I’m out of practice when it comes to writing blog posts; writing here feels like counting backwards from 1000 while skipping all numbers divisible by six or seven: unnatural. I’m torn on whether to take this seriously and if so how seriously to take it. But I’m also out of practice because I’ve been somewhere else. In life, I’ve been working on a lot of things that aren’t technical, and in writing and communicating, I’ve been writing on my Bulletin which cross posts to my Micro.blog account.

Micro.blog is like a town square of people who want to be friends.1 People create accounts, they mostly use their names and faces, they write brief notes or post a lovely photo or two from their day, and they talk to each other. It’s wholesome and friendly, and its design, rules, and structures are very thoughtfully designed. Also it’s the most diverse crowd of internetians I’ve ever hung out with.

There are no “Likes”, you can follow accounts but no one can see a list of their own followers, there are no follower counts at all, there is no hashtag support, and there’s a Discovery stream that’s manually curated. You can search for certain types of posts using emoji, and you can discover or meet new people by following conversations the people you are already following are having with others.

Anyway, you can have Micro.blog host your blog for you, and I did that for a while. I couldn’t find a theme that I liked, and I couldn’t figure out how to modify any of the existing ones to my satisfaction, but that wasn’t a problem because after I reserved my username (@sherif) when I backed the project on Kickstarter back in 2017, I didn’t do much with it for five years. A few months ago I realized that Micro.blog was thriving, and that it was the kind of place with the kind of people I was looking for.

I love an opportunity to design something whimsical for the internet, and Bulletin is exactly that. I like thinking of my posts as dispatches from a desk or a location, and I tried to design the site with a modern telegram or chain of correspondence motif. I also had to solve some interesting technical problems with the Jekyll site, like adding a filter to handle generating the correct local and UTC timestamps for each post based on the location it was posted from. I also designed it with a focus on how it displays photos, because I think with Bulletin I finally, finally, have a place where I can post occasional photography without overthinking it.

I’m very happy with how Bulletin turned out, but the bigger point is Micro.blog is a pretty chill place to be, and you should come over and enjoy some of the best vibes currently available on the internet.

  1. For a description that’s a bit more helpful, see here↩︎