Not so long ago, there was a much wider gap between the various methods for acknowledging online content. At one end, you had the option of reading something and then doing absolutely nothing. On the other, you had things like leaving a comment, emailing the post to a friend, or writing a blog post in response to another you read elsewhere.
The habit of "liking" things on the internet would be difficult to break. But it inspires me a little because it gels with an upcoming experiment I have planned for The Geekorium.
To "like" (or +1) something is the lowest form of interaction you can have with someone's post, and it saves you from having to put actual thought into your response. I think I'd rather have "likes" on my posts than nothing at all, but I'd certainly appreciate some thoughtful comments more.
Len points out that the "like" button is one-size-fits-all. There's no way to say "I appreciate you posting this, even if I disagree with the content". There's no difference between liking your favourite noodle bar and liking news of your friends newborn son. And with the rise of sponsored posts on Facebook, your "like" on the noodle bar page now puts ads for that noodle bar front and centre above more important things like births, deaths, and marriages of the people I actually care about.
I expect this behaviour is here to stay, but I will try and think a bit harder before liking things in future, and I'd appreciate it if you'd do the same too.
This post was going to start out negative, calling for nominations for "Unaustralian of the Year". And whilst typically Australian, its not a particularly celebratory way to see the year out.
So instead I want to spend December gathering stories about people who have been exceptional this year. I want to know about the hard working mums who are cooking dinner, washing clothes and potty training a 2 year old all at the same time, every day.
Tell us about the guy at the end of your street who climbed up a tree to save a cat and saw an old lady having a heart attack while crossing the street, so he rushes down and sprints to her side to carry her to safety, call 000 and start resuscitation, all before that lout in the Ute comes this close to driving over her face.
Introduce the people near by you who make your life excellent, or who help people they don't know, or who generally deserve a medal, but medals are expensive and not given out by a General for "Valor in the Face of Interrupted Sleep".
Share with us how people you know have been beautiful, hard working, loyal, brave, inspiring or delicious.
I want you to write a comment to nominate someone you think deserves a mention for being Bloody Good Bloke or a Top Sheila. Tell us why they deserve it. Then, if you read a story from someone that you like, give the comment a thumbs up so I can come back and post about the people you vote for.
Lets end this year on a positive note, giving thanks for the people in our lives who inspire us, make us happy, or put others before themselves.