I had planned for this to be my first post on micro.blog but I kept putting it off to see how I would like it. I have tried a couple of times now to start blogging, but each time I publish a couple of posts and then I quit. I struggled to figure out why. I had a desire to post things but I also struggle with public opinion and if what I have or want to say is good enough. There was also the issue of the tools. I really like Wordpress, however, I started to realize that it was also a problem for me.
I feel that Wordpress is geared towards having longer posts where every post has a title. Yes, you can customize Wordpress extensively and they have several different post types, one of which is for micro posts. But the overall feeling that I would get was that if I wasn’t publishing a long post with a title then I wasn’t actually blogging. So I would just fall back to randomly posting to Twitter and occasionally Facebook. That was also another point of stress for me, where do I post things? I would let myself get stressed to the point where I wouldn’t even bother and in the end just not post anything at all.
A few years ago, I heard Manton Reece mention a new service that he was working on called micro.blog. I’ll admit that at the time I didn’t get it. It sounded nice, but also sounded like another echo chamber to sign up for that my stuff would just get lost in. I kept checking in on the service and finally earlier this year I decided to give it a try. Since you are reading this posted on micro.blog you can probably figure out that I am pleased with it.
Right from the start I was surprised at how relaxed I felt getting everything set up. The admin interface is pretty simple and straightforward and doesn’t clutter the interface with configuration options and buttons and switches galore. There are some customizations but they are intentional and only what is needed to personalize your account and make it yours without being too cumbersome. This is what immediately clicked with me. If I want to write something there is just one text box. If the content reaches a specific length then a title field appears, but it is optional. This was revolutionary for me. Gone was the stress of trying to figure out a title before starting to write or the feeling that every post required a title. There is the ability to add categories but that is it. It’s so simple. The only thing that gets in my way now is overcoming my self confidence issues about my writing.
I decided to have my blog hosted with micro.blog, though you can link your existing blog to take advantage of the community features that it offers. One thing that resonated with me is that micro.blog encourages everyone to own their content. This is not new, especially if you already have your own blog, but this was something that I never really thought about before. If Facebook or Twitter were to shut down tomorrow then all of your content is gone. By having your own blog then the only way that would happen is if you remove it yourself. If the hosting service you use is shutting down, then just backup your posts and upload them to a new host and you are good to go. I liked this idea so much that I even decided to register a custom domain. Now if I ever have to change my hosting then no one will know the difference.
I’m still trying to figure out some organizational things for posts, such as how to use categories and cross posting. If I let myself get stuck on the categories topic before publishing anything then I’ll never publish. I’ll see what type of content I post and will reevaluate later. Going forward, everything I publish online will originate from here. Micro.blog has some built in cross posting for things like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. For Facebook it’s currently a manual step since they don’t allow cross posting anymore. Whenever I post something I just use the share sheet on iOS to post a link to Facebook.
There’s probably a lot that I missed saying here, but overall I’m pleased with this setup on micro.blog and am thankful that I finally gave it a shot so I can start publishing content. My next steps will be to migrate the few posts that I have on Wordpress so that everything is consolidated in one place. Hopefully that is not too bad since I don’t have that many posts there at the moment.