14 June 2010

I don't like the Like button

I've been a big proponent of the Facebook Like button, ever since I saw Mark Zuckerberg announce it on stage at the last f8 conference. It seemed like a no-brainer, every site would add it and Facebook would take over the world.
There seemed to be no reason for a site not to add the innocuous little snippet of JavaScript code to every page/post.

Hell, within a week of announcing the Like button, Facebook stated that over 50,000 sites had already added it. According to Facebook, just a month after it was launched more than 100,000 sites had added it.

Of course I also added the Like button to this blog and was basically expecting readers to hit it if they enjoyed a post, thus telling their friends about it and maybe driving people back to my blog.

However, I think it's harming me! (well not harming me physically, but you get it)

Here's the deal: when I write a new blog post I also tweet about it and update about it on my Facebook wall.
Many people see my Facebook update in their Newsfeed and either comment there or hit like on the Facebook post.
This is what builds up as more people comment and like:

The more people comment on that and like it, the more it will appear in the news feeds for their friends and therefore gives me more exposure.

(bear with me here, I have a point)

When people click on the Like button at the bottom of an actual post on my blog here's what may appear in their news feed:

Much less appealing, ah?

Not only that, it also dilutes my "likes" (splits them into two groups, likes for the original post and likes for the update on Facebook about my post).

What I would like is a way to combine both groups of people who like my content into one group so they'd all promote the same thing, which would make it appear more in Facebook Newsfeeds.

I tried to manually add the Facebook Like code to each post, after I updated about it in Facebook so that the Like on my original post actually likes the Facebook update. It's a manual process that takes much more time but I was willing to do it. (I need to post to my blog, update about it on Facebook, quickly go back to edit the blog post, and manually add the Like snippet of code to the post).
The big problem is that Facebook for some reason (I'm guessing technical) doesn't allow adding their Like button to facebook.com URLs.

So I'm thinking about removing the Like button entirely from each post (until Facebook allows liking of facebook.com URLs).

My reasoning behind this is that if I remove the Like code from each blog post people may go back to the original Facebook update and hit Like there. No more diluting of likes and the updates that appear in people's newsfeeds will be the richer kind, not those puny ones that you get from the Like button.
For users who didn't come to my site from Facebook I'd ideally want to keep the regular Like button, at this point, but that's too much of a hassle.

So should I remove the Like button?


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