Lightweight Engagement Gestures

I was on vacation with my friend John and he asked me how I used the favorite button on Twitter. I told him it is a way to tell people that I’ve seen the tweet when I do not want to reply.

I use it in two primary ways. To signal that I saw and liked a tweet. And to signal that I saw a tweet to the person who sent it. The two are different only in that in the second case, I probably did not like the tweet but I still wanted to acknowledge it.

I really like super lightweight engagement gestures. I am bombarded by stuff coming at me all the time. So if I can acknoweledge something publicly without having to do much work, I get a huge amount of value from that.

Bumping on and upvoting on disqus are like that too. Because the identity of the bumber and the upvoter are on display publicly, they are an efficient way to signal that you saw it and liked it.

I am going to try to upvote more on disqus. As I reply less and less in the comments, I need to upvote more and more. I will make an effort to do that.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I’m a big fan of social gestures as body language online as well.I’m a detractor that this data is actionable from a marketing perspective.Emotive and perfect, like a nod or a smile–absolutely–but interpretable and directional–not at all.

    1. leapy

      Totally – you need content to provide direction but a wink or a tick just let’s the recipient know you acknowledged their contribution; however small.

    2. Cam MacRae

      danah boyd tells this great story about a glut of people ‘liking’ coke — when they investigated it turned out they were making a lifestyle statement, but not the one coca-cola had hoped.

      1. awaldstein

        Measurements like statistics lie of course.The best advice..acknowledge and appreciate– but find a metric that matters to guide your activities.Everyone likes to be smiled at.

    3. Salt Shaker

      Agree…social gestures overused and overvalued. Positive gestures are nice to have, but not necessarily meaningful or truly discriminating.

    4. LE

      I’m a detractor that this data is actionable from a marketing perspective.Maybe I’m misunderstanding your point but I think on a macro basis there is a high probability that in a large group if you analyze the likes (or other signals) you will be right as far as finding valuable information that you can use marketing wise. Actionable in a cost effective manner.So you may be wrong for any individual for example to infer that if you look at that individuals friends on facebook that if they have what appear to be many male friends who look gay (and the individual is a man) that they are gay but if you took 100 guys who exhibited the same behavior you would be right in figuring out the most obvious stereotype. That a gay man has many male friends who look gay. (As well as single women friends for that matter).Likewise if your name wasn’t “Waldstein” it was “Simon” and I looked at your group of friends and they all had what appeared to be jewish surnames I would infer you might be jewish (but could be wrong). But in the case of 100 exact same behaviors I would be right enough to market to you as if you were jewish because I’d probably be right more often than not. As the saying goes “50% of dollars are wasted you just don’t which 50%”.

      1. awaldstein

        Not following any of this.Stereotyping populations by how they look or the ethnic/religious implication of their names is related to the actionable data of a ‘like’ –how?

        1. LE

          The “likes” of any member of a group can be used to draw conclusions with a (what I will call) “nice” degree of certainty about any member in order to market to them.So for example the “likes” of a 13 year old girl or a 70 year old man are going to, in general, be different. Based on those likes you could make certain assumptions as far as what you might be able to sell to them. With enough certainly to make it cost effective vs. a dart on the wall.The “how they look” was just a way to illustrate the point. Saying that on any individual basis I could be wrong but not for the entire group. So I would feel comfortable on a gross basis.Bottom line is that I definitely feel that social gestures are actionable from a marketing perspective.Along those lines I can draw many conclusions on what is important to you not just but what you say but how you react to what I say. I might be wrong but if you gave me 100 Arnold’s I would be right more often than a VC is right in the bets that he makes.

      2. Gay Talese

        Aaaahahahahahaha! What does it mean to “look gay”??

    5. ShanaC

      With time and enough data, you could get weak directional.

      1. awaldstein

        sure so why bother?my point is sure, they tell you something.but if you spend all your time measuring noon actionable gestures–why?

  2. JimHirshfield


  3. takingpitches

    Thumbs upAnd btw are you following @pmarca’s heavyweight engagement on Twitter. Pretty epic. He even threw around “be your own bitch” with due credit to you.

    1. William Mougayar

      He has been replying & favoriting a lot.

    2. fredwilson

      Its hard to stay on top of everything on Twitter. I try but i miss things

      1. btrautsc

        greatest issue on twitter. signal to noise (good content has a half life of about 4 tweets)… still not a good way to fix it. we tried and failed twice (twitter wasn’t particularly helpful – so imo opinion they’ve signaled its an issue they plan to solve themselves)

        1. fredwilson

          They plan to. They have the data science to do it.

      2. Timothy Meade

        Absolutely, Twitter is too noisy and too hard to get a gist of what’s going on in the few minutes I have to look at content during the day. I can spend hours refreshing the timeline, very little time engaging, and trying to keep the many different communities I’ve followed on Twitter, and the overlapping conversations that the format requires, separated.After the recent news, Twitter losing users or growing at a slower rate than expected, and the effect on the stock, I’m wondering if this is the natural result of the “many Twitters” I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. This might be the decline of the “Twitter as chat” community as more focused apps have taken it’s place. Unfortunately, this seems to be a large group of people, which have used Twitter as their own personal social network among friends, to coordinate activities, and to communicate amongst themselves. Losing them would cost Twitter quite a bit.Like Facebook has experimented with, “many Twitters” might require many apps. A DM and small group focused app could serve that need and keep the main features of Twitter for that group of users. Of course, it wouldn’t limit what they could do, just what the app focuses on. There’s also probably quite a bit of overlap with the “follow celebreties” group of users, trending topics, and geographical breakdowns of topics.Personally, I fall into the “interest groups” user segment. I use Twitter to keep up with news, and a way to aggregate interesting links to “read later” would be useful, but I would also like to be able to divide the Timeline by topics, even in the mobile apps. (I’ll have to look at first party options, I’ve used Plume as long as I’ve used Android devices.) Spending time building lists isn’t what I want to do, I just want to see groups of related hashtags, and nicknames that often use those hashtags, even when my client is not active or I’m not caching those messages offline.I’ve also thought a lot about Fred’s comment about being “unhappy with the current mobile offerings of portfolio companies” (I hope I’m phrasing that correctly.) There’s a lot of room to improve on mobile UX, recognizing that it’s more than a different screen size and input paradigm. It’s also a different time commitment. The same apps have to embrace all of ‘quick glances’, your ‘transactional’ such as responding to desired notifications, ‘short session’, and ‘deep dives’ like consuming hours of Tweets, responding, RTing, etc. while sitting comfortably in bed or on the couch.Real engagement with companies, particularly consumer brands, might be the hardest thing for Twitter or any social offering to get right. So much usage by consumers is ‘ironic’ or ‘counter-cultural’, so many brands are using poorly chosen hashtags that have no ‘fun’ factor, don’t come readily to consumers. (Essentially, a brand should use the hashtag that a consumer would use without them telling them to. Owning that makes the brand a part of the community and not an annoying and clueless hanger-on.)

  4. Tom Labus


  5. William Mougayar

    That makes sense. Facebook Likes fall in that same category & they are typically given generously.

    1. fredwilson

      I wouldnt know about Facebook. In don’t use it. I did use it to stalk my kids when they used it

      1. Andrew Kennedy


      2. Aaron Klein

        I don’t have as deep of an emotional connection to Facebook as I do with Twitter.But I will say this: I get a fraction of the engagement on Twitter that I get on Facebook, and I have 5x more followers on Tw.I’ve always found that strange.

        1. awaldstein

          There’s a contextual metric to networks.Facebook is a mess. It’s also deeply contextual based on connections and at times, amazingly powerful.This is why Q & A apps I think are non starters. Questions aren’t at their core, contextual, but networks certainly are.

          1. Aaron Klein

            Quora is an app I’ve never really connected with but you’re right…it got much more useful when it introduced following.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Quora is the one platform that I love but hardly ever use. It has so much potential.

          3. Aaron Klein


        2. Donna Brewington White

          So true.Oh, wait, maybe THAT should be my button. No, think I’ll stick with “Love it!”And BTW I think FB is the ONLY social media platform on which we are not connected. Though I’ve been a SM slacker lately.

      3. William Mougayar

        Likes are a dime a dozen on Facebook. They are given willy-nilly

        1. Jim Peterson

          Hi William. Haven’t found that to be true at all. And many companies would love to have more likes, commenters, and followers- it shows an interest, a passion, in the topic/ product.

          1. awaldstein

            You are the expert at these nuances Jim.And right. A crowd of people nodding their heads is important if you are building a community.

          2. Jim Peterson

            Thank you. Don’t know about being an expert, just an eager student. Especially like the masters program going on here at Fred’s place.

          3. William Mougayar

            I’m echoing my experience on Facebook. Likes are given like silent nods, a lot more than on Twitter.

        2. Aaron Klein

          I think twitter would prefer that favorites be as willy-nilly. It would drive more engagement.

          1. awaldstein

            I love Twitter as a real time feed for the world.Engagement though is not its value. Newness is its stickiness to me.

          2. Aaron Klein

            I’d probably use Facebook far less if I could truly scratch the social itch on Twitter.

          3. awaldstein

            Yup–I’m tied to it as the depth of extended connections is just too deep.Bet I have 2-300 people there who worked for/with me. Huge niches around my passion points. And people that have known me in a variety of contexts.They care and across the breadth of the backgrounds bother to share expertise with me.

          4. sprugman

            I think the word “favorite” is part of the problem. It implies a much stronger feeling than “like” even if the gesture is the same.

          5. Aaron Klein

            Totally agree.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I imagine content is selected based on likelihood the user will Like it.

      1. William Mougayar

        FB does play with your timeline for sure, but I think it’s based on existing likes, i.e. they use those signals to bump stuff up.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Right. What I was trying to get at that they’re feeding people Likeable food, and so the likelihood people will be giving out Likes generously is heightened. 🙂

  6. Joël Cox

    I certainly don’t want another counter or button next to every tweet, but I dislike the ambiguity of the favorite button like you explained. Did you really like my tweet, or just read it? Hard to determine when you have little context.

    1. fredwilson

      If you hate on me and I favorite it, you know I didn’t like it 🙂

      1. Joël Cox

        Upvoted. 😉

  7. Brett Goldberg

    That makes a ton of sense. One small critique, when you favorite something on Twitter only you and the sender see it, so it’s not quite public: different from when you like something on Facebook, which is Public.

    1. fredwilson


    2. John Fazzolari

      Actually, I believe you can see it and it is public. The new activity feed also seems to have been created so that you can see exactly what users are favoriting.

  8. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Acknowledgement is a reward for risk taken- So simple gestures can encourage engagementAny welcome is like a smile – free, invaluable and expensive if overlooked.(in both business and society)

  9. Susan Rubinsky

    I do the same thing all the time but I’d like to see a change — across all media outlets — that splits out the two different types of acknowledgement.

    1. fredwilson

      That adds complexity and apparently Twitter is still too complicated

  10. pointsnfigures

    Maybe they should develop a yessss button just for you on your blog.

    1. Aaron Klein

      That’s the new “custom gestures” version of Disqus. JLM gets a “You Didn’t Invent Sex” button and Charlie gets a “There Outta Be A Law” button. 😉

      1. Anne Libby

        For starters.

        1. karen_e

          Yeah, JLM needs a few different buttons. “Well played,” etc .etc.

          1. JamesHRH

            Nope gotta enforce some discipline – Well Played it should be !

      2. fredwilson

        Oh hell yes. Bumper stickers for the regulars

        1. Aaron Klein

          I’ll be “That Sounds Risky.” 😉

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I want “Love it!”

        2. Anne Libby

          I’ll claim “Yes, and…”

        3. Russell

          AVC monetization for charity! Just make sure you have ones that fit on bikes.

        4. Donna Brewington White

          You should get “Oh hell yes” too. You don’t use it often here, but when you do…

      3. JamesHRH

        I want ‘Nice.’

        1. Aaron Klein

          That sounds risky.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          That might be Rohan’s. Niceee.

          1. JamesHRH

            I don’t think my other favourite, although I have not used it lately, is ” Barkeep, a round for ‘commenter’s name’ “

      4. Ryan Frew

        LE can have “[1]”

        1. Anne Libby

          And [2], as well.

          1. JamesHRH


      5. Matt A. Myers

        I can’t remember or don’t self-realize — but anything that I say regularly?I know I’ve been MIA the last few months, so maybe not fresh in people’s minds..

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I can’t think of an actual phrase right off hand (see that’s what happens when you disappear for a while) but I can think of a few that might encapsulate… for instance:”Let’s take a deeper look at this.” “Another way of looking at this might be…”

          1. Timothy Meade

            Some of the best advice starts with those phrases.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            I don’t think I really follow any regular patterns. Regular patterns come from non-thinking, emotional reactionary places – and I don’t generally find they add to conversation, other than giving personality, but I seem to rather not be motivated enough to type out such reactions – other than perhaps smiley faces. 😛

    2. Richard

      Better yet, in a short time someone will build a feature to read my facial expression. No button needed.

    3. fredwilson


      1. LE

        I think the “reward” differentiation (as a result of effort it takes to issue a reward or acknowledgement) is actually good. Otherwise it becomes a bit like everyone who plays gets a trophy. Or at high school graduations now where there are so many awards that everyone eventually gets one. In real life it’s not like that. Everyone is not a winner. That makes people try harder.Oddly enough I’ve even witnessed the transition in candles ceremeony at Bar/Bat Mitsvahs.Back when I had mine it was a whole process to decide who gets a candle and in what order they should be given (because they were an honor). (I’m sure Gotham Gal can verify the “tumult”). [1]But now it’s not like that anymore. Groups of people walk up, groups of friends, all the cousins at once and there is no special feeling like there used to be. Of course they also now have DJ’s instead of live bands and the over the top entertainment aspects dwarf anything that was done in the 70’s.[1] True fact: back in the day in the Philly area the really high end affairs gave out the Sunday New York Times to departing guests. It was considered a classy move to emulate and make a “New York Affair” in terms of catering, entertainment, flowers and venue.

      2. panterosa,

        the yesss button has how many s’s?

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Customizable by the user.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          We should do a survey and see how consistent he is. (How’s that for a thoughtful comment — hehe — love inside jokes.)

      3. ShanaC


        1. Donna Brewington White

          I love how people just “appear” in the comment stream. I saw the signal that someone was typing and rather than quitting out waited to see who it was. It’s you. Glad I waited. 🙂

          1. ShanaC

            I’m launching something

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Weeeee! Update?

    4. aminTorres

      Will also need a “Well Played” button.I am up for doing some icon/button explorations 😉

  11. Geoffrey Weg

    Some lightweight engagement gestures are very innovative. Gmail’s Action buttons are a great example- http://gmailblog.blogspot.c… (they’re those little buttons in subject lines such as “Track Shipment,” “Confirm Subscription,” etc.).Re. favoriting- I have another use case for them. I Favorite any Tweet with a link that I hope to read.

    1. fredwilson

      You use it as a bookmark. I went down that path myself early in my Twitter use

      1. John Fazzolari

        I went down that path as well and it worked great for a time. Last July Katie Rosman wrote a piece in the WSJ stating Topsy data showed that in May 2013, “Twitter users hit the favorite button on tweets 1.6 billion times-four times more than they did in May 2012”. I remember that around that time I became more comfortable favoriting tweets and now use it as you do for acknowledgement. What happened that drove user behavior to change? Was it something Twitter did? The way people stopped using the native retweet and shifted to favoriting for acknowledgement is certainly intriguing. It says a lot about how behavior can change within a network.

  12. Andrew Kennedy

    I find these lightweight engagement triggers to exponentially more relevant for mobile products as they naturally go hand in hand with a push notification, but an email (web product) is too much. Instagram does a great job w this.

  13. Laurent Boncenne

    Long time since I have commented here…Interestingly enough,those “Lightweight engagement gestures” and espectially the favorite button on twitter highly depends on the way you use twitter.I can’t help but be reminded of a blog post on 37Signals (now Basecamp) a while ago where they were talking about their design approach and how it was important to account for a design phase where there’s nothing there.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Bonsoir Laurent. It has been a while.What you describe in the second paragraph is exactly the beauty of twitter. Well, one of the things.Twitter’s initial approach to design seemed serendipitous. Didn’t know that someone had actually come up with an actual design phase to allow for ex nihilo — or even serendipity?

  14. Peter Van Dijck

    If you have to make an effort then they haven’t nailed the interaction.Upvoting feels like ordering (the arrows make it so). The Like button is still the best implementation of this. (Favoriting feels like saving for later.)

  15. Cezary Pietrzak

    Great to see you’re thinking about this, Fred! I think lightweight engagement is a broader trend in mobile, where the friction of interacting in any app environment places a premium on doing things quickly. Think about the time it takes to wake up your phone, type in your unlock code, search for an app and then finally open it. It’s simply too long! Within the app experience, having certain buttons such as favorites, likes and upvotes is one way to minimize this upfront friction, but that paradigm can also be extended outside the app experience. For example:- Engaging with apps based on the data they collect in the background- Engaging solely via push notifications- Engaging via other marketing channels such as email or social- Engaging via wearables that communicate with the appI’ve written about this in more detail here:…. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Dave W Baldwin…The Mind Meld that will be coming out. It looks a little spooky re privacy, but claims to be the Virtual Assistant that listens in and finds info before you ask. It probably will be more of a “bring up that sushi restaurant” thing (no big deal on privacy) but would be more towards your subject if it was bringing up Social Media/Blogs and so on regarding what your talking about.By their page, they imply being a real time organizer.Haven’t had the chance to try it in a controlled fashion.

      1. Cezary Pietrzak

        Mind Meld is a really interesting company because they tap into another mobile trend – touch-free mobile interactions – via the always on microphone. Whether or not the platform takes off is yet to be seen, but I like the direction they’re heading in because the technology behind contextual speech recommendations is virtually effortless, and similar to the experience that Google Now and other personal assistants offer.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          I’ll try to give it a try this weekend, appreciate the info.BTW, a company in the stock news could use something like that…

  16. Farhan Lalji

    Think tumblr does lightweight engagement gestures really well as well.

    1. fredwilson


    2. JamesHRH

      My biggest beef w Tumblr is the lack of heavier engagement.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Yes, that’s my frustration. Commenting in general from the dashboard is dissatisfying. But it’s hard for me to find much fault with Tumblr. Love it!

  17. whitneymcn

    The place I really want this is email. I use gmail stars to deal with the “will respond, but can’t right now” emails, and a while back it struck me how useful it would be if I could make gmail stars work like Twitter stars: when I star an email, the sender gets the feedback that I did so — a communication that I saw the email and think it’s important, even though I haven’t written a response.It’s interesting (to me, anyway) that Twitter and email map almost one-to-one on general use cases, with the exception of the star — documented here:

      1. whitneymcn

        Nice! I’d really prefer for it to be a native client implementation, though — rather than a “got it” email cluttering up the original sender’s inbox, just a mechanism that allows them to see that I’ve got their email starred. A supplement to the inbox, rather than an addition to the inbox’s contents.

    1. LE

      when I star an email, the sender gets the feedback that I did soMy first reaction is that that’s a good idea and one that I have thought about before.But there is also a danger.By acknowledging you have read something you are saying you have read and fully understand (and maybe even agree because you didn’t disagree) and will remember the entire email.So then you stand to have a problem where the person who get the confirmation that you saw the email might have different expectations on comprehension and/or action to be taken.My ex wife used to do this after our divorce. I had a name for it. It happened so often I called it “floating an idea”. She would write an email and bury in to one of the paragraphs (they were always really long) something that she wanted for the kids or an idea. Later (which could be 2 months or 1 year or whatever) she would then put the idea into play and send me the bill saying “remember I told you about this” taking my non response as acknowledgement.My point is if it’s to easy to just acknowledge it might happen in cases where you don’t really want to do so. And likewise if you don’t acknowledge and it is easy the person who hasn’t been ack’d will wonder why you didn’t.

      1. whitneymcn

        Fair concern, but seems like the lack of the star functionality didn’t prevent the problem, so we’re stuck either way. :)In my head, this isn’t an auto-replay message saying “I have read your email, understand its contents, and agree to all terms and conditions stated therein,” but rather just a view in the email client where my friend Kirk can see that I have a star on the email he sent me that I haven’t yet replied to.And as with Twitter, the specific meaning of that star isn’t strictly defined: different people would give stars different significance. In any event, though, it’d be interesting to see what effect that kind of lightweight acknowledgement would have in the context of email.

    2. Ro Gupta

      I don’t have the same need to notify the sender that I’ve received and intend to respond later, but I have wanted favoriting or liking in Gmail for a while so that I can tell someone I like what they wrote without actually having to reply, and without cluttering the thread up with a relatively frivolous “I agree” or “+1”. I’ve found myself ‘reaching’ for a star or upvote button in Gmail instinctively after being conditioned by Twitter, Disqus, etc. I think Gmail could also get a really valuable new signal out of it for things like Priority Inbox, Google+ Circles, etc.

      1. whitneymcn

        That’s exactly why I like the non-deterministic “star” that already exists in both Twitter and Gmail, rather than something that sends an explicit “will reply” kind of message.Just as with Twitter stars, it could serve different functions for different people — it’s simply a “lightweight gesture” that can be used however you and I feel is appropriate, even if we have different use cases for it.

        1. Ro Gupta

          Well only problem is I wouldn’t want those likes/favorites to stick around in my starred messages folder, which is currently more of a save for later repo. Plus I want to be able to like/fav from within the message in the moment, instead of having to go back to the inbox overview.Maybe the better analogy is YouTube thumbs up vs. watch later.

  18. William Mougayar

    And here are your Twitter Favorites…pretty simple syntax to see anyone’s Fav’s.

  19. Jim Canto

    Amen, @fredwilson:disqus. I’m looking for the ability to “communicate” with one click wherever I can. Not long form…not short form… “nano form.” It’s a way for the account holder to be involved on a wider scale using the same hours per day.I comment when I’m compelled. Every time I comment, I have to take into consideration the time required to participate should others feel compelled to reply to me. Though I value the engagement, it does have it’s costs which can’t be ignored.I see Twitter accounts with highly engaged operators and 100k+ followers/following and I wonder how they get anything else done. My personal account has less than 1000 followers and, if I allowed it to happen, I could stay “busy” all day. And.. of course, that’s just one account on one platform.I think this is a huge issue. I think it speaks to average user adoption of any platform as well…which impacts the trajectory of internet population growth and social platform adoption as a whole. I’m thinking more of the folks who are just coming online… or just beginning to explore platforms outside of their friends and family on Facebook. They are the global emerging market, no?The easier, and less threatening we make it for them to “engage”, the more potential we build into the markets for anything we create. It would be great to have more nano-engagement options.However.. now I’m wondering how they could be misused.

  20. RichardF

    Twitter needs an explicit like/dislike if it wants to drive engagement further, normals understand that, you don’t have to be different for the sake of being different. Favourite as a gesture means nothing to me on Twitter, don’t use it, likely never will.I think upvoting for you Fred is a good idea if you are going engage less in the comments.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      There’s a third use of the favorite button for me, which is to file a tweet and its linked article as “read later”.

      1. RichardF

        Thats the only way I have used it in the past as well Dave, I wonder if that was the original intention.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I’ve used it this way. But then I began to get these notices that my tweets had been favorited — obviously not for reading later — by a few “usual suspects” in particular and I realized they were saying hi or letting me know I’m on their radar and it is actually very nice. So I’m trying to do this more because of how much I enjoy it when I’m the recipient but it’s hard to re-train — like using a word to mean something completley different than the definition I’ve always associated with it.

        1. Michael  McCarthy

          Hi Donna, I can’t help it: your sunny disposition has inspired me to bump some of your tweets up to Favorites.Little did I know I would be emerging as a “Usual Suspect” 😉

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Haha!You are too kind, Michael.

          2. Michael  McCarthy

            Awww, shucks; thank you for your warm welcome to this forum!

  21. matthughes

    I scan through my Twitter Follow’s Favorites all the time.It’s a great curation tool – it’s where Twitter gets really good.

  22. jason wright

    all this upvoting has the inherent danger of making the web seem democratic. gotta watch out for that.

  23. Peter Beddows

    Totally agree with you @fredwilson:disqus: That’s what I have taken to doing as salvation from being swamped; typically find there are just not enough hours in the day to deal with every message item that comes my way – just have to focus upon what is gainfully important. This is the primary reason for having been invisible even here for a while but this message from you today explains the issue well.By ‘invisible’, I mean, having offered no actual ‘comments’ in recent past, only upvotes. Doesn’t mean that I do not read these posts; I do – I have them in my Outlook RSS stream along with posts from Mark Suster and a few others.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Hey Peter!

      1. Peter Beddows

        Thank you @donnawhite:disqus – Always a pleasure to hear from you. Cud be I am jealous of you living in Malibu! 🙂 Trust all goes well with you and your family?

    2. ShanaC

      Welcome back. How are you

      1. Peter Beddows

        Thank you @ShanaC:disqus – Good thank you. Trust all goes well with you?

  24. IT Services

    I agree Fred. I’m noticing that the web is filled with people blabbing about nothing. When it seems to me they just want to be a part of the crowd. Letting them join the conversation as a listener, but showing they are present, is a great thing. I like it!!!

  25. hypermark

    Twitter favorites seems like a particularly rich area for someone to build an interest graph around since taking the action of favoriting tells a fair bit about the type of “like content” you might be interested in, and “like minds” as well.That obviously works well with your first case of actual liking; less so in your second case of acknowledging.I’ve long thought that favorites is one of the less fully realized features of twitter.

    1. stevenloi

      very much agree! I’ve been using Favorites since the very beginning (2007) but use it a much different way than Fred. It was more for self consumption. As I treat Twitter as an information network, my favorites generally fall in the insightful/interesting tweets category. A lot will contain links in which I just feed the /favorites URL into a reader like Flipboard.

      1. hypermark

        Yup. What I’m thinking of is analogous to a Techmeme for Me.Back in Web 2.0 days, you had the concept of folksonomies, which basically took hashtags/tags + likes, and used them to algorithmically build linkages between like minds and like content.If twitter did something like this, it would drive engagement and drive ‘favoriting’ actions.

  26. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I don’t think you tried 🙂 did not see a single up-vote by you so far….I am waiting to see (may be i missed)on ….for your upvote for the last several years on this blog….I do beleive I asked you the same question about a year-and-half back …why u are not upvoting any comment and you replied “my comment in reply is my upvote” …I think let us keep it that way on AVC (upvote may be on other blogs).

  27. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Please do light weight engage on other sites …we like your heavy weight (replies) engagement here at AVC …

  28. stevenloi

    In the earlier days when Twitter favorites were less used, I used them exclusively as a reminder or if the tweet was insightful. Some would include links and I would feed that URL to Flipboard to consume the articles. It was for self consumption.I think the gesture has evolved to how you use it, Fred. Probably because there isn’t any other gesture to provide that kind of signal back to the author of the tweet. (Replies work to an extent, but it clutters the timeline so I suspect more and more the favorite gesture is used for acknowledgement.)I wish there is a better way to separate the two. I value the first more but see the importance of the second as well.

  29. Karan Jassar

    I use the ‘fav’ on twitter as a bookmarking mechanism (a delicious for twitter). Lots of useful stuff gets shared (blogs, data, testimonials etc) and it’s all annotated with tweet text by smart ppl I choose to follow (curated).Only issue, there’s no way to tag them for easy search later or add notes, specially on mobile.In fact to solve this problem for myself (and to get free tickets), I hacked a quick app to browse twitter and bookmark tweets with tags and notes this past Disrupt in NY. Still use it sometimes..

  30. JLM

    .May I please reserve:”Well played.””I agree with you more than you do with yourself.””Your generation did not invent sex or business.””If anyone goes to the pay window, everyone goes to the pay window.”Small ask.JLM.

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      yours. full stop.

    2. Anne Libby

      Own it.

    3. David Semeria

      You forgot: If anyone goes to the pay window, everyone goes to the pay window

      1. JLM

        .Hahaha, damn good one. I was just in a meeting in which I was arbitrating between some competing forces and laid that bit of wisdom on them.Everyone was calmed down and the matter was settled. I had the best damn steak I had had in years.JLM.

  31. LE

    I really like super lightweight engagement gestures. I am bombarded by stuff coming at me all the time. So if I can acknoweledge (sic) something publicly without having to do much work, I get a huge amount of value from that.Really “lightweight acknowledgement” rather than “lightweight engagement”. Engagement to me means “interaction”.Could also be shortened to “lightack” or “litack”.

  32. Taylor Crane

    I’ve always thought this was a necessary feature for emails. No need to reply and say “thanks!”, and no need to leave the other person wondering if you ever read it.

  33. Andrew Greene

    What do you think of Facebook post liking? It seems especially important for your second case, where your FB friend has no idea if his/her post hit your newsfeed.

  34. panterosa,

    Likes remind me of my father’s phrase “That, and a token, will get you on the subway.”

  35. Kirsten Lambertsen

    @pmarca favorited a tweet of mine today – now I wish I could favorite his favorite. Have a sort of trophy wall of my most memorable Twitter moments.

  36. Donna Brewington White

    I am trying to re-train myself in how I use the favorite button. For the most part, I’ve used it as a personal utility rather than as a communication device. But I have a few people who regularly or occasionally gesture and it is actually very nice and helps me feel some connection even though we are both moving fast in different directions.One thing I have appreciated about Twitter from the beginning is the room for users to take the lead.

  37. ShanaC

    So we need more ways to reveal body language cues on the web. I’m not sure a micro action is the right way though.we need something more flexible.

  38. paramendra

    I have been accused of plus spam on Google Plus. Thanks for watching my back.