Re-thinking how I use Micro.blog

A microphone in the foreground, a large conference hall in the background.

I’ve been a member of micro.blog for ten months now, and it’s been neat to see the platform evolve. Now, with the addition of categories and theme customization, this blog feels less like a side-project and more like an actual blog! That’s pretty exciting.

Confession: I don’t really understand CSS, so I borrowed @yorrike’s Marfa theme customizations. Thanks @yorrike! Also thanks to @miraz for the photo shadowing tweaks.

As the tools here evolve, so too can the way I use them. Until now I’ve used social.cheribaker.com as a private social media site. My friends and family can follow my posts, and the community on micro.blog is a nice bonus. But as the blogging tools become more robust, it’s gotten me thinking…


Is it Time for a Change?

It’s been great, but I’m thinking about changing things up. At the moment, my online attention is split across three sites, each with pros and cons:

Twitter: I have a lot of fun there! Twitter is hilarious and full of writers, and I’ve got a handle on how to use the safety tools. It’s perfect for memes, snark, politics, high-spirited shit-talking, trends, and discovery. But it’s intellectually shallow, and not a replacement for a blog. And while I trust Twitter more than Facebook, my trust is limited.

Micro.blog: Smart, friendly, and independent, micro.blog is a happy place. Not only is it a place to blog, but it comes with a thoughtful community attached. I’ve found some wonderful people on micro.blog! The downside is that the community is small and (at times) painfully sensitive. I pull back from participation, too often, because I’m worried I’ll offend someone by using the wrong word or being too joyfully flippant.

My author blog. My author blog is nice, but it feels constrained because I’m only writing about author stuff there. Perhaps my focus is too narrow? Lately, I have my fun on Twitter and Micro.blog while neglecting my author blog.


Bringing it All Together

So I’ve been thinking about how I might consolidate my online presence, make sense of disperate online cultures, and make sure that I’m giving my author blog the attention it deserves. So here’s what I’m thinking:

Combine my micro.blog and author blog

I can import my author blog posts into my micro.blog (I think), and begin using this site as my primary blog. Instead of having an “author blog” and a “micro.blog” I’ll just have a blog, which will have all my posts on one site, including photos, writing stuff, personal stuff… everything really. Categories can help readers filter what they’re interested in.

Aggregate writing posts in my author newsletter.

One concern about having a multi-faceted blog is that people who follow me for book news might be bored or confused by what they see as off-topic posts. Why is she ranting about internet privacy, AGAIN? I think I can address this in a few ways, such as not giving a fuck, making categories visible, and by directing readers to my author newsletter.

Don’t use micro.blog only to talk to micro.bloggers

It will help me to think of micro.blog not as “alternate Twitter with different people,” but as a blogging platform first, with the bonus of an indieweb community. Thus, when I blog, I can write what I want to write, in the way I’d like to say it, and my fellow micro.bloggers can read my words or not, follow me or not, and mute me or not. It’s all good.


Next Steps

Now I’ll sit with these ideas for a few days. Importing my Wordpress posts into micro.blog will be a chore, and I want to be sure this is what I want before I move things over. I also need to decide if I’m going to stick with the social.cheribaker.com URL or switch it to a more generic blog.cheribaker.com.

So that’s my update. How about you?

Cheri's Blog @cheri
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