I’ve been checking out Mastodon lately — decentralized social media — which led me to rediscovering a related site/platform called Micro.blog. I had briefly tried it out a few years ago but didn’t need it alongside my WordPress blog (and Twitter profile). But now, things are different.
Mastodon is a social media service/software/platform, like Twitter. You only post short texts, a.k.a microblog posts, like a comment or a status update. The aim is to chit-chat with others in a sort of open conversation about whatever. It’s like equal parts of sharing a thought on your mind and checking the thoughts of others. You can just as easily comment on someone’s post as you can simply comment in your own new post.
Micro.blog is a blogging service/platform. It hosts stand-alone blogs that can have either short or long posts. It’s like traditional blogging — something I happen to enjoy. But it adds a timeline/feed for all micro.blog posts, whether short or long. It favors short posts; not sure what that says about quality versus quantity though:
“…Micro.blog is focused on short posts because we think it encourages people to write more often…” Micro.blog help center
Those are the big picture overviews of each service, as far as I understand them. I’m still trying to wrap my head around each one, learning how they overlap or interact. Mastodon and Micro.blog are indieweb compliant. So they feature strong benefits of avoiding centralized for-profit social media or blogging services. Yet it’s hard for me to decide which I might like to use, if any.
On one hand, I left social media. But it was the big publicly-traded commercial juggernauts of Twitter and Facebook. You know, the kind that prioritizes profits over people by maximizing user-engagement, typically via algorithm-pushed negativity. And on the other hand, I’m still a social creature like my fellow humans and have some attraction to “joining the conversation” on the interwebs with its netizens.
“Micro.blog is a blogging platform with a social engagement component. We have a timeline where you can follow and interact with other bloggers. Sometimes it feels like Twitter, because of the timeline, mentions, and conversations.” Micro.blog help center
The weird thing is how Micro.blog seems to combine blogging with social media. In my mind, it’s similar to the WordPress Reader, which is a feed — a reverse chrono timeline — of blogs you choose to follow (with a few suggestions). It lets you like and comment too. But since all WordPress blog posts are big/long, the Reader is more like looking at an RSS reader for news articles. In contrast, looking at the Micro.blog timeline shows you lots of short posts or status updates, like Twitter, where you can also interact with commenting and such.
Though hesitant, I’m thinking about using both Micro.blog and Mastodon. The possibilities are intriguing, but I know part of the reason is they’re different from my current blogging setup; they’re shiny new tech things to try out. For now, I’m trying out Micro.blog. One step at a time.
What’s your take?