My position on the “Like” and “Reblog” debate

There are a number of discussions taking place here on WordPress at the moment regarding the recent introduction on WordPress.com of “Like” and “Reblog” features.

In the main I have been following the debate on TimeThief‘s blog and through the Forum (until this subject was closed to further debate by the Ministry of Silly Wa*ks), although many other WordPress bloggers have also been up in arms about the way the whole thing was implemented.

Anyway, I think it’s about time I clarified my own personal position with regard to these new features from the point of view of a general user of WordPress and skirting around, where possible, the political issues surrounding the rights/wrongs of Reblogging.

I will address them both individually.

“Like”

I am unreservedly in favour of this feature.

Yes, there are things like Stumble (which I use for fun sometimes), but I have been crying out for an easy way to flag up within WordPress alone posts that I want to comment on, expand on, re-read, highlight to other readers, or whatever. It makes my life so much simpler that I can now do this within WordPress and not have to bookmark them in some other place where I am likely to struggle to find them again.

When my computer is on at home I have WordPress and my email open all the time; everything else is transient.

For someone like me, who experiences difficulties with organisation, short-term memory, procedural issues etc due to the after effects of mild Traumatic Brain Injury it is a Godsend.

Thank you WordPress !

( I wish they did a :clap: Smilie…… )

“Reblog” (my use of)

Keeping this to a purely personal viewpoint, I don’t see a lot of use for it.

The chances are that if I feel like quoting a post from another WordPress blog, it will not be the first 50 – 70 words or so that I will be wanting to quote.

I am perfectly capable of using copy/paste and (except when I screw it up when trying to use it in comments on other people’s blogs) I know how to use blockquote.

When I quote from another blog I know how to properly attribute and provide links so that my reader(s) can refer to the complete original should he/she so desire.

So will I use Reblog ? … probably never.

“Reblog” (other people using it to quote me)

That would be the day ! Haha !

But seriously, I have been quoted on a couple of occasions by other people (as far as I am aware) and on those occasions the proper links and credits were duly given, and gratitude for the “Heads Up” returned (I hope).

One cannot stop the use of copy/paste oneself on WordPress (as far as I am aware) but if, however, I found that somebody was actually using Reblog to pass one of my posts off as their own and without due credit then I would be down on them like a ton of bricks !

Options

As someone who built his career developing software I am from the school of experience that says “Everything should be optional“.

The “Like” feature should be optional, the “Reblog” feature should be optional.

What has confused the issue somewhat is that WordPress chose to incorporate both of these “features” under the one button… “*Like”.

Having just purchased the Edit CSS upgrade for one of my blogs immediately prior to this debate unfolding I could quite easily use that to block off these features… both of them. Not just one, because they both stem from the same button !

Because I particularly want to try to protect my copyright on that blog I have to stop people from liking the posts on it ?! That is crazy !

Stay behind after class, WordPress.

An aside…

I am also very miffed that one has to purchase the CSS upgrade on a blog-by-blog basis.

Being a techie by nature I love to play around with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and the like but, since my earning ability is so severely restricted since my accident, I am not made of money !

I would dearly love to have the upgrade on all my blogs but simply cannot afford it. It would genuinely be that or food.

It may be good from a WP Corporate profit point of view, but I do wish they allowed you to buy it at a user level.

Mind you, there are a whole lot of things I could rant about if I went down that line, so I had better stop now.

Conclusions

WordPress seem to have been in a hell of a hurry to implement new features, themes and the like lately.

I recognise that they are in a competitive market and want to stay ahead of the game where they can, and keep pace with others where they feel the need, but sometimes “More haste, less speed” would be appropriate.

I, like others, enjoy WordPress because it is a blogging platform. I have a severe dislike of all things Social Network. WordPress are dragging us kicking and screaming into the Social Network mindset without giving us the option of saying “That’s not for me”.

I feel they rushed the introduction of these new features without properly considering the best approach, pitch and development process.

Notwithstanding all the issues surrounding the Copyright debate, I would say…

Think again WordPress… separate these features, and make both of them optional.

Thanks for listening.

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3 Responses to “My position on the “Like” and “Reblog” debate”

  1. timethief Says:

    Hello there,
    Thanks for the backlink to my blog. The post in question Thumbs down on WordPress Reblogging is no longer at the top of the page. It attracted many comments wherein fellow bloggers expressed their concerns. I dislike the idea of purchasing upgrades to rid myself of unwanted features. Like you I believe every new feature ought to be optional. Unfortunately Matt is not amenable to offering an opt out option for the reblogging feature. I also sense we may be seeing additional social networking features introduced and I’m hoping they will be optional but only time will tell on both counts.

    Setting that matter aside, may you and your be well and happy always,
    TiTi

    • honorarynewfie Says:

      Hi TiTi,
      Yes, if WordPress want to add the features then I suppose there are people who will want them, but nothing should be “forced” on us “purists”.
      I may be a bit of a troglodyte but there are some things that just don’t sit well with me.
      Thanks for the good wishes, reciprocated of course.
      Stay safe.
      Tom

  2. My position on the “Like” and “Reblog” debate (via Honorarynewfie’s Blog Thing) | Jaikrishnag's Blog Says:

    […] My position on the “Like” and “Reblog” debate (via Honorarynewfie’s Blog Thing) Posted on September 16, 2010 by jaikrishnag There are a number of discussions taking place here on WordPress at the moment regarding the recent introduction on WordPress.com of "Like" and "Reblog" features. In the main I have been following the debate on TimeThief's blog and through the Forum (until this subject was closed to further debate by the Ministry of Silly Wa*ks), although many other WordPress bloggers have also been up in arms about the way the whole thing was implemented. Anyway … Read More […]


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