Today Manton Reece launched a Kickstarter for his long-awaited independent microblogging project, Micro.blog. As I write this, the project has been live for a little over 6 hours and it’s about to pass its $10,000 goal. I’ve been on Micro.blog for a while now, Manton and I have exchanged blog posts on the topic of microblogging during the beginning of his project,1 and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the public unveiling. I think microblogging is bigger than the social networks that have popularized it and Micro.blog is a good step to establishing this writing form as part of the open web.
The Facebook, Medium, Twitter2 juggernauts collect ever more writing from their users and sell ads against it. These businesses do a lot of great things, but giving their users control over their own writing isn’t anywhere near the top of any priority list. While I believe Facebook is in it for the long haul, any business is vulnerable to failure or re-prioritization. When these things happen, user generated content tends to disappear.
Fortunately, there is another way. By owning your own domain name and publishing any content there first, you control its destiny. You can keep it around as long as you want. You can even syndicate that content out to other services and social networks in order to take advantage of their reach or the network you’ve built there.
Manton has gone a long way towards making owning your own microblog content more approachable. He’s even writing a book as part of Micro.blog’s Kickstarter campaign. This is a space that will thrive as tinkerers awaken to the ability and need to control their content, and Micro.blog is a great start. Check it out, watch the video,3 and back the project. I did, and I can’t wait to see where things go next.
- Snippets | noahread.net
- Snippets | manton.org
- Twitter 10K | noahread.net
- Silos as Shortcuts | manton.org
- Defining a microblog post | manton.org
- Microblog Links | noahread.net
- Microblog links | manton.org
I order them this way deliberately, in order of danger to the open web. Facebook is the only way many people use the web, absorbing all content into itself, building bubbles that have greater real world consequences all the time. Medium’s threat to independent websites is partially mitigated by the ability to own your own domain name, but the visual monotony ruins the appeal of almost anything on it. I have a hard time reading more than a paragraph of anything posted on Medium. When I want every post to look the same, I use Instapaper. Twitter is a threat to the open web, but probably short lived. It’s terribly run, with so little direction that the CEO has recently resorted to asking anybody in the void for an idea of what to do next. As amazing as Twitter has been, the biggest new thing it’s given us in the last year is President-elect Trump. Thanks guys… ↩︎
Tell me you don’t love those animations! ↩︎