The beginning of 2019 for Micro.blog has indicated a year of momentous change, with the promise of improvements and exciting yet reasonable developments across the platform, whether that’s from the team or third-party developers.
There has already been lots for everybody to get their hands on and it is fair to say the community is becoming ever more passionate about exploring the possibilities of the web as the social platform; Brent Simmons said it best. With that in mind…
Let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately on Micro.blog!
In the past month…
The month ended with a bang; custom themes are now possible, at least to a much larger extent than before. Existing themes have been rebuilt, as part of a switch from Jekyll to Hugo, and it is now possible to extend the core for much greater customisation.
There is now also a new theme, based on Arabica, whilst the option to share your custom theme has been built in. All of the rebuilt themes are also available on GitHub, along with Arabica.
In a fruitful month for the Mac app, two significant updates were released. In the first, the
alt tag feature was implemented, making it much easier to making your images more accessible, whilst full-screen photos were made available via clicking an image.
In the second update the app went dark with Dark Mode available on Mojave, whilst the auto-complete username feature was implemented when making a new post. Other improvements and fixes were also made.
Help redesign, categories, Snippets, and more!
There was a significant update across the entire Help site, with a redesign that included an update to the home page index and a new search tool. Meanwhile, categories finally arrived to Hosted blogs along with an auto-filter feature for photos and feed functionality for individual categories, all of which are linked at the top of your archive page. Support for categories has also been added to the Micro.blog API.
Jonathan Hays has developed a Swift-based framework for the Micro.blog API and it has been released on GitHub as Snippets, which ought to make it easier to develop apps for iOS, Mac OS, and TV OS. It is now also possible to remove the default Archive and About pages from the menu of your Hosted site; you can instead remake the pages using the redirect page feature and link to them from another part of your site. Lastly, Dialog has been added to the apps list on the New Post page along with new icons.
- Dialog had an especially exciting month, first with a big beta update to introduce a redesign from the ground up and posting. Then, the app left beta to become the first fully available Android app for Micro.blog, along with a new website and a brand new channel in the Micro.blog Slack; to join just contact Mike as he is open to feedback and discussion about the app. As if that wasn’t enough, Mike also launched two ways to support development of the app; directly through donations or by buying the first ever Dialog t-shirt.
- Gluon rebounded into full activity as Vincent began his re-build of the app for both iOS and Android. Preview screenshots have been shared, as well as encouraging progress on the Android app and an invite to re-join the Alpha test; Vincent is available for contact via email.
- The Tagmoji Directory was updated.
- The Wiki got a few updates near the end of the month with the addition of a number of new posting-related resources.
- Indigenous got a number of improvements over a couple of updates on Android.
- OwnYourGram got an mp4 update and a fix.
- IndieWeb Ring got a directory added to the site, to better highlight the people whose sites are part of the ring.
• • •
This was a fantastic start to the new year, with the core of the platform getting a variety of significant improvements and no sign of letting up from the focused, careful approach from the team. It’s fair to say that for a lot of people Micro.blog is now a more attractive social network to join and a much more robust option for hosting your blog. Meanwhile, Manton and Jean have already both spoken about their plans to further highlight the most important part of it all; people, specifically within the context of the community-driven aspect of Micro.blog
Elsewhere a variety of third-party development efforts have borne fruit and continue to extend the platform and make it much friendlier to more people. Best of all, the vast majority of this development is transparent and often seen via real people blogging as they work. With this kind of ecosystem developing there is little doubt 2019 will be at least as exciting as the previous year.
Enjoy your weekend!