Rewards Update: Like Comments & Earn Points For Great Comments

Many 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.

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.

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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Comments (53)
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.