Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

My thoughts on and motivation behind GoBlog reactions

Published on in ✍️ Posts
Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/5ad

Yesterday I announced a spontaneously developed GoBlog feature, reactions. The post also got a lot of reactions, over 900 times the buttons were pressed. But I also got some comments.

The idea came to me after reading a post on Bear Blog. Under each post there is a button “Toast this post”. Also Philipp’s Blog had such a possibility once, to give each post one or more hearts. But also Disqus offers reactions, which are probably most similar with my implementation.

But so that reactions don’t have too much influence on what I write, I deliberately took care of the following:

  • Anyone can send as many reactions as they want. This way it is not possible to determine how many people have read a post or how well the post was received on average. The only thing that is saved is the count.
  • There are no notifications for new reactions, no statistics about reactions or anything like that. By doing this, I want to reduce the incentives to go “hunting for likes”.
  • Reactions are only displayed under the post itself. Nowhere else.
  • Reactions are an optional feature, so they have to be explicitly enabled and, if enabled, can be disabled per post.

Even before that, GoBlog already had different ways to react to posts. On the one hand of course by comments, on the other hand by Webmentions or ActivityPub. So it is possible to create a like, repost or reply on your own website and then send a webmention. Same with ActivityPub, so it is possible to reply to posts on Mastodon, to like or share them.

However, now that I have reactions and have made a conscious decision not to send notifications, perhaps I should also revise ActivityPub’s handling of likes and reposts, which still generate notifications but are not displayed. However, this has always been a good way to discover interesting Fediverse profiles. Maybe I should make the notifications and display optional as well?

Of course, I can’t say yet how reactions will affect my blog behavior in the long run, but I think my self-confidence is high enough not to attach too much importance to reactions. Much more than anonymous reactions from the internet are actually reactions to blog articles from people in my “real” life. From time to time I wish I had a completely anonymous blog where I could write about anything.

So why did I implement reactions at all? On the one hand I wanted to program something again, on the other hand I want to give a possibility to leave feedback to posts in a simple way, without much effort. The feedback is probably not very meaningful, but it can show that I’m not always just shouting into the void and which posts might be particularly well received and what I could write more about. Lately, unfortunately, I sometimes lack ideas.

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Jan-Lukas Else
Interactions & Comments