Today, most writing instead goes into a small number of centralized social networking sites, where you can’t move your content, advertisements and fake news are everywhere, and if one of these sites fails, your content disappears from the internet. Too many sites have gone away and taken our posts and photos with them.
I want to encourage more independent writing. To do that, we need better tools that embrace microblogs and the advantages of the open web. We need to learn from the success and user experience of social networking, but applied to the full scope of the web.
- Manton Reece, Indie Microblogging
Back in January, Manton’s Kickstarter project showed up in my social feeds enough times that I decided to take a longer look at it. His whole project is about microblogging, the term sometimes used for the publishing of shorter posts- think tweets, and status updates. He’s developed a way for people to easily start their own microblog, without there being a large learning curve to get up and running.
The mean reason why he is doing this is set out in his introductory post and video on the Kickstarter project: he wants writing to exist on its own, away from the online gatekeepers that can shut down without much notice.
I have always believed that myself, which is one of the reasons why I have hosted my own blog since I recommitted myself to writing six years ago. I own the words on my site and can easily take them elsewhere if something catastrophic happened. The same can’t be said for what I publish on other sites, which is why I backed the Kickstarter project as an attempt to rectify that. It will also allow me to have one site for everything: short, long, and photos. No need to go to one site for one thing, and another site for the other thing.
While it hasn’t fully launched yet, I have been playing around with what is available the past few days to see how things functioned, looked, and how best to use it. I debated about setting up a separate site and decided against that. Better to utilize my current setup instead to see how it goes. For now, the micro posts will be dispersed between the longer posts, and available on the micro.blog for quick perusal. They’re also crossposted over to Twitter and possibly Facebook if the appearance is okay.
This may be the appropriate time to mention that I pulled the site back from being hosted on GitHub and brought it to its original home on WordPress. The motivation behind that shift was in preparation for the micro.blog launching. It was easier to get it to play nicely, and easier to setup the different styles of posts on WordPress. Also, I wanted my photographs to look better on the web. The theme I finally settled on makes some real nice choices in how photographs can be used on the site. For example, look at The Pull of Silence.
The best part of all of this is that I can still use my favourite editor to publish both short and long posts – Ulysses.
There is slow progress being made towards me writing more regularly, but there is progression.