Aywren’s Whims – I’ve Built a Microblog
Posted on June 19, 2023 by Aywren
There are times when you have something to post that just doesn’t warrant a full-on blog post. However, it’s bigger than a toot on Mastodon, and its something you want to hold on to. That’s when you’re in need of a microblog.
I’ve used a lot of microblogging tools over the years – Tumblr and Pillowfort come to mind. I even attempted to transform my WordPress blog into one back in 2015-2016.
Most recently, I’ve been using Micro.blog, and I really do like the platform. I’m impressed with what it does, how it connects (especially to the Fediverse), and how dedicated the blog dev team is to improving it. However, I’ve struggled with exactly how a second blog fits into my blogging lifestyle, especially since I’m still in the process of making the move to a fully HTML blog system.
I did subscribe for a year’s worth of the Micro.blog service, and I’m happy with what I see there. However, I can’t help but feel that the content I’m hosting there could easily be hosted on my home site. I’ve been making this gradual attempt to move all of my sub-sites into my Aywren.com domain – including my Fiddle blog, Uke blog, and most recently my Diamond Painting log.
I’ve been moving away from hosting content I want to keep on anything other than my own coded pages as of late – especially with the explosions on Twitter and now Reddit, too. Due to all that, it’s no surprise that I finally came to the conclusion that I should just build my own microblog and then I wouldn’t have to worry about where it fits in. And, that’s what I decided to do.
Most of my microblog posts focus on things like videos of songs that I enjoy, quick notes about blogging, and the daily quest calendar that I try to remember to keep up with. None of these fit with the flow of my big blog posts, but they’re things I would like to keep around.
At first, I told myself to make it very simple. You know how it goes, though, and I didn’t.
I decided I wanted a box layout for the archives pages that work and look similar to Tumblr month archives. With some fiddling, I was able to achieve that tweaking some CSS code I found for blogging cards.
I also learned how to make a layout that works similar to HTML tables, but is responsive for mobile devices. This is a BIG DEAL! There’s been so many times I wanted to make a layout using tables, but the mobile view made that impossible to do. Now I know how to make both views happy!
I also decided I wanted categories for these posts. Not just that, but I wanted the category pages linked on the post pages. I’ve considered doing something like that for my main blog posts, but if I do, that’ll be a ways away. I still have quite a bit of cleanup to do as it is.
Anyhow. I only have one month’s worth of content so far – just June 2023 - and this is going to take some time to move over from Micro.blog. I’m not giving up on my account there just yet as I still have many months of subscription to see how it develops. I have a feeling, however, that I’m going to prefer to just keep consolidating my content on my HTML site. It would save me money in the long run come next year by keeping my hosting costs down, if nothing else.
It’s also just a fun experiment – especially when I can mess around with layouts, headers and styles in HTML – unlike what I could do in more rigid sites like the old WordPress.