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Gauging the Internet's Reactions

I remember when I first saw the reactions bar on Buzzfeed I thought it was brilliant.


It's such a simple idea, but it reflected something I had noticed in my own blogging for quite some time: People are often unsure of what to say in a comment and therefore chose to leave nothing at all. I've found over the years that the posts I find most interesting tend to have the fewest comments and the ones that I jot off quickly get loaded up. I can only assume that's because it's easier to react to a half thought than a full one. It's for that reason that I love the way they handle things over at Buzzfeed, by offering people pre-packaged reactions you get them to engage with the content without necessarily having to put their neck out and come up with anything interesting to say. Not surprisingly (because they're smart and share a co-founder), Huffington Post has a similar feature:


But today I ran into one I liked most of all over at Newser. Theirs combines the reaction with a poll:


I categorize all these things in the bucket of turning content consumption into an act of content creation, something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Good stuff.

Reprinted from

Noah Brier has some super secret stuff percolating. He is responsible for Brand Tags, likemind, and My First Tweet. Follow him on Twitter @HeyItsNoah or at his blog,

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  • Rod Alanis

    Ah, the 3 C's of Content -- Consumption, Contribution and Creation. I tend to see this more as content contribution than creation. Given that Context has now stolen the throne from content, I'm always curious as to how these kinds of contributions are used to enhance the context/experience for the user (and not just add more content clutter). Thanks, Noah!

  • Loraine Antrim

    Think of skeet shooting. Our communication models are the clay pigeons being blown to bits, and the shooter? The Internet.
    Communication models on the Internet are constantly being torn down and reinvented. How we communicate and how we think about communicating is now being defined by a Twitter and texting mindset. The one word or phrase comments make total sense, but placing an X in a comment box is not really content creation. It's more like content confirmation, don't you think? Provocative insights, Noah. Loraine Antrim, Core Ideas Communication

  • Lisa Kanda

    Thanks for sharing. I concur that many times just writing "I agree" or like I just did "thanks for sharing" it's easier to say nothing at all. Do you know if there is a plug in for WordPress to use one of these "pre-packaged" reactions? Would love to use the one on Newser - exactly as you stated - content creation!