Posted in Blogging, Writing

How to Microblog Using WordPress

Source: Dictionary.com
Source: Dictionary.com

Whether you have a blog hosted WordPress.com or you self host your own WordPress blog, the tools are there to use the platform for microblogging. I started microblogging using WordPress as an experiment almost two months ago when I got fed up with the advertisements and direction I saw Tumblr heading.

During this time, I explored different tools and posting methods provided by WordPress and WordPress plugins to see if I felt this platform performed as well as a platform like Tumblr. Overall, I’ll say with the right tools, this is a resounding Yes!

There are a few catches to it, however.

Pros of Microblogging with WordPress

I’ve discovered WordPress does several things well, especially in regards to embedding media from outside your blog. Here are some things I was impressed by:

 

  • You can embed Reddit comments

https://www.redditstatic.com/comment-embed.js

  • You can easily embed YouTube videos

Also, just the typical pros of using WordPress:

  • Basic WordPress.com blogs are free
  • Lots of free themes and customization – even moreso if you self host
  • If you self host, you have control over all content that you post and blog backups
  • Self hosted blogs can never be deleted or removed without your permission
  • Self hosted blogs often come with unlimited space for files and images – depending on your hosting package
  • WordPress.com and self-hosted blogs connected to WordPress.com are connected to other bloggers in the WordPress network, allowing for Likes and Follows – similar to Tumblr

Cons of Microblogging with WordPress

Some cons to microblogging with WordPress:

  • Still not quite as social-networky as platforms like Twitter and Tumblr
  • Because of this, you will still need to connect and build a presence on other social networks to earn readers
  • Self hosted blogs are not free – you have to pay for hosting space and maintain the blog on your own
  • Free WordPress.com blogs have limitations, such as a 3 GB storage space, that Tumblr and Twitter hasn’t placed on users (yet)

Tools for Microblogging with WordPress

There are two major tools that make microblogging with WordPress work: the much-improved Press This feature and the Publicize feature. Both of these are provided to WordPress.com and self hosted WordPress blogs.

Press This

Press This is built into every WordPress blog. It’s similar to Tumblr’s Share Bookmarklet.

You drag the bookmarklet to your bookmark bar, which creates a Press This link. Then, whenever you’re on a page that has content, images or videos you want to microblog, just click Press This to pull up a blogging window, complete with embedded content from the other site. It also nicely creates a credit link to the site you’re sharing from, saving you time and ensuring your content is correctly sourced.

Using this can pull content from just about anything (including Reddit images and videos if you’re using the Reddit Enhancement Suite). It is THE tool that makes WordPress a microblog platform, and I’m very happy that it got a big upgrade with the last major WordPress update.

Publicize

Publicize is listed under the Sharing options for blogs hosted on WordPress.com, and is a part of the Jetpack plugin for self hosted WordPress blogs. Remember how I noted that you’ll probably need to connect your WordPress blog to other social networks such as Tumblr and Twitter for more exposure? Well, this one biggest con can be overcome by setting Publicize to post to these social networks every time you publish something.

This makes your WordPress blog the center of attention, but still reaches out to other microblogging platforms to expose your posts to new readers. I do suggest you spend time building up connections with other folks on Tumblr and Twitter, which is something I did prior to launching my WordPress microblog, because those connections and supporting other community members are super important!

Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

3 thoughts on “How to Microblog Using WordPress

  1. Do you know if there’s a way to get the comment module to remember the name/e-mail/website combination I use to comment? It’s getting annoying to have to re-type it every time.

    I know on the main Sygnus blog I can get it to remember by logging in to my WordPress account, but it doesn’t seem to carry over here.

    Like

    1. Odd. I’ve never had a problem with it remembering my information, even on other WordPress blogs (though I have to type it in, like you, it auto-remembers my info). I think it’s a browser setting, though. WordPress comments are just the same as any other online form as far as I know.

      The reason it works on the Sygnus blog is because you’re already logged in, so it knows who you are. Here, you’re not, so it doesn’t recognize you automatically.

      Like

      1. Ah, sorry, I was unclear. It *does* remember my info (re-type was a poor choice of words), I’m just annoyed at having to fill in each field every time.

        I know, first-world problems. 😀 But those extra few keystrokes annoy me for some reason. They’re inefficient. =P

        Like

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