Monthly Archives: March 2018

Core Intuition 321

We start this week’s Core Intuition talking about the Apple education event in Chicago. More in the show notes:

Daniel and Manton talk about Apple’s Chicago education event, and Apple’s challenge in breaking into the education market so dominated by Google. They scrutinize whether the special event was “event-worthy” or not. Daniel talks about his motivation problems with shipping MarsEdit updates, and complains again about App Store Review uncertainty. Finally, they talk about the challenge of knowing whether a product with lackluster success is on the brink of something great, or should be moved on from.

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A couple weeks ago the Spurs were 10th place in the west. Now, they’re 4th. Only 6 games left and anyone’s guess what the standings will look like. 🏀

→ 2018/03/30 12:32 am

Tonight I deployed what I think will be a big performance improvement to posting on Micro.blog-hosted sites. Will be keeping an eye on things over the next day.

→ 2018/03/29 11:59 pm

Coffee and work at Apanas this morning, then checked out the new Amazon Books store. Bigger than I expected and very nice.

→ 2018/03/29 3:49 pm

Really happy to see the Apple Pencil supported on the $329 iPad. I also like Tim Cook’s shout-out to kids marching. Skimmed most of the event video, though.

→ 2018/03/27 2:07 pm

Pushed a couple bug fixes for Micro.blog for Mac. “Check for Updates” to get version 1.2.1.

→ 2018/03/27 12:21 pm

Decided to skip following the Apple event live coverage today. Look forward to the blog post summaries after everything wraps up.

→ 2018/03/27 10:45 am

Version 1.2 of Micro.blog for Mac is now available, with support for multiple accounts and posting to different microblogs in the same account.

→ 2018/03/26 10:29 am

Aldridge with 45 points in an intense game to beat Utah in OT. Feels like the playoffs started already for half the western conference. 🏀

→ 2018/03/23 10:29 pm

Reviewing the Micro.blog timeline algorithm this morning. Doesn’t look like it needs any changes: ORDER BY posted_at DESC.

→ 2018/03/23 11:44 am

IndieWeb generation 4 and hosted domains

Naturally because of the goals of Micro.blog, I see a lot of discussion about “owning your content”. It’s an important part of the mission for Micro.blog to take control back from closed, ad-supported social networks and instead embrace posting on our own blogs again.

But what does it mean to own our content? Do we have to install WordPress or some home-grown blogging system for it to be considered true content ownership, where we have the source code and direct SFTP access to the server? No. If that’s our definition, then content ownership will be permanently reserved for programmers and technical folks who have hours to spend on server configuration.

IndieWebCamp has a generations chart to illustrate the path from early adopters to mainstream users. Eli Mellen highlighted it in a recent post about the need to bridge the gap between the technical aspects of IndieWeb tools and more approachable platforms. With Micro.blog specifically, the goal is “generation 4”, and I think we’re on track to get there.

I want blogging to be as easy as tweeting. Anything short of that isn’t good enough for Micro.blog. You’ll notice when you use Twitter that they never ask you to SFTP into twitter.com to configure your account. They don’t ask you to install anything.

More powerful software that you can endlessly customize will always have its place. It’s good to have a range of options, including open source to tinker with. That’s often where some of the best ideas start. But too often I see people get lost in the weeds of plugins and themes, lured in by the myth that you have to self-host with WordPress to be part of the IndieWeb.

Owning your content isn’t about portable software. It’s about portable URLs and data. It’s about domain names.

When you write and post photos at your own domain name, your content can outlive any one blogging platform. This month marked the 16th anniversary of blogging at manton.org, and in that time I’ve switched blogging platforms and hosting providers a few times. The posts and URLs can all be preserved through those changes because it’s my own domain name.

I was disappointed when Medium announced they were discontinuing support for custom domain names. I’m linking to the Internet Archive copy because Medium’s help page about this is no longer available. If “no custom domains” is still their policy, it’s a setback for the open web, and dooms Medium to the same dead-end as twitter.com/username URLs.

If you can’t use your own domain name, you can’t own it. Your content will be forever stuck at those silo URLs, beholden to the whims of the algorithmic timeline and shifting priorities of the executive team.

For hosted blogs on Micro.blog, we encourage everyone to map a custom domain to their content, and we throw in free SSL and preserve redirects for old posts on imported WordPress content. There’s more we can do.

I’m working on the next version of the macOS app for Micro.blog now, which features multiple accounts and even multiple blogs under the same account. Here’s a screenshot of the settings screen:

Mac screenshot

The goal with Micro.blog is not to be a stop-gap hosting provider, with truly “serious” users eventually moving on to something else (although we make that easy). We want Micro.blog hosting to be the best platform for owning your content and participating in the Micro.blog and IndieWeb communities.