In my recent post, ‘Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog?’, the subject of the ‘like’ button came up in the comments section of the post. Some of those comments got me thinking and asking questions.
WordPress says that clicking the ‘like’ button is a way of ‘tipping your hat’ to an awesome post you’ve just read and crediting the author of the post for a great piece of work. It doesn’t say anything else as to why or when the ‘like’ button should be used, yet I’ve heard and read other reasons as to why somebody clicks the ‘like’ button at the end of a post.
I’ve scattered some of those examples throughout this post.
“It’s a way to show support for a blogger, even though I’ve not read the post.”
“I use the ‘like’ button so that I can come back and read the post later.”
I’ve come across comments left on some blogs (which do not display a ‘like’ button) saying that they miss not being able to click on a ‘like’ button, and some even almost beg the author of the blog to reinstall it.
On my own blog, I regularly have some readers who will ‘like’ a chunk of my posts within seconds of each other. I’ve never known any of them to have ever left a comment on any of those posts. I also found out that some of the same readers, who do this, also do it on other blogs. And, how many of us have had somebody, we’ve never seen on our blog before, ‘like’ one of our posts (even those that contain over 500 words) within seconds of the article being published?
“Pressing the ‘like’ button on blog posts (without necessarily reading them) is a great free way to promote my blog or site.”
Recently, I’ve also begun to see spammers ‘liking’ posts in the hope that a reader will click on their Gravatar and be tempted to click on links that lead to sites selling certain medical remedies, followers, webcam shows, or pornographic images. These spammers are getting more and more ingenious in ways of getting spam links onto our blogs. Did you know that you can unsubscribe readers from your blog but, other than removing the ‘like’ button altogether, there does not seem to be a way to stop anybody liking one your posts? Unless, of course, you know of a way? However, you can report suspicious Gravatars and blogs to WordPress.
“When I click the ‘like’ button, it shows the blogger I’ve visited their blog even though I have not read the post.”
“I click on the ‘like’ button of all the posts of certain bloggers because I’m good friends with them. They’d be upset if I didn’t press the like’ button.”
I don’t know about you but, until recently, I rarely (if ever) look at who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any of my posts or those of other bloggers. Clicking the ‘like’ button (as I have discovered) doesn’t mean to say that the reader has actually read the post. So how many of those ‘likes’ at the end of your posts are from readers who have actually read your post?
For me, and more important, are the comments left on posts, especially those that clearly show they have read the post (I’m not talking here of comments that just say ‘great post!’). In my post, Is It Time To Turn Off Comments On Your Blog, it was clear (with just about everyone that left a comment) that leaving and responding to comments on posts was one of the positives of blogging. Not only that, but it also made many bloggers feel good and valued about what they were writing and/or publishing on their blogs. Does clicking on the ‘like’ button do that?
“Bloggers would get upset with me if I didn’t ‘like’ all of their posts.”
“I use the ‘like’ button on days when I’m too busy to read posts. At least the blogger then knows I’ve visited their site.”
So, is it time to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Is there any value in having a ‘like’ button on a blog? Have you ever ‘liked’ any of your own posts and, if so, why? If it is time to remove the ‘like button’ from your blog, you can click here to see how to remove it.
As for me, I’ve taken the decision to remove the like button from all of my posts (past and present). However, I can always be persuaded to reinstall it, but you’re going to have to give me some good reasons to do so. Not only that but, from now on, I’ll only ‘like’ a post in line with what WordPress says it should be used for. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from leaving comments on your blogs. In fact, if I like a post then I will probably leave a comment.
“I always click on the ‘like’ button on all of the posts of certain bloggers, even if I haven’t particularly liked the post or have given up on it halfway through. They’d be upset if I didn’ ‘like’ all of their posts.”
What are your thoughts on the ‘like’ button? Have I persuaded you to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog? Leave me your comments and thoughts, and let’s start the debate.
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