Micro.blog is a new social network for independent microblogs.
I’m here: jack.micro.blog. It’s a hosted blog, meaning
I can post and host there. It’s a paid option ($5/month) and seems to work well so far.
I need this because creating and publishing short, title-less posts using Hugo
just isn’t worth the effort yet. I like having a quick and easy web UI for posting.
There’s also a timeline of sorts at micro.blog/jack. I’m
not completely clear on the differences between this and jack.micro.blog. I guess I can think
of jack.micro.blog as a micro blog that could be anywhere, but happens to be at micro.blog.
It feeds into my micro.blog timeline just like any other RSS-enabled micro blog could.
I’m still figuring all this out, and Manton has not yet enabled all of the features so things
will probably become clear over time.
I love the idea of publishing somewhere “mine” and having it just flow into
Micro.blog and end up as part of both my and others’ timelines.
The more tools based on the “open web” we can move into, the better.
I recently bought a fantastic digital camera,
It’s fast, well-constructed, and works in a way that a camera should work. It
looks and feels great. In fact it feels almost like using a Leica film
rangefinder. I take more photos with the Fuji than with film cameras and nearly
all of them are exposed correctly, in focus, and contain 24 Megapixels of raw
data to work with.
Popping a card into a computer and playing with the infinite processing
possibilities using Lightroom is fun. I can make technically fantastic images
that way; simply and quickly.
And yet, I don’t enjoy shooting digital. I wish I did. Making photographs would
be so much easier.
I sometimes poke fun at film photographers claiming that they dislike digital
photos because they don’t have the same “soul” as film photos. And yet I have to
admit that I agree with them.
The difference is having a negative.
When viewing a scanned film photo on my phone or computer, I know that there’s a
film negative in a binder somewhere containing a permanent, physically-rendered
image created by light originally reflected off the photo’s subject. For me,
having a negative imbues film photos with a sense of realness not found in
digital. I don’t care that shooting film is difficult, more expensive, and
sometimes a complete pain in the ass. I don’t care that there are fewer “hits”
and that sometimes the image is scratched or has dust spots or is grainy.
My film images mean more to me than my digital images That’s why I go through
all the trouble of shooting film.
After a couple of weeks on Mastodon I’m cheering
for its survival. That’s not correct, Mastodon is federated, so any single node (instance)
is only part of the network. So maybe it’s better to say I’m cheering for whatever new thing
gets us on the federated bandwagon. Right now Mastodon is the strongest contender.
I have accounts on three instances, and I’m using each of them differently.
The first is @firstname.lastname@example.org. Since this is
the flagship instance, and the first one I’d heard of, it’s where I first joined.
They’ve since disallowed new signups and that’s probably a good thing. Best not to think
of any particular instance as the One True Instance. I am not using this much yet. It
was just about the only option so I made sure I registered my favorite username, is all.
The second is @email@example.com.
This was one of the early “other” instances and, well, “technology”. I like the Home feed
on this one as it’s fairly tech-focused. This is where I’m doing the things I would otherwise
do on Twitter. (Note that most people on Mastodon refer to Twitter as “birdsite” which
I refuse to do as it strikes me as insider nonsense.) If the instance stays up, I’ll likely
I began doubting the sysadmin chops of the person running mastodon.technology
(which turned out to be entirely unfounded), I looked for an alternative. I
noticed Leo Laporte posting on mastodon.network so that seemed as good as any.
Plus, the instance was running on a couple of load-balanced servers which is a
good sign. I’m now there
as @firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m using
this one to post photos and other photography-related topics.
There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this yet, but I’m having fun figuring it out.
Also, timelines are chronological, as any user-respecting timeline should be.
Hope to see you there.
UPDATE 04/21/2017 “the person running mastodon.technology” is Ash Furrow
(Ash Furrow) and while new to Mastodon hosting, he
appears to be active, smart, and a fast learner. He’s also actively contributing
to the community and the code. I’ve
made Mastodon.technology my home and signed up as
a Patron to help keep things running. Patreon/ashfurrow.
While scrolling through Twitter today I realized that the signal-to-noise ratio
on the internet has skewed way toward noise. It’s been this way for a while but
today just seemed especially bad.
Occasionally I’ll become so frustrated that I quit social media. It never
sticks. I find such wonderful things online. The people I follow on Twitter or
Medium or RSS write or link to beautiful, smart, educational stuff. I love it.
What I don’t love is how long it’s been taking to find the interesting stuff. My
nicely-curated streams have become floods of political complaints and outrage
over everything. The complaints are valid and the outrage is necessary, but
they’re not what I’m looking for and I have no idea how to fix any of it.
Medium makes me nervous. I’ve never known exactly what it is or what it wishes
to be. I’ve never liked the sense of importance imbued on things written there.
I don’t know if they’ll just disappear one day, taking years of writing with them.
And yet, Medium can be a wonderful place. I want them to succeed. I want people
to publish great content while avoiding the click-bait tendencies of many
publications. I want to enjoy reading what I find there.
So, I’ve paid to become a “Founding Member” of Medium. I’m spending $5.00 a
month in support of Medium’s vague yet compelling mission. I get that much value
out of Medium already, so I’m out nothing, really. I’m not paying as a writer,
I’m paying as a reader. I hope they do great things.
So far, I love the new Morning, Noon, and Evening “Editions”. I check in a few
times a day, read the latest, mildly-curated posts, and move on. The idea of
being finished with something online is wonderful. It’s why I still read a
paper newspaper, offline.
I love email. In spite of its faults, email is the most reliable way to
communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime. It’s been this way for decades. It
Email is also a pain in the ass. Email puts anyone at all in charge of my todo
list. Clients forward me 30-message email threads with only “Thoughts?”. Spam.
Reply-all nonsense. You know the list. We’ve been bitching about email for
years. People keep trying to “fix” it or replace it. Good luck with both of
those. I’m perfectly comfortable with email. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
That said, I love to play with different approaches to email. In the past couple
of years I’ve switched between native Gmail web, Apple
Mail, Mailmate, Mutt,
Today I’ve been trying Spark to see if any of the
modern approaches to email are useful. First impressions are positive. We’ll see
how “smart” the smart inbox is. I forward all of my email accounts
to Fastmail so multiple-account features aren’t useful
to me. I like “snooze”. Not sure about “Pin” vs “Flag”. It’s new and shiny and
I’m having fun with it.
The thing I may not be able to live with is not having easy access to individual
emails. I can’t seem to drag and drop emails into, say DEVONthink. I also don’t
see a way to link directly to a message. I use links to email everywhere so
that could be a deal breaker.
In the meantime, Spark seems clever and pretty. I’ll see how I feel in a week or