There’s a certain lack of permanence to social media posts – in my mind, anyway.
In some cases that’s a feature, but due to the ease of writing in this medium, it’s so easy to just open an app window, write a few lines and hit send. I haven’t published a “real” blog post in months.
I’ve written before about how I would create blog posts more often if doing it was as easy as creating a social post. I even have a script that makes it easy-ish to rsync my Hugo blog, but the Fediverse has such great tools (like Tusky, Semaphore and the new Elk.
I looked into the GUI front-ends that can create Hugo blog posts, but that gets complicated really quickly because they rely on a setup that originates on a Git server with CI/CD. If I started the blog on Netlify or GitHub, that would be easier. But right now I don’t think I need or want version control for these blog posts (though maybe I should revisit that).
GUI front-ends that appear to be open source and under current development (as of late 2023) include TinaCMS, Decap CMS and Sveltia CMS. Can these projects accommodate writing/editing from desktop/laptop and phone? I’ll be looking into it.
An alternative for Visual Studio Code users (not me yet) is Front Matter.
Maybe I just need to tune up my Hugo scripts and start writing there again. Since I first wrote this post, I have already started.
When it comes to blogging or social media, sometimes — either ironically or counter-intuitively — the bigger commercial services can be more compelling in terms of long-term availability. I don’t know if Automattic’s WordPress or Google’s Blogger have ever killed an old blog.
And even though I’m not posting to Twitter, my thousands of posts are still there. I downloaded a giant file of them, though I’m not quite sure what to do with it.
Will Twitter ever really “shut down” for good (literally, figuratively) without another company/entity taking it over and preserving every post as a historical record? I do worry about Twitter killing inactive accounts.
Even though Google loves to start services and then kill them, there has never been an inkling about Blogger being on the chopping block — and it has been around (and way under the radar) for decades at this point.
I run this #GoToSocial server, but it’s more an experiment than stable service, and I’m unsure how long I can (or will) keep it running. It’s currently hosted on an Oracle Cloud Free Tier VPS, and there’s no easy way (yet) to extract all the posts out of the database. Plus I need to figure out backups. Oracle is no Amazon, and that is a strange and ominous thing to say in more than a couple of ways. (The cloud for hobbyists is something I should be writing about. Oracle doesn’t hold your hand and still has a pretty high degree of evil circling it — but they give you so much free stuff.)
I do love the 5,000-character post length limit of GoToSocial, which I can set higher or lower.
And these ActivityPub-based social services — self-hosted but on the Fediverse — offer built-in community and commenting, which is much harder to bring to traditional static site generators like Hugo.
I haven’t been keeping up with all the “new” ActivityPub software, but I’m sure there are projects that encourage longer posts with more media. But if my current software can do it, why not just post directly to a Fediverse social media server?
I’m kind of already doing that.
One problem that is easily overcome is the noise of the average social-media feed. Replies, links, cat pictures. It’s pretty messy. To prevent long-form writing from getting lost, I am thinking about starting one or more separate social accounts on my instance that are dedicated to different topics of blog-length/level writing. That should provide for a nicer display and easier way to link to the posts (essays? article?).
This post originated on my GoToSocial ActivityPub server.