How I Want to Socialize - The Thinking of Webmentions

On the IndieWebCamp Berlin, some people have played the tic-tac-toe game through their website. The tic-tac-toe game finished pretty quickly with the expected result. I mean, the tic-tac-toe is a solved games, since there are not that many options - less than half a millions, if we also count the games continuing, when they are finished.

They actually got me to think about a lot of ways, we could be using the webmentions. They are mostly used for the commenting function - which is nice, as this is one of the fundamental ways of communicating on the web. It can also be reused as it for asking for opinion of other people. But sometimes I wish, that this would not be that optimized - since I think it stifles different ways of how we could be using webmentions.

Just a couple of examples would be using it for polls or questionnaires or pings or mentions or just an indication, that somebody was talking about you, or likes or some other things. But these are all the options, where one does not really want the content, to be displayed as the comment.

The same could be true for some sort of competitions. Tadoku originally started as a twitter competition, where people would post their updates on Twitter and the bot would aggregate the results to the leader board. Or fandom prompts series - either time limited or not. There was a discussion of having a photo challenge in our of the previous Homebrew meetings.

The one I spent the most time thinking about was, how to use the webmentions to play story games. Story games are games, where the goal is to create a story together, not winning or losing. It would probably be easier to play the story games that include game master, since then a lot of problem with turn taking and so on fall away. But I guess the most interesting experiment would be, if the games could be designed in the non-turn based way, so everybody could participate when they wanted to participate.

They I saw the following quote on one of the write-ups for one of the Homebrew clubs

also webmentions with no UI at all becomes a ephemeral email of sorts. in general separating the concept of the webmention notification from reading microformats and posting them in my own page could allow interesting implementations powered by webmention.

While it actually represents another interesting though on the webmentions, it made it take a step back. Webmentions are on the end just a technology. Before I think about how to use the webmentions, I should be thinking about how I want my communication with other people to look like.

When I think about myself, I don't like all the chat and form like communications. This includes everything from the MSN messenger that I tried in the primary school or Slack that we use at work. I get the pressure to be constantly online then.

If I think about what communication do I like the most at work, is when I get the problem and I have a lot of times to research it. I usually write quite a lot answer with my finding - I have started to add TLDR (too long didn't read) summaries to each of them. When other people - in my case it is usually customer success people, reply with their answer afterwards, I feel like I get better and better understanding of the problem.

Also, if we manage to exchange any content emails (so not just where to meet next), one thing people commented on multiple times was, that my emails are just too long. Once I start writing, they usually end up over A4 page long without me trying to be long at all. There is just something about the writing, that makes it easier to structure thought. And since it is without time pressure of giving an immediate reply, I can take the time to think about it - even if it is just a couple of minutes. And then things just sort of happen. But the time I am aware, the reply is usually way too long.

I am not sure, if webmentions are a good way to support this. Especially if they are imminently displayed below. Even if the article had made me think, do I want the original writer to know about it? Based on my experience with writing long emails, people are usually more pressured then happy by them. Also my thinking could be in the different direction then the original writer was thinking about - in which can it could be a distraction.

Or maybe this is just my social anxiety thinking. I do have a bit of the problem with downplaying the value of my thinking. Why would anybody be interesting in what I am thinking - when I am not a specialist in anything, neither have a lot of experience, nor am a particularly good thinker. It is one of the reason, I am rarely raising my ideas, when it does not pertain to the topic. It is one of my weaknesses, that I recently brought to light for myself.

But then webmentions and social media notifications and all of that would just be me running away from my problems. For me it would be better to not have any automatic way of socialization at all, just so I would get over my fears. So I guess my recent choice to delete the automatic sending of webmentions (did not really work) was maybe a good idea in this direction. If I want people to know about something I wrote, I should be contacting them manually. And it would probably be better if the contact would not be in the form of webmentions, but something more personalized.

The only other type of socialization that I like is taking to another person face-to-face, preferably one-on-one or in very small groups. Preferably in person, but if it is really small group, I will take video conferencing as well. But this is not a type of socialization that I help leverage my webpage into having. At least not with the webmentions.

The rest of it is just a substitute for these two. So it is either a async, long-form writing about topics, or the sync talk about anything. Anything other communication should be pushing me to one of these two modes and are just a means to the end.

But in the end, that means that the only time I should be sending a webmention is, if a specific content on the internet made me think about something, and I wrote about it in a blog post. But it should be closely connected to what the original piece of content was. Everything else would not support my favorite types of communication, so I should only be using them, if somebody else initializes the conversation.

I guess now I can also understand, why the story games was the example, I spend the longest time thinking about. This actually does go with the async, long-form writing example. The reason I did not yet started is also, that I could not find a way around the timing problem - is there a time limit for each response? But maybe I should first be doing this in person, and only later on the internet?