A weekly-ish email to my internet friends



I don’t know how to talk to people and then there’s a website

Written by dominik on

1.0 Dislike!

I openly admit – I am not very skilled at talking to normal people.
Don’t worry, I am not talking about any of you – normal people would never even think of subscribing to a newsletter by some random Internet dude. What would be the point?
Now currently I am in the terrible situation that I am almost exclusively sourrounded by normal people. People, who are scared of the part of the web that isn’t for buying stuff. People, who print out their emails, so they can put them in folders and never look at them again – in case they need them as reference. And if they use their smartphones then for WhatsApp and malware-laden free games. It’s a very alien world for me.
So – how to talk to these people? I don’t want to be aloof or unsocial.
I tried to listen to what they talk about. But I still don’t understand. Is it really worth discussing for hours who kicked what thing in which kind of sportsball? Am I supposed to have an enraged opinion on the way the postman is delivering letters? Do I need to loudly ponder the end of Christianity when I see a bunch of dark-skinned kids hang out at a bus stop? Is it expected of me to make fun of people who actually create something if it doesn’t match my taste? Maybe even pronounce someone to be a dumb idiot because he has a slightly different point of view? Maybe I need to join one of those clubs that mostly seem to be there so that people can have a reason to be mean to each other?
Honestly, I am a bit lost.

2.0 Like!

I got some nice feedback for the last couple of mails and that is very lovely.
After I calmed down from each wave of performance anxiety – “Omg, they liked that last one, what can I do that they like the next one, too?” – by tapping into my seemingly endless reservoire of acceptance for my own mediocrity, I started to think about the way we are social online. (What else.)
Most of our tools these days are built to provide a single, one-click way to deliver instant positive reinforcement. Likes, faves, thumbs up, stars, retweets, hearts – yay!

It’s easy to get addicted. It feels good to get those small notifications that not only someone paid attention to what one put online but also liked it enough to mark it as something they liked.
And yes, it might seem a meaningless thing – it doesn’t take much to tap or click that button. But still, it is a token of appreciation and a small note that someone out there saw something we did and didn’t hate it.

So, is there anything you want me to pay attention to and like that I might not know, yet? Let me know.

3.0 A website! A website!

As much as writing an email is refreshing, I am still at heart a web person. So here we go, the archive of the newsletter as a website.
Thanks for reading,