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! 👋
Movie time. Been waiting for this one! 🎬
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:
- 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 @email@example.com (copy-paste that to Mastodon search and you follow this blog via that channel)
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 🚀? 😅🤪
Made some minor(ish) design tweaks to the blog today. New background from Santorini trip, of course! 😄 Also, dropped the newsletter subscribe option for now. I personally feel it doesn’t make much sense to send these (mostly) microblog type of posts via email (even if gathered in weekly emails). RSS feels like a better channel for those imho.
I wonder how others feel about this? Do you subscibe to email updates if the posts are mostly microblog type of posts?
Well it was fun while it lasted. As you may have heard, Meta has blocked EU users from accessing Threads. I noticed I wasn’t able to publish, comment or do pretty much anything else than browse the main feed in the app someday last week. No idea when the app will be usable for us EU mortals again.. :(
Thank you for the shiny stickers @manton! They arrived to mailbox while we were on our summer holiday trip. Just opened the envelope yesterday. 😊
Threads by Instagram is not available in Europe (at least for now)? At least I don’t see it in Finnish appstore. For someone who can try it, is it ActivityPub compatible? Can I use it with micro.blog somehow (follow people, respond to threads, etc.? 🤔
Curious if the Apple’s upcoming Journal app will turn our to be something that would make me keep a personal journal. Micro.blog is great for public journaling, but I’ve never really used an app for private journaling. Tbh, it’s been ages since I’ve had any kind of private journal. 😄
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: @firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (@email@example.com) once more and will be using @firstname.lastname@example.org 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 🤔
Something going on with Mastodon cross-posting from micro.blog. Previous few entries never made to Mastodon for some reason. Testing out once more if disconnecting / reconnecting auth helped. 🤞
I wonder if anyone have a Bluesky invite to share? Would love to try it out! 😊
Been really enjoying Silo (Apple TV+) so far. Certainly a positive surprise! 8/10 from me. 📺
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.
Singapore pooltime! 😍🇸🇬 It’s been 4 years since our last visit. Awesome to be back! 😊 Next up, Bali 🌴
#travel #singapore #indonesia #bali 🗺️
Not sure if the micro.blog landing page has looked the way it does for a long time, but I really like it! Love the clean look and the way it highlights the best parts of using the platform. Great work @manton et al. 👏👏
Still wrapping my head around the “best practice” on how to use my main Mastodon account and this blog’s “account” (@email@example.com) side by side. For now, I think I’ll just boost posts that I’d also like to share via my main account and keep my fingers crossed that the possible comments on the (boosted) post appear hear on this blog (and micro.blog) too. I guess that’s one way to go about it? :)
Posting a few nice shots from Lofoten (Norway) road trip (few years ago) to check if micro.blog CDN settings have taken effect 😄🤞🗺️
Aiempaan viestiin liittyen, omalta micro.blog seurantalistalta löytyi ainoastaan @tkoola Suomesta. Ehkäpä meitä muitakin löytyy micro.blogista? Oli miten oli, ajatus olisi välillä jakaa täällä jotain suomeksikin, tai viritellä cross-postausta micro.blogista esim. Mastodonin tai Linkkarin puolelle, kun tulee jotain erityisesti suomeksi jaettavaa. Kassotaan!
Does anyone run their micro.blog in some other language than English? I’m considering creating another micro.blog which I’d use for Finnish content specifically. There are cases where blogging in my native language would make sense (and sharing those post to social channels which I use in Finnish). Would be cool to hear some experiences if some of you’ve done something similar! :)