Having a Microblog on a Traditional Blog
11 Oct 2023
I was recently talking to Jatan Mehta about microblogging vs traditional blogging, and what should go where. I thought it was an interesting conversation, so decided to share my opinions here too.
I've written about my love/hate relationship with social media in the past, and how I've changed my habits to manage it better. I then toyed with Micro.blog and ultimately decided to just stick with Fosstodon.
When I switched to Kirby, I thought it might be a good idea to build a "notes" section as a kinda self-hosted microblog, given that the Kirby panel is so powerful, this would be trivial to do.
As a fellow (ex) member of Micro.blog, Jatan and I got into a conversation about microblogging and its benefits. I mentioned my idea for the "notes" section and Jatan replied with this comment:
A “Notes” section on your blog could be interesting but I suppose when it comes to microblogging it’s not about the length of the content as much as the social space it provides, which is where Mastodon works good for some people including you. Might work if you could post notes on your blog as canonical and crosspost to Mastodon though.
This comment got me thinking about what actually is a microblog? And for me, it came down to transient thoughts. I use Fosstodon for 2 things:
- Sharing posts from this blog
- Sharing random thoughts that pop into my brain
That's pretty much it. And for that, as Jatan quite rightly said, Mastodon is perfect. This blog is a place for my longer-form thoughts that I want to be out there in perpetuity, a microblog isn't that.
My next thought then came down to ownership - by having the notes section I get to own my content. I'm in control of the domain and all the nuts and bolts that bring those transient thoughts together.
But I'm the co-owner of Fosstodon, so that is true there as well. Even if I wasn't the co-owner, does it really matter if I don't own a gaggle of random, temporary thoughts?
All in all the whole "notes" thing is moot and I don't think I need to add it to this site. By doing so, I run the risk of muddying the waters here, and I already have a perfectly good platform that's designed for these thoughts, in Mastodon.
So thanks for the chat, Jatan, I think I'll carry on as I am.
By the way, Jatan is a prolific blogger. He maintains a very popular blog about space, as well as a personal blog. You can check out his stuff here.