katie zhu, Ev Williams I’m a relative Medium newbie, Love the platform and what it’s done for me thus far. I appreciate what this 👏 Clap initiative is trying to do, I think there is value in adding nuance to recommendations, but … as I think more about this & read the feedback by Anna Breslin, Justin Cox 🍩 & others, I am starting to conclude that the unbounded applause idea will lead to unintended consequences.
How about a middle ground — distinct tiers of applause, a.k.a. a palette of options to express appreciation:
👏 One Clap — Nicely Done
👏👏 Two Claps — Hearty Applause
👏👏👏 Three Claps — Standing Ovation
I do think going much beyond these defined & easy-to-understand tiers will tend to lead to confusion, abuse, trivialization, and marginalizing of more meaningful feedback mechanisms like highlights & comments.
Case in point, I just tried out rapid-fire applause with my buddy Quasimodo. 6 claps — why? No reason! Then I added +1 to make it a nice prime number. Or maybe I’ll up it to my favorite number 11? This becomes arbitrary real quick.
Worst of all, I have wasted valuable brain cycles that I could have used to compose meaningful, personalized feedback
Edit: There is psychological basis for the above tiers. If you attach a clear definition to each, they will be used more consistently. E.g. folks will be less ilkely to just upvote their friends with 3 Claps unless they feel a Standing Ovation is justified.