Blog Applause

by Chuck Westbrook on April 3, 2009

Tweet version: “We need a ‘blog applause’ widget. It’d let people express their appreciation in a simple and authentic way and reduce comment noise.”

Do you ever read a post, enjoy it, and then move on without leaving a comment? I do it all the time.

I don’t like commenting unless I have something to say that adds some value. Sometimes I’ll find a way to make, “Great post!” sound interesting, and other times I’ll send an email. Really though, I just want to have a quick and simple way to let the person know that requires little time and no thought.

So we need a blog applause widget. It’d be a simple button, an icon of clapping hands or something. You click it and the author would get a little notice that said, “Nice work. You’ve got 20 people clapping for this one.”

I know there’s stuff out there that’s kind of like this. But what I want is this. Exactly this. No rating system. No sharing. No bookmarking. No submitting. No logging in.

I mash a button. The author knows someone appreciated the post. End of transaction.

**Humorous (to me) Addendum**

My friend Ashley just IMed me seconds after I posted this:

Question - how do I tell you I agree with your blog applause button without said blog applause button?

I responded:

great point
i kind of just doomed my blog to never get encouraging comments, didn’t i?

So just so there’s no misunderstanding, I like getting those comments especially compared to the alternative of crickets chirping. It helps me know people like what I’m doing. When I get my applause widget, then you can stop leaving them. Deal?

Image by Multiple Fragments of Tissue.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }


baron 04.03.09 at 10:01 am

Kind of like giving Kudos on a MySpace blog, yeah?



stef 04.03.09 at 10:09 am

*insert blog applause here*



Chuck F. 04.03.09 at 10:14 am

I like being able to “like” something on FriendFeed (and now Facebook) for similar reasons. Same basic idea, but for some reason a “like widget” would appeal to me more than applause (maybe because it’s fewer letters)– a button at the bottom of each post on a blog to indicate you like that post. And then some indication that 12 people like this post.

Maybe for comments, too.



CJ 04.03.09 at 10:22 am




Ryan 04.03.09 at 10:47 am

I like this idea. If you get some venture capital for it, I’ll code it up for you :)



Kelvin Kao 04.03.09 at 1:05 pm

You can just type this:

It reminds me of the “Like” feature on Facebook (which is sort of a thumbs up) and it will show you how many people liked something you wrote or share. Of course, that requires logging in. Yours is right between that, and just a simple page view counter.



AmyL 04.03.09 at 1:51 pm

Ooooooh! Love that idea!

Is it me, or has splitting out BlogHiker gotten a monkey off your back? I’m enjoying the increase in postings and hearing from you again. :)



Tyler Hayes 04.03.09 at 7:16 pm

While I do think something like this widget is a great idea, there are many category-specific solutions already available. Sites like Digg, Reddit, Yahoo! Buzz, etc. already provide a 3rd-party solution for people who feed on the idea of “liking” stuff. Then, of course, sites like Facebook, Design Float, etc. provide a solution for their own respective communities (general citizens and designers, respectively).

If someone were to design this “applause” or “like” widget, they would have to design so much more. A site that provides multiple kinds of widgets to tailor different needs, a Firefox add-on, and would have quite the undertaking for an initiative to try and get people to use their widget; as strange as that last part sounds, some people would rather not use a widget at all if it’s not sponsored by a major company/project, for fear that another more popular option will come along and nullify their current option (think how Facebook eliminated Myspace). Also, just getting people to know it exists at all.

Other than that, I think it’s a great idea, and not really as complicated as it sounds.

Most importantly, I feel like now that the large social networking sites and services are opening up their APIs a lot of the need for these 3rd-party widgets will cease. For example, up until recently users that weren’t signed up on Digg didn’t ever digg anything because they’d be asked to signup before they could do that. Of course, now that Facebook Connect has opened up those borders, people don’t need to sign in to many services anymore, they can just click a button that links it to their Facebook profile.



Lindsay 04.04.09 at 3:09 am


Dugg, Tweeted and blogged !



Rob Blatt 04.04.09 at 7:55 am

Sounds like it’s something that Disqus or another comment technology company could add to their widgets and functionality with no problem.



LisaNewton 04.04.09 at 9:32 am

I love this idea; it’s personal to the author and the reader, both. Good posts have a way of getting lost in the great big social media world, and just a little applause would be nice.



Glenn Mandelkern 04.04.09 at 11:26 am

This widget sounds like a very effective and concise form of putting Robert Cialdini’s “Social Proof” influence factor into action.


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