- Sending long form articles (and only those) via email as soon as they get published. You can subscribe here.
- Full feed (with long and short posts) are available via RSS.
- Following on Fediverse by searching @firstname.lastname@example.org (copy-paste that to Mastodon search and you follow this blog via that channel)
I miss those early days when most people I know from blogging, web projects, online biz and related endeavours were on Twitter. Both in Finland and globally. It was so easy to connect and stay connected with everyone.
Fast forward to today, and we are all scattered across various social networks online. Mastodon, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads, Tumblr, Bluesky, micro.blog.. and yes, X.
Ugh. Too many places to keep track of, let alone stay active on. ActivityPub certainly is a step in the right direction in this context, but will it ever get adopted widely enough to “solve” this problem?
I guess only time will tell. 🤷🏻
Soooo.. Threads just launched their web version, cool. Unless you’re in EU region, which I am. Can’t use the app, can’t use the web. Twitter is a mess, left ages ago. STILL no Bluesky invite either (although I joined waiting list last year). Truly feeling like a second class citizen here! 🥲
Well, at least micro.blog works (and Mastodon!) 🤪
I've been surprisingly happy in the way this site came together.
However, like it happens nearly every time after I've launched a new thing, this time was no different: I’ve been already thinking about doing it again from a scratch.
I shouldn't (and probably won't), but the nagging feeling is there as usual. Other direction for the layout, maybe some other platform even (hey, how's WordPress nowadays?!), chasing the next shiny thing. Oh yeah.. that pattern of thought. Any pointers on escaping the feeling, anyone?
Well, as it turns out, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Hurrah! 😄
In other news, the Threads EU ban is still on
My account was no different. There are few things that work (I see the main feed and can like and rethread things, but that's about it). I can't post anything, comment or even see my own feed. The experience is badly crippled.
In a story published on Instagram few weeks ago, Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram) mentioned that it will probably take many months before Threads is fully launched in Europe.
That sucks, but it is what it is. I hope they'll be able to get a proper desktop (web) version out in the meantime at least. At the moment, you can browse conversations via web too, but can't interact with them. According to Insider.com, Threads for web should be launching this week. We’ll see!
Having said that, if you're on Threads, find me here. I'll be there too.. when I finally can.
Also, getting my feet wet with MarsEdit
This is the first article I’m writing with MarsEdit and I love it!
If you haven’t heard about it before, don’t worry, I wasn’t aware of it either until recently. I found out about it while watching this presentation by [@Miraz](https://micro.blog/Miraz) from this years Micro Camp.
I’m especially fond of the split screen editing feature, which allows me see how the article is shaping up in the site template itself in real-time. This is the way! :)
MarsEdit is free to download, but if you intend to use it properly, you need a license which costs $59.95. Well worth the price if you ask me.
Oh, one more thing
Since the last newsletter I sent, I’ve now switched back to using Buttondown. I was using micro.blog’s built-in newsletter feature previously, but felt I just want bit more control over how the emails look. Plus, I’ve used Buttondown before in my earlier blogs, so it felt just right.
Ok, that’s all this time. I hope to see you again when the next article hits the interwebs. Have a wonderful week all! 👋
Right before heading to summer holidays in June, I launched a new version of this website.
During the holiday, I didn’t do much else than enjoy the vacation views & feels and post some stories and photos on Instagram from the trip. Didn’t even bring my laptop with me, holiday well spent!
Having said that, I feel excited to get back to tinkering with this blog again. Unlike social media channels where you have limited options on “making it yours”, on personal websites, the sky is the limit. It’s fun being able to make this thing whatever I want it to be.
Oh, where did we travel?
In addition to travels in Finland (where I’m from), we went to Northern Italy, near a city called Bolzano and from there, continued to Santorini, Greece. First mountain views with nice 20-25 Celsius weather, then full on sunshine, 30 Celsius and those beautiful Santorini views. It was great and I miss those places already!
Ok, but about that blog / website tinkering topic. Here’s what’s been happening.
More layout changes
I started building this website on a fork of Tiny Theme in June. After that, this has evolved on a theme of it’s own. I’ll probably make a new repository out of this at some point and write it again from scratch at some point. But for now, the code itself is living on the fork branch.
When viewing the site on larger screens, it now has a left sidebar and the main content area on right. On mobile, it’s the same one column view it used to be.
There are also some subtle new things like the subscribe to email updates and RSS feed buttons on homesite. I also added a verified checkmark icon next to my name on site title. If you’d like to add it to your personal blog, Andy Bell got you covered.
Subscribing to blog updates, revisited
I struggled quite a bit on the question of “how does one want to follow updates from a blog”. Especially when the blog has both micro posts (which get published often) and long form content (like this article).
I first thought of a monthly newsletter option, then a weekly version of it. But it felt strange for me to be sending a collection of all the posts from a given time frame. I wouldn’t want to subscribe via email to anyone’s Twitter/Threads/Mastodon feed either, so why would this feel any different?
For more regular updates, RSS feels like a better option. Or following the blog on Fediverse (seeing all the post updates from a social media channel of user’s choice, Mastodon for example).
What I ended up with are these three options:
I also thought about sending real time blog notification via Slack / Telegram, etc. but didn’t yet implement any of that. Let’s see if I will.
Back in 2010, I used write one or two article per week and publish them. Fast forward to this day and I really struggle to write and publish once a month (if even that!). Why is that?
There are many things I could point my finger at and cast blame: Too busy at work and life, too many distractions (mostly all the social media channels, news etc.), too much this and that. But yeah, it is what it is. Life is much more hectic than it used to be back then.
To that end, I’d still like to at least try my best to publish here on a biweekly basis, if possible. If not, oh well.. it gets out when it gets out, I guess. My website, my rules and all that 🤪.
The story continues..
Speaking of hectic life, I’m already late from my daily(ish) workout session, so need to run now.
But hopefully will see you soon again here on blog. Until the next time! 👋
So, Elon want’s to transform Twitter into “everything app” X (handle all our shopping, banking, messaging, etc.), plant a microchip to our brains, build an AI that understands the universe and then.. when it all goes south, escape to space in a 🚀? 😅🤪
Threads, by Instagram - Could that be the name of the Meta’s answer to Twitter? It might. I’m actually more than mildly excited about this. Especially if it really does have ActivityPub support built in. Instagram userbase suddenly available in Fediverse would be like a.. big bang..or something?
Well, I did it again. Started a new blog, that is.
Oh wait, that’s not entirely true. It ain’t new, as I’ve used it on and off for micro blogging. But I haven’t used it for longer posts like this one. Oh, and it has fresh coat of paint too!
The site runs on micro.blog, a blogging platform that also has elements of social networking built in. In addition to the micro.blog community itself, it also connects with Fediverse. And you can easily cross-publish to other social networks, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium and more.
It’s neat, do check it out.
Now that I’ve moved around some “furniture”, this place feels more like home. There are few things I’d like to mention about the “making of” this site.
Second, I’d like to thank @manton and the whole team micro.blog for creating such an unique blogging platform. There really ain’t another one like it.
Third, check out this site’s colophon for the rest of building blocks this site uses. I’ll do my best to keep that page updated when things change here.
Last, but not least - As micro.blog also provides Newsletter feature, I’m trying that out as a delivery mechanism for sending new articles from this blog. If it turns out to be sufficient for my use, great! If not, I’m happy to keep using Buttondown (which I’ve used in the past). Whatever works best et cetera.
Edit Jul 29th, 2023: Micro.blog’s newsletter feature worked great, but I decided to go back to Buttondown still, as it provides more useful features I can tinker with. Will stick with that for now. If you’d like, you can subscribe here.
P.S. Oh, and if RSS feeds are more your thing, feel free to pick the one(s) that make most sense to you:
P.P.S If you’re on Fediverse (Mastodon, for example), you can also follow what happens here on blog by searching for this handle: @email@example.com. All the things you see here (as notes and posts), will end up on that account’s feed.
Ok, I think that’s all for now. Thank you for reading and I hope to “see you” again next time here on blog. Cheers! 👋
Third time’s the charm? 😄 To get better aligned with the whole Fediverse concept, I aliased my Mastodon account (@firstname.lastname@example.org) once more and will be using @email@example.com as my “main Fediverse home” from now until eternity (I hope!). So if you’re wondering why you’re suddenly following this handle, that’s why 😊
Also imported my following list to this instance, so all should be in sync now (or shortly, as the data still propagates).
Testing testing! Substack’s RSS reader seems to pick content for each post from my blog sidebar for some reason. Testing if that glitch continues to happen with this new post 🤔
I wonder if anyone have a Bluesky invite to share? Would love to try it out! 😊
Ah, so the last thing I used Twitter for is now gone too. Used the search (without Twitter account) for browsing comments on some local Finnish news. So be it. The end.
For many years, it has been my December activity to go through those web/social media accounts that I don’t really use much and “cut out the fat”. It’s always a surprise to realize how many new places I’ve made accounts during the past year (as I like to test new shiny things 😄).
This year, I’d especially like to get the number of my social media accounts as low as possible. Ideally, I would just like to be “present” on my own website/blog and cut out all the rest. I feel that’s not yet entirely viable option, although the #ActivityPub “movement” sure has helped get the ball rolling in that direction.
Let’s see! At least, there’s this one “bird account” that I very much think will get flushed by the end of year for me. Probably few others too. Anyone else who’s doing a similar “cleanup” this year?
As micro.blog supports crossposting stuff from here to Mastodon, let’s try that too! Curious to learn how I’ll end up using these two side by side. I guess time and (perhaps) trial and error will tell 😅
Is this thing on? I guess so 😄 In addition to micro.blog(ging), I’m now also exploring what Mastodon is all about @firstname.lastname@example.org. Come say hi! 😊👋
Yeah, it’s time. Gone fishing is now in effect. Been mulling over the though way before the “latest developments”, but as the feeling has only grown stronger since, it is time. Let’s reconsider at some point, maybe.
I find that micro.blog has the same kind of good vibe Twitter used to have in the early days. Browsing and reading other people’s updates here leave me feeling good. The opposite is true with my Twitter feed, which has turned into (mostly) doom and gloom, people arguing about stupid smallest things and all that. I’ll be spending much more time here than on Twitter in the future, that’s for sure! :)
One thing I’ve wondered lately when discovering new users here, how many active users are there on micro.blog? Just a curiosity, if it’s not a big secret @manton? 😄
Giving a try to “Twitter for Professionals” mode in the app. Could not find software developer, maker or creator “profession” there, so ended up using “Blogger” 😄 Let’s see how this feature turns out! 😆
My first Micro Monday shout-out goes to @amit who’s blog amitgawande.com I just stumbled upon recently. Amit sure has been blogging for a while! Starting from 2005, that’s no small feat! 😄 Amit is also responsible for the beautiful theme I started using on my blog (the same one he uses for his - Paper theme). Minimally beautiful!
Regarding discovering new (micro) blogs, I wonder if there’s a way to see if anyone I follow on Twitter has a blog here? Is there a plug-in or something for that @manton? 😊