Silent Mentions

This idea of “silent mentions” has been brewing on the Write.as forum. All it requires is a hashtag and your blog set up to publish onto Read Write.as. From there, other Write.as users can respond to your posts by using your hashtag in a post on their. Since these posts show up on Read Write.as, and the Read Write.as feed is searchable by tags, you can bookmark your hashtag url as a kind of personal mentions inbox.

The most fascinating part about this proposed system is the “silent” aspect. These mentions slip under the surface – no Write.as infrastructure is built in to notify you. It harkens to the days when retweeting wasn't a press of a button but the copying and pasting of a tweet prepended by “RT” and including an @ mention. There was a kind of intentionality in that action that is lost when you can simply press a button.

Same thing applies to this response hashtag. You have to actively seek your hashtag page just as you actively seek your mailbox, expectant yet unknowing what you'll find. At most you know whoever is contacting you is purposefully seeking you out – they looked to see what your hashtag was and decided to use their Write.as post on their own blog to respond to what you were writing in a (hopefully) constructive manner. That intention could lead to a kind of discourse that rises above interaction.

So I will append this post with #responsetest , a hashtag to test out how these response hashtags could work on Write.as. Feel free to look at the other people who have tested out the functionality by using the hashtag feed here. If you have a blog that is set to “Public” (publishing to Read Write.as), feel free to write a post about this and use #responsetest in your post to see it pop up in the hashtag's feed link.