Ron Guest

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In a blogging muddle

With all the changes in the social media world the past year or two and the rise of new ways to blog/post I find my mind in a bit of a muddle. I’d really like your input on a simple approach to achieve what I think I’m aiming for. Here are the attributes I’d like to have (probably not complete but the best I’ve come up with):

  • Portability: I want my posts to be portable. By this I mean if however I'm hosting the content goes boom (or I just want to change my setup/services) I have full access to my content in a form I can import in an automated way. I have >10 years of posts.
  • Private Journal Support: I want to (continue) to have an automation that adds my new posts to my private journal (Day One using IFTTT currently).
  • Content-type Feeds: Optionally I'd like to separate out feeds into short posts, long posts, and image/video posts.
  • IndieWeb: I want my setup to be "IndieWeb Conformant" (not a real thing but I think you can guess what I mean). This includes aspects such as authentication, collecting responses, etc.
  • Cross-posting: I want one post to rule them all. By this I mean I want to be able to selectively distribute my posts to any site/service. Of course some sites/services are not open to this but I want what I'm using to make it possible as much as reasonable. The most important platform for my client app is iOS. macOS is optional as long as there is a browser option.
    • At present I think cross-posting to, mastodon and possible Twitter are important to me. I stopped posting to Twitter about 6 months ago but if they follow through on the changes mentioned recently I might return.
  • Site Design: I want to have some control over the format/display of my site, ability to add new pages, backgrounds or etc. I generally like clean and simple formats (such as on and to an extent
  • Backup: My content needs to have a solid backup method.
  • Reliability: I want the services I use to have good support, reliablility and performance. I'm a low volume poster.
  • Ease of Maintenance: I would like it to "just work" unless I happen to be breaking it making improvements.

When I started using in January it covered some of this but there were some major gaps. There have been marked improvements but some areas of concern remain (I haven’t gotten the impression these will be addressed in the foreseeable future):

  • Portability (I may not understand but GitHub pages doesn't seem like a good approach)
  • doesn't doesn't really allow me to control where a post goes on a post-by-post basis. It's easy to forget the last setting used and there are no visual clues in the UI.
  • Backup (again, only Github pages as far as I know)
  • Reliability is still a bit of a concern as I regularly get errors/timeouts trying to post. I am also concerned that the backend of MB is a "one man band" and it's future depends on a single person.

At present I have a self-hosted WordPress instance for my content (some notes on the setup here). It’s been rock solid on reliability (whenever the MB clients can’t post WP always works) and is relatively portable. But it’s high(er) maintenance and completely overpowered for my needs – it gives me the same feeling I get when I order food at a restaurant and they serve me a plate with more food than I could eat in a week. I would also say that my setup is a “one man band” so if I tire of maintaining WP or am sick for awhile or etc it might go down.

Nothing is perfect in technology. Looking over my list vis-a-vis I think I could go back to a MB hosted approach if there was a better solution for portability/backup. In any event, I’m open to any and all input. It will soon be a year since I decided to go the “microblogging” route and it seems like it is high time I settled on my approach.

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