I've been a little scatter-brained over the past few weeks. I've started lots of little projects and finished almost none of them. Hopefully, they'll all start to wrap up soon. I mentioned on a previous Indie Dev Life that I was working on an update to the Pine.blog iOS app, and that is still true. ...
I’d noticed Pine.blog before at a previous IndieWebCamp, but not had time to delve into it very deeply. Seeing some of what Brian Schrader has been working on while following IndieWebCamp Austin remotely this weekend has reminded about the project. As a result, I’ve been spending some time tonight to check out some of the functionality that it’s offering. In part, I’m curious how similar, or not, it is to what Micro.blog is offering specifically with respect to the idea of IndieWeb as a Service which I’ve recently begun documenting. It’s always great to see the growing diversity and plurality of solutions in the space.
My brief prior experience with the platform was simply adding my website to their discovery service. Tonight I’ve found that Pine.blog has got a very pretty little feed reader experience with some fun discovery functionality. You can apparently create multiple timelines to follow content, but one needs a paid account for more than one timeline. It allows both following sites as well as recommending them to others. It also appears that Brian is supporting the rel=”payment” microformat as I see at least one feed that has a “$ Support” button in the Pine.blog interface to allow me to go to the site’s payment page to support it. I think this may be one of the first times I’ve seen this functionality in an app in the wild outside of the Overcast podcast app which added it a couple of years ago.
It has webmention support, so I can “like” things within the reader and notify others. Without a paid account I don’t see the ability to reply to or mention other sites though. It also looks like it allows for import/export of OPML too, though I haven’t tried it out yet–I can only test drive so many feed readers at a time and Indigenous is taking up all of my bandwidth at present.
I do wonder a bit about potentially importing/exporting my content if I were to go all-in on Pine.blog. I’d bet the idea is on the product map, but that’s a huge bit of work to build without a paid user base to support it. I’d personally want at least an export function if I were to change over, though I’m more likely to want to dovetail my own site with it much the way I’m currently doing with Micro.blog.
It looks like it should be able to post to my website, but I’m finding the “publish” and “preview” buttons don’t work–perhaps I need a paid account for this functionality? Of course, I only see UI to provide pine.blog with my URL and my account name, but it hasn’t authenticated using a password or other method, so perhaps that portion isn’t finished? I’ll circle back around to it later when I do a free trial. I do notice that Brian, the developer of the project, has an account on pine.blog which is mirrored on one of his subdomains running WordPress. Quirkily I’ve noticed that the header on his main website changes to alternately serve the pine.blog version and the WordPress version!
More to come as I continue exploring… Later on I’ll take a look at some of their paid functionality, but for now, it’s a pretty compelling set of features and some well-laid out user interface to start. I look forward to seeing how it continues to evolve.
If you have a Wordpress blog, you can add it you your account and post to it from the Pine.blog site and app.
There's so many great features planned for Pine.blog, but I've compiled a list of the big ones here. Features might be released out of order, but I've tried to keep them, roughly, in the order I intend on releasing them. Keep in mind, this list is not static. Features may be added/removed at any time.
By signing up for Pine.blog you'll have access to a new kind of social network. Pine.blog combines a blogging app with a feed reader that's jam-packed with cool features.
- A fast and beautiful timeline of posts from sites and people you follow! Keep up with the news and the people you care about in real-time!
- Follow unlimited sites and users easily. Just search for them in the Pine.blog index and click Follow, or add a site manually using it's feed URL.
- Save posts as favorites. Keep track of interesting posts from anyone you follow by favoriting them.
- Post to your own site with Pine using the built-in Wordpress integration. Simply add your site in your account settings!
- Discover new, awesome people and sites to follow using Pine's built-in search engine.
- Import subscriptions from other services using Pine's OPML import!
- Use Pine from the web, an iPhone, or iPad via the Universal iOS app!
- With Pine you can follow almost anything. Just copy the URL from the page and follow it using either the app or the web!
What are Webmentions? Webmentions are a technology that allows people who use Pine.blog or another compatible platform (i.e. Wordpress, Blogger, Micro.blog, Mastodon, etc) to like, comment on, and reply to each others posts, even across platforms. Think of it like being able to like a photo from Instagram on Twitter.
My name is Brian Schrader. I'm an independent software developer living in San Diego, CA. This site is my little home on the internet where I go on (and on) about things that are important to me.
I own and run SkyRocket Software, my indie software company, where I make things some people like. I'm also a co-founder of Adventurer's Codex, a tool for enhancing and tracking D&D games. And I'm the lead singer, song-writer, and
Separate microblog at https://microblog.brianschrader.com