Micro.blog

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Micro.blog is an indie microblogging service started by Manton Reece, which supports microformats2, Webmention, and Micropub.

Overview

The Jekyll-based service supports posting of notes (up to 280 characters). Photos can be posted to the service (using Micropub) or pulled in via RSS.

The project was launched in beta on 2017-04-23 following a Kickstarter campaign beginning in January 2017 in which 3,080 backers pledged $86,696. The project was originally called Snippets.today.

One can bring their own project and personal-domain to the service and post to it via RSS or purchase a hosted microblog for $5/month with a free 10-day trial.

Why

Micro.blog is a great way to get started on the IndieWeb and reach a thoughtful community in several ways:

  1. Want to try out the IndieWeb without a domain? If you don't have a domain name but want to try out some of the features of the IndieWeb, you can create a Micro.blog account, follow folks there, and reply to posts both on Micro.blog and elsewhere on the IndieWeb. If you decide to get a domain name, Micro.blog will help you transition to using it with their site (see 2), or even export your posts to a new site of your own which you can connect to your Micro.blog account (see 3).
  2. Have a domain name but no site yet? For those without a primary website, they can register a domain and connect it to Micro.blog as a hosting service for a minimal per month fee. Micro.blog will then allow them to post notes, articles, photos, and other types of posts easily. If they choose, there's excellent import/export to allow them to relatively easily swap platforms.
  3. Have a site already? For those who already have a primary website on another service or platform, they can easily syndicate their content (via RSS or JSON) into the Micro.blog service and use the service's reader to interact with other users while still owning their own content and receiving replies/comments via webmention. If their site also supports micropub, they can utilize the service to compose their content and micropub it to their own site after which it will appear on Micro.blog via feed.

How to

(stub)

How to POSSE

How to crosspost or syndicate from your blog to Micro.blog:

  • add your feed file URL to your Micro.blog profile

How to set up Micro.blog to check your feed file automatically after creating a POSSE'd post in WordPress:

Indieweb Examples

Getting Help

Discussion directly centered around the project as well as help/support, and reporting bugs can be found on multiple Micro.blog specific Slack channels. Bugs can also be reported on Github.

Features

Posts

Micro.blog currently supports several types of posts:

Personal domain

One can map over their personal-domain using CNAME as described here. This will allow you to own the URLs relating to the service; doing so will make it possible for you to move to another CMS in the future if you wish.

Themes

A variety of mf2 compatible themes are included with paid subscriptions that use the hosted service. At launch none would pass the Indiewebify.me tests as they didn't include h-card or h-entry, but they're improving support over time. They do have h-feed and h-entry as of 2017-05-02.

Avatars

Avatars on the service use Gravatar as described in the help pages.

Rel-me

The hosted version of Micro.blog supports rel-me fields for one's primary website as well as for Twitter and GitHub. Putting your hosted Micro.blog URL into your Twitter and GitHub account "Web Site" fields on their respective account settings pages and putting your usernames into the Micro.blog fields at http://micro.blog/account/apps and saving will allow one to easily and quickly log into the Indieweb wiki using IndieAuth.

As of early July 2017 Micro.blog supports rel-me with Instagram as well as support for micropub client OwnYourGram.

Website Verification for non-hosted blogs

Details for verifying one's non-hosted site can be found at http://help.micro.blog/2017/web-site-verification/

Syndication

from Micro.blog

Micro.blog supports POSSE to Twitter with a paid account and also supports other services for free via IFTTT.

into Micro.blog

The service allows one to configure multiple RSS feeds to syndicate content into the service.

Apps

Micropub

Because Micro.blog supports Micropub a variety of clients, including Quill can be used to post to it.

iOS

The Micro.blog app is available in the App Store

MarsEdit

Paid users of the service can use MarsEdit to post to the service.

MacOS Desktop Client

Matthew Roach has built a MacOS desktop client on the electron framework using the Micro.blog API. A request has been made for it to support micropub. Currently you can follow your timeline, see you mentions and favorites and reply to posts.

Android

  • MicroPost A simple Android app to post to Micro.blog

Use with other Projects

One can register a username on the site for free and syndicate content into it via RSS, Atom, or JSONfeed.

Various projects can easily support posting into the ecosystem. Some being seen in the early days of the service (with posts/details/code about custom set ups) include:

WordPress

WordPress is one of the more common platforms in use with Micro.blog, including by its founder Manton Reece who self-hosts and uses a slightly modified version of the Twenty Twelve theme.

Code / Plugins

  • WP Micro Posts - Adds a "Micro" post type for Indie Microblogging with WordPress.
  • glueckpress Micro.blog - WordPress plugin to generate a custom RSS feed. Adds a checkbox to the Publish meta box to add a post to the custom feed. Built with https://micro.blog/ in mind.
  • WordPress Blank Titles - simple function to replace blank post titles with the date/time posted (Micro.blog leaves post titles blank which can be annoying in wp-admin)

Themes

Articles

Known

Known can be used almost out of the box to self-host a microblog and easily syndicate content from status updates directly into Micro.blog via RSS (typically with a URL of the form http://knownexample.com/content/statusupdates/?_t=rss). Other post types can by syndicated as well.

GitHub Pages

Details for setting up GitHub Pages can be found here.

Jekyll

Add your project/CMS with details here...

Resources

Articles

Non-project specific posts about how people have set up Micro.blog sites:

Criticism

While the service includes a lot of value and is easy to configure and use, it has the following disadvantages:

  • It only supports notes, and (since late 2017) photos & articles
  • It isn't (yet?) open source to allow users to add their own functionality if they wish
  • Self-hosting isn't available, though one can map their own personal-domain to it.
  • Outbound webmentions are fully supported but only incoming webmentions from sites which have registered on the service using their sending base URL.
  • Data export isn't supported at launch, although is expected to be supported shortly
  • There doesn't seem to be a simple way to natively post replies (either with the hosted or non-hosted versions) in a way which allows the user to thread replies properly and still own the content of the reply.
  • Timeline, mentions, and favorites pages require Javascript. Without Javascript, the top navigation loads, but no Micro.blog posts. See js;dr
  • presentation of posts from feeds depends on the title - if the post title is not a date "YYYY-MM-DD", Micro.blog only shows a link to the post. A pure date is often a bad title on the source site.
  • Server load occasionally causes a backlog of webmentions that extend longer than 24 hours
  • Posting on one's website and syndicating via a feed can often take several minutes to several hours depending on server loads.

FAQ

Is there a self-hosted version of Micro.blog?

Q: Is there a self-hosted version of Micro.blog? [1]

A: Not currently. You can map your domain to Micro.blog or run your blog on your own domain and syndicate to Micro.blog via RSS. The Micro.blog platform is not currently open source, although maybe eventually will be. [2]

Is Micro.blog an example of an integrated reader?

Q: Is Micro.blog an example of an integrated reader? (Also: Can you follow external feeds on Micro.blog?) - Asked in #indiechat, so not logged.

A: Micro.blog's reader only displays content from other Micro.blog users. To read a feed via Micro.blog, the publisher of that feed must create a user account on Micro.blog and syndicate their content there.

  • Potentially confusing wording on the Micro.blog about page on 2017-06-21 (archive.org copy):
    Integrated timeline from blogs
    Browse posts from friends, powered by RSS and indie microblogs.
  • However, the discover page appears to only allow users to find other users on the site.

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See Also