Micro blogging: why
While it’s so easy these days to publish things online, it always bugged me how little we have to say about the platforms we use for this purpose. This is an attempt to find a better way for my personal needs.
I don’t need another blog
I used a Django-based blog for close to a decade. I published less than ten articles on it altogether, while I was fairly active on both Twitter and Facebook. Why is that? It seems the friction on my own blog needed to write a long form post, format it in reStructuredText, upload attachments, click through the Django admin, was always too big.
In time this got worse as I needed to upgrade the server side to keep things secure, I needed to back things up so I won’t lose them. I should have also upgraded the technological stack but this was somehow always the lowest priority. Moreover, a blog with an active backend was always a non-zero cost.
Summing up, a full blown blog was clearly not for me. I envy those who successfully maintain one but it seems I’m in a different camp. I wanted to produce and share in shorter form. More immediately. More interactively. I wanted to be a part of a network.
You don’t want another social network
I get it. Everybody is already on the social networks they want and the network effect is already in place. Replacing those existing networks is so hard that companies like Facebook pay literally billions of dollars to acquire existing successful ones, as was the case with Instagram and WhatsApp.
So the insight is that I will have to be present where others already are. But it’s not enough to just announce posts on external websites. That sadly no longer works. People just want to scroll down.
Nobody cares about everything I care about
But quite a few people care about some things I care about.
Some people know me from school, others met me through Python, or work at some company. Others like similar music or share other hobbies. My old blog only catered to one of those personas from fear of alienating readers with too many facets to my person.
Solution: a canonical place for content formatted for existing platforms
I’m trying out an idea which is close to micro blogging but with structure.
I plan to use https://micro.blog to post all kinds of things that interest me and/or I feel can interest others. The trick is to aggressively tag everything so you only see related things when you visit a link.
You’d visit a link because the tagline and the image was already in your feed on Twitter, Mastodon, Facebook, or Instagram. But you wanted to know more and there was a link.
It’s good there’s a link since the canonical place for this content stays with me. I can fix typos or make any other edits, I can use it later.
And maybe you’ll really want to subscribe to the website after all. I don’t know.