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Tumblr's New 'Like' Feature Lacks Personal Utility

Tumblr just rolled out the “liking” feature into my dashboard. I can “heart” any post, but why? It fails the “Delicious Lesson” (read Josh

14 years ago

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Tumblr just rolled out the “liking” feature into my dashboard. I can “heart” any post, but why? It fails the “Delicious Lesson” (read Josh Porter’s excellent post here) The idea is that network value cannot proceed personal value. I can see how Tumblr gets value out of my ‘liking things’, perhaps this will help it determine what is 'hot’. I can see how other authors get value out of it: they know that I liked their post. The problem is, Tumblr hasn’t closed the loop for me: *why* should I like anything (or not)? Can I search over posts I like? Nope. Is there a gallery of what I like? Not yet. Can I export them as a feed? Nope. So what does it do for me? Nothing… except…

Except it could put my tumblog in the “notes” or notification section of everyone’s dashboard, without compromising the continuity of my blog.

A scary prediction: The “like” mechanism will become a new form of spammy self-promotion. Why wouldn’t I like everything I could to put my blog’s name in front of more people? If a wide audience was my goal, I’d be foolish not to.

I hope Tumblr can close the utility loop before this becomes a real problem.

Aaron White

Published 14 years ago