The duality of microblogging

Further to the points I made in “Self-hosted microblogging — where does it fit?” I’ve been having more thoughts on how best to use Micro.blog and fit it into my own online ecosystem.

As I carry my microposts on my own blog I opted not to use the two free months hosting reward from the Kickstarter campaign — although that is still an option I could exercise later — it was the different approach of being self-hosted that really interested me more than just the social networking side.

There is a duality to the service between hosted accounts and self-hosted that impacts what I do psychologically and introduces a second, virtual duality.

There are two approaches to data publishing and use as discussed on the #indieweb site:

  • POSSE, Post (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere
  • PESOS, Post Elsewhere, Syndicate (on your) own site

The self-hosted side of Micro.blog takes items from your own site and publishes them to the network (POSSE) but using the iOS app makes it feel like a PESOS environment where you post to the network and it then feeds back to your own site.

There is an element of cognitive dissonance and takes a bit of getting used to.

The actual process is that the iOS app posts to your site using XMLRPC or micropub (depending on the type of site) which then pings the Micro.blog servers letting them know a new post is available. Micro.blog then pulls in that new post via your sites RSS feed.

Except for replies — which are held solely on the server (at least for now) which I feel is right, having written:

“Webmentions may provide reply notification to your blog but the conversation itself is purely, and should be, a social construct thanks to the context of its creation.”

Holding back

Another duality exists in the nature of microblog posts which comes back to where you post influencing what you post.

Using the app with full view of the timeline is more likely to encourage social or conversational entries as opposed to posting off-network. It’s an interesting challenge to maintain consistency even though everything is effectively coming from your own property.

For someone who backed the service and is, therefore, a de facto beta tester I’m not posting anywhere near as much as I could or should be.

I find myself resisting the urge to post so as not to have platitudes or socially oriented posts fed back to the blog. Context, in this regard, has a lot to answer for!

It’s very much in my head and I need to either get over it or come up with a way around it.

I could just accept that I won’t be posting directly to the service very much or separate the microblog from the long form posts. I like the juxtaposition of different post types, however, so think removing them from the main flow would be a loss.

It’s going to take some time to settle on a compromise.


Originally published at Social Thoughts.

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