Reactions as Another Aspect of Social Media

One of the new trends in making web content more social is the recording of reader impressions or reactions. For example, I just read an article about Father’s Day and the article included a poll that allowed me to quickly provide my response or impression of the content. The poll wasn’t a questionnaire that I’d never take the time to fill out. Instead, it was just a few buttons or image maps that require a single click:

Article impression

What’s interesting about this is that not only do I get to enjoy the article content, but I also get an indication of how others perceive or respond to the content — obviously making the content more social. What a great idea! 

Another interesting part of this to me is the choice to keep the response anonymous and aggregated. The above image, for example, shows the categories of reader response but doesn’t tell me exactly who responded in any of the categories. Certainly it would be possible, especially if this were tied to Facebook or Google Plus, to see what my friends or colleagues think about the content too.

I wonder whether the anonymity preference is specific to US English readers. As I think about it, I’m happy to participate in the poll, but I might not want to make my specific opinion public knowledge. I wonder if other cultures would feel differently in general? What groups of people would feel more open to expressing opinions publicly and associating their real or online identities to their response?

Oh, my response to this particular article was “THINK”…but not about the article content. Instead, the article and the poll made me think about changes in social media. Every time I think we’ve tapped our creative juices out, somebody thinks of something new and impressive to make the online world more social. 

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