## Like button in forum request

For discussion directly related to ConwayLife.com, such as requesting changes to how the forums or wiki function.

### Like button in forum request

From time to time I see some pretty nice messages I like, but I have nothing smart to say about them.

It would be nice to have something similar to the "Like" button in facebook. People are sometimes working pretty hard for those patterns, but they don't deserve the "congrats" with exclamation mark or something, just to convey something like "I like where you going with this..." or it's a neat idea etc.

simsim314

Posts: 1702
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 1:27 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

For one, this would probably have to be a feature built in to the forums. I'm' not sure if phpBB has a like button feature that could be turned on or something.

I'm on a few other forums which have like buttons, and it's not way too uncommon to see people spam liking their own posts. So having a feature that blocks posters from liking their own posts would be a must.
Bored of using the Moore neighbourhood for everything? Introducing the Range-2 von Neumann isotropic non-totalistic rulespace!
muzik

Posts: 3466
Joined: January 28th, 2016, 2:47 pm
Location: Scotland

### Re: Like button in forum request

I disagree with this proposal. In fact, one of the main reasons I like these forums is the lack of a "like button" or other statistic relating to acceptance of one's posts; I have, on forums with such a feature, become so absorbed by trying to optimize that statistic and become "accepted" that I have forgotten about the actual point of the forum. I do not want that to happen to me, or to other users who may be affected similarly, here. Please do not implement this feature, or if it is implemented, at least find a way for individual users to hide the feature from their own viewing.
x₁=ηx
V ⃰_η=c²√(Λη)
K=(Λu²)/2
Pₐ=1−1/(∫^∞_t₀(p(t)ˡ⁽ᵗ⁾)dt)

$$x_1=\eta x$$
$$V^*_\eta=c^2\sqrt{\Lambda\eta}$$
$$K=\frac{\Lambda u^2}2$$
$$P_a=1-\frac1{\int^\infty_{t_0}p(t)^{l(t)}dt}$$

http://conwaylife.com/wiki/A_for_all

Aidan F. Pierce

A for awesome

Posts: 1879
Joined: September 13th, 2014, 5:36 pm
Location: 0x-1

### Re: Like button in forum request

If you like their messages so much, why not send them a PM?
I Like My Heisenburps! (and others)

Extrementhusiast

Posts: 1794
Joined: June 16th, 2009, 11:24 pm
Location: USA

### Re: Like button in forum request

Extrementhusiast wrote:If you like their messages so much, why not send them a PM?

Because that's kind of weird?

Also, sending a PM takes time, while liking a post would take literally just the press of a button.
Bored of using the Moore neighbourhood for everything? Introducing the Range-2 von Neumann isotropic non-totalistic rulespace!
muzik

Posts: 3466
Joined: January 28th, 2016, 2:47 pm
Location: Scotland

### Re: Like button in forum request

I'm happy to consider this feature if enough people are in support of the idea, but my personal opinion is against it. In my experience on other forums, things like Like buttons tend to encourage "low-effort" or "obvious" content that is easily Like-able. Maybe that wouldn't actually be a problem here given the nature of the community here, but I would hate for it to slide in that direction.

Nathaniel

Posts: 475
Joined: December 10th, 2008, 3:48 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

I really don't think that some spam (or low quality) messages will get many likes here.

I'm not sure I'm really happy with the like option - but some fast and information low response that encourage people to continue in their direction, without writing a whole message that says "I really like where you're going, you should continue this direction" or to the opposite - "this is another spam message, you better post something more informative", could give better feedback and encourage collaboration on more promising directions.

This is technical forum - and people here in general are usually more sophisticated, than in many other forums.

simsim314

Posts: 1702
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 1:27 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

I agree with Simsim314 on the need for this, even if feedback buttons aren't chosen as the best solution.

I was blown away, amazed, and delighted by Simsim314's Caterloopillar thread. But I didn't say so. I didn't send Simsim314 a personal message, maybe due to a degree of social awkwardness on my part, and I didn't post a reply on the Caterloopillar thread, because I felt like it dilutes the quality of the discussion if someone like me sends a congratulatory message which isn't accompanied by a pattern or an insight or some other contribution. (In contrast, if an accomplished forum member like, say, dvgrn , wants to say "congratulations", I think that's actually interesting information to less experienced members, and the congratulations also might mean more to the recipient.)

A top down solution: if Nathaniel or the other moderators wants to say: "I encourage everyone to reply with congratulations messages when they think it is warranted", that would be enough encouragement for me.

A bottom up solution: How about developing a culture of using the new Sandbox forum for purely congratulatory messages which don't also include academic content?
EricG

Posts: 199
Joined: August 19th, 2011, 5:41 pm
Location: Chicago-area, USA

### Re: Like button in forum request

simsim314 wrote:I'm not sure I'm really happy with the like option - but some fast and information low response that encourage people to continue in their direction, without writing a whole message that says "I really like where you're going, you should continue this direction" or to the opposite - "this is another spam message, you better post something more informative", could give better feedback and encourage collaboration on more promising directions.

Very interesting point! Personally I seem to have a minor aversion to "like" and "dislike" options in most forum situations -- for whatever reason, I seldom use them. I guess usually neither of them is exactly what I want to say.

However, "like" on conwaylife.com would probably be used for the same purpose as a "Nice work!" or "Very cool!" post... and that might be kind of a good thing to have.

At least it would reduce the number of times that I click on a notification of a thread I'm interested in, hoping for some fascinating new developments -- only to find it's a "Great job!" post that I really didn't need to rush out and see.

Now, other than that detail, it seems to me that the way things work now is fairly reasonable -- personally I'm fine with just leaving well enough alone.

@EricG, thanks for the good perspective. Not sure how to coordinate using the Sandbox for congratulations -- seems like the messages would be likely to get lost and never seen by most of the people being congratulated.

On the other hand, if the basic idea is to identify some messages as primary/informational and some as subsidiary/congratulations/etc., then maybe it's possible to add one-line messages to the thread, that are in a different category that doesn't trigger email notifications. And maybe they don't take up as much vertical space somehow. (?)

---------------------------------

On the negative side, a 'dislike' option seems a little too general -- it would be hard for over-posting newcomers to learn much from a pile of dislikes, but easy for them to get to feel unwelcome. An 'offtopic' flag might be good to have, and also something like 'please go read the forum rules'. 'Offtopic' of course reminds me of Slashdot, with its rating system -- 'insightful', 'informative', etc.

One part of the forum rules is about how to avoid posting very old rediscoveries, or maybe-new-but-trivial stuff. Maybe that could be expanded to a separate entry in the forum-rules thread, especially if there's a way to link some of these hypothetical feedback messages directly to an explanatory post. "Wheel re-invention" and "there are gazillions of these" are two types of feedback that I've seen the most often here.

This all might have gotten too complicated to actually implement, though!

dvgrn
Moderator

Posts: 5831
Joined: May 17th, 2009, 11:00 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

@dvgrn There were many times gustavo deserved a well accomplished dislike. I don't think people will place dislike on new members posts, or maybe dislike on new members should be forbidden. Anyway many dislikes, accompanied by some moderator explaining the reason, will be good enough.

Dislikes bring with them a new culture of "trolls" who try to compete on the dislike scale so maybe just likes would be enough.

How about more specific response instead of emoticon? Say we can have 5 choices:

1. Congrats on a new discovery
2. Nice/funny pattern
3. I like where it's going (continue with the effort)
4. I don't think it's interesting looks like dead end
5. Inappropriate/really boring

simsim314

Posts: 1702
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 1:27 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

I'm conflicted on this. On the one hand, I do acknowledge this post helped me feel like my efforts towards what would become the Waterbear were being given any attention. But at the same time, I feel a lot of the mindsets encouraged by a points system are pretty negative. There's the mob mentality effect where people see the rating first and justify it by the content, persuading them to vote the same way (self-reinforcing). There's the tendency for the highest rated posts to be the ones inside a discussion that are short and blunt, even witty, rather than long and thoughtful despite more difficult to digest (probably what Nathaniel meant by "obvious"). There's self-liking, but the way to handle that could be redditlike, where your own posts are always self-liked by default and you have the option to unlike/dislike them.

PMs also could be used to convey the same information, but the reason "like" succeeds on social media is that it is so low-effort and impersonal, which is lost in a PM. muzik and EricG hit the nail on the head there.

In all though, I'd rather not have there be a popularity-contest aspect of these forums. The major successes are generally given congratulations on the thread where they are completed, so I don't find the "great job" posts to be too much of a problem as they stand. And I've learned that if something I post is not given followup attention then it is usually just other people not feeling like they can contribute meaningfully, which is definitely better than, say, being followed up by a meaningless witticism that gets more positive attention.
Physics: sophistication from simplicity.

biggiemac

Posts: 504
Joined: September 17th, 2014, 12:21 am
Location: California, USA

### Re: Like button in forum request

Maybe it's not a bad thing to seek rating. After all the scientific community is also seeking quotation rating, I don't think it becomes shallow due to this.

Actually thinking of it - if the community is built of technical well educated people on the topic, rating in this community is actually not a shallow "likes" you get in the regular social media.

I can bring many examples of "underrated" people in the forum, just because they deal with something esoteric but well deserve a big like. Take for example Bob Shemyakin, he's doing great job - but for long time he was posting message after message without any feedback, he posts neat and simple synthesis, you can't congrats on this, you really don't have anything special to say about them usually, but he invested a lot of effort to find those patterns.

simsim314

Posts: 1702
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 1:27 pm

### Re: Like button in forum request

I like the idea of having different "categories" for the like/dislike buttons if they're implemented. It's a good way to separate "I upvoted this post because I think it's funny" from "This is a really interesting idea and I want to see where it goes" and "Wow, nice work on this great pattern" and stuff like that.
bobo2b3o2b2o2bo3bobo$obobobo3bo2bobo3bobo$obobob2o2bo2bobo3bobo$o3bobo3bo2bobobobo$o3bob3o2b2o3bobo2bo!

SuperSupermario24

Posts: 120
Joined: July 22nd, 2014, 12:59 pm
Location: Within the infinite expanses of the Life universe

### Re: Like button in forum request

I think that a "rating" feature seems like a good idea - a like or dislike might not be enough to convey what you want to say, but maybe the person making the post should be able to allow or disallow rating on their post - similar to sites where you can enable or disable comments. I don't think that people here are immature enough to engage in contests to see who can get the highest rating/likes or whatever.

gmc_nxtman

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