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"Like" Button?

View Poll Results: Q: What is your view on FlyerTalk implementing a "Helpful" button feature?
Support
433
59.72%
Oppose
275
37.93%
No opinion
17
2.34%
Voters: 725. You may not vote on this poll

"Like" Button?

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Old Nov 21, 15, 7:56 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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 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:
* Makes Flyertalk more modern; more like Facebook, LinkedIn, and other progressive internet bulletin boards
* 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 it easier for airlines/companies to find mistake fares/glitches/underground tricks
* 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.
* Older posts will tend to have more likes/helpfuls on average than newer posts in the same thread, which can be misleading when the information is out-of-date. [added by MSPeconomist]

Questions, concerns about how it will work, and/or information based on brief internal trial already done
* If implemented, can FTers who prefer not to utilize the like/helpful button turn it off so that they don't see it?
* 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?
* Can users "opt out" and select to remove all trace of the system, as is currently possible with the ignore list and removing view of signatures?
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Old Jan 18, 15, 2:12 pm
  #706  
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post
Because I'm suddenly featured on the front page, referenced in a blog or put on a toplist or my post is suddenly used out of context. Your second sentence says you already have intentions to use the collected data in other ways than just to provide feedback.
I don't see a big difference between Helpful votes and "Suggest this thread for TalkMail". Nobody has ever asked for ability to prevent others from suggesting your thread for TalkMail.
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Old Jan 18, 15, 5:47 pm
  #707  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
IMHO
I could be wrong and hope that I am but
It's a done deal anyway
Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
I'm getting much the same feeling.
The "Like" button is a horrible idea. The whole thing is solution in search of a problem, and seems to be championed for no real reason by a few members. I have seen no good arguments for it, and a number of good arguments against it.

Along with anticipated problems, like manipulation of "like" counts by FTers accustomed to playing point maximization games and little cliques of the like minded, there will certainly be other, unanticipated problems.

As far as manipulating points/counts, the strange way the poll progressed has raised many eyebrows.

The disingenuous attempt at making the whole implementation less visible and less obviously what it is by relabeling the "Like" button a "Helpful" button to disguise a very unpopular concept is also disturbing.

I strongly encourage Talkboard to vote down this bad idea. We are not Facebook.
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Old Jan 18, 15, 6:32 pm
  #708  
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people seriously *still* working this angle???

Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
..As far as manipulating points/counts, the strange way the poll progressed has raised many eyebrows.
If by "raised eyebrows" you mean "silly, unfounded, ridiculous accusations and far-fetched, foil-hat, laughable, conspiracy theories-- with absolutely, positively no foundation in fact whatsoever," then, yes, true, good point.
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Old Jan 18, 15, 9:08 pm
  #709  
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Cool

Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
If by "raised eyebrows" you mean "silly, unfounded, ridiculous accusations and far-fetched, foil-hat, laughable, conspiracy theories-- with absolutely, positively no foundation in fact whatsoever," then, yes, true, good point.
You've got your opinions, I've got mine. I routinely look at data sets and know when something seems odd.
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Old Jan 18, 15, 9:39 pm
  #710  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
You've got your opinions, I've got mine. I routinely look at data sets and know when something seems odd.
Even anomalies in an election or poll pattern may have explanations that aren't rooted in anything beyond lobbying cliques getting their act together to try to sway the vote as they wish. Think of it sort of like when different groups run around herding bus loads of the elderly from select assisted living/nursing home facilities and dump them all at once at polling stations to vote against a public school funding bill -- that too sort of in hopes that exit poll data being disseminated widely publicly will sway further votes as they wish. People who voted early against this change probably did much the same, just not with as much (if any) lobbying effort beyond this thread. That said, people who voted in favor of a Facebook-like change seem to have latched onto different ideas of what this feature will be like even when there has been limited clarity about what version of this feature will be delivered -- a great vehicle for gathering votes is when the "change" marketed is rather amorphous in nature and subject to change/re-definition by administrative sort of fiat even post-voting/polling.

In plenty of places, who cast a vote in elections is public info -- even the means of voting and when the person voted is public info. That info being out there in public does have some substantial history of reducing voting fraud/irregularities.

Speaking of voting, there is nothing inherently undemocratic about requiring all members with voting rights to exercise their voting right as a condition of participation in society, even if the exercise is to cast a ballot that selects no candidate/proposal. FT/IB can't do that sort of thing, annoying as it may be?

Last edited by GUWonder; Jan 18, 15 at 9:57 pm
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Old Jan 18, 15, 10:02 pm
  #711  
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GUWonder, that is the explanation that seems likely to me as well. But that does lead to a skew in the data.
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Old Jan 18, 15, 10:02 pm
  #712  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I don't see a big difference between Helpful votes and "Suggest this thread for TalkMail". Nobody has ever asked for ability to prevent others from suggesting your thread for TalkMail.
In contrast to the “like” button system, submitting suggestions for inclusion in the TalkMail newsletter is completely anonymous to fellow FlyerTalk members; is not “invasive” to the profile of a FlyerTalk member; and submitting a suggestion does not automatically guarantee publication.

After all, as you said...
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
No consequences should flow from vote count of your posts, other than a possible inclusion in TalkMail or a curated FT home page. Both of those are built by people who can read.
By the way — what is with you and the number 666?!?
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
We now have 666.
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Oooooh, I made post 666!
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Old Jan 19, 15, 12:49 am
  #713  
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post
I believe it was phrased as an wish for a absolutely mandatory feature of the system by those who raised it, not a nice to have.
I saw the original request for it that way, but ultimately I don't think one or a handful of requests counts as by any means a consensus that it's necessary or even desirable.

To be clear, "nice to have" is just my opinion of it; I speak for nobody else.

On views, the purpose of the opt out is to save screen space, to not clutter the view or draw attention to something the user has no interest in
Sure.

and to be presented the threads without any filtering, re-ordering or other manipulation of the discussion flow (should such functions be developed).
Even for those of us who want the basic mechanism, any of the above should be optional (and ideally opt-in, rather than opt-out.)

On participation, the purpose of the opt out is again to keep unnecessary screen objects out of sight, even though this might be a minor issue - a like button can be constructed without stealing much space.
This is fine, although
I could even be implemented as a "Post-tools drop-down", analogous to the thread-tools and the forum-tools drop-downs.
...I think to the extent that this obscures the feature for new users, it's not a plus; I think it's an uncommon opinion in this thread, but one of the reasons I favor a like* button is that it's an engagement mechanism to bring people in who aren't (yet) comfortable taking a more active part in the direct conversation threads.

But more importantly, I think the opt out for participation includes the possibility to not have your posts voted on
IMO, this is disruptive, and to an extent an unwarranted limit on other people's ability to comment on your post. It's rather like having a "don't allow people to quote my replies" checkbox.

not having your posts or username appearing in top-lists or automatically featured on the blogs, frontpage et.c. (should such functions be implemented).
Should such functions be implemented (and to the extent they aren't, already) there's no reason to tie any opt-out for such appearances to the like button, and while I'm more sympathetic to that then "I don't want other people to be able to 'like' my posts" in general, I think that it's an issue that should be addressed separately.

Originally Posted by nsx View Post
As I said, the latter is not something I support. No consequences should flow from vote count of your posts, other than a possible inclusion in TalkMail or a curated FT home page. Both of those are built by people who can read.
...and for someone truly concerned, they could potentially end up there even without "like" as both of those already exist.

The former sounds difficult to implement, but I will ask. The software would need to allow or not allow the button post by post, according to the preferences of the poster. That seems over the top, especially given that only upvotes are allowed. Besides, if you disable display any Helpful votes, how would you know whether anyone had voted on your posts?
I'd say it's potentially worse than over the top -- it could end up being confusing and/or frustrating, not to mention the potential feelings that it's censorship.
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Old Jan 19, 15, 1:05 am
  #714  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I don't see a big difference between Helpful votes and "Suggest this thread for TalkMail". Nobody has ever asked for ability to prevent others from suggesting your thread for TalkMail.
Originally Posted by Canarsie View Post
In contrast to the “like” button system, submitting suggestions for inclusion in the TalkMail newsletter is completely anonymous to fellow FlyerTalk members; is not “invasive” to the profile of a FlyerTalk member; and submitting a suggestion does not automatically guarantee publication.
...
Yes, my point too.

And also, when pressing "Suggest to talkmail" it is pretty clear to the user what will happen - the thread will be suggested to be included in talkmail. The user can understand the consequences of the action.
The usage of the like/helpful vote is much more sneaky - it is in no way clear to the "liker" that the action will lead to anything besides a thumbs up on the post.


Another difference between the two functions is that one works on a thread and the other works on a single post. A single post is uniquely associated with a single member. A single post, outside its context can be read as something completely different than the poster intended.


The "no one ever asked for opt out on suggest to talkmail" is not a very good argument to not include opt-out when designing a new feature. In my mind, if the summary of this thread states "opt-out is just a nice to have", it suggests nsx read this thread very selectively.


If opt-out is left out, I guess members who doesn't want to be voted upon can resort to self-censoring by refraining from posting helpful things. This is in fact what has happened on some social media sites, where users have learned the hard way that they have very little control over how posted material is used.

Last edited by intuition; Jan 19, 15 at 1:10 am Reason: spelling
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Old Jan 19, 15, 2:18 am
  #715  
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post
In my mind, if the summary of this thread states "opt-out is just a nice to have", it suggests nsx read this thread very selectively.
His words were:
"The next two functions are a trade-off between value and implementation cost, and I don't yet have any information on the latter. So these will take time to research:"

"Nice to have" was my own unsolicited opinion of the feature.

If opt-out is left out, I guess members who doesn't want to be voted upon can resort to self-censoring by refraining from posting helpful things.
Yes, taking one's marbles and going home is always an option.

This is in fact what has happened on some social media sites, where users have learned the hard way that they have very little control over how posted material is used.
I'm fairly sure the T&C here gives IB more latitude about how to use whatever you post here than most things posted to major social media sites (especially in light of the Facebook-FTC settlement.) If nothing else, the grant of license here is specifically listed as "irrevokable" whereas Facebook and Google's social features (although not some other parts of Google's services) explicitly give you the right to delete your content and end their license to reuse it.

The possibility of a more general opt-out, and to whatever extent IB is willing to allow it, is worth looking into. I really don't see how the addition of a "like" feature in any way changes the basic nature of it, nor how it makes it somehow more likely that IB will reuse posted content with or without attribution.

(I have no idea if IB is sophisticated enough to data-mine "likes" but even if they do, it's hard to see the impact of that on the person receiving the "likes" -- the value of a "like" in data mining or advertising is almost entirely based on the person doing the "liking" and not the underlying content.)
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Old Jan 19, 15, 2:35 am
  #716  
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Originally Posted by nkedel View Post
His words were:
"The next two functions are a trade-off between value and implementation cost, and I don't yet have any information on the latter. So these will take time to research:"

"Nice to have" was my own unsolicited opinion of the feature.

...
Fair enough.
I used "nice to have" as the established term for things deemed not essential for project approval, which was my interpretation of nsx's second paragraph. It doesn't literally say that in the OP, but I found the later reply to indicate this indeed was the case.
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Old Jan 19, 15, 3:52 pm
  #717  
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Originally Posted by nkedel View Post
Yes, taking one's marbles and going home is always an option.
So getting "likes" is more important than keeping members and their contributions?
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Old Jan 19, 15, 8:15 pm
  #718  
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
So getting "likes" is more important than keeping members and their contributions?
To some, apparently, it is.
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Old Jan 20, 15, 12:44 am
  #719  
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
So getting "likes" is more important than keeping members and their contributions?
I think the number of people who'd leave over the lack of an opt-out (especially if there was a "don't show me this feature" option) would be vanishingly small; the benefit of likes -- more modern appearance and easier engagement for new users -- both helps bring new people in.

Even if my guess is wrong, as a general rule, I'd err on the side of the latter.
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Old Jan 20, 15, 2:27 am
  #720  
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I never said said leaving, though.

The self-censoring however is documented on other social media sites and the threat of fewer and/or lower quality contributions is real and not vanishingly small. But I guess it is pointless having this discussion. If you like the like, then nothing's gonna change that.
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