Friends vs Followers on Micro.blog

If I’m honest, the reason I originally backed and then joined Micro.blog by Manton Reese is that I enjoy tinkering with new platforms and social networks. I try them all. Manton’s ideas about “owning your content” and the hooks into IndieWeb ideas were just icing.

I came for the novelty, but stayed because it’s become my favorite place to be.

@Smokey’s recent post, Two Weeks with Micro.blog, had me nodding in agreement throughout. He lists some great reasons to enjoy being part of the Micro.blog community.

Beyond Smokey’s spot-on list, I’d like to point out a feature of Micro.blog that is so small it’s easy to overlook; There’s no way to know how many followers other people have. This may seem trivial, or even an oversight, but I’m convinced that it’s a critical component of Micro.blog. It is for me, anyway.

Years ago on Twitter, I would use follower counts as an indicator of authority or perhaps as a way to gauge someone’s impact on a community or topic. With so many followers, he or she must have useful or interesting things to say, right? That probably wasn’t a great way to think about follower counts even then, but it worked as often as not.

Today however, it’s become about gaming the system. High follower counts on social networks only demonstrate an ability to gain followers. Not useful. This leads to replies on Twitter feeling like nothing more than desperate grabs for attention.

On Micro.blog, replies feel like a conversation with a person. Imagine that.

I check Micro.blog many times a day, but not for entertainment or to see how many faves I’ve gotten. I do it to see what my friends are up to.

It may be presumptuous to call the people I follow on Micro.blog “friends”, since I don’t actually know any of them, but I can’t think of a better word. I certainly don’t call them “followers”.

Blog Consolidation

(I originally posted this as the last post on www.baty.net but thought I'd copy it here.)

The end of each year always has me thinking about simplifying things. To that end, I’m going to try consolidating my online presence. I’ll no longer be posting at www.baty.net.

For blogging, I’m going to try posting everything here at jack.baty.net.

Anything longer or more “important” than a tweet goes on the One True Blog™.

For shorter things, I’ll probably use Mastodon and cross-post to Twitter and via RSS to micro.blog. “But what about owning your content!?” you ask. Lately, the way I figure it if it’s not important enough for a title I don’t care if I “own” it or not. If that changes I'll probably just keep a hosted micro.blog blog for short posts.

A bunch of people blogging every which way all scattered around who-knows-where is such a hot mess and I love it so.

Everything is gorgeous and I am lost – Track Changes

Drew Bell:

Lately, though, I’ve often found myself halfway through a poorly-considered post before realizing I was devoting reading time to a hack job. We’ve developed a sense of the signifiers of thoughtfully-assembled web sites in the last decade, but these days it’s all a wash of 21px #333 Georgia.

I do appreciate nice, readable typography, but dammit can’t we have fun any more? When choosing a template for jack.baty.net I wanted something unique and fun but ended up with a simple, readable, basic layout. I guess for now this hack job remains part of the problem.

I just want everyone to start blogging again

Would you all please just start a blog? I don’t care which platform you choose. Pick one and publish. Cross-post or don’t. Implement Webmentions or don’t. Allow comments or don’t. Tweak the design to within an inch of its life or don’t. Publish long posts or short, it doesn’t matter.

Just please write stuff and publish it and provide an RSS/Atom/JSON feed so I can easily keep up with it. It’s pretty easy.

I shouldn’t need Twitter or Facebook for this stuff.

 

The Places I Can Write

People make fun of me for having too many blogs. I don’t blame them. I just like to try things. I love a Saturday morning with nothing going on other than installing some new app and running with it. It’s fun!

The trouble begins when I say to myself, “That’s it, this is where I’m writing from now on!” Of course that never lasts, and I look flighty and a little foolish. I no longer believe myself when I say those things. I’m never going to be the guy who’s been using the same platform in the same place for years, and that’s ok.

I’ve created sort of a mess of things, but I may just need to live with it. Here are the places I can currently publish, not including social media:

 

It’s pretty obvious that this is too much. I’m not sure what to do about it so I’m leaving it alone for now. Eventually I hope to consolidate things a bit and archive and shut down the places I never plan to use.