I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my personal publishing empire. I’m really liking micro.blog. I like the community, I like the philosophy behind it, and I like the quality of conversations that happen on the service.
One thing that drew me to micro.blog was the idea that I would own my own content. However, there’s a bit of friction involved in posting to micro.blog through my own site that I’d like to eliminate.
Here’s how I’m currently set up:
- Post to my WordPress blogs on stumax.com (for personal stuff) or turninggrille.com (for IA stuff). Make sure to select the Micro Posts category.
- Those posts automatically cross-post to micro.blog
- Those micro.blog posts automatically cross-post to Twitter
Here are the problems:
In Step One, it’s not that easy to post to a WordPress blog, especially on a mobile device. I want to just tap out a quick post, but I have to set the category and post type, which adds a bit of friction. And if I include an image, there are additional steps to make sure that posts properly (and it doesn’t always work on the first go.) MarsEdit does make this easier, but there’s still more overhead than I’d like.
And, according to Johnathan Lyman on the micro.blog Slack, my character set is incompatible with emojis. It should be utf8mb4 instead of utf8. And check out this lovely set of instructions on how to convert your database to a different character set. No thank you.
Cross-posting to micro.blog works pretty seamlessly, as does cross-posting to Twitter. My problem is I don’t always want to cross-post to Twitter.
So, I really have to think before I post about all the places where what I write is going to show up and what it’s going to look like in each place. And this overhead — although it’s not massive — is enough to make me abandon some posts entirely because I just don’t have the capacity at that moment to think through all the consequences.
Maybe that’s a good thing. The world certainly doesn’t need all my ephemeral thoughts. But part of the benefit of micro.blog should be that it becomes easier to blog, and therefore I would blog more regularly.
How do I solve this? I could reverse the flow: switch to a hosted micro.blog and start all my posts there, and then have it flow into my personal WP blog for posterity. It feels like this would lower the friction significantly, but it would also further fracture my online presence. I’d also have to pick one blog for the posts to flow into. But I’ve been debating consolidating the two blogs anyway. I’m not sure it was the right choice to begin with.
Sigh. First world problems, right? I’m still noodling on this, but I’m strongly considering switching to a hosted micro.blog at stumax.info. That would make my publishing flow look like this:
- All posts start on micro.blog
- Automatically cross-post to my WordPress blog via this WP plugin (and abandon the idea of keeping two separate blogs for all my content)
- Automatically cross-post to Twitter if I choose to (using the new selective cross-post feature in the micro.blog iOS app)
This feels better. But am I missing something? In the m.b Slack, Mark Hughes pointed out that there’s some overhead with this approach if you want to set categories, tags, or post type for the posts you’re bringing in to your WP blog. Which, yeah… I want to have that stuff.
Stuff to think about. More to come…