Author Archives: manton

Reposts and quoting

I recently added “repost-of” support to Micro.blog’s Micropub API implementation. This lets you pass an extra URL — the post you’re writing about — in clients like Micropublish. There’s deliberately still no concept of a retweet or repost, though.

When I wrote last year about Instagram and reposts, I was concerned with introducing features that could be abused or lead us back to reinventing Twitter’s problems. There’s even more evidence now that quick reposting shouldn’t be implemented blindly. Look what happened on Soundcloud:

Similar to Tumblr’s reblog or Twitter’s retweet, reposts were designed as a way to help new music spread virally. But from the start, artists abused the feature by constantly reposting their own tracks, pushing them back to the top of their followers’ feeds every few days.

For Micro.blog, I believe the right approach is to first introduce a simple “quote” feature. This UI would be streamlined to support quoting a sentence out of a blog post, with your own thoughts tacked on. It would fit with the spirit of easy posting in Micro.blog, but it would encourage more thoughtful posts and naturally scale up from traditional linkblogging.

Liking the new Swarm app redesign. Cleaner, simpler, flatter. Looks great and feels easier to use.

→ 2017/08/09 10:43 pm

Micro.blog 1.0.3 is now in the App Store. New user profile screen, share menu item, and other improvements.

→ 2017/08/09 3:20 pm

Updated my post on Apple News shortly after publishing to actually include links. Wasn’t fair to say they’re off the rails without linking.

→ 2017/08/09 1:27 pm

Fake news on Apple News

I don’t use Apple News very often. I much prefer reading blogs in Reeder and Micro.blog, with a daily check on the other news sites I pay for. But last night I noticed a headline in the iOS today screen and tapped over to a few stories in Apple News.

Scrolling down in the “For You” tab about politics I was surprised by a couple news stories about a plan by Democrats to “silence non-liberal media” (People’s Pundit Daily), and another on the Trump-Russia “collusion fantasy” (The Daily Caller). These were right-wing opinion pieces sprinkled with conspiracy theories, yet placed next to reputable news organizations like The New York Times, CBS News, and Politico.

Apple News screenshot

I thought Apple News was highly curated and better than this. Personal essays are fine in Apple News, because that’s part of blogging, but they shouldn’t be suggested to a mainstream audience looking for real news.

“The situation with North Korea would be an extreme challenge for a leader with ability and judgment. President Trump is simply too erratic, unstable and dangerous to be in charge in a situation like this.” — Josh Marshall

→ 2017/08/08 4:39 pm

Webmention in action

It’s always cool to see Webmention comments on real sites across the web. It’s not just a W3C spec. Like many ideas from the IndieWeb, this is a simple web technology that actually works today.

We’ve been improving Micro.blog’s support for Webmention. When you reply to a post on Micro.blog, from the web or iOS app, it will ping the site you’re replying to, giving that site a chance to include the comment. You can see these replies show up under recent posts from Aaron Parecki and Jonathan LaCour.

Drew McLellan had a good overview of implementing Webmention, including using services like Bridgy to bring in tweet replies:

The end result is that by being notified of the external reaction, the publisher is able to aggregate those reactions and collect them together with the original content.

Colin Walker highlighted Webmention when writing about Micro.blog:

It looks like a basic Twitter-style network but that is only scratching the surface; its simplicity belies its power.

Micro.blog also has limited support for receiving Webmention requests for people replying to a Micro.blog-hosted blog from their own site. As this support improves, both in Micro.blog and as more people enable Webmention on their WordPress sites, the distributed nature of the web as a broad social network will really start to shine.

Pushing the next iOS build up to Apple for approval. A few people are still on TestFlight… You should switch to the App Store version.

→ 2017/08/08 11:04 am

The first sign for Austin on our drive back from Santa Fe, as the setting sun lit up the clouds.

→ 2017/08/07 5:14 pm

I was hesitant to deploy server changes from the road, so now that I’m back home I’ve updated Micro.blog with a few fixes people have been waiting for. Also wrapping up the next iOS version.

→ 2017/08/07 10:17 am

Wind farm somewhere between Lubbock and Abilene. Thousands of wind turbines in Texas.

→ 2017/08/06 8:34 am

Finally added a favicon to Micro.blog. Not a dozen sizes, which had kind of scared me off, but just one. Looks nice.

→ 2017/07/24 1:24 pm

Micro.blog photos from MarsEdit

This morning I updated Micro.blog’s XML-RPC posting to support the MetaWeblog API, which allows uploading photos to your hosted microblog. If you’re using MarsEdit to post to Micro.blog, edit your “System API” in MarsEdit’s blog settings to “MetaWeblog API” instead of “Blogger API”.

Working on the photo upload support has also helped clarify how Micro.blog should process text from the different posting APIs such as MetaWeblog and Micropub. After the next version of the Micro.blog iOS app ships, Micro.blog will start requiring Markdown and escaping HTML tags from Micropub, just as it currently does from the web interface. This will be a much better default for most people, and bring more consistency between web and iOS posting.

MarsEdit and other tools that use XML-RPC will still be available for when you want more control over the HTML that is posted. Micro.blog does allow Markdown in your MarsEdit posts, but otherwise it does very little processing of text from MarsEdit. It even lets you post long-form blog posts.

Yesterday we posted Core Intuition 290. The date in the feed was wrong at first, so scroll back in your podcast app if you missed it.

→ 2017/07/23 11:12 am