08/08/2017

The beauty of micro.blog

In the latest episode of the Core Int podcast Manton re-emphasised that micro.blog is a blogging platform rather than a social network.

It's flexibility, however, means it can be different things to different people.

For me, rather than being a blogging platform, it has become an extension of my blog almost like a comment engine. The webmention support means that the conversations around my posts get fed straight back.

Because I don't take advantage of micro.blog's hosting it is definitely more a social environment for me and, because of this, I see how it starts to achieve one of Manton's goals: to act as a layer tying the blogosphere together.

If we go back to Tantek's reasoning for why social networks took over (a combined reading and posting interface) we also see the true depths of the service.

It looks like a basic Twitter-style network but that is only scratching the surface; its simplicity belies its power.

At its core is a feed reader presenting posts in the usual reverse chronological order but, although it feels like you are following users on a social network you are actually subscribing to their blogs - and not just microblogs depending on what feeds they include.

The social element allows us to reply to posts in situ but these aren't simply replies, they are also comments which, as mentioned above, can automatically co-exist on externally hosted blogs.

And then you can use exactly the same interface to post to your own blog, be it natively hosted by micro.blog (a massive part of the offering) or external, or any other tool that supports the APIs used.

While a degree of web plumbing can be used to back feed posts from social networks to our own sites, micro.blog does all this natively - and that is the beauty of it.

There is a lot going on behind the deceptively simple faรงade.

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# I suddenly thought "what do I do about a day with no posts?" as this would break the previous/next day flow by getting redirected to the 404 page.

I know, I should get out more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

First up I had to account for the 404 appearing on a day archive and change the text accordingly.

The is_day() function doesn't work on the 404 page so an I needed an alternative way of determining this - running a check against the query is the simplest way:

global $wp_query;

$is_date_archive = isset($wp_query->query['day'];

Then I needed to update my footer so that the relevant previous/next links were displayed. Checking against the new $is_date_archive variable in addition to is_day() does the trick here.

But, what if the date is in the future?

A quick test to see if the archive date > today and I only display the "Today" link rather than previous/next.

# Thought I'd make a proper effort if someone were to somehow view a future date.

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About
COLOPHON
Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog