Micro.blog

jamesshelley
jamesshelley
An Independent Web that is More Social than ‘Social Media’ jamesshelley.com
smokey
smokey

@jamesshelley Great article, and the human-to-human feedback is an important dimension to the “escaping the silo” story that I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone else mention, at least not this explicitly.

Micro.blog, with Discover and several users operating a welcome wagon, seems like it is on the right path—having both ease-of-use and good interactions.

oyam
oyam

@jamesshelley

By contrast, Riley has no guarantee that sharing their thoughts on a personal blog would reach much of an audience at all.

Does Riley have guarantees his post on Facebook actually reached his friends? I bet lot of them lick Like because Riley is friend and not have read anything past the headeline and abstract.

So, it comes down to "perceived reach" vs. "unknown reach". Looking at your server logs will often give you better idea of your visitor's interaction than social network likes or "interactions", (expect for people reading your rss feed). Part of the problem is that Likes cause our brains to get a small dopamine high.

vishae
vishae

@oyam @jamesshelley I can attest to the fact that FB‘s “reach” amounts to nothing. For shits and giggles I decided to bury my engagement announcement at the bottom of a 6-7 sentence paragraph. For the photo, I posted a four-photos collage showing the food I ate and the poster of the movie I watched that night. Needless to say, I received plenty of likes, but most of them from people who didn’t even read the post. It was only after a couple of friends made a big fuss in the comments that people actually realised what the post was about!

oyam
oyam

@vishae @jamesshelley That's a good story. I very rarely posted on Facebook in the past. I recently posted that I no longer log in, and to give people contact info, etc. Bunch of people commented asking questions... really? (The only way I realized there were comments is I did a Facebook data dump and saw the questions in there.)

jamesshelley
jamesshelley

@oyam I agree entirely, and I think you rightly highlight the point that the feeling of 'engagement' on many social media platforms can often be fabricated at best or illusory at worst.

jamesshelley
jamesshelley

@oyam As far as the dopamine hit is concerned though, perception seems to work as well as reality — and has the added 'benefit' of being easier to manipulate through the proxies of digital feedback mechanism (i.e. high felt reward, low cost signalling)

jamesshelley
jamesshelley

@smokey I agree that @manton and @macgenie are doing a phenomenonal job of curating Micro.blog's Discover feature, and the power of the informal welcoming committee here makes us part of a unique moment of convergence, I feel. I'm curious as to the scaliability, though: not in terms of quality curation, but simply in terms scope management. Just speculating.

jamesshelley
jamesshelley

@oyam @vishae That's a great story, Serena. Highlights that our treatment of like-button engagement is as much about giving people a way to signal their approval without actualling doing anything. (And somehow we call this nonsense 'social proof' of value?) More importantly: congrats on your engagement! (Can't tell from the context if this story happened recently or not, but its worth celebrating either way)

manton
manton

@jamesshelley @smokey Thanks! Scaling is always a challenge but something we've planned for. I knew from the beginning that Micro.blog would need a curation team + extra people to help out. That's why it's so important for the platform to be sustainable and have a variety of paid hosting options.

oyam
oyam

@jamesshelley Agreed! Perception is the only thing that matters. If you shut out the outer world (which social networks make you do in various ways), your perception becomes the world, and they are the input into that perception.

EddieHinkle
EddieHinkle
@jamesshelley What a great piece! I think it’s an interesting challenge. The lack of “likes” and such do make the IndieWeb feel more lonely. And yet, when I DO receive real responses (thoughtful, text written responses), it provides a MUCH bigger social satisfaction then I received even from 50 likes. As I started reading your post I thought “we need to do more to encourage likes on the IndieWeb”, by the end I thought “we need to do more to help people seamlessly reply to others” I think high quality engagement is the key to beating Facebook. Micro.blog has already provided me with much more substantive responses then I get from friends and family on Facebook.
Chirag
Chirag

@vishae I agree about the perceived reach of FB. Also, congratulations!

Bruce
Bruce

@oyam As a preface, this may only pertain to my industry (I'm a lighting designer for live performance), but for all it's faults, FB is pretty effective at getting the word out about shows. And keeping my work visible to past and potential collaborators. I don't use it much for personal interactions, but I do make sure that there are performance photos I'm tagged in and my name is associated with events. And being lucky enough to know some talented artists, some beautiful work can show up in my feed. :)

oyam
oyam

@Bruce Sure, but there are other sites to get a word out about shows like upcoming.org or eventful.com. There is nothing that FB does that hasn’t been done before they even existed. As for work, I’d host my portfolio on my own site over FB any day. And seeing others work, RSS feeds can do the same as FB feed. I bet you lot of those people have their own sites with an RSS feed already. One point you do raise, though, is your ability to see others pictures from shows and tagging yourself. There is no equivalent for that concept on the open/indie web, that I know of.

In reply to
vishae
vishae

@Chirag @jamesshelly thanks for the congrats. It was an interesting experiment.

Bruce
Bruce

@oyam But sadly Facebook is where all the people are. ;) We use the other promotion sites too, but Facebook does have the advantage of alerting friends of people who are interested/going to the show. Helps reach folks that one doesn't know. I do have my portfolio on a site I own, but most people in my world are not technically inclined. And I don't know anyone who uses RSS. I doubt most would even know what it is.

oyam
oyam

@Bruce Where people are can be changed, it's been done before :) Those are some good points though.

Chirag
Chirag

@vishae Also, clearly MB users read better since your example was a couple sentences in :P

jamesshelley
jamesshelley

@manton I do love the model and the strategy you are developing here with MB, especially because it appears to keep the emphasis and focus on human beings at every turn. Thankful to be a tiny part of it.