Some of you might have (probably not) noticed that I started writing shorter posts in the Microblogging section and cross-post them to Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t know what Microblogging means: you can compare it to Twitter or Tumblr where shorter pieces get published. It’s posting your thoughts in a very short format. No fully fledged blog posts, more like short shoutouts, giving updates or share an opinion on something for example.
I’m doing this because I want to own my content. A while back I explained what I mean by that. In a nutshell, I don’t want the words I write to be only available on Facebook or Twitter. They should not own my stories, thoughts, links or pictures I post.
There’s a lot of value in owning your stuff. If you are interested in this topic, you should probably go to manton.org and check out what Manton Reece has to say about it. He inspired me to start out with my own Form of Microblogging. He’s currently working on a product that supports this idea. I’ll certainly keep an eye on it and check it out, once it is available.
If you are using Twitter you already know one main reason this service is so compelling. You open your Twitter client, write a new Tweet and hit the send button. That’s it. When you write on a blog, this means some more work until a post gets published (although the WordPress app got a lot better with the last few updates). If you only want to post short pieces with one or two sentences, that’s never going to happen with a common blogging setup.
Therefore, I came up with the following solution: I use IFTTT (If This Than That) together with their DO Note app on my phone. First, I connected the WordPress, Facebook and Twitter channels to my IFTTT account. Then, I created a recipe that checks my WordPress site for new posts in the Microblogging category. Whenever it finds something new, it posts the text together with a link to the entry to Facebook and Twitter. That way posting something short using the DO Note app is the easiest thing: I set up a recipe that takes the text entered in the app and posts it to this site. The rest is done by IFTTT. These posts don’t appear on the front page. What you can do – if you’re really adventurous – is subscribing to the separate RSS Feed!
Of course, I tweaked the layout of the posts a bit, so they look different to normal posts and they are put into their own category. Short snippets don’t really need a headline or tags or anything. It’s just a short note. Like Twitter. The difference? It’s mine! If Twitter goes down one day, I still have all my stuff. And now, I can post with two taps and writing one or two sentences!
All this probably sounds pretty nerdy to you. (Chances are you are the only one that got this far in the text). But I really think there is much value in being the master of your content. You’re in control! It’s your ideas, your pictures, your everything! Take a few moments and think about it. All this sounds pretty hard at first. You might think you’ll never be able to get your own blog set up. But it’s really easy. It does not have to be a complicated self hosted solution for the start. There’s plenty of places out there to start. But you have to try something.
The audience might be small in the beginning. But what I deeply believe is this: The people reading your blog are actually interested in the things you have to say. On Facebook nobody is interested in anything of substance. If you want an audience on Facebook, you better get going and find a picture of the crap you are feeding your mouth with at the moment, or even better a cat or a cute little panda and copy some pearls of wisdom. You should present the best You that is available and be the greatest person in the world! People will like it. But people are not interested in it. I’d rather write to a handful of people that take a few minutes of there time to read what I like to write about.
I think it’s worth it.