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Suggest FT add “Like” button [implemented 9 Aug 2017]

Old Aug 8, 2017, 9:37 am
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Last edit by: JDiver
The new "Like" "button"

When you click on the "Like" button, it registers the handle of the user liking the post in a horizontal box immediately below the "Like" button. "Liking" a post also optionally sends a notification to the post owner. "Like" notifications appear in Your Control Panel in My FlyerTalk.

To turn the notification function on or off, look in Your Control Panel and Settings & Options under Messaging & Notification:

Likes Notifications:
  • Enable Likes Notifications
  • Disable Likes Notifications

NOTE: Editing a post causes the "Likes" to disappear for a short period of time. They are restored after that pause.

To report issues, problems etc. please visit this thread in the Technical Support and Feedback forum: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/technical-support-feedback/1863159-new-like-button-information-issues-discussion.html

LIST OF SUGGESTIONS, PROS and CONS discussed in thread:

Please add all your suggestions since implementation, August 9 2017:
  1. Modify Like button to take up less real estate - ie, put the button w/ the other buttons & likes under signatures or list only if hover
  2. Allow members to completely turn off the ability to see likes
  3. Use Helpful instead of Like
  4. Completely eliminate Like button
  5. Do not display handles of those who Liked the post

"Some FTers are supportive of like/helpful button. Some are not. Some on both sides of the issue have questions, concerns and/or need more info. This wiki attempts to highlight them in bullet format/"cliff notes" version from the 566 posts made in prior Talkboard thread, which had 700 posts. More detailed information regarding the pros/cons/questions/concerns/info can be garnered by reading the entire thread, where FTers on both sides of the like/helpful button have been eloquent/provided valuable input. When TalkBoard last polled FT members, the result of the poll was in favour of introducing likes (by a considerable margin)

Pros:
* Make Flyertalk more modern/more like Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social media sites
* A like/helpful button would minimize unnecessary replies such as +1.
* Streamlines posts
* The value add of showing likes, helpful votes, etc. is that it can surface good content and get more views for it
* Positive feedback incentivizes quality content/FTers will post more
* Some people won’t take time to write a thank you but will post a like
* Those with more likes/helpfuls are considered knowledgable

Cons:
* Makes Flyertalk more like Facebook/dumbs it down
* FT had rating system here years ago and it did not go well
* System can be gamed/cliques develop
* Clutters up posts/takes up valuable screen space
* Will not eliminate +1s/+1s also provide positive feedback
* Posts that have inaccurate info can also get likes/doesn't mean poster is knowledgable
* If FTers post info & it doesn't get likes/helpfuls, less incentive to post more
* Some who might have posted info in the past will now just post like, so less information provided to other FTers.

Questions, concerns about how it will work, and/or information based on brief internal trial already done (trial done last time it came up for discussion)
* If implemented, can FTers who prefer not to utilize the like/helpful button turn it off so that they don't see it at all?
* Is there a software way to separate likes of posts from posters? (Limited trial indicates no; don't know if software can be changed to do so)
* Can a post/day count be implemented before implementing for FTers, similar Omni/CC? (Yes)
* Can certain forums have it turned off such as Omni? (No, current software is it's either all forums or none)
* If a sitewide trial is created, what are the metrics for success or failure?
* What is the goal of this/how will the data be used?
* If customization of current software is required, will this take away from development on other projects such as a better mobile app?
* Will or can there be a dislike/unhelpful button?
* What happens if a post that is "liked" gets its content edited and ends up having a different meaning than it initially had at the time the post was "liked"?
* Can threads or individual posts deemed helpful be bookmarked/saved?"

IBobi responded to theses comments and questions here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28664495-post59.html


Print Wikipost

Suggest FT add “Like” button [implemented 9 Aug 2017]

Old Aug 8, 2017, 6:46 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by javabytes
I support a Like button, to the extent that it stops people from posting "+1" or "^" replies, and actually reduces clutter. But that's all a Like system should be. Not a rating. No disliking. No scores visible for users.
+1

(In all seriousness, I do fully agree with this post, and wish there were another way to express this without clogging up the thread with this very post!)
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 7:02 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by Deltus
+1

(In all seriousness, I do fully agree with this post, and wish there were another way to express this without clogging up the thread with this very post!)
I have often wished to be able to "like" a post without adding a +1 post, so I'm on board with this suggestion.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 7:57 am
  #48  
 
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Over the last few days I've reached for the nonexistent "Like" button several times. Another forum I participate in has one and I find it very useful.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 8:01 am
  #49  
 
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I am in favor of a Like button.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 8:07 am
  #50  
 
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I'm for a like button, you may want to agree with someone without actually making a post or putting a +1. A dislike isn't necessary IMHO.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 8:58 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by stheller
I have often wished to be able to "like" a post without adding a +1 post, so I'm on board with this suggestion.
+1

(enough said IMHO)
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 9:20 am
  #52  
 
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I support a like and/or helpful button.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 9:36 am
  #53  
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If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium - or, every couple of years the topic comes up on FT.

Before The Suggestion Box, it was brought up for TalkBoard (TB) consideration in 2013, 2014, 2015. There was never a massive outpouring/clamoring for the feature by FTers, and even judging by this thread before it got posted on TalkMail that hasn't changed.

The thread in TB is 700 posts long re: pros/cons. At the 566 mark in that thread I created a wiki for it, which summarized the pros/cons/concerns (which I didn't realize until I re-read the entire thread after seeing the topic mentioned on TalkMail this morning).So - to save others having to wade through reading 700 posts, here's the summary of pros/cons/concerns from the other thread, which are still applicable today.

"Some FTers are supportive of like/helpful button. Some are not. Some on both sides of the issue have questions, concerns and/or need more info. This wiki attempts to highlight them in bullet format/"cliff notes" version from the 566 posts made in this thread. More detailed information regarding the pros/cons/questions/concerns/info can be garnered by reading the entire thread, where FTers on both sides of the like/helpful button have been eloquent/provided valuable input.

Pros:
* Make Flyertalk more modern/more like Facebook
* A like/helpful button would minimize unnecessary replies such as +1.
* Streamlines posts
* Positive feedback incentivizes quality content/FTers will post more
* Some people won’t take time to write a thank you but will post a like
* Those with more likes/helpfuls are considered knowledgable

Cons:
* Makes Flyertalk more like Facebook/dumbs it down
* FT had rating system here years ago and it did not go well
* System can be gamed/cliques develop
* Clutters up posts/takes up valuable screen space
* Will not eliminate +1s/+1s also provide positive feedback
* Posts that have inaccurate info can also get likes/doesn't mean poster is knowledgable
* If FTers post info & it doesn't get likes/helpfuls, less incentive to post more
* Some who might have posted info in the past will now just post like, so less information provided to other FTers.

Questions, concerns about how it will work, and/or information based on brief internal trial already done (trial done last time it came up for discussion)
* If implemented, can FTers who prefer not to utilize the like/helpful button turn it off so that they don't see it at all?
* Is there a software way to separate likes of posts from posters? (Limited trial indicates no; don't know if software can be changed to do so)
* Can a post/day count be implemented before implementing for FTers, similar Omni/CC? (Yes)
* Can certain forums have it turned off such as Omni? (No, current software is it's either all forums or none)
* If a sitewide trial is created, what are the metrics for success or failure?
* What is the goal of this/how will the data be used?
* If customization of current software is required, will this take away from development on other projects such as a better mobile app?
* Will or can there be a dislike/unhelpful button?
* What happens if a post that is "liked" gets its content edited and ends up having a different meaning than it initially had at the time the post was "liked"?
* Can threads or individual posts deemed helpful be bookmarked/saved?"

Cheers.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 10:06 am
  #54  
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Thank you, Sharon, for adding that valuable post and Wikipost, both summarizing the history of "Like" on FlyerTalk and 700 posts worth of opinion.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 10:35 am
  #55  
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Nothing wrong with a like button - this is the 21st century after all
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 11:47 am
  #56  
 
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Moving from nay to yea

From a very infrequent contributor (but frequent visitor).
While I do not favor a like button precisely because (GentleGiant) it is so 21st century and as many have suggested the system can be easily gamed, I think it is impt for all of us to read and respect the opinion of a professional in this discussion (txirish). In conclusion txirish writes “Personally, I think the benefits make it worth trying. These features can be turned on easily enough, and turned off if they are getting abused. The admin team could monitor the activity to discourage obvious manipulation.”
So I would change my opinion to support adding features with the caveat that the admin. team can go back to square zero without further consultation on the matter if the changes don’t seem useful.
oliver2002 likes this.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 1:05 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by nurealam
“Personally, I think the benefits make it worth trying. These features can be turned on easily enough, and turned off if they are getting abused. The admin team could monitor the activity to discourage obvious manipulation.”
So I would change my opinion to support adding features with the caveat that the admin. team can go back to square zero without further consultation on the matter if the changes don’t seem useful.

How is that determined & which admin team is going to monitor it? IB, the mods?

Cheers.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 2:45 pm
  #58  
 
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I'm in favor of "like" to eliminate +1 posts.

I'm in favor of "helpful" to help me find useful posts in long threads. Really long threads / interesting topics get a wiki to help distill information but not all of them. I'd like to be able view a thread with posts sorted by most helpful first (yes I know that could make understanding chronological history of a long active topic difficult).

I don't need to see who likes or marks a post as helpful.

Anything can be gamed and if these features aren't useful they can be ignored or turned off later. I see little downside in trying this if the forum code supports it.
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 2:58 pm
  #59  
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"There was never a massive outpouring/clamoring for the feature"

Not really true. The reason this feature keeps coming up is because it is so desired. When we poll FTers on feature requests, "likes" is always near the top.

"FT had rating system here years ago and it did not go well"

This is not remotely that system and in fairness, a previous failure can't really be considered a "Con" for this one.

"System can be gamed/cliques develop"

It is true that people will be able to "like" the posts of others. Just as they can currently "+1" or "hear hear" etc etc etc the posts of others in their clique. As such, the "likes" system creates no additional cliquiness or gameability than the current, no-"likes" system.

Likewise, "Posts that have inaccurate info can also get likes/doesn't mean poster is knowledgable" and "If FTers post info & it doesn't get likes/helpfuls, less incentive to post more" are situations that do not change at all, whether "likes" is implemented or not, so they do not belong in the "pro" or "con" side at all.

"Clutters up posts/takes up valuable screen space"

Far, far less space than a "+1."

"Those with more likes/helpfuls are considered knowledgable"

In the current implementation being tested, there is no user "like" total, so this metric cannot be considered a "Pro." Only posts have totals.

Also a very big missing "Pro" (the biggest, by far in my opinion) is described very aptly below by txrish...

Originally Posted by txirish
I'm a long time forum admin, including vBulletin, and find FT to be one of the most useful, info-packed communities I've seen.

The value add of showing likes, helpful votes, etc. is that it can surface good content and get more views for it.

Personally, I think the benefits make it worth trying. These features can be turned on easily enough, and turned off if they are getting abused.

Questions/answered:

* If implemented, can FTers who prefer not to utilize the like/helpful button turn it off so that they don't see it at all?

I doubt we would implement the "like" feature at all if it were not "always on," since making it user-selectable would largely defeat its purpose. Users can choose not to "like" anything.

* Is there a software way to separate likes of posts from posters? (Limited trial indicates no; don't know if software can be changed to do so)

Likely it can be developed to exclude the "like"-er's username. We anticipate that including the username is actually a deterrent to any "abuse," as it is public.

* Can certain forums have it turned off such as Omni? (No, current software is it's either all forums or none)

Actually, yes, as tested we announced that it can be tailored forum by forum.

* If a sitewide trial is created, what are the metrics for success or failure?

Usage/adoption vs. issues created (if any), I would imagine.

* What is the goal of this/how will the data be used?

We have proposed adding a user-clickable "sort thread by likes" feature that would allow anyone to easily see the most-liked posts in a thread topic; as far as I know this is the only "use" for this that has been proposed.

* If customization of current software is required, will this take away from development on other projects such as a better mobile app?

There is no mobile FT app, nor are there any plans for one. We have a mobile skin, which is developed by a separate group of developers from those who work directly on FT. Apart from that, yes, development of any custom FT features is shared by the same pool of programmers.

* Will or can there be a dislike/unhelpful button?

No.

* What happens if a post that is "liked" gets its content edited and ends up having a different meaning than it initially had at the time the post was "liked"?

The same thing that happens when someone replies to a post under the same conditions today, without a "like" button. This is an issue with the post edit window, not with "likes".

* Can threads or individual posts deemed helpful be bookmarked/saved?

"Subscribe to thread" is unchanged.

Thanks all!
JonNYC, oliver2002 and jackal like this.

Last edited by IBobi; Aug 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm
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Old Aug 8, 2017, 4:16 pm
  #60  
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Just curious - when was the last time a poll of all FTers regarding their input on different items was done? Results (link)? I remember one where it went to specific FTers & was not opened to all of FT - which in my opinion defeated the purpose. You can't ask for input but exclude most from providing input.

My "cliff notes" above was culled from 700 posts in the TB thread discussing a likes button. More pros/cons were discussed with good arguments for/against in that thread. In my original cut/paste I had 5 pages in word of the arguments for/against/both sides before I decided to just post the 'cliff notes' version here. You might want to familiarize yourself with the overall thread, as it probably includes things that you (IB, not IBobi) haven't considered - which we've noticed when some of the other 'enhancements' have been rolled out by IB.

BTW - unless you've got numbers showing that thousands of FTers have been clamoring for a like button, I stand by my statement that based on the threads in Talkboard & Omnis there's not been a huge clamoring by FTers for a like button.

Heck, I bet if you put up a poll that said which would you prefer: A) a decent search function on FT; B) a 'like' button, A would win by substantial numbers @:-)

Case in point, I spent a great deal of time today searching for threads that I knew existed & FT search brought up buptkus/nada/zero, but if I searched for those threads via google & added Flyertalk to the search phrase, the appropriate thread came up immediately. I've seen multiple complaints in forums all across FT re: FT's incredibly poor search function; that complaint seems to outnumber the ones asking for like.

I don't see why a like feature can't be turned on/off, like other features of FT& that would be my & a # of other FTers preference. It's not self-defeating. If I as a user/contributor of FT don't want to be bothered to either post a like or - more importantly - view the likes (because I literally don't care if a post gets a like or not), I don't see why I should be forced to view them. If someone wants to view them, they can keep the feature turned on. Having the option of turning it on/off makes FTers able to use FT in a manner that works besst for them.

And if I have to see the user names of those who have posted likes, that's going to turn FT into as big a mess for viewing as Milepoint was - and one reason I stopped going to Milepoint. Also, saying that it can'be gamed is silly IMO. There are plenty of ways it can be gamed. FTers even counted the ways in the 700 post thread. And BTW - posts have user names associated w/ them, so saying it's the post & never the FTer is a bit naive.

Just like TB rarely closed a forum that it opened, I would say the odds of IB turning off/eliminating a like button after it was created are slim to zip (just as they haven't changed things they 'enhanced' that FTers didn't like), so a bit of sophistry there. Heck, there have been complaints about other things IB has implemented (w/ minimal input by FTers) & when there were complaints by FTers after they were implemented, were basically told tough patooties. So I'm very skeptical that this would be turned off once it was created.

Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; Aug 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm
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