Whenever I am communicating with people on the Internet, I find myself longing for an “acknowledge” feature. Say for example in a discussion, somebody responds to a question you asked. There is nothing meaningful to say in response, but you want to, like, nod your head to point out “yes, I read what you said.” Not as a value statement (“I like it!”), but a neutral one.
In the absence of a dedicated “acknowledge” feature, what I will often do (and see other people do) is misuse whatever response channels are available: comment upvotes on Stack Overflow, Likes on Facebook or here on Discourse, or if the urge is strong enough, a noisy “got it, thanks” forum post (uggh!) However, as neither of these features was designed to merely “acknowledge” a contribution, using them for it doesn’t feel right.
Would a dedicated “acknowledge” feature be a good thing for a forum to have, next to whatever “like” or “upvote” capabilities are on offer? Could it help reduce noise? Arguably, noise is a huge issue in Forums. What could the “acknowledge” feature look like? How should it work? Should Discourse do it? Or is it just unnecessary fluff?
(I realize the general consensus in digital communication is that not to respond at all is perfectly acceptable, but it really goes against my social conditioning, for better or worse. Maybe it’s a European vs. US, or Anglo-saxon vs. central European culture thing, I don’t know. I notice Americans tend to be much more comfortable with not continuing or abruptly terminating a conversation, and I envy them for it!)