Rewards Update: Like Comments & Earn Points For Great Comments

makeuseof logo   Rewards Update: Like Comments & Earn Points For Great CommentsMany of you have asked us to re-introduce Likes for comments. Since we have an awesome community of readers who craft the most amazing comments, we thought this might be a nice Christmas gift for all of you. From now on you can receive Likes for your comments. And with each Like you give, you gift a point to the respective commenter.

Along with an increase of really great comments, we also noticed a steep increase of comments that did not contribute to the conversation. We think these comments were made by people desperate to earn points to participate in our great Giveaways and earn Rewards. So in order to promote quality comments that add value and contribute to the conversation, we will no longer reward points for commenting itself.

How Does It Work?

To Like a comment, you must be logged in. And to be eligible to earn points for Likes, your comments must be posted while you are logged in. So essentially, to Like and benefit from Likes, you need an account with MakeUseOf, which is easy as you can use your existing social networking accounts.

Log In to Like Comment   Rewards Update: Like Comments & Earn Points For Great Comments

Once you are logged in, you can like comments using the respective link in the bottom right of a comment. To indicate that your Like was accepted, the comment will blink briefly. The number of Likes is displayed in the top right below the date.

Liked Comment   Rewards Update: Like Comments & Earn Points For Great Comments

For now, the comment sorting won’t be affected by Likes. We are still working on this aspect of Likes, but are planning to display most liked comments on top. Respective changes will be implemented as soon as we have upgraded to the latest version of WordPress.

What Are Limitations?

There are several limitations.

  • You cannot Like your own comments.
  • There is a timeout between Likes.
  • We have imposed a limit on how many points each comment can earn, although there is no restriction on how many Likes a comment can receive.
  • If we catch someone gaming the system, we will have to reset their points.

To summarize:

  • Don’t try to Like your own comments.
  • Genuinely read and Like valuable comments.
  • Don’t game the system.

What Can I Do With Points I Have Earned?

You can spend points to participate in a Giveaway or trade in your points for our amazing MakeUseOf Rewards.

Questions?

We know we cannot make everyone happy, but we would still love to hear all and any of your feedback.

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If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

53 Comments -

Florin Ardelian

Why aren’t you guys using something like Disqus or Facebook? I don’t understand why every website has to implement its own comment system…

juan david gil

maybe becasue some of us dont use facebook, or some of us dont like social logins or maybe we value freedom; try seeing things from a diferent point of view

shaurya gupta

True that Juan…

juan david gil

annd congrats for the new like system hope it works out for all :)

Anonymous

Maybe its so that they are unique.
And by the way you may not want to comment with your facebook account.

Bumferry Hogart

Having an independent comment system that rewards points like this should encourage useful and helpful comments, unlike most other website where one has to sift through tons of trolling, fake adverts about people girlfriends who earn ÂŁ235245 an hour… etc.
The makers of this site seem to care about there users and coming up with innovative ways to engage with and get people involved with their site can only be a good thing… In my opinion anyway. :)

Lisa Santika Onggrid

True. I don’t want this site to turn like Yahoo!Answers, which was a great community based Q&A but now littered with desperate point-farmers.

muotechguy

Disqus was a horrendous stress on the database; Facebook is hated by all. That, and we wanted to add our own funcitonality, like game stuff mentioned. We cant do that with either of those options

Achraf Almouloudi

It is actually technically not possible to reward points if they’re using Disqus or Facebook comments, but you can use Facebook to login.

Ole Funch

In my World (!), I think Disques is a very useful forum, have had a llot of learning frm this.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

MUO used to use Disqus, but I think the current comment system is alright. It limits how deep a nested comment can be, though.

Yiz Borol

Wow, you’ve earned a great number of points just from that one silly question!

pete jr. josue

id rather login to the site im if im going to both browse around and throw off some comments. commenting and liking stuff using social plugins of sorts might get you a stalker maybe and throw off your privacy too.

Anonymous

Gotta love new ways to get points. Thanks team!

Austin Halsell

Is this something that is soon to be rolled out? I only ask because I don’t see the option to like anyones comment. If it helps, I use Safari 6.0.2 and sometimes Chrome (though with Chrome I can’t see my profile or points but am logged in, for some reason). Am I just missing it?

juan david gil

“Respective changes will be implemented as soon as we have upgraded to the latest version of WordPress” so i guess that soon

Tina Sieber

Good catch. Actually the post was published slightly before the update had been rolled out completely.

Achraf Almouloudi

I honestly don’t like the idea to stop rewarding points for commenting, because there isn’t an evidence that the likes feature will be actually used a lot and so that might hurt good comment posters. It would be better if you keep the current rewarded points per comment, add a point per liked reward system and implement Akismet which filters spammers and delete their comments.

muotechguy

I disagree. A spam system doesn’t help to stop the kind of dirty tactics we’ve been seeing; deliberate point grabbing. If we see no one is liking comments, then we’ll consider changes. I think more important would be to ask – why does no one like that comment? PErhaps its not a useful comment? Hoepfully this will make people think more about the value of the comment they are making. Simple writing “thanks, great article” wont get any likes.

Achraf Almouloudi

I think you can develop or hire a developer to make a custom filtering system which will delete all the useless comments like “Thanks” “Great one” “I am in” and their respective point reward, so only good comments would actually be kept while still rewarded for their quality comments. Another idea is to give 5 points per like, because, realistically even a good comment would only get about 2 or 2 likes and that won’t please good comment posters.

Douglas Mutay

Very good point. I have even seen people commenting the same thing two or third time just to get point. Isn’t that bad? There really should be a way to automatically avoid a duplication of the same comment and also someone who can delete those silly comments.

Achraf Almouloudi

Content scanning and filtering methods are relatively easy to develop and so Makeuseof should really consider making one which deletes duplicate and useless comments and their respective points each Hour or Day in midnight.

Tina Sieber

Unfortunately, content scanning and filtering, if done automatically, are notoriously unreliable and heavy on the servers. That’s why we have been doing people-assisted scans.

We have added keywords and people’s accounts to our filters and moderators double-check every comment that is held for moderation, as well as every comment that gets published. This is an incredible amount of work and with people deliberately abusing the system to gain points, we decided to turn the system around on them.

Users can now decide which comments they think deserve points, rather than a system automatically dishing out points. If you want to pain points for your great comments, look out for other great comments and Like them. This may motivate that person to pay it forward and Like a comment they enjoy. And hopefully, this gratitude will eventually return to you for your great comments.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Reading the replies, I can say that both sides are correct. Automatically giving out points for reply leads to one-liners while this system might disappoint frequent commentators. I think this is a good system in itself, but need some time to catch on. I’ve just seen three likes after scouring the pages. Achraf is right. Perhaps you should give more points per like.

Muo TechGuy

ps, i liked your comment ;)

Rajaa Chowdhury

A really welcome step, it was a long standing request of mine albeit not put in similar words. Thanks a ton, MakeUseOf team. Hopefully, now the quality of comments will improve by leaps and bounds.

Junil Maharjan

This is a great news. and in contrary to Florin Ardelian, please do not use Facebook for comment.

Vampie C.

This is a cool addition to the site, but what if I provide a good comment, that contributes to the conversationnot, but nobody likes it?

It could lead to people not commenting anymore, because none likes their comments and they don’t get points from commenting.

Muo TechGuy

You have to trust that the community will like your comments. And if not, why not?

Anonymous

I hope you too will have more trust to users.

Tina Sieber

We have so many readers, I’m sure there will always be a subset of them agreeing with you and liking your comment.

Tim Brookes

Don’t forget that as staff we’ll be liking comments too, so if you make a good contribution, add a valid opinion or add something more than the “thanks this is great” comments we’ve been seeing a lot of recently I’m sure the person responsible for that post will be grateful and click that little Like button.

Have a little faith :)

shaurya gupta

i remember someone had suggested MUO to add a like button to the answers users give…Looks they have implemented it here….It’s an awesome new addition to MUO…

Raj Sarkar

Now thats great! :D

ha14

Nice ending: We know we cannot make everyone happy:)

Ashwin Ramesh

A real good initiative from MUO. The comments that really irritate are a plain “yes” and “no” in the Answers page of MUO. Finally we can expect some amount of quality in the comments after this. Thanks MUO!

Arxadius Stark

Since you coded for the ‘Like’ you may proceed to code for the ‘Dislike’. c:

Muo TechGuy

Sadly, I was outvoted in suggesting we add this. Personally, I think we have a reddit like system where -5 likes would automatically hide the comment. Perhaps the rest of the team will realise I’m right at some point, or perhaps I’ll just add it anyway ;P

Tina Sieber

I don’t see the benefit of a dis-like. Just another button.

Muo TechGuy

Gya, I wish I could dislike your comment!

Tina

Because it’s easier to click a button than to engage in a discussion. :)

A like button doesn’t really create any problems because all it says is ‘I agree and have nothing to add’.

The dislike button is different. Since it’s easier to click the button and bury a comment, things are left unsaid, meaning a lost chance to discover a different opinion and come to a wholesome conclusion.

Timothy Liem

I’m one of those who against this new method of giving points. I love the like-dislike thing, but I dislike the method of giving points based on like-dislike.
I suggest you still giving points as usual, but if there is a spammer or one-liner (“great article, thanks”, etc) we, the readers, should dislike the comment and let the admin undo the point. how does it sound?

Muo TechGuy

Far too complicated, and they may have already used the point.

Mayur Godhani

Overall good feature, but you might develop something like this: ability to follow commenter or particular tags. So, we will get notified using MakeUseof notifications, whenever commenter comments or any new post happens in particular tags.
What you think ?

Muo TechGuy

Thanks, this is already on the to-do list ;)

Mayur Godhani

Glad to know that and at Least i will wait for that features.

Nancy B

Well I missed this blog until I complained about not getting points for my comments and the tech guy sent me this link.
I understand wanting to stop people getting points for one liners or being a troll or spam. But unless someone else likes our comments we are now not getting any points?!?!
This sucks. I comment on most articles I read, but I certainly don’t expect people I don’t know to like everything I write. And it hasn’t happened, so for me this isn’t working.
I do like the suggestion of making the system automatically boot out any one line comment, or spam, over this system.
At this rate not going to gain too many point for any of the free stuff very soon. And I hate posting things on Facebook as it’s over a number of friends heads anyway.
Oh well I guess I’ll have to if I want to see my point balance increase…..(sigh)

Tina Sieber

Nancy,

I share your frustration! It’s as disappointing for us that Likes aren’t working like it is for you. And we are trying to fix the system.

We have been working on a new user interface to encourage the Liking of comments. We will also change the points system to give more weight to experienced users, i.e. their Likes will be worth more. And if none of that works, we will think of different ways to improve the system.

Awarding points simply for commenting, however, has proved to be counter-productive. We have seen a slight improvement in the quality of comments since we stopped it, which confirmed that it was the wrong kind of enticement.

Nancy B

Tina thanks for your reply, and I see I actually got 5 likes for my comment so I assume (I know I shouldn’t) that either several people agree with me, or the MUO staff felt bad and liked my post.

I really didn’t see this blog at all. Was it on the Home page? as after commenting on an article I go there to see what’s new or most commented on and check it out. It also never came in my email. Where was this?

I can see your point about just getting points for commenting, with the one liners on a giveaway especially. I never can do a one liner which is why I don’t use Tweeter. I came from a time of writing letters and have a hard enough time keeping emails short, let alone posts.

I would have the system automatically either boot out one liners, spam or send them for review, plus have a Report button like many sites I go to has then the commenters themselves can click it and say why they think a comment is a one liner or off topic or spam. Then the real commenters can get their points, and the trash be deleted or sent for review….commenters self policing the board?

What do you think?

Tina

Awesome feedback, Nancy.

We had a ‘spam/report comment’ option for a while until someone abused it and sent hundreds of comments into moderation. That wasn’t fun and it continued to happen. So we disabled the feature. That even was before we introduced points!

Thinking about it, you’re probably right and we should eventually re-introduce the spam/report option. Maybe make it available to logged in and experienced users only. But that’s a little way down the road as it would require extra coding effort and James is still busy with other improvements coming out soon.

Nevertheless, I will put your suggestion on my feedback list and it will be discussed eventually. Thanks again!

Tina

Oh, to address your other point, as far as I know this post was published like any other post. It definitely showed up on makeuseof.com when it went live on December 17.

Stephanie Staker

My comment is that your system, if you want to call it that, is a little hard to figure out. I love rewards! Who doesn’t? BUT, here’s the deal, I had to type in a search query to find out how to add points here. How about when a newbie joins, send that newbie to an introductory page or something similar? Had I known it was a pretty simple process, I would have a lot more points by now! Come on, help your readers!

Tina

Good point, Stephanie. We do have an overview page available via the Register or Login link. Yes, that’s not the most intuitive link and once you are logged in, you don’t see it anymore.

The thing is, we don’t want to reveal all the details and thereby make it too easy for people to potentially game the system. But I do agree that we should have a better introduction for newbies

Creating a site tour for newly registered users was an idea that came up during a recent meeting. And explaining how to earn points for rewards should be part of that.