[RE: nyman]#_

don't let perfect be the enemy of bad

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Initial thoughts on micro.blog and why you need a domain

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Domains and owning your content

This page is currently hosted on micro.blog under a custom domain. Hosting things on your own domain is the absolutely most important part of owning and controlling your content and web presence.

If you have one thing you take away from this post, that is it. (Assuming you want your content to stay around). You need a domain.

Luckily there is a wide range of top domains available nowadays, for a wide range of prices, so you should be able to find something you like. A little tip though when picking a top-level (the .com/.re part), be wary of promotions. It is often possible to get a domain on a sale for as little as $1, but that price usually applies only to the first year. So when picking a domain, even if you don’t pay upfront for ten years, at least check the price for ten years, so you have an idea of the recurring cost will be in the future.

There is a multitude of domain providers; the one I use is Gandi.net, while not the cheapest they have served me well. They are EU (France) based and seem to make an effort to be nice. If you decide to go with them, you can use this referral to get 20% off and give me a small kickback.

Hosted vs. self-hosting

Now back to the topic, micro.blog. While I am perfectly capable of hosting my blog on my own server, I don’t think I want to. And I believe paid-hosted services is the best option for most.

Self-hosting, anything, always has its pros and cons. On the pro side, you learn a lot, and you maintain full control over it. On the downside, it takes time and effort to learn it, and you need to continuously spend time maintaining and watching it to make sure it stays up. Spending time on keeping it up to date is especially important; otherwise, things can quickly end up like the security-hellscape that is self-hosted WordPress blogs and sites.

So I decided that for now, I will try to use the micro.blog hosting until I run into some roadblock. An additional reason is that I like what @manton and his crew are doing, and I want to support them. So my life becomes easier, and I support a good cause, win-win.

Federation

One of the reasons I picked Micro.blog, was for the built-in Twitter and Linked-in federation. But after posting a few things, I am not sure I want to use it. It’s one of these features, which sounds nice until you use it. It made me realise that maybe I don’t want to post the same thing on every platform.

I am going to think about this and maybe ping @manton to see if there are any plans to make it possible to configure federation for each individual post.

I’ll write more thoughts after I’ve used it for some time.

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The 13 minutes to the moon podcast from BBC is really good, strongly recommend everyone give it a try. S1E6 about Apollo 8 was really interesting if you want to jump right in www.bbc.co.uk/programme…

Why I am leaving twitter after 10 years for a (micro)blog

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I am a long time twitter user, but things have changed a lot on twitter since I joined in 2009. For a long time, I didn’t notice much of the changes, mainly because I’ve been using 3rd party clients since the start, and life in them has not changed much in the 11 years since I got on.

But after various levels of activity on twitter, I recently tried posting more actively, and writing more thought out tweets than where I will have lunch.

Tweet about my lunch from 2009

So I ended up using the official client, both the iOS one and the web app. And wow, the experience is nothing like my little heavily curated twitter feed. The Algorithmâ„¢ is now in charge of what you see, and every second tweet is a promoted one.

And, while the artificial restrictions on content length on twitter has its benefits sometimes, the fact is that it is tough to write meaningful content in 280 characters and most good content end up in tweetstorms or long threads anyways. And let’s not mention trying to have a meaningful discussion or debate in 280 characters.

So I have been thinking about moving everything to a blog. But for a long time, I have seen a blog as the complete opposite of a tweet. Where a tweet is(was) forced to be short and had no expectation of quality, I have viewed blogs as these long well thought out pieces, which preferably have gone through one or two edits by an editor. So although I have a long backlog of blog-drafts, I have not published anything since 2017, and my old blog has only three posts before this one.

There are other issues with twitter and other platforms which will I will try to cover in a later blog post. The result was that when I found out about micro.blog and the IndieWeb movement, I felt that they hit right in the heart of the issues. They had already solved, or were discussing a lot of the same things I had been thinking about.

In short

  1. Control (although hosting it at micro.blog means it can disappear as quickly as from any other platform, it’s a step in the right direction)
  2. Federated (push or pull content from the different platforms into something you control)
  3. Archiving (a topic for another post, but I feel the web and the content on the big platforms is more ephemeral than ever)

So here I am now, with a micro.blog account.

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