One thing I miss about writing on Medium is highlighting, and it got me thinking last night and again this morning that blogging platforms should do away with likes, or refrain from implementing them if the platforms are under development, and instead implement reader highlights.
Likes are completely devoid of both content and context. If a reader doesn’t have anything useful or interesting to add by way of posting a comment, their only other choice should be to highlight something in what they read that especially spoke to or struck them.
Really, I wish that the web has evolved more along its original vector, and long since had been built with native standards for comments/mentions and highlights/annotations. Things were supposed to be that way, and, yes, I know there still today are people working on such things, and of course there are any number of third-party services that offer things like highlighting, but all of these things should have been built into the web itself by now.
If someone says something interesting about something I’ve written, or highlights key points that I myself think are important, I want to be able to click their name and be taken to their own website where I could explore an archive of their other comments and highlights from around the web.
I don’t want separate tools and widget that do this. I don’t want some sidelong portion of the web that does this for sites that implement it. I want this to be the native web. I’m not holding my breath.