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Manton Reece

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Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-18 13:36

Did not expect that Danny Green would be part of this Kawhi trade. Bummer to lose both of them. But time to look to next season. Welcome to the Spurs, DeMar DeRozan. 🏀


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-18 00:15

Testing Feedbin today, I was reminded just how good microblog posts look in it. Here’s a screenshot of my Micro.blog-hosted blog. Notice the different heights on the rows and clean design on the detail pane.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-17 21:56

After IndieWebCamp Austin last year, we let the Homebrew Website Club meetups kind of fade away. Time to reboot it. August 1st, 6:30pm at Mozart’s Coffee.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-17 13:54

I love travel blogs. Great post and photos from Jason Kottke on a road trip across the western United States.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-17 01:08

Today was a strange day. Lots of errands. 97° out didn’t help either. One good thing: taking a break at the new-ish Cenote over on Cameron for a cold-brew coffee. ☀️


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-16 17:50

Sounds like good news to spin out Instapaper to a small team again. I still use it, although I’m experimenting with Indiepaper now that Micro.blog supports it.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-16 13:29

On Timetable this morning, I talk about a bug for new users on Micro.blog, and how I tried to work around it with an extra email.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-15 05:08

Sent a new beta out for Sunlit 2.2, collecting a bunch of recent fixes. Still more to do before the final version. (We’re not adding any new beta folks right now, but the release will be soon.)


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-15 00:03

I wanted Micro.blog to be so strictly reverse-chronological and anti-algorithmic timeline, that I waited a long time to make this change: just flipped conversations to be oldest at top. The clicked post on the web is also lightly highlighted.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-13 21:59

We’re looking for a few testimonials to add to the Micro.blog home page. If you have a short 1-2 sentence quote you’d like to share about Micro.blog, send it to help@micro.blog. Links to blog posts are also good. Thanks!


Web rings are back

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-13 20:01

One reason that IndieWeb Summit was such a success was the range of projects to come out of the second day as attendees worked on their own projects. There were new tools and features of existing platforms, but also personal site updates and just fun stuff. And web rings are fun!

I know, I know… Is it 2018 or 1998? I’ve added a help page on Micro.blog for how to add a web ring to your blog using 🕸️💍. One of the great things about microblogging at your own domain name is you can experiment with features like this.

Daniel and I talk a little more about this on the new episode of Core Intuition out today. Enjoy.


Replacing 1 billion-user platforms

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-13 15:38

I don’t read Medium often, but I do let the service send me weekly emails with posts I might be interested in. For some reason, this week’s email included a Jason Calacanis post from April about funding a Facebook replacement:

LAUNCH is going to fund seven, purpose-driven teams that want to build a billion-user social network to replace Facebook.

This is the wrong idea. We do not need another social network with 1 billion users. Part of the problem is having so many users and so much power concentrated in one place. And setting out to achieve 1 billion users means it’s an ad-based platform that will inherently revisit many existing problems. (The rest of the goals in Jason’s post I can get behind, though.)

Micro.blog will never be that big. What we need instead of another huge social network is a bunch of smaller platforms that are built on blogs and the open web.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-13 15:24

I posted a new Timetable this morning about learning from college’s 2-day freshman orientation events.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-12 18:43

Fixing a couple issues with the LinkedIn cross-posting in Micro.blog today. Everyone wants something different out of cross-posting (and some people nothing at all). But I think improving it is still a good bridge back to the big networks for folks who need it.


Following users UI reset

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-12 14:12

At the beginning of the week I announced several new features in Micro.blog, including a change to show who someone is following on the web version of Micro.blog. While working on this feature, I inadvertently changed the behavior to remove you (while browsing a user’s profile) from the list of who someone was following. If you looked at a user’s profile, you were never in their following list even if they did follow you.

While this was a bug, there was a long thread on Micro.blog with some good arguments for why this change was actually a feature. We shouldn’t have to worry about checking whether someone follows us. After all, an important part of Micro.blog is to never show follower counts, and to never let a feature grow into a popularity contest and source of judgement. The content someone posts should speak for itself.

This created a lot of confusion, though, because it didn’t work like anyone expected. I think even the people who liked it could tell something needed to change.

I was out of town this week and away from my computer most of the day. This left me some time to try to see both sides of this feature, and I kept coming back to this: the whole point of showing who someone is following is to discover new users. It’s not about how many people they are following. It’s not about whether they are following you.

(As an aside, with a platform based entirely on blogs, no one should read too much into followers anyway, because it doesn’t count all the people who might read your blog in an RSS reader or find it from a Google search.)

I’ve now tried to reduce this feature to its simplest form that solves the problem of finding new users. So in the latest version of Micro.blog on the web and native macOS app, I’ve reverted the change from earlier this week and replaced it with a list of who someone is following that you aren’t following already. We’ll be updating the iOS app as well and submitting it to Apple.

From an API standpoint, the previous behavior is still available. Third-party apps can make the best choice for the user experience they’d like to see, although if people like this change I’d encourage third-party apps to also adopt it.

Thanks to everyone who offered feedback on Micro.blog or in email. It means a lot to us that y’all care that we get this stuff right.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-11 15:35

Stack of books sculpture and the fountain at UNT.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-09 17:38

I think my post this morning got lost in the noise a little. If you missed it, Micro.blog now supports LinkedIn cross-posting and a few new features for hosted blogs.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-09 16:29

There’s a new Micro Monday podcast episode out! “Eli Mellen, an art historian and printmaker turned web developer, talks to Jean about…” LiveJournal, the IndieWeb, 🕸️💍, Micro.wiki, and more.


New features this week

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-09 14:30

I rolled out several new features to Micro.blog today:

  • LinkedIn cross-posting. I don’t use LinkedIn very often, but I kept hearing this request enough that it slowly bubbled up to the top of the priority queue as I was making improvements to cross-posting. Micro.blog can now send any new post to LinkedIn automatically.
  • Show following users on the web. For a long time you’ve been able to see who someone is following in the native apps, but not on the web version of Micro.blog. Now the web version more closely matches the experience on iOS and macOS. This is a nice way to discover new users to follow. (We still never show followers or follower counts.)
  • Better hosted page redirects. Blogs hosted on Micro.blog can have pages in the navigation for things like contact information, a resume, current projects, books you love, etc. If you want to link to an external site, you can just paste the URL into the contents of the page. These redirects work better now without briefly loading the blog layout.
  • Indiepaper for saving articles to read later. This is an experimental feature inspired by some ongoing work in the IndieWeb community. There’s a help page if you’re interested in learning more. I’ll have some more thoughts later on how this might evolve.
  • Pass-through legacy URL redirects. The last missing piece to migrate my main blog with 16 years of posts to Micro.blog hosting. Because I had accumulated so many random files on manton.org that I didn’t want to migrate, this feature allows me to have Micro.blog host all posts and photos, but if Micro.blog sees a URL it doesn’t recognize it can forward that to a different URL on the old server. (I’ll be enabling this manually for people who need it for now.)

It’s really nice to finally have manton.org hosted on Micro.blog. I’ve learned a lot going through this that I can use to help others migrating away from Wordpress.

I also cleaned up the text on a few pages and made other small bug fixes. Thanks for using Micro.blog! Your support means we can keep making it better.


Migrated manton.org to Micro.blog hosting

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-09 04:28

Tonight I imported all my WordPress posts from manton.org and moved them into Micro.blog hosting. I learned a lot keeping my blog on WordPress even after launching Micro.blog, but as Micro.blog-hosted blogs improved, it just made sense for me to migrate my 2700 posts over to the new platform.

Micro.blog automatically redirects old URLs it finds in the WordPress import, but I’m still sorting out other changes that might be necessary after blogging for 16 years. (I started on Radio Userland, then Movable Type, and then WordPress.) The best thing about this move is that I’ll be able to better understand the needs of users who are also maintaining large sites on Micro.blog.

When I was on WordPress, I had 2 separate RSS feeds: one for short posts, one for long essay-like posts. Micro.blog doesn’t have separate feeds like that, so you’ll likely notice this change in your RSS reader right away. New posts will appear and older posts will likely be marked as unread. Those blips should be temporary and then everything will be back to normal.

I love how fast my site is now. Micro.blog-hosted sites are mostly static and much faster to load in your browser than my old WordPress site.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-08 19:45

Watching the Spurs/Wizards summer league game while wrapping up some new features for Micro.blog that will ship tomorrow. 🏀


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-08 05:32

Thanks to Tony Parker for an incredible career in San Antonio. Would’ve been nice to finish his last few years on the Spurs, but this isn’t even the most surprising twist this off-season. 🏀


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-07 20:41

If you’re familiar with OAuth, this introduction to IndieAuth walks through the process of how auth for the open web works. Really happy that Micro.blog supports this now.


Twitter power users

Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-07 14:47

Great article by Felix Salmon on Wired last month about Twitter, found via Buzz Andersen’s blog:

Twitter is becoming increasingly concentrated on a tiny core of power users. It’s less and less a distributed mode of many-to-many communication, and more and more a broadcasting hub for the elite—a highly unequal place where their least-considered, Ambien-addled opinions get amplified to a global audience of millions.

When Micro.blog launched, not showing follower counts at all seemed like a big risk. Now I think it’s recognized as a great feature. If we want an inclusive, welcoming community, the UI should encourage that by presenting everyone as equals.


Permalink - Posted on 2018-07-06 21:22

We posted a new episode of Core Intuition this week with a summary of my time at IndieWeb Summit and more.