A week with microblogpub
I've been using microblogpub as my primary Fediverse account for about a week, and I thought it would be a good time to talk about it.
My first post was this reply. At least, as far as I can tell from the database; I wasn't going to bother to keep clicking through the web interface.
microblog is a self-hosted, single-user instance. I'm running it on my own hardware, and, if I want to, I can tweak the code anytime I want. This came in handy when a weird bug popped up this week. I went two days without my posts propagating to the wider Fediverse. When someone else (not the dev) figured out a fix for the issue, I didn't have to wait for the fix to be pushed. I just patched my local copy, and I'm good to go again.
I like that, even aside from modifying the code myself, there's a lot of customization available for it. I'm planning on making a lot of changes to the template soon.
Another great plus is that I can write my posts in Markdown, and have plenty of formatting options. Unfortunately, any followers on Mastodon will lose that formatting, as Mastodon strips out most formatting from incoming posts. I try to keep that in mind for any formatting I might add to my posts, knowing that they won't see it. (@[email protected], it would be super cool if Mastodon didn't do that)
Another positive is the lack of word count. I can make my posts as long as I'd like. This was actually my main motivation, because I've started to do some #writing lately. I didn't want to be always constrained by a 500 character limit.
On the downside, because it's self-hosted, any time I'm having Internet problems at home, I just can't use it.
Another limitation is the lack of a decent mobile app. The downside of this is that there are no push notifications. I find that the default template works just fine on mobile, but the lack of push notifications is a little annoying to me.
Finally, the biggest issue that prevents me from using this exclusively is the lack of discoverability. This is mostly due to the fact that it is a single-user app. My local instance only knows about the people that I follow, and whatever they post or boost. But there's not really any search ability for even that content. There's a tag search, but it only shows my posts that have those tags. In this respect, it's intended to work more like a blog than a social network.
For now, to get over the lack of discoverability, I'm planning on keeping my Mastodon account, and using that when I want to look through tags. I have several tag-based tabs set up in Fedilab for following several of my interests, which I can use for my Mastodon account. If I see a post there that I want to interact with, I have to copy the post link over to my microblog instance, look it up, and then I can reply/like/boost/whatever.
Mostly, I'm very happy with it, and glad I made the switch. I like having more control of my own experience, and that's part of the appeal of the Fediverse. I'll be keeping my Mastodon account open, but I think from here on, I'll primarily be using this account from here on out.