I followed a link on Twitter this afternoon to a poorly written story (actually a piece of commentary from a community news site operator, as it turns out) about a baby being born in the parking lot of a Fort Worth, Texas, strip club after the father was pulled over for speeding on the way to the hospital. The story may have been disappointing, but the feature I saw on that NBC affiliate website made me saw “wow.”
Right there in the sidebar next to the story was an array of different reactions that readers could have to the story, ranging from “laughing” to “furious.” Readers who are feeling generous with their clicks choose an emotion and thereby give the news organization a sense of how that story is faring. A similar system for tracking reactions is in place on BuzzFeed.
I imagine that you can also do a kind of database query to pull out which stories are the most infuriating or thrilling and display those around the site — a more advanced form of the popularity widget we have on the Chronicle site.
Would you like to see something like this on a newspaper website, or do you think this kind of emotional reaction is better suited to television outlets?