Is the “like” button killing comments?

Do you like the “like” button?
Are you a serial “liker”?
Do you take time before you press it?photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pyth0ns/6757854133/">Mark J P</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
Have you a standard you wish to see,
or do you just “like” most posts you read?

During the week I got a comment.
It was from NobblySan at Madhatters.
He was saying that he believes,
the level of interaction on wordpress,
from blog to blog has decreased ever since wordpress,
introduced the “like” button.
Actually he said the “bloody like button!”.

Up to that comment I had enjoyed the “like” button.
It gave me some feedback on who read my post,
and also a measure of what worked.
I know it is also dependent on time and day posted,
and how many serial “likers” were online.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vblibrary/8530571248/">Enokson</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
But I did enjoy seeing that little star.

However thanks to NobblySan my bubble burst.
I began to look at other blogs with new eyes.
I have read some posts which really worked for me.
I could see maybe twenty “likes” after their post,
These posts had definitely had a share of readers,
but there were only a handful of comments.
Some of these posts had cried out for a comment,
either because of the class of writing,
the topic, or the emotion expressed.

My eyes were opened.
I began to examine my own blogging pattern.
Was I a lazy “liker”?

In the past week I have tried to comment more often,
however it is a lot more time consuming,
and I do not get as many posts read.
But it is more satisfying,
and has led to more discussion online.

I have read how some bloggers are very shy,
and do not like to comment.
I personally love to comment on blogs.
It has introduced me to a whole new world of people.
Some who have got right under my skin,
in the nicest possible way.
If they miss a post I register it’s missing,small__181836178
If they have a personal issue,
I hope for them.
In a way I have an online friendship of sorts with them.
I care what they think,
and I really enjoy our interactions.

My blog commenting buddies include men and women.
Some are single, some have families.
Some have large busy blogs,
some it would seem have only myself and a few others following.
Some have anonymous blogs,
others have friends and family commenting.
Some have very different beliefs and opinions to myself,
but the common factor is we all blog, and comment.

NobblySan said he did a mock post,
to prove there were serial “likers” out there.
However he ended up getting a load of comments!
I laughed out loud when I read it.
Then just to upset him I “liked” it.
But as the week has gone on,
I have begun to wonder,
what would my experience of wordpress have been,
if there was no “like” button?

In those early months,
the “like” button was a huge ego boost.
I really did think,
that everyone who pressed it,
did in fact “like” what I wrote.
I know differently now,
but to this day I still like to be “liked”.

However my favourite part of blogging,
apart from the daily challenge of writing,
is the comments.
Maybe just maybe the “like” button,
is the lazy way out,
and in time to come,
a comment may become a rare treat on your blog.

I sincerely hope not.
With that in mind,
I will continue to make the effort,
to comment as much as possible,
and so ensure that blogging remains,
the wonderful interactive experience,
I have come to enjoy.

What about you?

photo credit: Enokson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kris Krug via photopin cc
photo credit: Mark J P via photopin cc

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80 thoughts on “Is the “like” button killing comments?

    1. I try to do the same or get back to it later. Sometimes I read a post and don’t comment, but the post sticks in my head and I feel I must go back to it and comment.

  1. My daughter tells me I shouldn’t “like” everything. I told her I don’t like everything but I click “like” as a reminder that I’ve already read this. I’m more a serial reader than a liker. 🙂 Now, if I could only get my daughter to read this.

  2. If I like something, I always press like. Why?Because it is a way of encouraging and affirming the blogger. Sometimes I don’t have time to write a comment. But, I agree, as a blogger I love to get comments. So, I determine to do that more in the future. And see- I started with yours! Good post.

    1. Yea thanks. I love comments!
      I think because I never knew blogging without the “like” button, I never really thought about it, until I read NobblySans comment. So I wondered had others ever thought about it or for those who are many years blogging have they noticed a difference.

  3. Good question. I DO think the like button is something of a “lazy” way out. I almost never use it exclusively (without also leaving a comment) unless I’ve already left a number of comments on a blog and I therefore have a relationship with the blogger. Because I blog and read blogs to build relationships, and you can’t really do that if all you ever do is wave at people.

      1. Oh, I do wave–when I’m pressed for time or feeling lazy. I’m glad the like button is there. But, if someone uses it exclusively, I have trouble knowing who they are and what, exactly, they like.

        1. Yes I find that too. If I have seen a like regularly from a blogger on my blog, I never really get to know them unless they comment, even if I go to their site.

    1. Yes and sometimes I get to a blog late and it has so many comments already and as you say I have nothing new to add or I feel they must be sick of comments by then.

  4. I think it’s important to comment especially when making new connections. I really enjoy speaking with something they love and seeing how excited they get. They took the time to post something because they wanted someone to see their thoughts, and an authentic response validates that writing work. It may also give them a good better idea of what people are responding to and how they should post next time.

    1. Too true. A few times some of the comments I have received have really helped to guide me in my posting.
      I too think that everyone took time to write their post so I do like if I can to comment although I must admit I am occasionally a lazy liker.

  5. Great stuff, tric!

    As I said in my original rant comment to you – the lifeblood of blogging is the personal interaction that comes with comments. The bunch of folk who comprise the MadHatters admins would never have met up if it weren’t for arguing with, and winding up each other on another comments based site.

    Like by all means, but please try to comment.

    Oh, and no bloody smilies either!

    I thank you.

      1. Sorry couldn’t resist it! Your original comment did as you can see, get me thinking. As for the smiley face sometimes I have to use it as my comment and humour is sometimes misunderstood.

  6. Sometimes I like and comment, sometimes I just like and don’t comment, mostly because I have nothing to say or sometimes if the post is a little personal, like say the post about your dad dying then I feel like I might say the wrong thing or it might not come across the way it would if I was face to face with the person, so I just like to let the author know I was there and I read it.

    I’ve only been blogging for 18 months so I have not known blogging without the like button. Personally I don’t mind if people like and don’t comment, if they do comment I reply and I have probably ten to fifteen people who comment regularly and a huge number who do not comment or like at all, they simply read and move on and I don’t see them until my next post and that is fine by me.

    If someone thought something I wrote was good enough to leave a like, then that is there choice and I don’t think they should be obligated to leave a comment as well, unless they want to.

    Having said all that I think a F**k Off button would be a great option every now and again.

    1. Ha ha. Yes I agree, what fun that would be. And with a few drinks we’d do wreck!
      If I like a post I prefer to comment if I can, although I understand why you would just “like” a post about a man dying…. that was one of my real cheery ones!
      I am due to return to your blog shortly as I “loved” your joke this morning. Didn’t see the end coming, although I almost didn’t enjoy it as I was trying so hard to anticipate the punch line. My older kids think you’re sick!

      1. although I understand why you would just “like” a post about a man dying

        That sounds so horrible when you read it. Hey I wrote a post about my father dying and JD liked it! What a guy.

        Your older kids are probably right. Professional help is being sought.

  7. Yes a very interesting thought. I have blogged on a few platforms before and this site stands out as the one which has (by a long shot) quite an absence of people who are willing or inclined to comment on posts. It’s very easy to press a button isn’t it? Not quite so easy to have to think about formulating a comment with (hopefully) a bit of meaning or interest.

    I think also this is exascerbated by the absence from this site of blog “friends”. Here you can follow someone but cannot be ‘friends” with them – and this is another significant difference between this site and many others. Although having said that I would say that this is perhaps a GOOD thing – because what I find is on those platforms where one becomes “friends” with other bloggers it seems that many people feel some sort of obligation to comment on their friends’ posts. And also this causes much aggro – as people come to EXPECT their “friends” to comment and support their posts and if that does not happen they get pissed. pretty silly really.

    Bottom line is (and this will probably sound a little harsh but well it’s what I think) most people are quite self absorbed and starved for attention and so are much more into receiving than giving.

    Of course there are many other reasons why certain posts attract commentary whereas others don’t. It does depend a lot on the content. For example those blogs which are basically there to have fun, attract many comments because people like to have fun and be light hearted without going too “deep”. But those posts which attempt to tackle the deeper issues tend to cause most people to steer clear. Sad but true:- in my opinion some of the most exquisite writers publish material here which can often attract no comments at all.

    1. I have never blogged anywhere else but I think it is hard enough to keep up with those who I follow or my blog buddies who I have come to know rather than having “friends”.
      I remember another blogger “Cranky” writing a post about silent visitors who call at all hours even in the deep of night and never leave a message, but she greatly appreciated they called. I think I agree. I am thrilled to see that anyone reads my posts but comments really are the icing on the cake.
      Thanks a million to you for commenting!

  8. Hmmm. NobblySan had an interesting comment. I must admit, when someone “likes” my blog, I still look at his/her web page to see who it is. I might job a comment just to get a conversation going if I think there is common ground. Otherwise, I prefer comments, but certainly appreciate “likes.”

    I think there may be serial “likers,” but on the whole, I won’t click the button if something hasn’t particularly resonated with me. I click because it’s connected in some way, and to let the writer know I’ve read the blog and am giving a “thumbs up.”

    Must admit, though, I’ll be more apt to comment now.

    1. I think we are on the same page as I think are most bloggers. However like you I too am going to make a greater effort to comment more.
      Thank you for beginning your efforts here!

  9. [ Smiles ] I don’t think that the “Like” button has contributed to the death of comments.

    Some people would take the easy way out by pressing the “Like” button.

    As you have written, some are shy. Also, there are those who are too busy to type out a comment.

    To be honest with you, I don’t comment on every post that I read. However, I have to admit that this post of yours was worth commenting on.

    1. Thanks a million. I agree with you, but for myself I think there are times I should comment, but I press “like” only.
      I am glad I prompted a comment out of you though!

  10. i use the like button to show that there was something i liked about a post, though may not have had the time to comment and i don’t want to ignore what’s been written. i want the writer to know i enjoyed it, to know i was there, and have ‘left my calling card’ of sorts. if i could i would comment on every post i enjoyed, though i know that’s not a reality, so i like and then comment on them whenever possible. i like the likes too )

    1. Yes! This is exactly what I think, and why/how I use the Like button. I may not have time to comment, I may not have the words to explain what I feel without a time investment I may not have then, I may not have anything to actually SAY, but I did like the post and so I ‘like’ it.

      1. I do think the like is a great tool but commenting is so much more personal and I love the interaction. It also for me has another positive it reminds me of certain blogs, or as in your case reminds me that I wanted to “follow” you after your very generous decision to look into bone marrow donation and reading your post on blood donation, but my computer froze and now this comment has made it easy for me to check in with you and “follow”

  11. I “like” a post after I have read it and have had a chance to ponder what I have read. I don’t click “like” on all of the posts I read, just the ones that really speak to me. And I don’t comment on them often. Especially when I see that there are already lots of comments and when I read through them, what I was going to say has already been said by someone else. Why flood the poster with excess replies. To me it is the same as receiving spam email, sometimes to much is just too much.

    1. Yes I think like yourself. I do think though that in some cases a comment can begin a great interaction or begin a connection to a blogger you go onto enjoy for a l long time. A bit like when you first commented here! More so than a like would.

  12. In the early days of my blog, I knew for certain that people were just clicking “like” so that I would reciprocate on their blog. And I did. And at one point I too was a serial liker, clicking like without barely reading a post, always trying to chase those higher numbers and traffic.

    With my current blog, I don’t think I even have the function turned on. There just isn’t a benefit for me. I do want to look into getting the Facebook like plugin because at least there’s some sort of “free advertising” there.

    However I do realize that liking a post can be very appropriate. For instance, some blogs feature the same type of things, whether it’s funny things that kids say, or beautifully prepared bento boxes. There’s only so much “That’s so creative!” or “That’s so funny!” comments you can say, and after a while I find myself liking the post instead. And I really do like it.

    1. You are very honest in your talk of being a serial liker when you first began blogging.
      It is interesting to read that the like button can be used when comments are exhausted. I do that but hadn’t thought of it.
      Thanks a million for taking the time to comment here. I really appreciate it.

  13. I subscribe to over 200 blogs. I do my best to read as many as I can. And if I hit “like” I truly liked something about it, the way it was written, it’s voice, it made me think, it made me laugh, etc…. I know there are those who “like” without even reading, technically because of the “like” button being on the “reader” you could have 100 likes with zero views. I like the like.

    Often times, I don’t add to the conversation if others have already spoken what I was thinking.
    Or I truly don’t have time to comment but I want the author to know I stopped in for the read.

    Good pondering here Tric.

  14. I LIVE for comments. I don’t pay much attention to “likes”. I do use the like button and am usually not a “serial liker”. I enjoy the like feature because I don’t always have something to say.

    I think there are also “serial followers”. I think there are some bloggers who use the like and follow features to either guilt you into following their blog or to at least check them out. I’ve noticed that most bloggers who have a huge following (500+) usually have a relatively small number of likes and/or comments.

    1. Yes I do not get the ones who read and instantly follow, but maybe I have done if I read something wow. I remember the first time I read your blog, the post I read really hit me. I still remember it!
      I must remember to comment more than “like” on your blog.

  15. I disagree with Nobbly – I think the Like button is one of the best features of WordPress

    I view it as a ‘business card’

    Most posts put up on Madhatters do not naturally elicit responses. They are not opinion pieces designed to stimulate debate. For example, I have just posted a short video about a man having a mishap when shaving his mustache. You either find it amusing or you don’t. What is there to debate about? I do not expect it to elicit comments. Hopefully, though, some folk will watch and enjoy it. Before the Like button, I would have had no idea who those people were. With the Like button, I can follow the link back to that person’s blog. Perhaps ‘like’ or comment on one of their posts, hopefully starting an ongoing relationship with that blogger

    I also use the ‘Like’ button as a ‘Reminder’

    Often I will read a post on a new blog but not have time to leave a comment. Clicking the Like button is my way of showing the blogger I liked their post and also a tool to enable me to return to that blog later. My memory is not what it once was. If I use the Like button, though, I can then use the ‘my activity’ option in WordPress Reader to browse through every recent post on which I have clicked the Like Button or left a comment on to find that elusive blog I am searching for

    1. I suppose the “like” means so many different things. I think I like the “like” because of the actual word. I read,regardless of sincerity, that someone “likes” what I wrote. That is enough for me.
      I can see also that at times watching and reading Madhatters is enough said, so a like is a good comment.
      However you are one of my very best, number one commenters and one of my greatest blog buddies. Look at my blog and madhatters, it would not appear we were kindred bloggers (apart from having a similar sick humor) but because of shared comments we are.

  16. I love comments, as they really let me know what I’ve written has touched someone enough they’re taking the time to comment, and that means a great deal to me, especially as I’m writing about such intimate, personal and emotional topics!

    I like the “like button” too though, as it at least lets me know that SOME of those people have actually come to my page and read it!

    Great post, as always! Thanks

  17. I’m glad you posted this…made me think on what I have gotten in the habit of doing. I “like” a lot of posts but not every single one. I could admit to being lazy with it but if I honestly like a post, then I will “like” it and with the blogs I follow, I usually do like them but I don’t always have anything witty to say to them. I do, however, know how much I love receiving a comment, so I will work harder on doing the same for others. Like you said, it is time consuming to comment on every single post and I have gotten myself into a neurotic habit of trying to read every single post of blogs I follow..which I am finding is just too daunting. I think it would be more fulfilling to only read what looks appealing at the moment and make an effort to get involved…quality over quantity because it is virtually impossible to read them all.

    1. I don’t think anyone expects a follower to read everything and I think if you have been away awhile it is nice to check in again with a comment.
      I’m glad you are going to try to comment a bit more. Like you I think most of us live for comments.

    1. Yes I agree. Sometimes though I do not read a post carefully enough and invariably when I go to comment I must double check I am commenting correctly. Mind you checking in with a like, is sometimes better than nothing.

  18. Wow, that’s a long list of comments. I liked this post because it says out loud a lot of things I’ve thought on and off whilst blogging. I generally try to click the “like” button and comment if I’ve liked a post. (If I don’t click like, it can mean that I haven’t had time to read the post, not that I don’t like it). What would happen if WP put a “don’t like” button, like on Youtube? Scary 🙂

    1. This post sure generated a lot of comments alright. Sometimes after a couple of drinks I read blogs and would make great use of a “don’t like” button. However the morning after I might not be too proud!

      1. too right. But I’m wishing for a “block this follower button” to get rid of the people who “follow” without even looking at what you write, just to send traffic to sites full of stuff that has nothing to do with blogging. I hate it.

  19. I think you’re right. but sometimes I really don’t have time to comment on all the blogs I read but still want people to know I’ve stopped by for a quick browse. So I liked your post and commented.. How talented is that 🙂 lol

  20. There are times when I really wish there was a sort of “hugs” or “I’m listening” button. I follow a fantastic blog whose author is having to come to terms with the sudden death of her son (http://mydaftlife.wordpress.com/). “Like” is just the wrong response altogether to these posts – it’s completely the wrong thing to say. You want to make some sort of human response, to say that you’ve seen it, that you are listening. And you don’t want to comment because there’s nothing sensible you could say.

    1. I know what you mean. I looked up that blog having read about her on your post previously. I read her blog for ages going way back but did not comment or like. It just seemed out of place.

  21. I myself like the “like” button, and am especially thrilled to see comments. As someone who is not too confident about her writing, it is a form of encouragement, to see that little star, that someone is reading. I try to comment as much as I can when my WP app is working – sometimes it doesn’t allow me to post anything!

    1. I cannot believe you are not too confident about your writing. I would never have thought that and as for your comments they have always been a pleasure to receive, so thank you

  22. I don’t look a gift like in the mouth! LOL. I am honored and encouraged by them. I spend a lot of time and read alot of blogs these days. ALOT! I don’t always have time to comment, but I do have time to like, IF I do like the post, and hopefully encourage my talented fellow bloggers, reciprocally.
    Parsing out how someone else manages their like function doesn’t seem to me to be my business and it may, in the end, make them reluctant to like my post for fear of being criticized if they don’t comment as well.
    Bloggers should be free to hit their like button or not without fear of criticism.
    Personally I have no problem with being liked. It is dislike that it more difficult for me.

    1. You know you are dead right. What does it matter why anyone does anything it is not really for us to criticize. I too loved to be liked, no matter why. Thank goodness there is no “dislike” button.

  23. tric, I use “like” only when I like something in the post, with no expectation of reciprocation. It’s just an acknowledgement of the enjoyment, joy, insightful info that I may have derived from the post. I suppose it’s good for the writer to know that his efforts were appreciated. I wouldn’t click on “like” as a note or token or business card that says “I was here”, because the Stats (or # of visitors)would have taken care of it. Great post that I really liked.

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