I’m giving it a try.
That is currently my RhymesWithDiploma.com site, but I apparently move that every 6-8 months when I want to try a new hosting company, so we’ll see if it sticks.
I was when it was new. As a twitter alternative, from a technical standpoint, it’s solid. From a social standpoint it’s absolutely an echo chamber and a really small one at that.
You can use it to syndicate to Mastodon, and it has a few other neat features now, but ultimately when I purged social media micro.blog went too and I don’t regret it.
I have been there from day one.
Me, @agilelisa, but I admit to having been quiet for a couple of months. It’s on my summer list to start writing there again.
I don’t know what you mean by echo chamber in this context. I’ve been on for a day and I like the community so far.
Predominantly white, straight, affluent, and privileged.
I have noticed this as well.
For some, the $5/mo cost is a non-starter and prohibitive, especially for folks with not a lot of disposable cash.
I found I like the community, as a black, financially stable woman. But it is very homogenous for the most part.
I suspect most pioneering social media groups started as
or from that social strata anyway. Drop one descriptor as you like.
No, not really.
micro.blog puts a very specific financial gateway up front, and targets a very specific demographic of tech-savvy, largely Apple-users. There’s nothing pioneering about it; it’s not novel, it’s niche.
You need privilege to own the hardware the apps run on, and you need privilege to own an account. It might not seem like a significant hurdle to you, but I assure you it’s a hard barrier to entry for a significant number of people, especially in social and racial minorities where net worth is an order of magnitude less on average than the average straight, white man.
None of that is necessarily bad, but to suggest that diversity will follow monoculture is very much naive.
I agree that $5/mo is a significant barrier to many. But the hardware is dirt cheap. All you need is a $100 android phone or anything that runs a web browser.
Also, I think micro.blog is free if you self host. But then you do have technical barriers.
I’m enjoying it but it’s far from the only place I post.
I do see some prominent women there and I don’t know the race of people who choose not to disclose.
Self hosting has a much greater cost than $5/mo. Yes technically you can use any phone with a modern mobile browser, however, the first party apps are for Apple hardware and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen or heard a reference to micro.blog outside the Apple commentariat, never mind the wider tech community.
Micro.blog plays to a niche, and that’s OK, but it is naturally quite exclusive. It means that the social support that other groups of users might get from, for example twitter, will not be present and so uptake of the platform is disincentivized.
Yes there will be exceptions. I know there’s a third party android app etc, but even the third party iOS apps are a ghost town and exceptions don’t make for a community.
I’m not trying to bash on M.B but the notion that it might somehow become a successor to twitter is just unrealistic. It’s always going to be for a specific slice of the nerd community and that’s alright, but it does need to be recognised why that is.
I quite agree that micro.blog will never be a successor to Twitter. I’m not looking for that.
There are free options for hosting sites that are great, for example with the combination of Hugo, Netlify, and Github you can get a fully functional site up and running for free fairly easily. I use this for one of my sites.
That said, I love Micro.blog and pay for the yearly plan to support it: @joshsullivan
There are costs other than up-front dollars.
I’m sorry, I have to expand a little here, and I don’t mean to single you out but you’ve provided a really good example.
You linked to three services/platforms/frameworks that someone could use to build a ‘free’ website. But none of that is free. There’s a significant burden of knowledge and time involved here and there’s no such thing as a free website. I have many web developer friends, and if I gave them those links and asked them to build me a free website I can predict the look on their faces and the immediately ensuing “F**k off, mate!”.
Educating yourself is expensive. Taking on a significant personal project is expensive, and maintaining software is expensive.
You can’t, seriously, provide those links to someone and expect them to be able to find time to make your suggestion a reality. Should they do it when they’re working their possibly more than one job(s)? When they’re looking after their kids? It might be an entirely sensible suggestion for the people on this forum (which is why I think you mentioned it) but the conversation was far wider than that.
Your suggestion is telling someone who can’t commit to $5 a month to “just learn web development”. it’s the “let them eat cake” of the social media age haha. Easily suggested from a position of privilege — and kind of the point I’ve been trying to make on this thread.
Which has kind of derailed the thread a little. Sorry guys.
And sorry for picking your comment out, I know this isn’t likely to be the context for which you were making the suggestion.
MDM Deals is, for my curation of great deals on fantastic apps! http://micro.blog/mdmdeals
I had thought about getting on micro.blog but paying $5 a month to waste time I don’t really need to waste was enough to turn me away.
Wolfie, your insights are valuable here. Indeed, if I ever have a chance to interview or talk with Manton Reece, or just talk to him, I will raise these very points with him.
I find the same problems with the whole IndieWeb movement, of which micro.blog is a part. I get the idea of providing an open source, federated alternative to the big social stacks – particularly Facebook and Twitter. However, they do require a significant investment of time and effort.
And every time I browse indieweb.org I come away confused. I have no idea what they’re talking about, for about 30% of their content. And I’m more technical than 99% of the people in the world. indieweb.org quickly gets into a dense thicket of jargon understandable only to people who have been immersed in the indieweb movement. If indieweb wants to go beyond a small, niche movement catering to nerds – and I believe that is their goal – they need to fix that. They need to make setting up an indieweb service as easy as signing on to Facebook or Twitter.
Micro.blog is better for understandability, but it is still somewhat confusing. Micro.blog combines elements of a social network, independent blogging platform, and RSS reader. You can be part of the micro.blog community by publishing on their hosting service, or by simply pointing the RSS feed from your existing blog to the micro.blog service. That’s confusing.
HOWEVER, nobody here is arguing that micro.blog will replace Twitter. So to that extent you’re raising a straw man argument.
Also, I started this thread as a means for micro.blog users on MPU to find each other. I like that we’re having a discussion of the merits of micro.blog, but now where will we do that other thing?
Hey all, newcomer to the MPU forum, but a longtime Micro.blog user, it has really helped get back into the habit of regular blogging. You can find me at https://thoughts.alanralph.co.uk/