Button pusher

Adding to my last post on positive reinforcment and the “expert ask,” here are two more examples of reinforcement and guiding online readers.

I’ve started using workflowy recently and this message came in when I called up the site today. Just as in my wikipedia example, they are using a simple rating to get people to participate but the winning design here is the ten day rule. This uses contextual data to keep the user with you along a timeline. On day one of use, the user is still figuring out how to use your product. On day ten of use, they’ve likely formed a basic opinion. But say they choose “It kinda stinks” on day ten. This is an important data point early on in the relationship with a user — you have a chance to 1) learn about why the user thinks “it kinda sucks” and possibly 2) turn things around with that user.

I spend some time at work thinking about online comments. People love ’em and hate ’em equally, and every site that has comments struggles in some way. Too many trolls? Anonymity stifles real discussion? et cetera. The example above from Amazon.com comments goes underneath every individual comment asking what I think is the litmus test for good comments: does this post add anything to the discussion? This is not the same thing as “like” or “recommend” as a way to positively reinforce good comments. This specific question is the right one to ask. The number of people who rate the comment (“0 of 3 people”) is shown is also a good reinforcement mechanism that adds on top of the question.