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Why Fucking Awesome is Better than like

20 Oct 2010

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code for the above fugly buttons are at this gist

It's not important what you like

We all like plenty of mediocre crap. The humor that get's a single syllable laugh, the tech article that get's a head nod, the hack that connects format a to format b. Tracking knowledge of tolerable information we approve of is a waste of effort. Web companies are better served by replacing like with Fucking Awesome sentiment tracking. They should go ahead and add a Loathe button while they're at it, even that would be of higher utility than a like button.

The Brief and Questionable History of Sentiment Tracking

There are a number of web services that are doing everything in their power to capture sentiment data. Google and other search engines have leveraged the link graph as a form of approval. Not too long back Friendfeed integrated a like button next to posts in one's social feed to express appreciation, interest, and to share that information with others. Facebook quickly mimicked Friendfeed's like button seeing the great potential for categorizing the personalized interests of it's members, as well as the overall approval by communities. Twitter leveraged the RT user meme which shared interesting tweets and let the original poster know that their update was appreciated*. Hunch skipped the entire social network aspect and dove right after sentiment data.

Sentiment information is highly sought after by businesses. Companies benefit by gaining access to individual tastes, which enables them to strategically plan their marketing efforts. Rapid feedback is obtained by observing real time approval which enables businesses to expend resources and quickly identify successful campaigns. In this way our collective interests serve as advanced sensors for mapping out optimal marketing paths in a highly dynamic and nonlinear terrain.

Notes:
*= new retweets are universally ignored by original posters