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Why do you Like?

I’m… like… confused about why… like…  people… like… like, if you… like… know what I mean.

Facebook is the mother of likes, I think. It has many objects you can like. Posts, comments, pages, photos. In WordPress, you can like blog posts.

But why? Why does anyone like anything? Possibly you:

  • Just want to show you like the object.
  • Want to show you agree with the object.
  • Don’t have anything particular to say about the obect.
  • Are to lazy to say anything about the object.
  • Don’t particularly like the object but want to encourage the person who created or posted it. Saying, “This is awesome!” would be going too far, but one click of a like… well, that’s OK if it makes someone feel good.

While these can all be valid reasons, surely when you click that four-letter word you’re aware that you’ve made yourself  visible to a lot of people, some of whom might know you or know of you, but most of whom will not. Surely you’re aware of the possibility that some people might want to know more about this person who clicked this button.

In WordPress, in order to like a post you need to have defined a gravatar. I have no idea why it works in this way, but it does. A gravatar is a sort of profile. It tells people things about you. In particular, when you define your gravatar, or when you edit it, you can add links to it. You can direct people to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile or whatever you like.

And this leads to the reason why I’m confused.

Confused

Of the (currently) five people who liked my last post, only one has any link at all on their gravatar. And that one contains two links that no longer exist and no link to the author’s blog, although I know he has one.

And I ask myself

WhySurely most people who press like, especially on a blog post that is usually viewed by other bloggers, are interested in publicity. Surely they want new followers and are keen for others to find them.

So why don’t they all update their gravatars and include links to their blogs/websites/social media profiles? Perhaps they:

  • Don’t know how to.
  • Can’t remember their password.
  • Can’t be bothered.
  • Other (please state).

Those problems can be solved. I think it’s important to solve them. Don’t you?

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life.

8 replies on “Why do you Like?”

Why indeed?
I am one who’s gravatar needed updating. Oops, smack on the hand and well deserved too.
Thanks for the prod.
I do ‘likes’ as sort of ‘thank you’ but I do usually comment as well but not always.
I guess it’s something I do to encourage and tell someone their voice is being heard by someone, other wise one can feel like one is speaking in to a vast impersonal void.

You’re the only one of the five who could be accessed at all, even before you updated. It’s great to encourage the blogger, but if they don’t know who you are, they might want to find out more from the gravatar and would be disappointed if it turned out to be a dead end.

I was almost afraid to “Like” your post, but I overcame my anxiety and clicked away. I generally bestow the “Like” to posts, not necessarily blogs, based on the style with which it is written. The subject matter is important, but I appreciate good writing. (I sincerely hope my gravatar is updsted to include a link to my blog.)

Don’t be afraid to come back. I’m not usually critical and I wasn’t really in this post. I just think it’s to the liker’s advantage to have the gravatar link to something.

i like Liking most writer-related things if I am either in agreement with it or I can see valid points. I don’t have a gravatar for WordPress so can’t like this post. But I do like it 🙂

You make some good points, Miriam. It’s got me thinking about why I sometimes click ‘like’ without leaving a comment. If I ‘like’ a post, it means I liked reading it, found it interesting, and wanted the writer to know that their post is being read. I suppose it is sometimes a bit lazy of me when a comment, as well as or instead of a ‘like, would be better. But, as a blogger myself, I do lap up the acknowledgement that at least someone has read my post, which I get from the ‘likes’.

The question about gravatars is one that I’ve often thought about. I, too, don’t understand why many people, who I know have got blogs, don’t link their blog to their gravatar. It’s frustrating, as you say, to want to find out about a person, click to get to their gravatar and then come to a dead end. I used to have a blog with Blogger where one click on the respondent’s ‘icon’ always linked directly to that person’s blog. This was better, but, as you say, WordPress users can easily link their gravatar to their blog but so often they don’t.

Me, too. I like to get ‘likes’, although comments are even better. And I often ‘like’ other posts, thinking I don’t have anything else to say. Sometimes it’s not laziness but a lack of confidence in my ability to say anything worthwhile. And I call myself a writer!

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