various reasons – time constraints, hard to read, general gist stuff. I look at heaps of blogs but only like posts if I appreciate the thoughts of, usually on a topic I’m interested in. It’s a way of saying I liked what I saw, even if I didn’t read every word of it. And as you say, a hello to let bloggers know someone stopped by.

  3. There is no easy answer to this one. I keep the emails, but it means I am constantly swamped. When I press ‘Like’, though, it does mean I have read the lot – to me, the sample on the Reader is a cop-out. But then, am I being silly? Isn’t it better to show a brief visit and interest than none at all? (Sorry thinking aloud – I mean a-write.)

  4. I also like this post 🙂

    I wrote about the like button a few months ago, when some posters commented about not knowing what to say sometimes but still wanted to show their support.

    I probably look like one of “those” posters, but I really am just a fast reader 🙂

  5. Everyone that comments or likes something shows up behind the scenes on my blog anyway so I don’t worry about getting emails when I can see it from there. All those emails notifications would probably drive me nuts.

  6. Interesting. I’m doing just the opposite – that is, I’ve learned that I cannot count on the reader to display the posts of the bloggers that I follow. Several of my readers have told me that my posts don’t show up in their reader, too. So, I’m following by email. Time will tell if this is manageable or not.

    • I have that same issue and it’s so frustrating….I hate missing posts from people I’ve been following for ages. I had to turn off email as like Cee I was being swamped….the reader however seems very erratic and selective 😦

      • Hiya – I came across an explanation on the Blogging 201 thing going on – apparently it has to do with sites that are self-hosted? I don’t know enough of the lingo to understand it completely. Anyway, nice to have met you, here!

  7. Generally if I’ve “liked” your post, I’ve read it. I don’t just scroll through my Reader liking everything – though I know some people do. I use the like when I’ve legitimately enjoyed the post, but don’t necessarily have anything to add to the conversation – or – like you – have only so much time for blogging and so just wanted to do a quick read of my favourite blogs.

    So I “like” the like option. Both giving and receiving 🙂

  8. I’ve noticed that blogs I follow don’t always appear in my Reader. But it’s the only way to keep up; email subscriptions are too overwhelming. When I’m using the Reader, I won’t hit the star for Like unless I’ve taken the time to click Read More and seen the entire post, not merely the photo or excerpt that appears in the Reader–it seems dishonest to me, and to the blogger, if I don’t offer their words that courtesy. Good topic.

  9. I feel the same as you. I use the like button to let the writer know that I was there…that I read their work. If it evokes a comment from me, I will leave one but not just for the sake if hearing myself talk. So, my fellow introvert, I hope you ‘like’ all you want. I’m still to shy to join your introvert group…but I like it. 😀

  10. Agreed. The “Like” button is a nice feature because it lets you know, “Hey! I was here, I stopped by, I liked what I saw/read”. But I don’t always want to comment–or even have the time for it. So I say “yes!” to “LIKE”. Have fun with your project!!

  11. Thanks for this post—I have wondered what was wrong with blogs that have no Like button or whether I just couldn’t find it among the rest of the stuff on the website. I often want to Like the content but do not have a comment to make. Without the Like button, I don’t comment. I do nothing at all.

  12. I agree. I follow a lot of blogs and I don’t always have the time to read the entire post, and just skim through, and don’t always want to comment, but just want to say “Hi”. Removing the like button is pretty much forcing you to make a comment, which really turns me off.

  13. I don’t think everyone clicks on the ‘Like’ button to send a smile or remind us they are there.
    I’ve had my ‘Like’ button clicked 3 seconds after I’ve posted something.
    It unbelievable to me that if the post is full of details including a 3-5 minute video that
    they’ve even read or viewed it. I believe they do want to increase their viewer status which
    is the same as cheating on a test. I hate that. ~~~~ : – (
    My answer – I blog for me. If someone reads it or really does enjoy it I really don’t need to know.
    It’s like buying a home, not every home will have everything you want.
    Compromise is my belief … you can’t express yourself in a blog and expect everyone to want to
    ‘Like’ it. Thanks for the dialog on a very touchy subject. ~~~ : – )

  14. Sometimes I read the post and don’t have a comment but I liked it, and sometimes I comment on it and don’t click the like, the comment is enough. I like both options.

  15. I also work full time and struggle to keep up with comments etc but I love to see little pictures of who has been over to see me. If I tick like it’s because I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen and read and much as I would love to visit everyone of my followers it’s impossible. So I’m totally with you Chris – and I really do like this post 🙂

  16. Totally agree with you. It’s not humanly possible to read every blog article and it’s not humanly possible to comment on every blog either. I use the like button much in the same way as you — meaning I’ve stopped by. IMHO, life is too short to worry about how people use the like button.

  17. Chris- I completely agree with your use of like button and difference between that and commenting. I want both choices. As for entering everything in your Reader, be aware it is “glitchy” right now about what actually shows up even after you’ve entered. Just last night a bunch of us discovered we thought it was only our own Readers that were showing posts in hits and misses, but turns out many are having the problem. No one is sure whether this glitch will continue or it’s a temporary part of a WP upgrade. For now, if I want to make sure I didn’t miss someone’s post, I have to click my Reader edit button snd click on their blog address. Very frustrating during the A to Z Challenge.

  18. Exactly. Excellent post. A like means the world to me and I “like” to leave them (with an occasional smiley) on every site I visit. Like you said, it is a hello. Cyberspace is a very dark and discouraging place without them. 🙂

  19. I totally agree with you. I don’t like the feeling of being forced to make a comment when I don’t have something specific to say (excellent use of semi-colon in line 3!), or when I’m just re-hashing what someone else has said — which I am probably doing right now. However, I do like the feeling of saying “Hey! Glad that you’re doing what you’re doing.”

  20. Reblogged this on Cee's Photography and commented:
    Chris has started a wonderful conversation going on the like button usage as well as the use of the Reader in WordPress. You should check it out.

    Chris and I totally agree that when we use the like button, it is our way of saying hi to people. I know it gives me a smile when I like someone or see someone like me. I rarely hit the like button without looking at something on your page. And yes I really do look or read at your blogs daily. Okay this may seem silly, but when I was really sick and in the hospital my biggest fear is that I would die and not one would even notice I had died. I know that still sticks in me a little bit and seeing likes and comments just warms my heart.

    As for using the reader vs email. I use a combination of both. There are some bloggers I want make sure I get no matter what. The reader isn’t always accurate. That way I won’t miss something I really want to see or read.

  21. Pingback: Liking me? Liking you! | Cee's Photography

  22. I have missed blog posts, too because they don’t show up in my reader. I thought I was going crazy for awhile. I agree with you. I LIKE the “like” button because I may not always have a relevant comment to make. I can like your post to show you I have read it and think its worthwhile without making a comment that just takes up space and doesnt really mean much. I will be interested in seeing how your manual labors turn out.

  23. Interesting post, I’ve never really wondered about the do’s and don’ts of liking people. But I agree with Cee it does give a lift when you think someone actually bothered to stop and post a comment. A bit like saying hello to a person on the street, it often brings a smile to their face.

  24. Well said Chris, I use my like button in the same ways and enjoy likes on my blog for the same reasons. 🙂 Good luck switching to your reader, it certainly works better for me than paging through hundreds of emails!

  25. Thank you, Chris! You’ve expressed very nicely my feelings – I comment when I have something to say, but there are many times I have nothing to contribute, but I want the blogger to know I stopped by, I read, I enjoyed. It’s my hello, just as you said.

  26. I totally agree. But it’s my understanding that sometimes, not everyone shows up in the reader. I never use it. I go by emails and it is time consuming (although compared to yo my popularity is cut by 2/3 🙂 ) But, I get the swamped thing. I would much rather scroll through than open email after email. Well, enough about me. 🙂
    Good luck. Catch ya on the flip side.

  27. Sometimes hitting like for me is: I just don’t know what to say to what you wrote but hey, I’ve been here and I saw what you had to say! — In other words “oh, hi!” 🙂

  28. This is an interesting discussion for me because I wonder often about how others use their “likes.” My husband does what you do, uses “like” to show he was there. I’m the other way. If I like the post/photo, I hit “like.” And I try to comment as well, which I find is first of all, good for feedback and second, tends to start a conversation and be appreciated.

    I’ve had the same experience as some of the others who commented that they’ll put up a post that takes some time to read and have an instant like. In the same say, in some of the photo challenges in which I participate, some people “like” virtually every photo but never comment at all. I don’t know how they can get to all those photos so quickly. 🙂

    It seems as though I’m in the minority here and that I should really look at “likes” as a “Kilroy was here” moment and then see whether what I blogged touched the reader or observer enough to give a comment response.

    Thanks for an enjoyable discussion.

    janet

    • I’m with you here Janet. I notice instant likes on a post that I know the person cannot have even had time to look at let alone read! And I have suspected for a while that people ‘like’ from the reader as likes often exceed comments. If I see a post in the reader I always read it in full too, or look at the photos, and then decide whether to like – and usually if I like then I’ll comment too. Perhaps I like you, have been doing this all wrong.
      Jude xx

    • Regarding the photos, I actually can remember who did what and what the photos were. I can retain that for a day or two and if I really liked the work…for ages I can remember. And that is just with a super quick look. I don’t know if I am unusual or not … especially for people who are more visually inclined like I am.

      I love that we can all hit like as we feel fit. There is no right or wrong way to use it.

  29. What a great post, and I think it needed said. Personally, I hate the reader unless I’m looking for something specific. I have all notifications sent to my email which is linked to my outlook software (not the new version of Hotmail). I’m able to sort and put emails into folders. I too have too much demands on my time and it may be 2 to 3 days before I get to them. Try and go back 3 days in the reader was a nightmare. I just stick them in folders so they don’t clutter my inbox. And sorting keeps all my wordpress email separate from other email.

    As for the likes I completely agree. I love to see likes, it makes me smile to see the faces of friends who visit and I too like to say hi. A post has to be offensive for me to not like it. I rarely make comments and not because I’m lazy or don’t read it, but I just don’t have time. I want those I followers to know, hey I was here and I support you. If you take that away I just quit reading. I’m not here to look at websites (I have another folder for that). I’m here for friendship and community. How can there be community if there is no communication. Forcing me into comment only is just a turn off.

    thanks chris for this great conversation

  30. I had to take a moment to tell you how I feel about what you’re saying here. I am fighting for my life at this time and I understand! I have three grown children who don’t have time. having been so sick for years my life and friends have disappeared. My greatest fear is dying alone. People are just too busy to take the time to stay in touch or get involved. I appreciate the little comments that I get, I appreciate people telling me that my small contributions are noticed. Cee I CARE, and I notice. I appreciate you. 🙂

  31. I am very similar. I don’t have time to read every blog I follow so I prioritise. Some posts are fun and lighthearted so if I am busy, I will like to acknowledge and say hello. If it interesting/relevant to me (like this one), I will take the time to read, and comment if I have something to say. If the post is someone who is upset or struggling I will stop to read and leave a ‘thinking of you’ comment.

  32. I like the ‘like’ button, I like to comment when I have something to contribute or ask and sometimes, like right now, I even scroll down and read other people’s reactions to the post. This was a good one. Thank you.

  33. Pingback: A little bit of something you like? | Change your mind

  34. Yes, I love comments on my blog, too. But, I know that some folks don’t have much time to comment, and will push the like button. And that makes me happy, too. =)

  35. For me, a like means I liked the post enough to get to the bottom of it. It means good, job, you kept me interested, and there’s a good chance I will be back. A comment means I connected with it on a deeper level, and I want you to know that because I can, and you deserve to, and probably (hopefully) want to. I know I do.

  36. By the number of comments you’ve had (too many in fact to see whether I’m repeating what others have said already) it seems the Like Button is still creating waves! Does that mean there’s still no established etiquette for its use? For me, I’ve begun ignoring blogs which have disabled their Like Button – I don’t have time to comment on every blog I subscribe to. With no Like Button, I feel as though I’m being forced to comment and frankly, I only comment when I feel strongly – so strongly I can’t resist commenting (pro or con, but mostly to contribute to a conversation). The Like Button allows me to say Hi, read this and it engaged me. Also, of course, I like to be liked – it’s part of being part of this universe of global bloggers and that’s an important part of my enjoyment of blogging.

  37. Great article and discussion resulting from it … I like the “Like button” … to me I use it as a form of Hello and I stopped by for a visit; and for the most part, I think the same of most visitors. It then allows me from notifications, I follow the breadcrumbs to read something of theirs. If I find a gold mine of interest, then it’s a win-win situation. I have visited and read something I didn’t like — so I don’t do anything about that … just click away.

  38. I can’t imagine why people complain about getting a like! Its a wonderful, positive, affirming gesture. As a therapist I find people getting angry about likes self defeating, if you complain about getting likes when someone maybe didn’t read every word of your post, will you be happier with no likes? Bring on the likes! I like em all! They motivate me~

  39. I have more than 20000 emails waiting to be dealt with and it is overwhelming. Most are notices of new posts. Oh my!

    I love the like button and enjoy receiving likes.

    Looking at other bloggers’ writing and pics is an activity I enjoy but can’t always get to it daily.
    I know a successful blog requires tending and we are all hard pressed for time.

    Sometimes I want a LOVE button!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic for a good discussion. Xxoo

  40. I agree! Yesterday I felt so overwhelmed by the amount of emails that I almost wanted to give up blogging. I love this post and would follow you, Chris, but may actually begin to use the reader instead – such a dilemma! Julie

  41. I had to get rid of the email last year. What a headache it became. I use the like button to let the person know I was there. Sometimes I just do not have a decent comment. I like the reader.

  42. I completely agree about the like button. When I read a post to the end and I can’t find the like button I feel cheated. I wish I had the time to comment on everything I read but truthfully sometimes I have nothing more to add. I’m very selective about the blogs that I have email notifications for. I would say that most of the blogs that I follow I find on the Reader. At least the like button lets people know that I’ve visited and checked out what they had to say.

  43. Thank you for bringing up the like button. From a blogging stand point, I appreciate anyone who comes to my blog and clicks it. I can’t for the life of me understand why people complain about getting likes. From a reader stand point, I have no idea why people feel the need to “force” me to make a comment in order to show that I have been there and read their blog. This is especially true with blogs that only post photos. I have a laundry list of health issues and I’m an introvert so commenting is not something I always feel up to doing. To be honest, “forcing” me to comment to show my support of a post feels more like a punishment than anything else. I’m not sure when the whole hatred for the like button started but I wish it would end.

  44. Very well stated. 🙂 Without reading all the above comments, I’m going to say, in reference to the ones that are *not* showing up in your reader, perhaps the blog author has the reading setting ticked as “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” I had a few followers mention to me that they weren’t getting my updates. Changing that setting made all the difference. Good luck!
    ~Lindy

  45. I use the Like button in a slightly different way. I read every post from every blog I follow. I may get behind & not read it for a week, but I do read them. When I have finished reading a post, I hit the Like button to let the person know I have been there. I will often leave a comment because I love the interplay of conversation on various blogs, but if I don’t have anything to add to the conversation (I might be busy & not have time to join in or just not feel up to engaging in a conversation also) I will leave after the Like. On very rare occassions I have gotten so swamped with my reading, I have had to pick & choose what I will read – which means deleted unread posts – so you know I didn’t read your post if you didn’t get a like within a couple weeks of it being posted from me.

  46. It is not that I am easily swayed but when I first read the argument and posted it I agreed and deleted my like button. I wanted people to visit, not just drive by. But I’ve since re-activated the button. I think you have to adjust your thinking as to what that button really does. It’s a way to stay in touch- I understand that now, as my followers and the people I follow have grown. It is like living in a small town then moving to the big city. You knew everybody in town when you were growing up. I still want that but find it is impossible. So I drive by and wave, sometimes stop by for a cup od coffeee and conversation!

  47. Pingback: Share Your World – 2014 Week 14 | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

  48. Your style is unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff
    from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.

  49. Hello would you mind letting me know which hosting company
    you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

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