Micro.blog, thoughts thereon

There’s a lot of good spirit in this conversation but so far I’ve only seen a suggestion to give Manton and Jean more work that is not the user-side platform itself; now instead they would spend time on better organising the feedback system for users. I think this is a good idea but should not be a priority at the moment, since there are still a few good things Manton and Jean are more than capable of implementing without the attached better organised feedback system.

Whilst things take longer or might frustrate certain people, this is the reality of a smaller operation (as I’m sure Josh knows much better than I do, what with his and Belle’s company) and at this point I don’t think it would be good for Micro.blog to move closer to, say, the whole federated system where lots of people easily have lots of input – Mastodon is the well-known example of this and it’s just a mess as compared to Micro.blog.

There’s an assumption in Josh’s post that I have seen elsewhere; Micro.blog is presented as a viable alternative social network. I understand where this assumption comes from but it is just not true and so at a fundamental level a lot of these ideas are coming from a false position. The whole point, in so far as I have understood it is for individual ownership of your content to be the relevant point of difference (from social media) and then Micro.blog is a social layer to help connect those blogs upon which you have ownership, should you wish to do so.

And, frankly, I like that. Not least because it has been built and maintained in a way that does not involve Manton and Jean coming out with big statements about how “everybody can be involved” without evidence of that actually working, but rather it is a focused effort, transparently maintained on the most appropriate front; where people can find it usable before anything else.

Whilst I appreciate the spirit of “super ease of input from the community will solve lots of things!” I think this only has tangible worth if the platform is in a better condition than it currently is, both from a user perspective and from the developer perspective. I do not think it will work if it comes from a tiny team and a platform still in need of usability upgrades, especially because the strength of the endeavour is in its patient, calm approach; opening the floodgates should not happen, at least not yet.

Simon Woods @simonwoods


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