When it sounds like I’m addressing you, I am. When it looks like I made something for you, I did.
I am here for and with you - not for some part of you that looks like an opportunity for me.
I am not on a script. I am not speaking words out of habit. I am not mass-producing relationship.
I am here to be me, and to discover you being you, and to find out what it means for us to exist together, if only for a moment.
There’s no sale. There’s no call to action. There’s just me, and you, and whatever wants to happen next.
“No robot” is this idea. I am no robot, following protocol without mind. I am conscious, I am honest, I am here. This is the promise: if it looks like I’m here for you, it’s because I am here for you.
There’s a time for mass emails, or automated messaging. I do not try to pass it off as being a representation of my direct presence. I’ll say, “This is a quick automated note to say…”.
Excellent example out there in the world: I just got a system email from Dreamhost, signed -The Happy DreamHost “Turbo Speed on a PHP 7 Steed” Robot. All system emails are signed in this vein, and it is an incredible example of combining robots with human energy without a trace of deception.
I do not use template responses for prose, for content that is expected to be a human connecting with a human. No form responses, ever. 100% of the time, my communication is inspired by everything I perceive about you. It is always for you, and for no one else.
Corollary: I never think about “personalizing” my communication. If I’m honestly present with another being, my communication can be nothing but personal.
No tracking pixels in emails. It’s not normal, nor expected, for a one-to-one email to phone home to the sender. It feels like an invasion of privacy, however subtle, to monitor someone’s behavior in this way without their consent.
However, this can be done fairly, with their consent. Kickstarter’s backer update emails conclude with the line, “Show support and stay involved—let xyz know you read this update.” They then offer a heart button, which can be clicked to let the sender know that the message was viewed, and appreciated. This is EXCELLENT. It’s not perfect - Kickstarter still has a tracking pixel at the end of these emails - but it’s absolutely the right direction.
human->human – The gold standard for passing energy around.
human+robot->human – Disclaim your augmentation. It’s value neutral, so long as it’s known. It’s not good to allow (or lead) the recipient to assume that they’re speaking to a human who is paying specific/unique/exclusive attention to them.
robot->human – Always allow a way to report the robot as misbehaving.