Adding the capability for readers to quickly provide feedback on blogposts without having to comment has always been a wish for me. The Emo-Vote WP plugin now allows me to achieve this.
Damn, I’ve been trying to find this plugin for a while now, ever since I’d discovered clickcomments ((And stopped using it due to its slowness. That service has now shutdown due to hosting costs. No wonder as the whole thing was extremely centralized)) I’ve been trying to get a similar solution running on the Division by Zer0 but there was nothing of the sort, at least as far as I knew.
So as a workaround I used another similar plugin called WP-Likes which did almost the same thing but unfortunately was limited to only one option and hard-coded to “Like”. It was a compromise while hoping that it’s developer might include the multiple-choice functionality in the future.
Fortunately I didn’t have to wait that long. Through a chance encounter with the Sikkdays blog, I noticed exactly what I wished to have: Three little icons at the end of the pos, allowing people to rate/judge a post according to emotion. A quick question to the admin, led me to the plugin responsible for this, called Emo-Vote.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to stay with Emo-based titles as there is a customization possibility and I quickly switched to Slashdot-based ratings, which are far more descriptive of how people might find the topics I write about.
So you’ll notice further below that you can now vote for each article on how you found it. Options are based on how I think opinionated blogposts can be judged as, such as interesting, boring, funny etc. I’d like to have a couple of options more, such as “disagree” etc, but I think for now the current capability is enough.
But why do I think that this kind of functionality is something beneficial to have on one’s blog? A few reasons.
First, it allows people who had a reaction to the article from some perspective (say, finding it informative) to state so without having to write a short comment about it (which is far more time-consuming than a simple click of the mouse.) In a sense, allowing the author to see how his articles are being received from a part of the audience he couldn’t see before. The silent majority. And as I consider comments and feedback in general as the main measure of success of blogposts, a way to increase that cannot be anything but good.
Second, it provides some interesting statistics, such as being able to see which are my top funniest topics, which are the most boring etc, according to audience interaction. This in turn one can publish on sidebars or a particular page so that new visitors can quickly find the most interesting content in the blog according to their tastes. It also provides the author with valuable information on what kind of topic he should concentrate on, based on previous success.
Lastly, it has potential. What Postreach attempted to do but failed due to its centralized nature, perhaps can be achieved by blogs federating amongst themselves. So for example, perhaps there will be a way to export such ratings to an aggregator which would allow anyone visiting it to quickly find new insightful, interesting etc posts from different blogs. Of course that would require than many use the same rating names or some other working system. Who knows, perhaps the Automattic will be willing to host such a service for the benefit of their userbase. But yeah, potential.
So anyway, I really hope I’ll see you all clicking away below, and you should even see this as an option on your RSS reader. 😉 Normal comments are of course welcome as always and do let me know if you think that a category should be swapped to something better.