Apologies for the downtime. I had added another server to smooth over the outage… but it also failed. (If your Mac app crashed, no need to report it. Should be fixed in the next update.)

→ 2018/01/16 4:13 am

Need to take a couple of the Micro.blog servers down for Meltdown security updates at 1am CST. I’m sorry for the downtime, and hope to learn from this to minimize it in the future. Hosted blogs will remain up.

→ 2018/01/15 10:52 pm

Micro Monday: @bitdepth. I love seeing the beautiful photos that people post to Micro.blog, and Chris has had some great ones over the last few months: snow, nature, landscapes, food, and more.

→ 2018/01/15 5:21 pm

Dave Winer is starting a project to collect feeds for journalists. Feels like there may be an opportunity for Micro.blog to help with this, but I’m not sure how it fits together yet.

→ 2018/01/15 10:43 am

Unbelievable end to that game. Saints had the comeback right in their hands, and then… Wow. ๐Ÿˆ

→ 2018/01/14 7:13 pm

Spent more time offline than usual today as a few things pulled me away from the computer. Catching up a bit now, and enjoying reading through all the posts I missed on Micro.blog.

→ 2018/01/13 11:13 pm

Core Intuition 312

New episode of Core Intuition is out. We talk about what’s new with Micro.blog, cryptocurrency, and more:

Manton talks to Daniel about just missing jury duty during a busy work week. They talk about the virtues of differentiating a product by both features and personality. Finally, they react to the Stellar cryptocurrencyโ€™s surprising value, and the potential for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to change the world.

Thanks for listening!

Pushed some updates to help.micro.blog to better feature articles on the home page, with a separate Archive section for all help topics. Also new articles about WordPress and timeline display.

→ 2018/01/12 10:40 am

“As software developers and designers, we have a responsibility to the world to think these things through carefully and design software that makes the world better, or, at least, no worse than it started out.” โ€” Joel Spolsky on Twitter and Facebook problems

→ 2018/01/12 7:49 am

Cancelled PlayStation Vue and switched to Hulu Live. Saves us about $15/month. Main drawback so far: no NBA TV channel, although they don’t have many exclusive games.

→ 2018/01/11 2:25 pm

Wish I had stayed up for the second half of the Clippers/Warriors game last night. After 12 years in the league, Lou Williams gets a chance to show what he can do. 50 points and career highs all season. ๐Ÿ€

→ 2018/01/11 10:35 am

Deployed some more performance improvements, and (finally!) fixed showing a conversation starting with the original post in the iOS and Mac apps.

→ 2018/01/10 5:58 pm

Discover books update, day 2

I love how the Micro.blog community is using the new emoji topics that I wrote about yesterday. We started with books because many people were already sharing what they were reading or wanted to read in 2018. This is working out so well that I definitely want to improve and expand upon it.

Some people have asked for more topics, and several already work: music, basketball, football, and tv. I’m thinking that some of these will pop up in the Discover section when they are actively being used, or when there’s a special event. For example, during the Super Bowl you’d see ๐Ÿˆ to click on.

On Micro.blog there were some good discussions around this feature. Chris Aldrich said he was already using different book-related emoji, and Ben Norris wondered about supporting those too:

I love this! I thought I was ironic that you started it almost right after I went through and posted the books I read this last couple years on my microblog. I used ๐Ÿ“– instead of ๐Ÿ“š though.

I decided to add the open book and bookmark to the books topic, so they all map to the same place, but stopped short of adding all the other single-book emoji because I thought they might be confused with notebooks. After a few more days it may be more obvious how we should treat this.

Belle Cooper also had a good question about whether this is really much better than hashtags:

This is a cool idea, but I’m not sure I get how it can’t be gamed compared to hashtags. Or is that not the point of using emojis instead?

My answer is that they can be gamed, but the limited number of emoji means we can have a better sense of what people are writing about. It’s just simpler. Also, the backend implementation is not a search; it’s a live collection of posts that is updated whenever Micro.blog sees something new, and there’s a mechanism to easily exclude any inappropriate posts that show up without needing to block users or delete posts.

The Micro.blog community has grown a lot in the last couple of weeks. Every new feature has the potential to change how people interact with the platform, and I think this experiment with books has been almost completely for the better. I don’t think every post needs emoji โ€”ย most microblogs will continue to be mostly text and some photos โ€”ย but sprinkling in an emoji every once in a while will start to add value to the Discover section, and it also keeps Micro.blog fun.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Just fixed the books collection to also work with the little PNGs that WordPress sometimes uses, in addition to “real” emoji. This is fun.

→ 2018/01/09 12:52 pm

One of my goals for 2018 is to read more novels. As soon as I finish Ink & Paint I’m going to start on the 2-3 novels already in my queue. ๐Ÿ“š

→ 2018/01/09 11:45 am

Books on Micro.blog

Micro.blog doesn’t have special support for hashtags. It doesn’t automatically link them. There’s no global search yet. While Micro.blog users can include hashtags anyway, especially if they are cross-posting to Twitter, I’ve found that the timeline is much cleaner and readable without hashtags.

I’m not saying we’ll never have hashtags. But I’m not in a particular hurry to introduce native support for them. (Once a feature is added, it can’t easily be taken back. So we try to be deliberate in everything we do.)

Hashtags and Twitter trends go together. They can be a powerful way to organize people and topics together across followers. But they can also be gamed, with troublemakers using popular hashtags to hijack your search results for their own promotion or unrelated ranting.

It’s the organizational and discovery aspect of hashtags that I most want to bring to Micro.blog. There have been several recent discussions on Micro.blog about book clubs and reading, and this seems like a perfect topic to experiment with. I’ve also noticed that people love to include an emoji in their microblog post as a kind of theme indicator โ€” everything from ๐Ÿ“š to ๐Ÿ€.

Today we’re introducing a search collection using emoji, starting with books. Just include ๐Ÿ“š with your microblog text about a book you’re reading or related topic, and your post will automatically be collected on /discover/books. There’s also an emoji link at the top of the Discover section in the iOS and Mac apps. (Make sure you’re on the latest version of the apps released yesterday.)

If people like this, we’ll generalize it and start surfacing other topics. Enjoy, and happy reading!

Iโ€™ve been tuning out football lately and wasnโ€™t really rooting for anyone, but glad to have stayed up for that crazy game. ๐Ÿˆ

→ 2018/01/08 11:48 pm