YLike: Add and dislike Buttons To Yahoo! Group Messages

Pankaj Kumar [pankaj.kumar@gmail.com]

YLike adds and dislike buttons next to Yahoo! Groups messages and allows members to express their opinion by a simple click.

Note: YLike is NOT developed, run, supported or maintained by Yahoo!

YLike In Action

Watch this 2-minute video clip introducing YLike.

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Read the transcript of the video here.

Use YLike

YLike works only with Firefox and Google Chrome. On these browsers, you can use it in one of the two ways:
  1. YLike Bookmarklet: Drag and Drop YLike to your bookmarks area. You will have to click on this bookmarklet on a Yahoo! group page that has list of message posts or the body of a message post.
  2. YLike Userscript: On Firefox you must have Greasemonkey addon installed. To Install YLike userscript, click on ylike.user.js and follow the browser instructions. Note: Google Chrome warns you that this extension will have access to all web pages. That is simply not true. The userscript is activated only on Yahoo! group pages.
First execution of the YLike script, either by explicit click of the bookmarklet or by implicit activation of the userscript when visiting a Yahoo group, intiates the setup process. This process prompts the user to "login to YLike site" using Yahoo! Id in a message box. Clicking on this link takes you to "YLike Sign In Page" to authenticate your Yahoo! Id (otherwise any user can pretend to be you to YLike). After clicking on "Sign In with a Yahoo! Id" button on this page, you will be taken to another page that asks for the permission to share your Yahoo! e-mail id with YLike site (pankaj-k.net). Grant this permission. At the end of the process you will be taken back to the Yahoo! group page. If you are using the bookmarklet then you must click on the bookmarklet again to activate YLike. No such activation is required if you have YLike userscript installed.

Vote for This Feature in Yahoo! Groups

If you like this feature and want it in Yahoo! Groups without the additional hassle of using a bookmarklet or installing user scripts, please vote for like/dislike feature at Yahoo! Groups Suggestion Board.

How Does YLike Work

YLike runs a piece of JavaScript code in the context of the currently visible Yahoo! Groups page. This code is activated either by you explicitly clicking on the YLike bookmarklet or automatically by the installed YLike userscript. This code interacts with the YLike server to get the count of likes and dislikes for messages on the current page and displays them next to the respective messages. Clikcing on either like or dislike button activates the YLike Javascript handler which communicates with the backend to update the count and comment, if present, against the currently logged-in user.

Security And Privacy Issues

Runing Javascript code on a web page from unknown source is generally considered unsafe as this code gets access to all that is there on the page, including all the the text and cookies, and can transmit those to a third party site. As YLike uses this mechanism for its basic functioning, you are explicitly trusting it to not do anything malicious. What follows gives you an idea of explicit security and privacy measures adopted by YLike.

A Yahoo! user is authenticated to YLike server using Yahoo! OpenId authentication where the user gives the permission to share her Yahoo! email address with YLike. This allows the YLike server to get and authenticate the user in a secure manner. Keep in mind that user's password never goes to the YLike server. Proper authentication ensures that the likes and dislikes are associated with the rightful owner and it is not possible for one user to impersonate another.

YLike server is sent only the user opinion on a message, anonymity option, comments (if any) and message titles. Message bodies are not transmitted to the YLike server.

The option to list all like/dislike opinions of a user only lists opinions of messages belonging to that particular group, thus limiting access of message title to only those who already have this access.

Reasonable efforts are made to secure the YLike serever against malicious intrusions, but this is not to say that it can never happen. Similarly, reasonable efforts are made to keep the YLike software bug free. Please refer to the disclaimers if you all this concerns you.

Transcript of the Demo Video

YLike is a cool little hack that adds like and dislike buttons to a Yahoo! Group. These buttons allow a member to express her opinion of individual posts with an optional brief comment.

The counters and buttons you see next to each post have been added by YLike.

Glancing through a page full of posts and looking at like/dislike counts gives an idea of what the members think of these messages.

Clicking on a counter next to a like button displays the list of members who liked that post. The same is true for dislike button.

It is also possible to drill down into all like votes of a particular member.

To like or dislike a post, just click on the appropriate button. You can optionally enter a brief comment. Checking anonymous makes the vote private, meaning your Yahoo Id will not be displayed in the list of votes. Anonymous votes are not listed when a member drills down into the votes of a another member.

If you change mind about your opinion on a particular post then just unlike or undislike.

Quite understandably, it is not possible to dislike a post that you have already liked. So the dislike button has been grayed out.

The like and dislike buttons are also available on a page showing the body of the post. This allows a member to express opinion after going through the full message.

YLike opens up an entirely different kind of interaction paradigm within the context of a Yahoo! Group and offers a simple way for quick and non-intrusive exchange of opinions.

Disclaimers

YLike is not developed, run, supported or maintained by Yahoo!. It is just a hack using well understood Web technologies and requires user's permission (implicitly granted by adding the bookmarklet or installing the user script) to work.

YLike service is provided on AS IS basis and without any guarantees or warranty on the service or data associated with the service.

Although the author has attempted to find and correct any bugs in the software programs, he is not responsible for any damage or losses of any kind caused by the use or misuse of the service.

The author is under no obligation to provide support, service, corrections, or upgrades to YLike service.