Like/Dislike: Out. Loving you ever harder: In.


Let’s talk about how awesome you are.

Yesterday I offered up the Facebook “like” button — a way of showing that you like a post without needing to leave a comment. Then, responding to some associated suggestions, I offered a thumbs-up feature for comments, to let you show when you like them, too. That feature came bundled with a thumbs-down feature, and I asked if that might be useful for letting you guys give “hey, that wasn’t cool” feedback on comments when you feel the need. After some conversations, I added in a way to create threaded replies to comments, so you can respond to them directly. Then I asked you all to vote on which ones to keep. It all happened quickly, and if you missed it, I apologize — you can still weigh in. But here’s what happened:

You UNANIMOUSLY rejected the “thumbs down” button. That was a firm, undeniable, “HELL NO.” You don’t want a tool that has the potential to create drama and bad feelings.

And you had mixed feelings about the comment and post “like” buttons. On one hand, it’s nice to be able to show support. On the other hand, vote counts can be used as part of a popularity game, and that smells a bit icky. And you don’t want people to feel encouraged to comment less — you love reading the comments here. Also? Looking more like facebook? Not so great.

BUT! You do pretty much love the ability to reply to comments directly, and that gives you a way to support great comments that you didn’t have before. So loud and clear: that feature stays.  The rest… well, it’s probably better if the rest go.

So the verdict is in. Genderfork says NO to drama. And for that, I am wildly in love with you. Thank you.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from the discussion:

When the comments rating was first mentioned I thought it might be a good idea (and I still see its merits), but in practice I’m not happy with it — it makes the site feel a bit like all those “who’s the best, who’s at the top, let’s have lots of rankings and rate and number everything” and takes away from the feel of personality[? not sure if that’s the word] and hospitality; maybe that’s just me tho?
– tigr

I much agree! I feel as though the like/dislike feature has the potential to unwittingly become a popularity contest of sorts.

If threading stays, however, it’d be easy to reply with a quick “So do I!” or “I feel the same way!” instead of the little thumbs up/thumbs down that can be interpreted any number of ways and may alienate some of genderforkers. That would eliminate like/dislike and tidy up the comments, making the conversations within them more coherent.

I don’t like the idea of any sort of “thumbs down” or “dislike” button becuase one of the things I value so much about Genderfork is how positive we are able to stay.

no dislike button. it will create hate, drama, and overall negative feelings in an overall supportive community

I just have to say, I’m really not loving this. I really enjoyed the simplicity of Genderfork, and it was my get away from my Facebook/non accepting people.
– anonymous

Hhmmmm, i really like the threaded comments, it adds something to the comments that is beneficial to the flow of conversation. But the thumbs up/thumbs down, in my mind doesn’t. I also love the fact that genderfork isn’t negative, and having the option for thumbs down-ing something just doesn’t seem right for here…..
– freiya

“I feel like I should say that Genderfork is the ONLY place on the wider internet (i.e. besides blogs of friends) where I seek out & enjoy reading the comments. everywhere else, I inevitably regret reading comments… it just makes me feel gross & debased, and lose more faith in my fellow humans. Here, the comments are half to two-thirds of what make the site awesome.

In other words, you all rule!”
– jean c.

It’s true. You totally do.

Thanks and love,
Sarah Dopp

founder of genderfork

Posted by on August 23rd, 2010 at 01:33 pm

Category: general info 22 comments »

22 Responses to “Like/Dislike: Out. Loving you ever harder: In.”

  1. anonymous and shy

    Sarah, you’re probably the coolest person I’ve never met. I hope you know just how much Genderfork means to so many of us. Maybe it started as a photoblog of attractive and interesting androgyny, but the site has grown into a genuine community. Genderfork helped me to accept and understand myself when I needed to the most. I’ve met some amazing people and found real friends. I now know I’m not alone in the world.

    You’ve started something incredible here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    epinards replied:

    if there were a like button, i would like this comment! But since we’re being encouraged to actually say what we have to say, I’ll say it instead!!! This site is the best, thank you Sarah!


    tigr replied:

    And that’s why I like there’s no “like” button =)


  2. Sarah Dopp


    If you keep this up you’re gonna make me cry.

    Thank you.


  3. Quince

    Sarah, this site has changed my entire life, and I love you for it. Its exactly what I needed.

    Much love, Quince


  4. J.D.

    I forget how I found out about Genderfork, but I do know that I found it right when I needed it most (funny how things work that way). The love that goes into this site and the dedication and support have given me hope and made me proud of who I am, even if I’m not always sure who that is. This has become a pillar of strength for me. Thank you for providing such a wonderful and safe place. On the internet especially those are hard to come by.


    Anonymous replied:

    “The love that goes into this site and the dedication and support have given me hope and made me proud of who I am, even if I’m not always sure who that is.”

    This. I was having a lot of trouble, feeling like I wasn’t “lesbian enough” to be lesbian, and also not “trans enough” to be trans. But this site and all the people on it have really helped me see that there is no “not enough” when it comes to who we are as people.
    Its okay to feel conflicted and like two (or three, or four, or thirty) things at once. There’s no invalid feeling.

    In a world that always says “this is what you like”, genderfork is the first place I’ve found that asks “what do you like?” and honestly wants to know.

    Hopefully this made sense. I love genderfork!


    J.D. replied:

    well it makes sense to me! I honestly wish I could remember who showed me this place or how I got to it because I owe whoever pointed me in this direction a gigantic hug and perhaps a gift basket or something…


    Samson replied:

    SECONDED. Thank you, Sarah!! You started an amazing thing.


  5. Leni

    I love that fact that the form of this place remained unique (not facebook-normative;) ), just like the content:)
    it’s more pure this way. hugs to the creators!


  6. Jessica

    I agree, there ought to be a send Sarah flowers button or maybe some way we could voice our sincere appreciation and gratitude for all Sarah’s hard work and dedication!

    And about the like/dislike thing – contrary to some people’s belief, I don’t post my opinions here because it strokes my ego and I don’t think other people do that either. This is a good thing. I hate it when people make unnecessary changes to site to make them more like something else, which is deemed temporarily popular.

    But then I am preaching to the choir here about the goodness and richness of diversity.


  7. Anna

    Did anybody set up a livejournal syndicalization of the rss feed so far?

    it would be so cool to have genderfork on my livejournal friendspage.



    Sarah Dopp replied:

    I set up an LJ feed way at the beginning, but it looks like LJ has moved some things around since I last checked on it. Looks like….

    Okay, here we go:


    Jay replied:

    Okay, that is brilliant! I hadn’t realize there was an LJ rss.

    Now even more of my life can come right to my LJ. xP


    Anna replied:

    wow, that was fast. thanks a lot.

    suggestion: maybe you could add this as a STAY CONNECTED button


  8. Sarah Dopp

    I’m totally loving the love here, but I also need to defer a bunch of it to the staff. 100% of this site’s content is now sorted, curated, and posted by our team. And they do a phenomenal job:

    They get all my applause. :)


  9. Jay

    Yay! I love that threading stayed, and I’m not at all fussed about the other things. And definitely lots of love going out to Sarah and the whole GenderFork team! I’m really pleased that this decision was made.


  10. Hodge Podge

    I love how completely positive Genderfork is, it’s the perfect safe-space. Can’t remember how I found it, perhaps through Below The Belt? (a great blog which covers queer issues). Maybe it was the other way round, who knows!

    I’ve actually seen two people I knew from real life on here, which is pretty wonderful.


  11. A

    I love the love I find here, and I love that even though I don’t know any of you in real life, I can always comment here and feel like I’m talking to my family. This place is wonderful, and now that I can actually reply directly to people, that feeling of community and family is only going to get stronger.


  12. Elle

    I found Genderfork as a link on Wikipedia, on the androgyne page I think. And people say that Wikipedia isn’t useful…


  13. Astha

    I just found this site today, and this was so sweet to read. So much love. <3. This place is beautiful in every way.


  14. BRae

    I love how organic and intelligent the conversations are here. And I love how everyone comes together to nurture and sustain this leetle corner of the interwebs. Yay. <3


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