Here we go again
Is the future of the web a network of independent sites?
👋 Hello reader, this blog post has aged 5 years since I originally wrote it in 2018. That's about 35 “internet years” you know, so it's probably quite stale by now and may not reflect my current thinking. I am happy to keep it here for archival purposes, but please reach out to me if something feels off or if you're relying on it for any serious purpose.
There seems to be a weak undercurrent of old and young bloggers like us that feel sentimental or curious and want to bring back blogging. Blogging won’t save the world. But, hell, after two weeks now, we can confirm: it feels great to be back on the blogging line.
If you are one of those old or young bloggers, please join in. Drop Facebook, drop Twitter and drop Medium for original thought. Own your traffic. You can use them to engage in discussion. But don’t get lost in there. Write daily. Publish as often as you have something to say. Link to other blogs.
— Oliver Reichenstein IA.net Web Trend Map 2018
It’s worth talking about how you can do this in 2018. The benefits of using Twitter, Facebook, and Medium are the “built-in” network of users that you can reach and the low barriers to start producing content. Can you be independent, have a nice publishing platform, and still build a community? More, now than ever, the answer is yes. Perhaps you don’t want to be responsible for building your own website or managing your own Wordpress blog (though these still work fine)… Just before the new year, I set up a Mirco.blog account and sincerely hope that this type of model gains traction across other types content-based networks on the web.
On the surface, Micro.blog looks a lot like early-Twitter. But that’s really where the similarities end. On Micro.blog you own and can self-host (if you want to) all the content yourself. This BYO content model uses Micro.blog as the network layer that sits on top of your posts (which are syndicated to Micro.blog via RSS or hosted on their platform). For five bucks a month, Micro.blog also offers a hosted option if you don’t want to set up your own separate blog that syndicates to your Micro.blog account.
Micro.blog adds discovery and conversations on top of previously unconnected blog posts.
Micro.blog also offers a native iOS app to make the browsing and posting a bit nicer, though unless you use their hosted option, your site must support the Micropub API standard to create posts through the third-party services.
↪︎ Read more about why Micro.blog was created