Have one's cake and eat it - likes, comments, backlinks and so on

Inspired by [My take on gemlog responses] by Bacardi55. On the one side is so convenient and tempting to have the whole achievements of the modern web. It's not that I oppose it, or I don't want it at all, and I renounce it. On the other hand, are we not creating mechanisms for small-net whose distorted operation drives the big-net in the opposite direction to what is expected?


The main purpose of [like button] isn't to serve the people. It's been introduced mainly to fuel data-mining algorithms, and only a few of this functionality is given to people. For "likers" sometimes is hard, for example, to browse or export liked things. For ones "being liked" it is also ambiguous information to have 0, 10, 1000... likes. Is it important to us to collect such noise of people, who have less than one second for that response?

For me it's also the base of sick mechanism of content scrolling, where the main aim is to like or being liked. And that is causing shortening and simplifying the information, which only must be attractive for likers and it doesn't have to be a carrier of information at all. What is leading to surprising conclusions if [Are Our Smartphones Making Us Dopamine Addicts?].


Theoretical ancestor of likes are comments. While a liking carries only one bit of our reaction instead of being complete, comments convey the full message.

There weren't comments in the beginning of the web. This was because there were some technical limitations (the pages were not dynamic and didn't have advanced background management systems). But I think that there was also some other way of reaction flow in pre web 2.0 era. Interactions in the beginning were more personal, aiming to interact from sender to recipient. There were some ease of sending it from the web forms.

After it comments became sometimes more important than commented content. People realised that they could became famous, and collect many comments. Or create some commenting platform, where would be many commenters. If one social platform were successful, so everyone can also build the same. Or advertise in the places where the comments are numerous... Whatever the purposes, it is certain that the purpose was not primarily to convey the message from the sender to the recipient. The initial ease created a new channel of influence.

I don't know what is the main reason of drifting comments in this worse direction. Comments and comment-forms are working good in not very large scale environment. Because only then they are working as they were invented.


Comments have one more problem - whether the comment is a common part or a separate entity to the commented content. This case is more and more important in the era of GDPR. If we are obligated to publish every comment under our content? If we can moderate comments? If we can migrate content with comments? The most of these questions are answered with mechanisms like backlinks, track-backs and mentions.

Backlinks are essence of comments interaction, without creating comments at all. So we are provide own content on our site, and only help others to learn about it. But who really?

I'm not sure if the presenting backlinks for everyone and under the content is a good idea. Because we can easily come in to mass-comments problem mentioned above. For example it is natural that many people would comment Solderpunk idea, but that doesn't need that Solderpunk should / must / want to know about them, or that everyone else must spot them instantly under the main idea.

Maybe backlinks are also can't be easily scaled? They could help with some automation in not so big group of people, but could be a noise generator above some limit.

This also worth to say that, especially in small-net, what we receive as noise is also expectation of an immediate response. There are many mechanisms which try to instantly inform us about many things. And we want to manage that information on our own, and in the time we want. So maybe it isn't natural that knowledge of response, which is provided by backlinks, is essential? What if we will found that response in one week / month / year?


Some other aspect of this thoughts is also centralization. I like Antenna and Cosmos projects, and I'm using them on everyday basis. But I realised that they slowly go beyond being a content aggregate. The scattering of content, which was the initial state, also had some effect on all of Geminispace. The content were like that "capsules in the space", not distorted by any strong center. If you are interested in some topic, you will finally found it. Now content start to orbiting around that projects, which start to have some impact on it with a promise that this place gives the most appropriate / relevant / full content.

Maybe it is about scale again? I saw this for the first time in the small-net that [the Small-net is finite!]. I'm advocate of the idea of hard limitations of users gathered around some projects / societies. Some of them could be global of course, but they should be projected as the global from the beginning. That which are local should be local to their end. Small-net should keep the local character for as many of them as possible. Local character is helping to avoid superficiality of big-net and engage in the deeper interactions between people.

[My take on gemlog responses]

[Like button]

[Are Our Smartphones Making Us Dopamine Addicts?]

[The Small-net is finite!]


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@ Sun 27 Feb 2022 10:26:45 AM CET