Long, long ago when I was posting on the Boing Boing discussion forums I had a thought: what is a good average likes-per-post to aspire to? I looked at my likes and posts and found that it was a little over five per post, and that seemed like a good ratio. I patted myself on the back and moved on.
Then Boing Boing moved from Disqus to Discourse. I think there were really three big changes to the discussion forums that occurred around that time:
- Disqus allowed “likes” from non-logged in readers or people without accounts.
- Discourse moved the comments off of the published page, meaning you had to open a while new page to even see comments.
- Probably about 99.9999% of Boing Boing viewership and discussion moved off to Face***k.
Anyway, as I started anew, with fresh metrics, I quickly found that reaching that ratio was suddenly very hard work. A comment that would have easily gotten 10 likes on Disqus might get one on Discourse. Don’t really have an opinion on whether this is better or worse, but that old ratio stuck with me. Pushed above three pretty quickly, then it became a slow grind to work up to four. Then, after almost a year of grinding through increasingly fine decimal points I pushed over the top today.
The screenshot is actually a crude rounding: the actual numbers a little more esoteric:
Now that the pressure is off, I suspect that ratio will slip a bit in the near future, as I become a little less circumspect in my commenting.
Like all metrics, I think it probably doesn’t necessarily promote the best commenting behavior, although anything that makes me think twice before shitposting is probably at least a marginally good thing.