Nerdology (n) - a study of people and objects that make the kingdom of nerd fun and exciting. From robots and lasers to incredible Star Trek gift sets.

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Taking 5: I Want To Like The Like Button

Just over a year ago I wrote an article titled “Taking 5: Facebook Platform”. It was right after Facebook launched their Like button and their universal log in.  Both services have been adopted at incredible rates, to the point where I find it odd if I don’t see the Like button on a page.  I have even updated Nerdology to add that functionality (you have to be on the actual site not on the dashboard to see it).

In that post I said “Facebook is targeting Digg. … The difference is audience.  400 million people are on Facebook so clicking Like on an article has the potential to reach more people." Since writing that Digg is more or less dead and I’ve been able to read a ton of articles and watch videos because my friends have clicked the LIKE button.  But there is still one problem. Volume.

Facebook is the largest agrogate I look at, and often times I see content on Facebook that I already saw in other places (Twitter, Tumblr, etc). I’m guilty of that as well. Everything posted to my personal Tumblr also gets kicked out to my Facebook page and Twitter.  It’s just how things work.  And because everyone is pushing their content to Facebook my feed is updated at an incredible rate and I just don’t have time to go back and sift through all the stuff I’ve already seen elsewhere to find the new stuff.

Facebook is missing a way to sort Likes.  And it’s inhibiting the growth of that service.

Last year I wrote, “If I am already checking Facebook it would be great to have a separate news feed to see what things people are liking outside of Facebook… don’t think that isn’t coming.  I also will expect (like digg) to be able to see a list of the most liked things of the day/week/month.” But we still don’t have that.

I want to like the Like button.  I do. It has such great potential but it’s been over a year now and while websites are adopting it en-masse Facebook isn’t supporting it.

It seems so obvious.  Facebook is already aggregating content in the news feed, I just want to be able to sort by Likes, the way you can for pictures, links, pages or groups.  I want to be able to see what my friends are Liking without going to their individual pages, and I want to know what the rest of Facebook is Liking.  What am I missing out on? What are (essentially) the trending articles on the internet?

Sure, if I am already at CNN.com I can see how many people have Liked an article. But there is no way to for me to see a list of pages/articles that my friends have liked in a given period of time.  20 of my friends may have liked an article on CNN, but unless I happened to see it before 50 people updated their status, changed their profile pictures, made new friends or even liked something else it may as well be gone forever.

Is it so much to ask for Facebook to support a feature they’ve implemented? Just give it the tiniest of nudges on your back end to allow me to actually use a feature you’ve created.  It really would be awesome to see what your friends have liked recently/most and to sort by day/week/month and see what the rest of Facebook or your networks have liked.  It would be one giant crowdsourced RSS feed and it would be awesome.

-Creighton