Tue Jan 24 '23

One problem with writing a blog is that it’s very unidirectional—I spit out a bunch of words, and you have to read them. But what happens if you disagree, or worse yet, if you have a correction?

It’s fairly easy to add comments to blogs, but these usually become a cesspool of bots and flamewars: this is too much feedback for my tastes.

Another solution is to accept emails from readers and maybe you can care enough to respond to them, but this is hard to manage and I don’t know how to check my emails.

The approach another person took was to make their website source publicly available, where any idiot could submit patches through a mailing list as some twisted form of feedback, but this gives away a lot of creative control.

So comments, emails, and accepting patches are all not going to work for me…

I did some thinking on how I provide feedback to those around me, and there was one clear method. Yup, you guessed it, it’s emojis again. Here’s some examples I pulled from recent texts:

Nick hey can you give me a ride to the gym? 🙅🖕

Alex love you!! 💕 🇰

If these little emoji responses enrich the lives of my loved ones so much, just imagine what they will do for my two readers!

If you have ever used a messaging service like whatsapp, you know they show a list of their six favorite emojis and then a plus button that lets you arbitrarily pick an emoji to react with. Picking defaults is too boring, but having the masses choose arbitrary emojis to react with also means they could react with things like this, which would obviously break my website:

🇩 🇷 🇴 🇵   🇹 🇦 🇧 🇱 🇪   🇵 🇴 🇸 🇹 🇸

My solution is thpptphtphphhph, a small service that will generate five random emojis to react with on every blog post I write. Because the five emojis are chosen randomly from a uniform distribution, I can’t be held responsible for anything bad that they spell or denote. It also gives readers a sense of accomplishment by forcing them to choose how to convey their complex emotions on my blog topics through emojis not of their choosing.

You can give thpptphtphphhph a try below. Please note that it’s only available on this post as we are in the open beta stage. We are currently seeking funding to add in websocket support so that you can watch other people react live to my posts, and our stretch goal is $25 to open-source thpptphtphphhph, but first we need to remove all the glaring security holes.

I look forward to everyone’s feedback on this new system! Of course, you will have to convey your feedback through the above five random emojis, and I’m not sure what they will be, but I will read each and every response carefully.