For what it’s worth, I played with it literally a couple of days ago. I found the set up very easy, the themes limited but decent, the functionality around creating posts and pages very fast and clean. It also has cross-posting to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Medium built-in. I also found that $5/mo is perfectly acceptable - many blogs charge more. I absolutely loved that you could enable a GitHub Pages integration, de facto backing up your website for free.
On the con side, there are things you can’t customize (eg their default footer that says to follow the user, or their archive page), search is only present in some themes and also can’t be customized, and there is very limited information about the project overall. The lack of ability to add an option for email subscription also is a significant issue in my opinion.
I was investigating the project from a blogging point of view and concluded it is trying to be Twitter first and foremost so not a good fit. Still, it was a pleasure to discover something new, interesting, and reasonably clean and functional.
> Today's social networks are broken. Ads are everywhere. Hate and harassment are too common. Fake news spreads unchecked.
-- the author has set themselves up for high and lofty expectations. Especially for a paid service.
The ads claim is obvious, they don't host ads because they don't need the revenue. However, that fake news is defeated is less obvious. Fake news largely spreads on free platforms by bot armies, which need to pay $5/mo per bot, making them highly expensive and reducing the likelihood they exist there at all. People will still post and shill shit that is fake, but it's less of a problem in a social network if only the minority who actually buy into the fake news or other garbage are spreading it.
Edit: Added the link to discover feed, accessible without an account too.
There's also the 2 min video tour that they just released today, and should probably have been added to the front page of the website:
I think micro.blog is worse for failing to have easily ways of sharing content.
Lot's of objectivity here, I'd say. You admit yourself that "it has all sorts of pros and cons", so why shouldn't the cons be discussed here?
Constructive criticism is something positive.
A specific example is given on the IFTTT  page, but I am unsure if that is the best way to achieve RSS cross postings on micro.blog.
> "If you already have a blog, such as one based on WordPress, connect it to Micro.blog by adding the feed URL to your account under Account → “Edit Feeds”."
Personally, I’m struggling to see the value over any of the many static blog generators out there, considering the recurring(!) cost.
Static blog generators are different beasts.
If this were Disqus without ads and slowness, I'd give them some money.
Well, people are not bullish about this website, so they're expressing their views (which happen to be negative). Check out the 'Show HN' posts, there's a ton of positive feedback on many projects.
Maybe HN crew can somtimes be aggressive and opinionated, especially when it touches the economy and politics, but Show HNs and product reviews in general are the most honest you'll get on the net. This part works pretty damn well.
As a long time HN user I disagree. Tech nerds, hackers by their nature cut to the point, and communicate quite directly.
You are essentially saying in your last sentence that you don't like it, but adding a full preamble to make sure your message sounds positive enough. That's not the norm of communication in this place.
And perhaps it should be, and will be. But from where I'm sitting, that is new. HN wasn't a safe space, or a beacon of positive communication in the past. It was a place for sharing ideas, and shooting down bad ones without too much fluff around it.
I've emailed the author of micro.blog once over some small technical issue with their bot and they were very responsive solving the issue within days. That's one of the best support experiences I've ever had. Usually big companies ignore or consider user reported problems as a non-issue.
$5/month is completely unreasonable as a github pages account is free and Dropbox/OneDrive is $8/month.
This would be a really neat oss project. And I’m sure some people will find this useful, but seems like not the solution to social media problems.
The only way I would think this is good is if it donates $4.95/month to some sort of simple 99% charity that builds water or gives cows.
My problem is not making money by selling this type of service. My problem is finding a good tool.
It’s interesting that people think users care about provider profit models. What’s an acceptable profit? I certainly don’t know and don’t really care.
EDIT: Okay, apparently there is a free tier, but it isn't really viable. No way to post (without an existing, external blog) and no profile page.
So doubling that price for just blogging is out for me. But it’s cool if you, and others like it and are willing to pay. I wish OP best of luck.
As someone who is teaching himself to code so that he might one day make a thing on the internet that he – shock!, might want to sell, in order to make a living – this saddens me.
This doesn’t mean time isn’t valuable, it just means that people donate their valuable time. And competing with that is a bad idea.
I have a friend who does pro bono legal work. Normal bill rate is hundreds per hour, but donated for free to people who can’t afford it. Been doing it for years.
Now imagine that I start a new legal aide company and only charge $5/month for it. It’s pretty silly to complain about these volunteers. It’s also silly to think that it’s not worth being a lawyer because of these volunteers.
Keep studying, become a good programmer. You’ll have work. Some of your ideas might not sustain you economically. But if you get a good enough job, you can help the world with a cool side project
If my doctor said ve wanted to change my $10 visit to $100, I would certainly not use that. That’s not a criticism of the doctor.
Time costs money and that’s a reality. People want to make money off their business, that makes sense. But saying there’s a floor value to anything just because a human makes it is a bit odd. If OP hires a second person, does that mean we shouldn’t criticize the price doubling?
As a user, I don’t care much for expenses above a base level of ethical practices and sustainability. I’ve not used lots of products because I didn’t find them viable because of their price vs cost. But I’m sometimes wrong.
In other words you would criticize people who charge you for services that don't address your needs.
How will micro.blog be different? Apps start small and friendly, but if you invite everyone in you'll have the same issues unless you have a technology or policy strategy that differs from the current social networks.
Would love to see this succeed, but need more details before I buy in.
EDIT: Probably easier if for the other plans I just post the site's own info:
New Microblog — $5/month
We'll create and host a microblog for you at username.micro.blog or your own domain name. Includes cross-posting, pages, themes, and publishing from the web, iOS, and Mac.
New Blog + Microcast — $10/month
All the features of a hosted microblog plus audio hosting. Upload MP3s via the web or use the companion iPhone app Wavelength to record and edit your own microcast. We'll create a podcast feed for your site.
Enable Cross-posting — $2/month
Already have your own microblog? Add Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, and Facebook cross-posting via Micro.blog. Works with any RSS feed.
Invite someone to Micro.blog or pay for their first year of blog hosting.
* Your own Micro.blog username.
* Replies to other posts, stored on Micro.blog.
* Add an external blog such as WordPress for posting.
* Use the iOS and Mac apps to browse the timeline or post to supported external blogs.
* No Micro.blog-hosted blog.
* No page at username.micro.blog.
Spam replies might become an issue, but it hasn't happened yet, and there are already ways to mute or report an account if it does happen.
+ a popular index.
I mean, a centralized blogging service that lets you customise your style sheet a little is basically just MySpace.
It also seems like a major bonus that it also supports new specs like webmention, micropub, microsub, etc.
Owning the data is a very good start, but I don't see that it qualifies as proper indie web, if you're kinda-sorta tied to their service.
All of this is quite aside from the points others have made, that it offers no real solution to Hate and harassment are too common.
Like the previous comment states, this might be easy to handle when the users are a small group of like-minded friends, and maybe simple ad hoc processes will do for a while after that. The problem is, these sites are only useful when they have a much larger user base, but scale will also bring exactly the same expensive and difficult problems as FB, Twitter etc.
Something to bear in mind as well is that online hate and harassment is not new. Pretty much immediately after the first electronic forums or message systems were created and made available to end users, the problems started. The issue is with people, not the technology, so technological solutions are not the answer...
Human community managers are great but their numbers will also have to increase as amount of users increases as well.
This is why I have so much respect for @dang and his colleagues for managing HN.
No thanks, micro.blog. I'm looking for an IPFS-style, uncensorable free speech platform.
There is a two sided market for microblogs like twitter:
* Broadcasters - An org or a prominent person who wishes to broadcast to a group of followers
* Consumers - people who want to read the latest about x (where x is a hobby, a professional interest, a person, or a group of people)
Making money from consumer blogs is incredibly hard, unless you're free and infested with ads, which has its own downsides. I don't think you'd be able to build a sustainable business from that.
However those who do find it a useful medium for broadcasting to followers and actually use it professionally would be willing to pay (far more than $5 a month), if the service was tailored to their needs and had better curation controls etc, giving users control over their own feed and followers. This kind of service can forgo ads but it needs to find a market that wants to buy a broadcasting service, not attempt to market to normal consumers, who simply won't pay any amount for a blogging service. There are plenty of people using twitter to broadcast and research (for example journalists, businesses, ) - those are the people to target.
I agree with the author that ads and nazis are the problem, but you need a viable business to compete with free (ad driven). Selling microblog hosting to consumers is not that.
I have this. I have a website and domain that I control and that I can post anything to I like. Could be long posts too.
If independent, why need a fee not a protocol?
> Includes a free 10-day trial. Cross-posting to Twitter, a custom domain name, themes, pages, an iOS app, Mac app, and more. Just $5/month. (You can also use Micro.blog for free with an existing blog.)
There's Mastodon. There's also email. I like email for social networking too.
$5 is also the cost of my hosting my own site, VPN, Wiki, and anything I'd care to add. My app is Firefox.
As a, at this point not very but potentially still a potential user, I'm concerned in particular that there is no Terms of Service on registration, none at all. While XX.X% of people may click through a ToS, there simply isn't one there and you propose hosting, or linking, or providing a social identity, or receiving funds, not clear, with no contract of service?
I think the whole premise is that if you a have a blog with an RSS feed, you can add it and it'll show up in micro.blog as concatenated posts, or you can take extra steps to make sure your blog supports the small post formats or whatever. There's a little guide to setting up wordpress here - http://help.micro.blog/2018/setting-up-wordpress/
The hard part for me is motivating myself to actually get my blog up and running because I have VPS's for so many other things that it seems silly for me to also pay for micro.blog hosting when I could just get my blog together.
I guess, though not right on front there, the ToS (http://help.micro.blog/2018/tos/) and Privacy policies (http://help.micro.blog/2018/privacy-policy/) are clearly drafted.
Where's the about page? Whois just has tucows REDACTED FOR PRIVACY. Could you also link to an About page via HN instead of clearly posting on your own website?
That's the same for every domain right now. You can thank the GDPR for that, it wiped out Whois globally and doesn't provide an option for you to say "actually I do want my details published in Whois". ICANN is currently suing Tucows about it:
Either I don't get it, or their service is not what they advertise. After reading that line, I would expect a somewhat federated blogging platform where you can set up your own server, and it joins the 'network of independent microblogs'. But I can't find any instructions on how to do that?!?
So I am wondering if 'on your own web site' rather means something like you can buy a custom domain for your profile page on that service?
It's a bit like that. You can configure the official Mac or iOS Micro.Blog app to post microposts to your own Wordpress-API compatible website if you want. You can submit the RSS feed from your website to your Micro.Blog account and have that feed into the Micro.Blog timeline - and if you do that, it's actually free to be a member.
It's difficult to explain all that and intimidating to non-programmers (there's a lot of non-technical users on Micro.Blog), so I think they focus on the Micro.Blog hosting & official apps as the easiest way to get started. There's a lot of Micro.Blog users for whom self-hosted-Wordpress/Jekyll is more hassle than they want, and they'd rather pay $5/mth to have that hassle go away.
You might be interested in reading about IndieWeb . Behind the scenes Micro.Blog uses the W3 Micropub  specification and other IndieWeb standards for posting microposts and federating Webmentions across websites, if that's something you're interested in.
In general, I am a huge fan of this business model (federated + strong commercial players). It just seems that the federated part looks a bit weak at the moment. I think changing that should be a priority for micro.blog as I believe much of the negativity here at HN comes from the not so clear difference from the traditional services.
So far I have found this  which doesn't look very mature ('Early alpha'), but hey, it's a start.
Thanks for clarifying the situation.
This is exactly what I was hoping for and now I'm super disappointed.
But a $5 a month, non-open source, closed, siloed system?
I'd recommend going back to the drawing board and use more off-the-shelf stuff. Create a payment gateway to setup and maintain a Mastodon or Plemore instance, with a backend that automatically sets up the domain and handles software updates.
Yes, there are other services which do this, but there is plenty of room to do it better. Creating a new micro-twitter is pretty much a non-starter at this point.
Think of the username.micro.blog pages as your personal home page, like a Wordpress or Squarespace blog site. They're a hosting option for people who aren't tech-savvy enough to setup an RSS feed / 280-char micro-post RSS feed on their own site, or just don't want the hassle of maintaining that setup.
I believe others have tried posting similar XSS into a Micro.Blog post, and it gets filtered out in the timeline feed that followers read, whether on the site or via 3rd party clients. (Now if someone proves that wrong, that would be a big deal.)
Personally I love diaspora as it's designed around discoverability - following tags, people define themselves with tags etc.
While Fediverse, activity pub etc. are great they are full of holes when it comes to discovery an actual social content. Comments are difficult and non native and navigating tags is nigh on impossible.
With Mastodon, you can quickly create account you can send notes, links or images into. This account lives on the open web without registration required. You get Atom feed you can use to re-display the content in any way you want at other sites, or to share the content with people who don't use ActivityPub yet. You get "comments" for free for users willing to get ActivityPub account.
Federation largely avoids this problem. If the owner of my Mastodon instance starts doing stuff I don't like, I can switch to a different one or start my own and still interact with all the same people. (Hell, if the developers start doing stuff I don't like, I can even fork it or switch to an alternative program like Pleroma that uses the same protocol.)
Why not? "+" is valid in email addresses.
Email +suffixes are easy enough to strip off post-collection if you're aware of them. If they wanted to spam, they wouldn't have to disallow +'s in the validation regex. They must have some other reason for disallowing them, which may be as innocent as poor awareness of them.
Personally, I used Fastmail with my own domain and have abandoned using +suffixes because they're too unreliable. Fastmail has several options for single-use email addresses that should be difficult or impossible for recipients to decode to the main address.
>Short posts like tweets but on your own web site that you control.
Is it not like having your own website, does micro blog link all websites and display the contents on their website?
>Today's social networks are broken. Ads are everywhere. Hate and harassment are too common. Fake news spreads unchecked.
Micro blog doesn't seem to be solving this problem
I don't see any of it disappear with micro.blog.
Why not making macro.blog which forces you to write at least 300 words?
I don't think a person who can't be bothered to structure their writing for twitter would do much better on a blog. There is a significant difference in legibility, but it's not a clear win; I know both people who process well-written Twitter threads better than the usual article, and people who have struggle with its visual layout.
In the end, I don't think a sweeping dismissal of the format is justified. The website's problems stem far more from excessively bad moderation, not the character limit.
Did it? I feel like it rather encouraged going for the shortest available arguments. Which tend to be the ones low on data, and high on emotion - it's much easier to pack an emotional appeal in a few words.
Yes. People such as Alexandra Erin or Flavia Dzodan regularly provide well-informed, structured and readable threads, to say nothing of all the scientists active on Twitter. Shitposting accounts are only a part, large but rather boring, of the wider Twitter ecosystem.
> I feel like it rather encouraged going for the shortest available arguments. Which tend to be the ones low on data,
This is presumptuous. There is nothing stopping you from providing data and sources on Twitter. Threading exists and works (well, worked, they kinda broke it recently) fine.
> and high on emotion
This is not a bad thing. For non-trivial arguments, the emotional side is very important. But, also, "high on emotion" is not a universal thing about Twitter threads, nor is it absent in other mediums. The best one could say about, say, certain tech reddit-alikes, is that the emotion represented in them is largely repressed and masked.
Your claim that I disputed was that Twitter encourages such content. I'm not saying that it doesn't have any good stuff - but you need to compare it to other, more verbose mediums to make a claim that the brevity that Twitter rules impose actually result in more such content being published, and that its quality is better. The first thing that comes to my mind in this context is Usenet, and I don't think Twitter compares favorably to that.
> This is presumptuous. There is nothing stopping you from providing data and sources on Twitter.
This is observational. And of course there's nothing stopping you from it. But the medium is not optimized for it, and that discourages it in practice. Again, I'm not claiming that Twitter doesn't have data and sources - only that it has less than more verbose mediums.
So I am _not_ claiming that articles or Usenet posts were universally bad — but a claim that they are somehow "better" than Twitter would be just as false. Especially in the case of Usenet. I mean, I don't know how rosy glasses you're wearing, but I do remember what it was like, and while not exactly 4Chan, it was often getting there.
I use my personal website running WordPress a lot like this hybrid model as well. I can do all the things you mentioned and have separate feeds for all of the related post types (articles, status updates, photos, embedded media, etc.) Micro.blog also allow me to pipe my RSS feed into it so that I can interact with people there and any comments people make within micro.blog come back to my original post where I can see and reply to them.
This is a downside of "social" part of "social media". To avoid this you have to impose regulations and it will break the "social" part, making it a regular media. The perfect solution is yet to be found.
I find the $5 fee for someone to set up their own site to be perhaps reasonable on the face of it, but I fear that this won't work. I think those who care about decentralization and the decline of walled gardens are also technologically literate enough to know that they could host their own microblog for $5/month and have complete control. On the other hand, people who don't care probably wouldn't want to pay $5/month.
I would be very happy if it turns out that there are a large number of people willing to pay, and if RSS-based models flourished. Overall, I like the idea, it was easy to jump in, and good luck.
1. I wish it were more obvious that I could check out a variety of microblogs at micro.blog/discover --- giving essentially a twitter feed. I somehow missed this entirely on my first go-through, initial setup, and checking of the site.
2. I associated the RSS feed to my own site to microblog. And I expected these posts to show up on davidlowryduda.micro.blog. They don't, it turns out --- those posts are just the ones I made on microblog. They do appear on micro.blog/davidlowryduda. This behavior surprised me.
3. While looking at micro.blog/discover, I replied to a comment. After clicking, poof, the UI didn't give me any sort of feedback that I'd affected the world. I think it should both be more gratifying to reply (if this is a functionality that microblog is encouraging) and that it should be more visually obvious that there are replies to a micropost. Right now, I only see that there does or doesn't exist a "conversation" link --- I wish it were more obviously distinguished.
I look at micro.blog as a blogging platform with a social layer -- if you already have a blog or a site, you can get involved only in the social aspect of the platform.
It allows you to publish Blog articles on your XMPP accounts and let your contacts receive and comment them :)
It has been successfully implemented in clients such as https://movim.eu/ or https://salut-a-toi.org/.
On Movim we also generate static pages and Atom feeds out of it (for example https://email@example.com).
Oddly enough, the pay element is the only really attractive element right now. At least that way I know I know I will not have advertisements all over the place. Still $5 dollars seems steep. For that I could just host my own microblog theme on WordPress and make my own community.
And given the broad sentiment expressed in these comments, they could do a MUCH better job communicating this.
First for the novel Cibola Burn, and third for the app Halide.. the middle post seemingly is a reply to an ad of some book series as well :) Or "influencer" paid content != ads?
We need an easy to deploy open protocol based service. Like XMPP, with easy service discovery. And an open source, fantastic app to go along with it.
IMO, the two main challenges are subscribing to content and discovering new content, the icing on the cake is interaction.
Atom/RSS already "fixed" the issue of subscribing to a blog.
Board like HN and reddit have now "fixed" the issue of discovery (to an extent).
Disqus, reddit, HN all provide interaction methods - the key would be reducing them to one feed so you could comment to all formats and reply seamlessly.