analytics and webmentions
I like to roll around different metaphors for the Internet. Is a “site” a location? When someone sends me a request and I respond, is that like a catalog order? When I put something “up on my page”, is it like putting it up on a billboard?
The implications for politeness1 all seem different. If someone comes into my house, I should know who they are. If I respond to a request, I must know a little bit about them just to send an answer. If someone walks by a poster I’ve put up in a public place and glances at it, I should never record them, geez!
I think the metaphor I’d like is probably handing out zines at a conference. I don’t need to know everyone’s name, their address, their soda brand preferences – but it’d be nice to keep track in the aggregate of which booth they’re coming over from, maybe, which zines they take.
And all that seems different from the reader actively sending the notification back.
Even if a bunch of people read something, are repelled by it, and don’t want to cop to associating with it, I feel like there’s some level of awareness it’s polite to have about having handed it out to them–again, in the aggregate.
The webmention serves the purpose of the response later – the “hey I read a jamie mortara chapbook and it was great/depressing”. I can’t really imagine wanting a reader app to provide that because it seems like more of an intentional endorsement to associate my Real Identity with… just… stuff I’m reading2.
But even just spitballing about this, it seems odd that I’m not seeing tools around the lightweight analytics a creative might care about rather than an advertiser. Perhaps I’m looking for the wrong terms.
“Ethics” seems a little heavy a term here for this level of content. ↩
A bit like how people using Spotify are often shocked to learn that their “public” playlists intended for personal / friend use send notifications to the artists that their songs have been added… ↩