I want to make the case for the LIKE button.
First, I think it’s expected, the SDMB not having one is an anomaly.
I think we need one, and I think it will help attract thoughtful posters and posts. When I see a thumbs up next to my posts in other forums I get a little hit of dopamine or whatever the feel good brain chemical is and it makes me want to spend more time writing and posting there.
It promotes engagement. It gives new posters a way to engage before they start posting. It give lurkers a way to engage. People, especially the coveted young people, expect it.
If people are going to put time into a thoughtful post- or even a clever one liner- they LIKE knowing people read it and enjoyed it. There are times when I spent a lot of time on a post that didn’t get much response in terms of replies and I was left feeling ……was I totally off base or did I just say this so well that no one had anything to add? Did this suck? Do I want to post another response, since no one seemed to engage with the first one?
I remember once I spent a lot of time on a thoughtful post, one that didn’t get a lot of response. It was vaguely disheartening…what happened? was it not that good? Was I off base?
Then, a LONG time later, definitely over a year, another poster linked to that response with praise, which was echoed by many others in the thread. It was good to know, but I wish I’d known it sooner. Possibly this makes me sound insecure, but I can be insecure about my writing. And when I know it’s well-liked, it makes me a more secure and confident writer. It improves me. Many of the longer pieces I posted here I put in another forum first, mostly because I wanted the feedback.
The absence of a LIKE button almost serves as a filter, weeding out insecure writers. It’s discouraging simply because it’s not encouraging. Which is fine if that’s what you want, but I don’t think that’s what we want at this point in time.
And, in the larger sphere of board quality, I think it provides some evolutionary pressure, as it were. If something is liked, maybe that will encourage others to post more responses in that vein, which might also be well-liked.
It also minimizes the “me too” posts.
That’s my case for the LIKE button. Please at least give it a try.
PS I’m not in favor of thumbs down or any sort of downvoting , though.