Remind me why Commonfare doesn't have likes or shares, or a count of article reads, or any kind of reputation or trust, or notifications, or really any of the other public participation and feedback options that are the foundations of contemporary social media? Currently there are almost 900 Commoners who can write stories, or comment. Very few do either.
Say I write a story, and post it to Commonfare. Maybe it gets read, maybe not, I have no way of knowing. If i‘m very lucky I’ll get a comment or two, which i try to answer, but so far no real conversation grows from that. After the first few days, no new comments. Without any other action, after a week or so the story fades, never to be heard of again.
How many people read my story? I don't actually know. Did anyone like my story, but maybe didn't want to log in and comment? Maybe someone liked my story but didn't have really anything to reply? No idea, because there is no like button, no read count. Why should I or any other commoner continue contributing when there is so little sign of interest or feedback? Just because I want to share?
Maybe some people think a like button is too superficial, and that Commoners should be more engaged and write comments. But not everyone (and currently not many commoners) write comments. Of course, maybe commoners are enthusiastically sharing private messages and discussing the stories...
I had hoped the ‚social graph‘ could illuminate somehow, but that thing has no instructions, and no clue about my story activity there. Except...is the social graph calculated by comments? And why isn't the social graph interactive already? Why is it buried in a tiny link at the bottom of the page? What does it actually tell us? It's clearly not very important, or we'd see it front and center, no?
Commonfare wants to be a community, and without a fixed place to meet up and exchange, it exists online. Its form, function and intentions are all about social and sharing, but it's not really speaking the language of participation as netizens know it. There are a whole range of social engagement tools that people use every day, these could add to the Commonfare experience, and get people involved.
Baby steps, I say. Some simper, easier forms of interacting with stories and other commoners could encourage more people to act in the community. Liking is easier than commenting, why not offer that chance to people? Not everyone's participation urges are fulfilled by commenting. Not everyone has time for that.
Funny thing is, the site statistics tell us that most traffic to new stories on commonfare comes from...posting Commonfare stories to facebook. So why don’t we have a social media share button, to make it easy for people to share to facebook, twitter, or whatever-platform?
Ah, I think it's because facebook tracks those little share links, and some folks are wary of that. If you want to share a story to facebook, copy and paste the link. Commonfare won't make it easy for you, but we'll protect your online security and dont have transparency issues in tracking you like big bad facebook...or do we?
What do you think?
Should Commonfare have likes and shares, as well as comments? Would people engage more if we offered some easier options?
I'd love for you to comment, and share your thoughts. But at this point I'm guessing its a long shot. So...
If you like this story, perhaps just type ‘like‘ in the comments :)
If you think it‘s a stupid idea, how about typing ‚don‘t like‘ :(
You don't even need to think about what to comment, just like a like button!!
It could be so easy.