The buttons at the bottom of a post: Agree, Insightful, Awesome, LOL, and WTF were an interesting way for others to add input on a discussion without cluttering up a forum with simple replies. Instead of users spamming "+1" "WTF" or "AGREE" or "LOL" they could just click the button. the idea is that it keeps discussions cleaner.
I like the idea behind the buttons because it lets people know I've read and thought about their comment while leaving a lot more room for others to post their thoughts. The problem is the idea sort of fell flat and failed. Those of us who post a lot still do and those who aren't comfortable still don't. Meanwhile the system also introduces a couple of problems. It hasn't improved discussions and if anything it has reduced the quality.
1. It creates a brigade and bandwagon scenario where popular comments get upvoted and encourages others to hop on that bandwagon of support or criticism.
2. It creates a huge trolling opportunity. It's no secret we have some posters here who love to troll legitimate comments and this just provides them that opportunity to spam their trolling with no repercussions.
Removing these buttons I think would encourage people to actually comment and make a valid point if they want to hop on the bandwagon. It would also remove the ability to troll discussions without having to post a comment. If trolls have to post then they will have to actually think up an intelligent response or face the consequence of trolling.
What do you think? Our old forum format didn't have these buttons and discussion quality was arguably better then. Do you think removing these would help improve our discussions and posts? I think it would.
traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration