I’ve written here from time to time about the excellent service known as micro.blog — and I still want to commend it to those of you who have had enough of the big social-media platforms. You have to pay for it, but you get a lot for your money, including freedom from advertising. 

Micro.blog is a highly flexible service with many intriguing features, and it may be hard for new users to decide just which ones are most useful for them. Perhaps it would help if you think of micro.blog as offering three different (though overlapping) paths, and spend some time considering which path best meets your needs. 

Path One: Community. For many users, micro.blog is a smallish community of like-minded people — a place to connect with interesting folks, in a much more low-key and undramatic way than what places like Facebook and Twitter (and even Mastodon) offer. If you go to the Discover page you’ll find something that looks like this: 

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That’s a great way to find people who share your interests. 

Path Two: Blog. Micro.blog is also a great blogging platform. It was, as its name suggests, originally designed for small posts, but it scales up to posts of any size. When your post gets longer than 300 characters, you get the option to add a title to the post; then people looking at your timeline will see that title as a link, which they can click on to see the full post. Micro.blog also offers categories that you can use to organize different kinds of posts. Basically, it can replace any of the cruftier and less agile blog platforms, like WordPress — but it has a much more streamlined and elegant UI for posting. Best of both worlds, I think. (For longer posts, like this one, I still use the WordPress-powered blog you’re reading, because I have 15 years of tags here, but for everything else I use micro.blog because it provides such a comfortable environment for writing.) 

Path Three: Journal. This has become my primary way to use micro.blog. I mainly post (a) photos, (b) links to what I’ve been reading — micro.blog is definitively the best blogging platform for readers — and listening to, and (c) the occasional brief audio post (AKA microcast). It’s a great way for me to share what I’m up to for folks who may be interested — but also, and for me primarily, to keep a kind of life journal. 

Here’s the key takeaway for you: Micro.blog is equally useful for each of these paths. So if you start out using it just for blogging but then decide you want more of an interactive community, you can shift in that direction. It will accommodate your needs. Now, as I have said before, it will — by design — never be a place for you to monetize your brand, troll, shitpost, or become an influencer. But hey, there are plenty of other platforms better suited for that kind of thing. Micro.blog is better suited for the more human and humane paths I have identified here.