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Category: microblog news

My Micro.blog Setup With WordPress

I’ve tweaked how I’ve used this site with micro.blog a few times. During the last change, I inadvertently broke my ability to create most types of new posts on micro.blog.

The short explanation is that I installed a plugin that detected when I added the “microblog” category to a post, and kept those posts on their own section of the site. This kept microblog-categorized posts off the front page and out of the 40Tech RSS feed. The problem was that the RSS feed is how micro.blog gets content from WordPress sites, so all posts tagged with microblog didn’t make it through to the micro.blog service. I had the micro.blog apps configured to add that category to any new posts, so those posts were falling into a black hole.

I’ve now fixed the problem. This involved making a few changes:

  1. I added some code to my functions.php file (located in a child theme) to keep any posts that are in my microblog category out of my main feed. That category still shows up in all other feeds, such as category-specific feeds. I found this code snippet in a blog post by Simon Wheatley.
  2. I added more code to my functions.php file to keep any posts in my microblog category off my home page. The web is replete with blog posts on how to exclude categories from your home page.
  3. I plugged only a category-specific feed into my settings at micro.blog. In my case it was this feed: https://www.40tech.com/category/microblog/. This means that only posts I categorize as “microblog” will show up for other users at micro.blog. When I post with the micro.blog apps, the posts are automatically assigned this category. This won’t send new articles to micro.blog, but that’s OK. I usually want to type a few comments about an article, and the main feed would only send a tittle and link to micro.blog. Now I can control how my content appears at micro.blog.

There are other ways I’ve configured the site for micro.blog, such as using a plugin for webmentions, but that’s a story for another day.

Micro.blog Posts Moved Out of Your 40Tech RSS Feed (and into Their Own Feed)

My foray into micro.blog is a work in progress. Micro.blog is a service that allows you to publish Twitter-like updates to your own site, but also have them appear in a familiar timeline interface at micro.blog. The idea is that you can own your content.

Since first going live with micro.blog, all my micro.blog posts have resided on the front page of 40Tech and in the main RSS feed, as well as at micro.blog. To help those who didn’t want to see those posts in their feed, I set up a feed to let you exclude those posts.

It’s time for some more tweaking. I realized I was refraining from posting to micro.blog because I didn’t want more trivial items to show up on the main page at 40Tech and in the main RSS feed. To remove that friction, I’ve removed the micro.blog posts from the home page at 40Tech, and from the RSS feed. You can still see all the micro.blog costs in their own section of the site. They also have their own RSS feed. Those who want to get all the content from 40Tech should subscribe to both the main feed and the micro.blog feed. If you’re on micro.blog, you can also follow me there. Of course, you can still follow me on Twitter.

Slim Down 40Tech’s RSS Feed

[February 24, 2018 update: I’ve further tweaked how I’m handling micro.blog posts. They’re no longer on the main page, but in their own section of the site and in their own RSS feed.]

Original post:

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to use micro.blog to keep all my Twitter-like posts here at 40Tech.com. That post explained my reasoning behind it. The side effect for RSS subscribers is your feed got a bit busier with short “micro” posts, and you may have some posts in your feed that are “Untitled.”

If you want to exclude these microblog-style posts from your feed, you can do so by using this feed link:

40Tech RSS Feed Exluding Microblog Posts

You can continue to get all posts at the normal RSS feed link.

An interview with Manton Reece of Micro.blog →

From Colin Devroe’s interview of Manton Reece, the man behind micro.blog:

Facebook recently announced they were hiring 10,000 moderators, and I know Twitter has a large staff as well. I expect one mistake that these larger social networks made early on was hiring too many programmers, and not enough curators. For Micro.blog we always want people who can interact with the community and stay ahead of any issues.

I’ve been getting heavily into micro.blog over the last week or so. I like the philosophy behind it, which comes through in this interview with its creator. Micro.blog is all about the open web – you own your own content. If Twitter has you down, or you have a blog that has been stagnating, check out micro.blog.

Going Micro with micro.blog

I think many content creators have an uneasy alliance with Twitter. They might like the ability to share thoughts with a wider audience, but dislike having their content and thoughts housed in a proprietary silo. One developer recognized this, and created a service called micro.blog after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The best summary of micro.blog was contained in a blog post on the site:

Instead of yet another social network, Micro.blog is designed to work with the open web. It’s built on RSS and independent microblogs. It’s about pulling together short posts and making them more useful and easier to interact with. It prioritizes both a safe community of microblogs as well as the freedom to post to your own site.

The service’s About page also explains the concept further:

Instead of trying to be a full social network, Micro.blog is a thin layer that glues the open web together, making it more useful. Micro.blog adds discovery and conversations on top of previously unconnected blog posts.

With micro.blog, you can publish to your own domain name (or publish through micro.blog) and control your own content. Even if you publish to your own domain name, you can always see your posts in a familiar timeline interface at micro.blog or its apps, along with with centralized replies and favorites. In a way, your posts live at two places at once.

You may have already noticed a couple of shorter posts here at 40Tech over the past 24 hours. Those are posts that I initiated through the micro.blog app. Given my time constraints over the last few months, I can see myself posting in this format a bit more frequently. 1 I also realize this could be something I try for a while, but don’t stick with for the long haul. We’ll see. For now, my posts will crosspost to my Twitter account as well.

If you want to give micro.blog a try, you can register. The basic service is free if you don’t need hosting (it may work with some free hosting services, like Tumblr). Micro.blog also offers a $5/month plan if you want them to host your microblog. If you host your own site, you can pay $2 per month for cross posting to Twitter and Facebook.

You can see my microblogging posts here at 40Tech, or at micro.blog/40tech.

  1. Yes, I recognize the irony of describing a microblogging service with a long blog post.