I’ve been using better.fyi since it was released, and it’s made browsing the web a much nicer experience. There’s an updated design and new pricing coming, I thought at $4.99 it was a deal, but you should get it at the new price!
I’ve been using micro.blog for a few weeks now. The new way of posting and owning my own content is growing on me and I am really enjoying posting to my own site again. One thing I found was I wasn’t really interacting much during the day, I put this down to not having a desktop app. Yes. I could use the micro.blog website, but I prefer to keep my browsers for work related and I am trying to reduce my tab count.
So with that in mind, and know there is an API for micro.blog I decided to put together a desktop app for micro.blog using the electron framework. What better way to build a desktop application than use the tools I already use on a daily basis.
Last week I had a quick play around with electron and calling the micro.blog API, and all seemed to simple to be true, but it turns out it didn’t actually get much harder. In order to keep things simple and to have a consistent UX / UI with the micro.blog ecosystem at the moment, I decided to reuse a lot of what Manton had already created in terms of the UI, and just wrap up it all up in electron and calling out to the API.
I currently have only built the App for Mac OS X until I can test on the other platforms, to make use of the electron ability to cross compile.
Currently you can follow your timeline, see you mentions and favorites and reply to posts. I plan to expand on this over time, but if you would like to try out Micro.blog on Mac OS X then you can download it from here: Download Micro.blog OS X
First and foremost, I’d like to thank Manton for creating Micro.blog, and more important thank him for all the hard work he’s put in. Even more this past week during the lunch. It can not be easily launching something like this and not have some teething problems, and he’s always been around to answer people’s question and very quickly too. It’s not small feat to do this, even with the small fires that have arisen.
Having followed Manton for a few years and trying to get myself into the “IndieWeb“, of owning your own content more in the past year or so. I found there are many gaps missing in all the different steps, of fully controlling your own content but not feeling like you are missing out from the “other” service. It’s not overly difficult it you are quite tech savvy and don’t mind diving into some code. But for the non tech savvy people the “IndieWeb” still has a little way to go. I’ve found myself a little confused on certain aspects and still need to read up on some of different aspects. When Manton mentioned he was working on something to allow for the indieweb of short posts, which he has called Micro.blog I dropped my name into the hat (added my email to the list), and then when he made it into a kickstarted, I jumped straight on board and signed up.
A few months on after the kickstarter got funded Manton has invited the backers first into the system. Being an early backer inside the first 100 I got into the system within the first couple of days. Which was great, but to be honest maybe a little intimidating as I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would I use this, what would it replace? You can follow me on micro.blog if you are a backer, at micro.blog/matthew.
Currently I don’t do the whole POSSE (Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere), I do more PESOS, Post Elsewhere, Syndicate (on your) own site. Mainly due to the tools and amount of tinkering that’s required. There are many people are doing POSEE very well. But I like that I can use the app’s of other social networks, publish via them and then have my site pick it up. This is what I do with Instagram. I have a couple of plugins install to fetch the posts over, and it even pulls the image across and puts them in my S3 bucket. (Instagram plugin by DsgnWorks, Amazon Web Services, and WP Offload S3 Lite)
I plan to initial use Micro.blog in the following way, based on the current feature set. Over time I am sure I’ll adjust it as it grows. I believe as more people start to use the platform the more it will evolve, and I’ll adjust as I see fit.
- As a IndieWeb RSS Reader
- Post from the Micro.blog iOS – once I can get the titles of the posts in my WordPress install to save how I want
IndieWeb RSS Reader
This is the biggest thing missing in the IndieWeb at the moment, a way to truly follow other peoples “micro” blogs in a nice timeline manner. I started on a path with my own RSS Reader to try to emulate a timeline based view but never delved into the IndieWeb consumption. Now Micro.blog is around I may have a bit more of a play with my own reader, but I am hoping Micro.blog’s platform will mean I don’t have to. (RSS is only a text medium, but it’s a pretty crazy world to go into an start consuming and parsing).
The only downside I see at the moment to the Micro.blog approach is if I reply to someone’s post I would love for that to create an entry on my site. It creates a web mention on the users site but I would love for it to create an entry on my own with a reply format. This way it keeps a history of conversations I’ve had.
Posting from the Micro.blog iOS
Another thing that keeps me going back to twitter or Instagram to first post there is the ability to do it quickly. This is where the Micro.blog iOS will win me over (one I fix the blank titles). Having the ability to easily and quickly post “Micro” posts to my site will mean I’ll more likely do that than reach for Twitter. My content will still reach Twitter via cross-posting but I’ll truly be doing POSSE.