The Micro.blog experience and a few thoughts on the open web (Beardy Guy Musings)

I write this and mull it over from the perspective of a creator and as a longer-term user of the “old web”. I have, at least, a basic grasp of the ideal (and importance of) the open web, ownership and access. I write it as someone frustrated with the nastiness of the business practices of the corporate entities that own the big social media as well as the lack of moderation on those sites making them potentially dangerous places. But even amongst the relatively tech fluent (and likely, financially affluent) community of tech/apple oriented users that I follow on Twitter, there is little impulse to move to alternatives such as Micro.blog or Mastodon. I’ve seen evidence of an almost complete lack of interest.

As one of those "old web" guys who has been blogging for almost two decades, I understand this anguish over the open web. I've seen the rise and fall of alternative like app.net and despite what others may think, micro.blog's success isn't ensured. The lack of diversity, both cultural and economic, is perhaps why the "relatively tech fluent (and likely, financially affluent) community of tech/apple oriented users" ignore micro.blog. It's one of the reasons why, despite having backed the Kickstarter project, I chose to let my hosted micro.blog lapse and use micro.blog more like Twitter. Both are free but Twitter is less of an echo chamber.

I visit micro.blog only a few times a month now. The discovery feed is boring.

I've documented my issues with micro.blog in several blog posts. I don't expect anything to change in the near term.

Others have voiced similar complaints.

I prefer the approach advocated by the IndieWeb and have also written about the issue of discovery for independent blogs who don't use social media.

On blogging and intentional sharing by Smokey (A journal at al-Qâhira fî Amrîkâ)

As I wrote in my reply on Micro.blog, the first, and most important, aspect of intentional sharing is simply to think about whether the “content” is appropriate for the community.

I agree with much of what Smokey wrote but the post and the thread on micro.blog smacked of one group of people - insiders - deciding for a much larger community.

And what do you say if the person has read this post, considered what you to say and the response is:

"There's no rule against posting everything I do to the timeline. So I am doing it because it's my mine and you don't get to tell me how to be."

Community norms are why I have self-hosted on WordPress for nearly 15 years. What happens is that early participants of the community think they can dictate behaviour and expectations to later participants.

They develop a "this is my community, and this is how we behave" mentality, which I find no different than the IRL conversation a white/Christian community have with non-whites/non-Christians who are moving in. The "we don't do that here" conversation.

The disadvantage of community norms is that people stop questioning the purpose of the "norms" and whether they are still relevant for themselves or the community. And this often means that they stop thinking for themselves.

Manton has already spelt out how to behave on his platform. It's his platform, his house, and his house rules. I see nothing in there that excludes posting as often as one wants on any topic that one wants so long as his guidelines are met. His instructions are the only norms I care about.

Live Your Life for You, Not to Please Expectations.