Just over a year ago I read about the micro.blog kickstarter project, it seemed a no brainer to back. I got in early at number 51.

Since the launch (25-April-17) I’ve been using micro.blog I’ve made over 300 posts categorised as micro. It has made me think quite a bit about blogging and social media. It is certainly one of the bigger steps of this blog’s history 1.

I am beginning to feel real affection for the software/service that micro.blog is developing into. Here, in no particular order, are some reasons why:

  • The apps, for mac and iOS are so simple elegant and clean. Both are in very early version, but they are the fairly stripped down type of software I find enjoyable to use.
  • I don’t need to use the app, I can post content in all sorts of ways 2
  • The discourse on micro.blog is at a different pace than twitter, mostly more thoughtful, certainly less hypeful. I am reading things that are sometimes marginal to my interests and enjoying them.
  • The folk on micro.blog who produce the discourse.
  • If micro.blog suddenly goes away my content and conversations will not. I’ll lose the continuing discourse & software but I can go on posting my short form posts to my own blog. The posts I made and any conversation around them is still here.
  • Manton, I started listing to his timetable microcast when I signed up for the kickstarter. The pace micro.blog is developing is on one hand reasonably quickly but on the other hand it is incredibly thoughtful. He really does seem to care about principals as opposed to grabbing huge user numbers. On one podcast he describes working on the export that would allow hosted micro.blog users to leave the service. This as an early feature!
  • You can use the service for free. I pay for cross posting of my rss feed to twitter. That is $2 a month, the service is very neat, the tweets are sensible reflections of the post, but I also want to pay something to keep the service going.
  • For a variety of reasons I’ve not fully grasped I feel like I am becoming a little more thoughtful posting than I was on twitter. I’ve not stopped using twitter, but some short posts feel as if I should own them on my own blog. Not necessarily anything deep or important but owning some of these feels better.
  • Micro.blog photo blogging is weaning me away from instagram, I get a lot less engagement but I like it. I still like Instagram, but I’ve not posted in December yet, I have visited and like a pile of pictures. I wish Instagram would: 1. let me post here and then push out to Instagram, 2. see my friends posts without out algorithmic help.
  • I am learning a bit more about the indieweb and the workings of WordPress.
  • Learning and thinking about blogging, social media, both from the growing micro.blog community and by thinking my way through how I want my blog to work.

That final point is not finished by a long way. I still am puzzled about how webmentions and other indieweb technology I am using works in practise. I’ve not finalised how I want to present the different kinds of post here on the blog.

Some other posts about microbloggin

  1. These would would include: starting my own blog as part of my school’s site, joining twitter, moving to my own domain, changing from Pivotx to WordPress and micro.blog. Every part of the blog has changed except for the text of the posts, but I think of it as the same blog.
  2. I post, in no particular order, in WordPress, from TextMate, any text in any app on my mac via appleScript, from Drafts via Workflow on iOS and with the micro.blog applications.

I just updated my blog to the latest version of WordPress.

All seemed fine until I had a look at the site. Some of my menus had went a little weird.

Quite a few of the titles had changed to ellipses! I went into the dashboard and changed them back, my changes didn’t stick. I presumed that it must have been the upgrade. I had no idea where to start so shot off a quick tweet for help.

After dinner I calmed down a little and though about the changes to my blog I’d made recently for mico blogging. One of those was to give posts without a title titles on wp_insert_post_data. It uses ellipse! This was meant for posts arriving from the micro.blog app. They would get titles set when they arrived on my blog, to prevent ugliness in he dashboard.


function modify_post_title($data)
{
    if ($data[ 'post_title' ] == ''  ) {
        //wp_filter_nohtml_kses strips html and then I replace   
        $title = str_replace( " " , " " , substr( wp_filter_nohtml_kses( $data[ 'post_content' ] ) , 0, 60 ) ) . "..." ;
        $data['post_title'] =  $title ;
    }
    return $data; // Returns the modified data.
} 

so I’ve changed the if to:
if ($data[ 'post_title' ] == '' && $data[ 'post_type' ] == 'post' )

Which seems to have solved the problem and taught me a lesson.

I’ve been beta testing micro.blog. There is a new page here for status type posts, these get sent to micro.blog/johnjohnston and to twitter.

This has renewed my interest in finding different ways to post to the blog especially for short posts that would have previously gone straight to twitter.

Continue reading

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

Sometimes there is a wee delay in a post arriving at micro.blog from my RSS feed. The way to avoid this is to have a typo in a post, those seem to get grabbed before I can fix 😉