📺 Micro.blog custom themes | YouTube

Watched Micro.blog custom themes from YouTube

Importing and editing custom templates on Micro.blog.

I do sort of wonder if Micro.blog functionality would break if new themes don’t have the correct microformats 2 markup? I suspect it runs in conjunction with various common parsers and thus may have issues. It’s a cool thing though that this sort of customization is available now on the platform which is quickly becoming more and more flexible.

🎧 Radio Atlantic: How to Fix Social Media | The Atlantic

Listened to Radio Atlantic: How to Fix Social Media by Matt Thompson, Alexis Madrigal from The Atlantic

Social-media platforms once promised to connect the world. Today’s digital communities, though, often feel like forces for disunity. Anger and discord in 2018 seemed only amplified by the social-media institutions that now dictate our conversations. Executive Editor Matt Thompson sits down with the staff writer Alexis Madrigal to find out how we got to this state, and whether we can do anything to change it.

Discussion topics include: why our online problems are really offline ones, what these platforms have lost in pursuit of scale, and how Matt’s and Alexis’s experiments with solutions have fared.

Last year, Alexis removed retweets from his Twitter account (and was pessimistic about new changes bringing back the old Twitter). Matt just began an experiment turning his Twitter account into a place for conversation rather than performance by reclaiming “the ratio.” The effort reminds Alexis of another noble attempt at making your own rules online. Has it Made the Internet Great Again? Listen to find out.

Voices

Definitely a fascinating episode; potentially worth a second listen.

Of primary interest here, Matt Thompson discusses his concept of “Breaking the Ratio” (🎧 00:23:16-00:27:28a take on the idea of being ratioed on Twitter.

His concept immediately brings to mind a few broad ideas:

Micro.blog is, to some extent, a Twitter clone–loathe as I am to use the phrase as it is so much more than that–which acts in almost exactly the way that Matt and likely Alexis wish Twitter would. Manton Reece specifically designed Micro.blog to not have the idea of retweets or likes, which forces people to have more direct conversations and discussions. Instead of liking or retweeting a post, one must reply directly. Even if one just sends a heart or thumbs up emoji, it has to be an explicit reply. Generally replies are not so sparse however, and the interactions are much more like Matt describes in his personal community.

(I’ll be clear that micro.blog does have a “favorite” functionality, but it is private to the user and doesn’t send any notifications to the post on which it is given. As a result, the favorite functionality on micro.blog is really more semantically akin to a private bookmark, it just has a different name.)

The second thing, albeit tangential to the idea of breaking the ratio, is Ben Werdmüller‘s idea of people taking back agency and using their own voices to communicate.

While the retweet is a quick and useful shorthand, it decimates the personal voices and agency of the people who use it. He’s suggested that they might be better off restating the retweet in their own voice before sending it on, if they’re going to pass the information along. I wonder if he’s ultimately ended up somewhere interesting with his original thesis and research I know he has been doing.[1][2]

If one thinks about it for a moment the old blogosphere was completely about breaking the ratio as most writers wanted to communicate back and forth with others in a more direct and real manner. The fact that the blogosphere didn’t have likes, favorites, or retweets was a feature not an issue. The closest one usually got to a retweet was a blockquote of text which was usually highlighted, featured, and then either argued with or expounded upon.

I’ll note that I most typically use Twitter in a read-only mode almost exactly like Alexis indicates (🎧 00:29:56) that he uses it: plugged into Nuzzel to surface some of the best articles and ideas along with the ability to see the public commentary from the Tweets of the people I’m following and care about. To me this method filters out a lot of the crap and noise and tends to surface a lot more interesting content for me. I’ve created several dozen Twitter lists of various people and plugged them into Nuzzel, so invariably almost everything I come across while using it is useful and interesting to me.

Finally, I’d invite both Matt and Alexis, as fans of the old-school blogosphere, to take a look at what is happening within the IndieWeb community and the newer functionalities that have been built into it to extend what the old blogosphere is now capable of doing. My experience in having gone into it “whole hog” over the past several years has given me a lot of the experiences that Matt describes and which Alexis wishes he had (without all the additional work). I’m happy to chat with either of them or others who are looking for alternate solutions for community and conversation without a lot of the problems that come along as part and parcel with social media services.

👓 New example code: Snippets | Manton Reece

Read New example code: Snippets by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
It might surprise some developers to learn that the 4 official apps for Micro.blog — the iOS and macOS apps, Sunlit, and our microcasting app Wavelength — don’t actually share very much Objective-C or Swift code. To minimize dependencies and so that we could more easily develop each app quick...

I saw Snippets and thought about micro.blog’s predecessor. This post turned out to be about something related but much different.

Great to see pieces of micro.blog opening up like this.

📑 Welcome to my online sandbox. | Joyce Garcia

Annotated Welcome to my online sandbox. by Joyce GarciaJoyce Garcia (Gratuitous Web Presence)
Then I learned about the IndieWeb movement and Micro.blog, and I fell in love with the Internet as I once hoped it would be: a place where people could congregate, converse, and learn from one another with somewhat minimal rancor — and without an overtly overarching need to make a buck with their “content.”  

@manton, I’m not sure if anyone would have thought to ask or do such a thing, but does micro.blog provide users any feeds (RSS, JSON, etc.) of the sites the’re subscribed to for reading in a reader that isn’t necessarily micro.blog’s primary interface?

I ask because I’m curious about the ease of maintaining contacts if one wanted a different reader experience, were to leave micro.blog, or simply wanted to transfer from following 100s within micro.blog to follow them using other interfaces?

Any thoughts perhaps of providing an exportable OPML file for making functionality like this easier? Or for taking an OPML file and putting it into a feed reader that supports subscribing to OPML files?

Reply to More thoughts about Micro.blog as an indie social network by Paul Jacobson

Replied to More thoughts about Micro.blog as an indie social network by Paul Jacobson (Paul Jacobson)
Brad Enslen is doing some great work over at Micro.blog, spreading the word about this innovative service. He published a post titled “The Case for Moving Your Social Network to Micro.blog…

Paul, I like how you’re questioning what is going on with micro.blog and what it is. The toughest part about it is that it is being sold by many different people in many different ways and it’s something slightly different depending on who you are and what you’re coming to it with. It’s all a question of framing.

I might suggest that you’re framing in an odd way, particularly given what I think you’d ultimately like to see on the web which you mention in your closing paragraphs.

To put things somewhat in “Automattic” terms, micro.blog is almost just like WordPress.com in that it’s a hosted content management system with a somewhat both open and closed community attached to it. If you’ve got a WordPress.com account you can easily post replies and likes on other blogs within the WordPress.com ecosystem and WordPress.com also has a slick feed reader you can use to easily subscribe to content (and even more easily subscribe if you’re within that WordPres.com community).

Just like WordPress.com, micro.blog-based sites (if you’re using their CMS) provide you with a physical website that includes RSS feeds and most of the other typical website functionality, so in fact, if you’ve got a micro.blog-based site, you’re fully on the web. If you’d like you can take your domain, export your content and move to WordPress, Drupal, SquareSpace, or any other CMS out there.

The real difference between micro.blog and WordPress.com happens in that micro.blog sends webmentions to provide their commenting functionality (though their websites don’t receive webmentions in a standalone way technically and in fact they don’t even allow manual comments as micro.blog-based websites don’t have traditional commenting functionality (yet?).) Micro.blog also supports Micropub natively, so users can use many of the micropub apps for posting to their sites as well.

Now where things get a bit wonky is that the micro.blog feed reader will let you subscribe to other m.b. users (and recently ActivityPub accounts like those on Mastodon) which is why it feels like a Twitter or Facebook replacement. But the difference is that while it feels like you’re in yet-another-silo like Twitter or Facebook, over on the side, you’ve got a traditional free standing website!

Incidentally micro.blog also uses their feed reader as a side method for displaying the replies of others to your posts within the ecosystem. If you have a non-micro.blog website that feeds into the system (like you and I–and incidentally Brad too–do with WordPress) then micro.blog sends webmentions to those sites so that they don’t necessarily need to be “within the community” to interact with it.

In summation, I might suggest that while some people might be framing micro.blog as a replacement for Facebook or Twitter, the better framing is that micro.blog is really what you were hoping it might be. It is a traditional web host with its own custom content management system that supports web standards and newer technologies like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and pieces of Microsub. Or similarly and more succinctly, Micro.blog is a turnkey IndieWeb CMS that allows users to have a website without needing to manage anything on the back end.

Now that we’ve re-framed it to look like what you had hoped for, let’s see if we can talk Manton into open sourcing it all! Then Automattic might have some more competition. 😉

👓 More thoughts about Micro.blog as an indie social network | Paul Jacobson

Read More thoughts about Micro.blog as an indie social network by Paul Jacobson (Paul Jacobson)
Brad Enslen is doing some great work over at Micro.blog, spreading the word about this innovative service. He published a post titled “The Case for Moving Your Social Network to Micro.blog&#8…

👓 The Case for Moving Your Social Network to Micro.blog | Brad Enslen

Read The Case for Moving Your Social Network to Micro.blog by Brad Brad (Brad Enslen)
This is a continuation of a series.  You may want to start with the first post:  Populism and Today’s Social Tech vs. Blogging What is Micro.blog? Micro.blog (MB) has two elements the 1. hosted blog and 2. the social network. They exist sort of separately but they are also intertwined. You have...

👓 Usernames on Micro.blog | Manton Reece

Read Usernames on Micro.blog by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
Micro.blog now has 3 distinct styles of usernames to make the platform more compatible with other services: Micro.blog usernames, e.g. @you. These are simple usernames for @-mentioning someone else in the Micro.blog community. Mastodon usernames, e.g. @you@yourdomain.com. When you search Micro.blog ...

👓 Displaying Webmentions with Posts | Amit Gawande

Bookmarked Displaying Webmentions with Posts by Amit GawandeAmit Gawande (amitgawande.com)
I have been using Blot, a simple blogging platform with no interface, for quite some time now for running my blog. I am not alone when I say this, but am mighty impressed with how simple it is to post things on blot and maintain the overall site. They are just some files in Dropbox - that’s about ...

A nice little tutorial for using Webmention.io with content management systems like Blot.​​​​​​​​​​

👓 I’ve now removed the titles in the RSS feed from posts in the micro category using the_title_rss | John Johnston

Read a post by john john (John's World Wide Wall Display)
I’ve now removed the titles in the RSS feed from posts in the micro category using the_title_rss. So I’ve reenabled adding of titles through wp_insert_post_data. If this works this post will have a title in my dashboard, but all get through to micro.blog

This seems like a cool potential way of doing all sorts of things in the IndieWeb space for WordPress. I’m curious what it looks like from other perspectives. I’ll have to think this through a bit…

In the end though, it still feels too much like individuals trying to solve problems that should be better handled by feed readers and the platforms.

👓 My Micro.blog Wishlist | Mumblings

Read My Micro.blog Wishlist by Simon WoodsSimon Woods (blog.simonwoods.online)
I have been taking notes for this wishlist for some time. Two things have stopped me from writing it up and posting: Time and energy. I have spent more of it on making other things, being a believer in the idea that the best position from which to criticise is that of creation, or put another way: I...

👓 Web as Social Network: Three Best Blogging Choices | Brad Enslen

Read Web as Social Network: Three Best Blogging Choices by Brad EnslenBrad Enslen (Brad Enslen)
This is Part 2 in a series.  Part 1 is here. In Part 1 I made the case that Facebook and Twitter had become toxic places and I suggest that blogging, micro blogging and long form blogging (either or both) on your own blog was a better choice Here in Part 2 I’m going to recommend 3 blogging platfo...

👓 Usernames on Micro.blog | Manton Reece

Read Usernames on Micro.blog by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
Micro.blog now has 3 distinct styles of usernames to make the platform more compatible with other services: Micro.blog usernames, e.g. @you. These are simple usernames for @-mentioning someone else in the Micro.blog community. Mastodon usernames, e.g. @you@yourdomain.com. When you search Micro.blog ...