Use of "like" feature as feedback loop for Front Page Posts?

Hi @codinghorror and @beschizza,

I noticed that I’ve started clicking on “like” on the initial posts to the BBS that are automagically created under the author’s name when new postings happen to the BB front page.

I surveyed the 30 last active such threads (so you don’t have to - excluding all non-boing posts, natch), and see that a whopping 9 have had 1 person (and no more than one person) “like” that initial post. Some usual suspects including @JonasEggeater and @Cowicide seem to be early adopters.

By any metric, such as pageviews, or views of the comment thread, or number of unique comment thread participants, these “likes” on the initial post seem to be a far underestimation of the actual interest generated by the front-page post.

Certainly, there is a user-education dimension to improving the accuracy if you ever wanted to use it as a feedback metric for what the audience likes. Though, that could probably be accomplished via some auto-text added to the initial autopost that says something like “if you want to see more of this type of content on our front page then please click the like button.” Or, changing the feedback buttons on the intial auto-post for greater affordance.

I also recognize that the bb editors are famously independent and may not want such a feature / metric. But it might be of value to some other Discourse community, so here it is.

Kind regards,

ps- wow, @codinghorror, this is the first time I’ve seen the “your topic is similar to…” popup. That’s a fucking sweet idea, though only 1 of the 7 presented is in the ballpark (viz., “what about additional post reactions other than like”). What’s the percentage of how often a similar suggestion is clicked through compared to how often it is presented?

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I really like the “like” thing for first posts, and I’m impressed that you took the time to check and see how much it was used.

To me, right now, when I “like” the first posts, it means “I’m glad this got posted, but don’t have anything really useful to add to a conversation.” It would be great if it could be used as a metric to gauge which articles users prefer (I’m assuming that that would be useful to the editors), but @funruly, you’re exactly right; it would definitely need a PSA post by a mod, saying that people should start using the “like” button for that, or even, like you said, autotext at the end of the initial post.


I think I’ve mostly used it in that way, but I haven’t been super disciplined about it. I’m kinda anal about messy data, thus explaining my seeing this opportunity to be more explicit.

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Some usual suspects including @JonasEggeater and @Cowicide seem to be early adopters.
Wait... what did I do wrong now?

I don’t “like” the like on the first post because it is automatically generated. I don’t feel like the author knows or cares that I did it. Compare with liking one of the posts you guys/gals just painstakingly and manually typed in, above. Clearly a labor of love. There’s nothing I enjoy more than slamming “like” on a new post by a new grey-username user that is clearly awesome. Yes more of this please!

I think a better metric for how much the community liked a particular BB topic is:

  • how many people visited the associated discussion topic?
  • how many people replied?

Now it’s true that this does weight heavily towards controversial political stuff – things that inspire, uh, “spirited” discussion. I don’t know how to reconcile that. (Other than observing that political/controversial posts are often found elsewhere and BB is better off focusing on less mainstream weird/obscure/mutant stuff.) Anyway, the goal of Discourse (and thus BBS) is to encourage fun dinner party type discussions associated with the parent site. Anything else is not really in our wheelhouse.

To be honest I think the best feedback loops for the front page posts probably require front page metrics; how many people viewed the post there? Or even add thumbs up and thumbs down buttons on the main page, though that seems… rather antithetical to the BB philosophy as I understand it. Anyway, by the time someone has clicked “discuss” (or started on BBS) it’s a pretty select (and fucking awesome) audience.


Was that a serendipitous typo or are you just that magically awesome in creating new words?

its hardly a new word, but cool that its new to you!


Two questions:

  • was that Match Game?

  • How did you embed a photo/gif without it also linking to an off-site page?

I have no idea, I google image searched for “magic hands gif” and found that deliciousness.

As for embedding, if you post an image URL on a blank line, Discourse automagically assumes you want it embedded. A round of applause for Jeff and team:

This embedding also works for web urls where the original site has embeddable previews, twtitter, and who knows what else. But it’s fun to play with.

Thanks. I’ve had no trouble posting links, including links to photos or videos on normal sites, but I tried to post a photo I’d uploaded to photobucket and what I got was either all the code showing but no photo or at best the link showed (with the URL exposed) but at least DID go to the photo in question. I can’t figure out what was different in this case.

The link has to end in .jpg/.png/etc in order to embed. The system will edit your post to convert your linked picture to a picture a few minutes after you post. If you go to “Edits” under funruly’s profile, you will see “We have downloaded copies of the remote images”.

If you do not want to upload something to an image hosting website, just drag and drop the picture into the reply box.

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I was thinking of copy and paste, ctrl+c and ctrl+v. That only works in Chrome and Firefox.

Yes, drag and drop of images (from desktop) works in most browsers.

Ah, ok. I haven’t tried that.

Hey, by the way, how did you make “ctrl+c” and “ctrl+v” look so cool in your post? I mean the thing where they look like click-able buttons. Is that something I can do?


View source tells me to use this: <kbd>test</kbd>


Thank you; I’ll try that.
Right now.


OMG, I was trying to be so clever and I didn’t need to do any of that! It’s just I don’t normally post my own photos and I try to maintain at least reasonable privacy levels online, so I assumed I needed to put an extra level between me and the photo.

Thank you so much.

And see, this was the part that was worrying me…I didn’t know to wait a few minutes, so all I saw was the link fully available, taking anyone who clicked on it to my photobucket account. Yes, I’ve got the folders marked as private, but we all know it’s not that hard to maneuver around such things (for those who care to). Not that I have a lot of photos available…it’s more the principle of the thing.

Thanks again.

You’re welcome : )

Some people (cough @Cowicide cough) continue to use the like button in this manner.

Hey @codinghorror, any stats on this, now that we’re some six-months since I originally axed the question?