Joho the Blogcivil Archives - Joho the Blog

May 14, 2010

Won’t someone please try this 100% guaranteed cure for incivility?

Yes, this may be a terrible idea and may have awful unintended consequences, but I’d still love to see someone try providing users with just two buttons to press after every comment on a blog that has considerable traffic: and Comments that have lots of people who hae pressed both buttons would be treated as especially valuable…


March 4, 2010

Contest: Design buttons for “I disagree but I recommend”

First I’m going to tell you the challenge. Then I’ll tell you what’s behind the challenge, and then what the winner wins.

The Challenge

I’d like to come up with graphical icons to be placed next to buttons that will let readers indicate that some post or comment they just read is one that they recommend to others (what we usually see represented as a thumbs up, at least in countries where that does not have an obscene meaning) even though they disagree with the content. These icons should be compact (16×16?) and should convey as much of the meaning as possible, although I acknowledge that there’s going to have to be some text somewhere (perhaps only visible when you hover) explaining what the heck they mean.

The Motive

I keep trying to get the creators of participatory sites to try including these two buttons so that content that is highly recommended by those who disagree with it can be ranked higher than “recommend and agree” content, and thus can be made more visible. My not-so-hidden aim is to see if we can encourage civil engagement by rewarding the recognition of merit in expressions with which we disagree. I’d like to see if this has a beneficial effect on posters, who will have an incentive to write in ways that respect those who hold opposing views, and a beneficial effect on readers who are reminded (simply by the presence of the options) that one can find value in opposing viewpoints.

No one has taken me up on this.

The reward for winning this contest


In fact, I’m not really going to pick a winner. But you suspected that all along, didn’t you?