AFD Nine : People Like This

people like this
(click to launch)

While I personally prefer tweeting over ‘booking, I do value certain elements unique to Facebook. Specifically, I’m a big fan of the "Like" feature. The only ways to express any level of approval (or acknowledgment, for that matter) in Twitter is to either re-tweet an awesome entry or send a reply to the original tweeter. In Facebook, you can readily comment on any post, but then you have to actually have something to say. The Like feature, however, allows you to acknowledge the post and send a quick, public mark of approval without having to say anything. Think of it as the silent head nod from across the room. What’s also great about this feature is how it lets you discover new people based on common interests or tastes. If I "like" something a friend has posted, for example, and a complete stranger also likes it, I know that there’s at least one thing that said stranger and I may have in common. (cue mid-90’s pop song).

People Like This is a playful take on Facebook’s Like feature. As with Facebook, the content of this piece will largely be user generated. The opportunity to "like" something remains, but any specific object to like is gone. Participants who "like" this are encouraged to submit a custom identifier and URL via the “Like” link. These identifiers and URLs can be anything a user wants, and any user can "like" this multiple times using different identities. My hope is that a large directory of random but useful and/or clever links will eventually be created, and that the exploration of these links becomes part of the overall activity for this piece.

Thanks to Donovan Buck for the database and scripting.

1 Response to “AFD Nine : People Like This”


  1. 1 M. H. Draper

    I am a huge fan of this “i like this” feature as well. I like is so much in fact that while on MySpace, I express the same sentiment sans icon. Most of my friends understand the comment “likes this” when I am in that sort of efficient mood. Even more enlightening is prior to this, I was an avid MySpace user and felt being on facebook was some social treason. After getting over this eccentric and elitist misconception, I found myself using facebook more often because of the “i like this” feature. It is sheer brilliance and how difficult was this to conceive? You would know if your friend Joe liked your new photo, because of that thumbs-up icon. From there, it is only waiting for even more to come and like it just as equally.

    Now, when I am on MySpace, at some point I will become frustrated looking for an “i like this” icon and due to that, will just type out “likes this.” This act of typing out “likes this” is enough to remind me that facebook has crept into life and furthermore, my central psychology. It has I would say even more than MySpace ever did and I find myself wanting to integrate this ease into everyday life by adding “i like this” icons to everything that would be likable. This may not be practical, but once in place, it would be a convenient luxury that gets the point across, saves valuable time and averts any misunderstood intent (or actual social responsibility, in some cases) since concise comments are sometimes misunderstood to be curt. Unfortunately, I was born with this “short comments” affliction and no matter how intelligent I feel I am or would try and make it seem appropriate, essentially it would all boil down to one thing: “i like this.” (complete with a thumbs up).

    I must add, what a great post! Apparently, I have not been alone in my delight with this simple, but adequately complimentary tool placed obviously with convenience in mind, nestled in footlights of newsfeeds. It has overnight become a visual index for approval (online), being the conspicuous buoy atop the sea of facebook sociology; made for streamlined effort and ideal for both the ultra-efficient commenter or the excessively lazy friend saving face among peers. I call that more than social networking; it is better titled as a “thumbtastic” stroke of genius technology.

    One thing lacking from such easy appreciation is the option to add a pre-recorded Fonzie voice from “Happy Days” saying, “ayyyyyy.” While I don’t endorse the addition of this gimmick, I would definitely be among the first to use it. This could take liking something a whole new level of multi-media appreciation, but don’t expect it to appear on the elitist social atmosphere of facebook any time soon.

    I believe the “i like this” icon was a unprecedented move whose decision was voted unanimously from a conservative board of directors, the very same ones who still refuse to provide the “i like it” alternative of an “i don’t like it” option. I wonder why? It would be reasonable to assume that they fear network mutiny and want to dispel dramatic flareups that would be otherwise avoided. The ability to misunderstand is too prominent, however no one can misunderstand “i like it” being represented by a thumbs-up icon. It says it all.

    Facebook’s general social climate is lightly refreshing to others, being much less flashy and moving prominently away from blatant self-centered over-promotion; which the self-serving interests are complete totality of both MySpace and Twitter’s functionality respectively.

    I feel these networks will continue to struggle with efforts to improve their social platform with more socially integrated features following facebook’s lead than has been defiantly separate in prior years. Twitter comes across as being relatively dry and MySpace is over-saturated with pop culture and promotion. The icon use within the facebook environment says elegantly and simply “i like it” and helps foster positive social interaction from even the most hesitant agoraphobic or shut-ins.

    On a final note: I will say that officially, I am one who “likes this” article. Great post.

    ~mhd.

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