Micro.blog

tomliv
tomliv

@help I think I read somewhere that cross posting can be selective. True? If so, how?

smokey
smokey

@tomliv In the iOS app, you can toggle it per-post in with the gear icon on the post composition screen (though the text implies that it is “sticky” and will be remembered until you turn it on again). On the web, go to Account, Edit Feeds & Cross-posting, and press the Disable cross-posting button corresponding to the feed you want to turn off. Make your post, then turn it back on. // @help

(That said, this really needs to be a section in the Cross-posting help article.)

tomliv
tomliv

@smokey Thanks for the info. It would be nice to have a toggle in the post editor, across the board, to say “yes” or “no" to ‘Cross-post this post?’.

smokey
smokey

@tomliv No problem. The editor on the web has recently gotten the ability assign categories at posting time, so it’s possible that toggling cross-posting will make its way to that button in the future, too. // @manton

simonwoods
simonwoods

@tomliv There's been a version of this feature request around for more than two years so you're certainly not alone! // @smokey

tomliv
tomliv

@simonwoods Ah, ok. Seems like something you want to include. Glad it’s not just me.

manton
manton

@simonwoods @tomliv @smokey I'm always worried about cluttering the posting screen, but now that we have the little "..." button that might be another place to put a cross-posting option. Because cross-posting works with any feed, this is less obvious a feature than it seems (and there's a work-around to just turn off cross-posting globally).

tomliv
tomliv

@manton @smokey @simonwoods maybe I’m just not in the ‘micro.blog mindset’ yet. I’m struggling to not think of it as another Twitter or fb. I haven’t figured it out yet

simonwoods
simonwoods

@tomliv @manton @smokey Agree re: cluttering the settings. "Feature bloat" is one of my biggest worries for Micro.blog.

As for the mindset, Tom, I understand completely. Not only did I need some time to make adjustments but I've seen the vast majority of newcomers go through the same process. One of the good things about this is that it is a litmus for test with regard to how one thinks about the social web, silos and all.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@manton @simonwoods @smokey @tomliv I really think this needs to be a post by post selection with an easy interface. It should include disconnecting cross posting to MB. There are so many times I want to post to my blog and perhaps Twitter, but I don't want to post it to MB and I have to let the thought go because I'm not going to, in effect, crawl down to the basement and pull a fuse just for one post. Which is what I feel I have to do now.

tomliv
tomliv

@bradenslen @manton @smokey Agreed. Set the main preference, set up where to cross-post to (Twitter, etc) but have a post-by-post option to include the other platforms.

manton
manton

@bradenslen @simonwoods @smokey @tomliv Thanks for the feedback. We would have to find a way to do this without making it even more confusing. I'd love to simplify it because already people are confused about how feeds work today.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@manton I think it would add to the value of the MB hosted blogs, as blogs.

manton
manton

@bradenslen Really? I'm curious how it would add value... To me, cross-posting is a compatibility feature to make it easier to keep one foot in the big social networks, but isn't directly related to hosted blogs at all.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@manton @bradenslen I agree. The separation of cross-posting from the blog part of the hosted accounts is important, since Micro.blog is not just another blog hosting option and the non-blog features ought to retain their independence from the blog hosting.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@manton @simonwoods The cross posting is a great feature, but choice is also a value along with selectivity of audience. I view the social network side of MB as an interesting but placid dinner party and as a proper dinner guest I don't want to bring up those dredded 3 topics I was taught to avoid (religion, politics and sex.) Because, I like and respect the MB community I'm a part of and don't want to be seen as trolling. Twitter is a different audience and I don't mind giving it a good straifing run now and then. OTOH, I'm a blogger and sometimes I want to get a bit ranty on the blog (and probably Twitter) but not on MB. So what I'd like is an off switch where for an individual post I can selectively turn off posting to MB (or Twitter) for just that post.

My original goal was to make my MB blog my common place book, but I want the blog to be that not necessarily the MB feed. The pressure I'm feeling is that I need to start a seperate blog for politics, current affairs when I really want to keep everything on one blog.

It's a lot of extra work, right now, to go down into the admin panel, disconnect MB and/or Twitter, make my post, then go back into the admin panel and reactivate my defaults.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@bradenslen Agree with a lot of what you're saying. Still a little unsure about making the Micro.blog just another broadcasting target. Either way I still prefer the cross-posting to not be exclusively tied up with the blog hosting; right now it is a hosted feature, since it can also work with external feeds, and I like that a lot. // @manton

fgtech
fgtech

@bradenslen I really like the way you’re thinking about this. I also really like the way @manton is trying to keep the posting process “frictionless.”

fgtech
fgtech

@bradenslen @manton If it helps, I think what Brad is describing is a different sort of friction: a desire to “let loose” a post, but not at the dinner table of his micro.blog readership. I wouldn’t mind, but some would and I think it’s very considerate of him to think of that.

manton
manton

@fgtech @bradenslen This gives me something to think about, thanks. It's not how I personally use my blog so I appreciate the perspective.

bix
bix

@bradenslen A counterpoint might be: MB’s social side is completely self-selected and no one or nothing is injecting random content into anyone’s Mb feed. You follow people you are interested to hear from, and don’t follow people you don’t. Users curate their own experience, so arguably no poster really needs to worry about what they are posting.

smokey
smokey

@bradenslen @manton @simonwoods @fgtech Brad’s points echo my thoughts earlier this year about intentional sharing and community norms, and it feels like there’s just a little bit of missing flexibilty with hosted blogs to facilitate that; Brad’s not the first person I’ve encountered trying to figure out a good way to post something to the blog but keep it off the Timeline and related. Of course, the devil is in the (implementation/UI) details—particularly here since a feed going into M.b-the-social-space is also needed for cross-posting to corporate social silos….

tones
tones

@bradenslen +1 to all this.

fgtech
fgtech

@bix Just saw this counterpoint via @smokey’s note. I think the “self-selected-followers-as-filter” idea is what most have come to accept since it’s Twitter’s stance. But it’s all or nothing. I think we could do better by enabling thoughtfulness from people like @bradenslen.

fgtech
fgtech

@smokey Thank you for linking in the intentional sharing post. I had missed that before and like the nuance it adds to my thinking about this. I think @bradenslen’s request definitely fits under the heading of intentional sharing.

bix
bix

@fgtech I still don’t get what the issue is. Now people want to bring in the “lurk and see how people post” idea, except if you do that what you see is, e.g., people use the books, tv, and movies tagmoji to, often, just post or cross-post their activity from other sites where they track those things. In which case, the “community” has spoken with their actions already and that approach has been accepted. What am I missing here?

fgtech
fgtech

@bix It may not be relevant to you, really. As @manton said, this is not the way he uses his blog.

fgtech
fgtech

@bix My take on the idea is nuanced and really deserves its own blog post, but it boils down to: I don’t want every post I write to wind up in the micro.blog feeds of my followers. It should be easy to toggle that “syndication" off when I post.

bix
bix

@fgtech Okay. But what does bringing in the “lurk before you post” argument accomplish? It’s not relevant to that, and just clouds the issue.

fgtech
fgtech

@bix That's the nuance.

Fart jokes are not acceptable at our dinner table, but allowed in the bathroom. The lurking aspect is about “reading the room" to understand the accepted norms of a particular online forum before posting anything.

bix
bix

@fgtech Right. But that’s mostly irrelevant when it comes to who follows you, because they read your room and choose to read you in an ongoing way, and only an issue when talking about true common areas, of which Micro.blog has few.

bix
bix

@smokey So, I was talking to @fgtech about this, and I'm confused about how this "intentional sharing" post applies in this case. It's one thing to say we want slightly more granular tools for bloggers when it comes to what goes to their M.b social feed. It's another to bring the “lurk first" argument into it, because in case of M.b's social side, it's the potential follower who must "read the room” before deciding who to follow, not the blogger before deciding what to post. The blogger is posting to people who have decided to follow them, making a Usenet group comparison beside the point.

tones
tones

@fgtech yes.

smokey
smokey

@bix The lurking reference was only one part of the larger thrust arguing that we should understand and respect a community’s rules and norms, and I maintain that, as bloggers, we should only share/syndicate content that’s appropriate for the community. Even if someone has no followers, their posts still become part of the community (and, on Micro.blog, are exposed in several ways: the person’s profile, the Discover tagmoji sections, and, potentially, the manual Discover section—via the all-posts feed; Manton and Jean and any future co-curators will always have to see your posts), and those posts reflect on the community to anyone finds them. If someone new/looking sees that there are a bunch of people on Micro.blog who only post, say, checkins and their Twitter like history, the visitor is not going to think Micro.blog is a good place for blogging.

It also applies in Brad’s case (and, I believe, in the case that prompted my intentional sharing post) when an existing member considers/decides to share a new type of content to the Timeline, whether as “posts” on one’s own blog or some other feed related to that person. There are no rules against politics, but our norms seem to have settled on a certain careful, moderated approach to them (and Brad thought he would be making some number of “trolling” posts that would violate those norms). Likewise, our norms have coalesced around not sharing every single daily checkin/Twitter like/bookmark/read post, so deciding to hook those up to your Micro.blog account once you set them up on your website would “violate” our norms, regardless of whether you had any followers (and if you did have some, they would be doubly annoyed by the change in post composition that also goes contrary to our norms).

Or, to put it another way, we don’t want any weeds in the garden, regardless of whether they’re in a part of the garden no one sees; their presence in the garden is a bad thing in and of itself, and we all should be careful not to bring weed seeds into the garden when we come and visit.

(I’m not sure if that has made things any clearer or not; the path from my brain to the screen has more rocks on it than I expected.) // @fgtech

bix
bix

@smokey I guess I just find that perspective over-zealous. When it comes to someone’s followers, no one owes them anything except posting from who they are as a person. That's blogging, and people change how they feel and how they want to communicate. Followers can stop following them at any time. Nor does someone have a responsibility to adhere to “norms” for the sake of people stopping by their profile page; site rules, sure. But some sense of norms or behavioral trends? Nah. The response of member of a community to something that offends their sense of community norms rather than rules is, frankly, shunning. I mean, as it is, for example, I rarely browse the Books, Movies, or TV tagmoji because those feeds are mostly populated by check-in style posts; so the idea that Micro.blog norms have coalesced around not doing that doesn't even seen to withstand scrutiny. But barring site rules against doing that, certainly no one owes me site norms that fill the Books, Movies, or TV feeds with real observations, discussions, and commentary.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@smokey I agree with your intentional sharing post and what you have written here. I do have a slightly different perspective: I think the blog hosting part of MB should have the option of standing alone as just a blog, without every post being welded into the MB social network. If I remember right, even on Facebook, you have some control over who can see a given post in the timeline: ie. Close Friends, Followers, Everyone, etc. I'm not advocating that here but it is a form of intentional sharing.

(IMHO there are some other features needed to make the hosted blogs more stand alone: option for Comments on the blog would be one, option to receive replies from non-hosted blogs is another.)

There is a commercial aspect to this too: it's the blog hosting that supports MB financially. The more the hosted blogs can stand on their own compared to the competition the more people will stay with their MB hosted blog rather than switching to some other blog platform like Wordpress. Maybe I'm too old school, but I evaluate any blog platform based upon the feature set irregardless of social networks, how easy it is to impliment the features, and how much control I have over my blog. I also recognize that implementing those things are not easy. I also recognize that @manton has thought about all this, if it were a chess game, many more moves out than I'm capable of and I trust his judgement.

// @fgtech @bix @tones

rnv
rnv

@smokey I agree with @bix that this sounds a little “over-zealous.” My blog and its content come first, and communities/norms/rules come second. I own my content: I post it on my blog, which is out on the Internet, visible to anyone in the universe with a browser. It’s not exclusively a part of Micro.blog, even if it’s a M.b-hosted blog. That my posts are also accessible to M.b folks who have chosen to integrate them into their timelines by “following” me is of secondary concern to me. (They don’t want to hear my incessant fart jokes anymore? Okay: they can mute me, or unfollow me. Or they could actually engage with me, asking what’s the deal with all these fart jokes? — or, at worst, they can report me.)

I think this conversation got muddy when people started talking about why they might want only some of their content to feed into Micro.blog. I don’t care about the “why,” and I’m not sure why anyone else does either (especially since there’s no single “because”). I only care about the functionality that’s being discussed: Can I selectively cross-post my M.b content to other services, can I selectively cross-post content from other services to M.b, and can I do this easily?

(Apologies if I’m missing something here, because I’ve read through this conversation several times, and I keep feeling like I might be missing something.)

(And please be mindful of the “weed” metaphor. “Weed” is a problematic category, defined solely by a thing’s perceived value and usefulness. Neither an algorithm nor a community’s rules and norms can predict or accurately prescribe what I’m going to find valuable or useful. Heck, most of the time, even I can’t predict what I’ll find valuable or useful… So: let in the weeds!)

Cheri
Cheri

@bix @smokey Confession: The norm that only certain content is welcome on MB has influenced my decision to spend more time on Wordpress and Twitter, compared to MB. I’m very fond of the community here and I respect it. But the tone is kinda dinner at Grandmas and I didn’t want to distress ppl with my swearing and memes and politics. Then I got tired of maintaining multiple online presences... and well, long story short, that’s why I post here less often. This isn’t a complaint, BTW. Just another data point. 🙃

bix
bix

@rnv And to be clear on my position: I certainly have nothing against there being more granular tools for sending M.b hm blog posts here, there, or anywhere (since that’s how this all began). I just feel like we got off the rails somewhere turning this into a conversation on what’s “allowed” when the issue was actually about how users can fine-tune their own cross-posting when they want to.

bix
bix

@Cheri My solution to that is simple (not to mention that until this thread I’d never seen nor heard of these community norms): I swear and I talk politics on my blog. If someone doesn’t like that they don’t have to follow me, and if it shouldn’t be in any public feeds then make it a rule not some mystery norm.

tones
tones

@bradenslen for me it comes down to this: nevermind the why, but as a paying m.b user i'd simply like to have the option of posting to my blog without every post appearing in the timeline. and it should be as easy as toggling a button when i'm writing a post.

of course, i could pull my feed from the timeline and then actively refeed selected posts to m.b via my pinboard rss (something i've experimented with) -- but it should be easier than this.

rnv
rnv

@bix Yes, exactly, that was my impression, too. I wasn’t quite sure why the conversation shifted the way it did. I mean, okay, I’m glad people are so thoughtful and mindful, it implies they all really respect this community, and that’s great. But communities are shaped by the individuals who show up and participate, so I’d hate to think that interesting people were self-censoring themselves, or even deciding not join in the first place, simply because it’s all too “dinner at Grandma’s” for them (as @cheri so aptly puts it — an impression of M.b I sometimes have, too, by the way)…

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@tones I would like to learn more about how you "... actively refeed selected posts to m.b via my pinboard rss".

tones
tones

@khurtwilliams save the the selected post to pinboard, give it a certain tag there, and then feed that tag's rss to m.b. clunky but effective.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Cheri Fuck that. You should be able to post what the hell you want 👩‍🎤

twelvety
twelvety

@Cheri "dinner at Grandmas" is such a perfect analogy. Your post summed up a lot of what I was thinking but I had never formed into words. (And I don't mean to complain, either. Just saying this resonates.) 🙂

tones
tones

@twelvety @Cheri yes, good analogy... perhaps we all just need to stop worrying what grandma might think. after all, she's an adult too.

macgenie
macgenie

@tones @cheri @hjertnes @bix et al. These are good points. Thanks for sharing them. I will see what can be done to facilitate more granular options.

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

@tones I'll give that a try. I don't want everything I post on my WordPress websit to go to m.b.

ronguest
ronguest

@tomliv This is a meaty and very valuable thread. One of my first wishes (1.5 years ago?) after joining MB was an easy way to control cross-posting on each post. Some small steps closer since then but NTY.

I am very glad this community is a place where there can be a grandma sort of timeline but I agree it shouldn’t just be for grandma (I tend to think of it more like the timeline is safe for a corporate dinner, some grandmas aren’t so shy! and let’s not be sexist). I’d like to see an expansion of topics while at the same time still enforcing requirements for civility in discourse. I hope those aren’t mutually exclusive. I’ve seen some long threads of disagreement which remained civil so that encourages me.

I tend to think the suggestions on this thread would help expand the diversity of the community (again, as long as a degree of civility is maintained). I know I avoid posting on a range of topics because of the ‘grandma’ factor as well as the lack of diversity (meaning certain topics just go into a black hole).

Ron
Ron

@ronguest At one time I spent a looong time in private emails trying to get "civility in discourse" included as one of the standards for posting here. I did not succeed, perhaps because it might then raise the issue of how would it be enforced or should it be? With a tiny staff, we can probably never expect such standards to ever be required. Civility is only enforced by the community as a "norm" not by an explicit requirement in the rules. As long as this is a tiny community with a tiny staff, I concluded we cannot expect any more than that.

tomliv
tomliv

@ronguest @macgenie @manton Um, wow. This post blew up. Didn’t see that coming. I mean, I’m just an MB noob who noticed a lacking feature. I don’t want posts here going to my Twitter feed. I am just not feeling they have the same purpose. And as someone in the thread mentioned - sorry I can remember who and there’s no reply all - I don’t want to take a trip to the basement to pull a fuse so I can keep a post from going all over the internet.

That said, I am impressed by the thoughtfulness of everyone and it’s a perfect example why I’d rather not have places like the Twitterverse constantly connected to what I post here.

I think it’s safe to say all or most agree that more cross-posting control would be nice to have.

khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

ditto! what @bradenslen wrote (except I'm on self-hosted WordPress).

manton
manton

@bradenslen I agree about evaluating features and that should continue to be a focus for us. It is possible to use Micro.blog for blogging only and disconnect it from the timeline, but that also removes the cross-posting to Twitter, etc. We're probably missing some options in the middle between "all" and "nothing".

manton
manton

@tomliv Thanks for starting the discussion!

fgtech
fgtech

@bix @smokey @bradenslen, et all.: Wow, this has really flared into a passionate discussion! I’ll have more thoughts to add but I’m having a busy week and it will take some time to get it down. This topic is nuanced and will require the focus of a blog post to capture all facets.