Because of Micro.blog I’m enjoying the internet again in a way that I haven’t in a long time. I lurked for several days before I started posting and conversing on Micro.blog. As I got more into it and found some people to follow, it started to feel like this place is going somewhere. It’s the people that are making it feel so good. It’s fun, interesting and smart because the people on Micro.blog are fun, interesting and smart. It’s how the internet felt 10 or 15 years ago, when it felt like the internet was us and we were building it together. People are enthusiastic. They have something to say and they are open and talking about it with others.
Brent Simmons (@brentsimmons) recently wrote that Micro.blog isn’t another app.net. I think he’s correct. It’s not another app.net or Mastodon or Ello or any of the other social networks that could have been “the new Twitter.” Micro.blog is, as the name implies, tiny blogging that leans into the blogging. It feels sort of like Twitter in the beginning, except Twitter leaned into the micro and then made itself into a silo. And we all know how that turned out.
I really hope that Micro.blog can maintain this feeling. My biggest fear right now is a coming of eternal september if it gets popular. The community is currently in that sweet spot where there are enough users to make it worthwhile, but there aren’t so many users that the negative stuff has gotten in yet. Maybe it can continue this way. Micro.blog has a couple things going for it that make me hopeful it can. There is a barrier to entry and a policy of moderation.
Micro.blog is geeky enough to have a barrier against the mobs. You either have to set up your own blog or you have to pay to go the easier way and get a Micro.blog hosted account. That type of friction is bad for growth but it is a good thing now that the community seems to be building. Too much growth too fast is the enemy for a community like this. It seems like @manton and the community are aware of the risk of growth and are purposely working to manage it. I hope we can.
Another thing Micro.blog has going for it is the foundation on blogs and the open web. It gives the platform an out to be a little more heavy handed on moderation of users. Blocking or banning a user just means they are blocked from directly communicating at others on Micro.blog. They are still free to take their blog content and attempts at interaction elsewhere on the open web.
I really hope that Micro.blog is successful at what it is trying to do. It feels like the future, and boy do I miss the future.