The more I read about how mastodon works, the happier I am that I ended up being so curious about the publishing options in iA Writer that I had to check out micro.blog about 1.5 years ago.
Don't get me wrong: It's great that people are checking out mastodon. It lets me follow them on micro.blog. But moderation and all the other social aspects of running a social network (even if it's "just" a timeline of blogs) are what's hard.
Many people that are leaving Twitter right now (or at least create a mastodon account on the side, for the time after Twitter finally implodes) end up on mastodon.social, the biggest mastodon instance there is. When I scrolled through their explore timeline I was surprised to find a post by fellow corgi lover and micro.blogger Hollie Butler (@hollie) that urged people to find a better instance, because mastodon.social has had a bad moderation for a long time.
In the replies to this post a user asked: Can I move my content over to a new (e.g. better moderated) instance? The answer is no. You can move the people you follow, but not your content, it seems.
With micro.blog this combination of problems doesn't really exist. On the one hand they have and enforce community guidelines that protect the community against hate speech, harassment and so on. Community manager Jean MacDonald (@jean) does an excellent job as far as I can tell. So there is no reason to move. Micro.blog is just a blog hoster with a social timeline component.
On the other hand exporting your data is easy enough, too. Even if there would be a reason at some point to move: I do own all my content and it's not useless content, because a micro.blog is just a blog and so the content I'd export are just blog posts.
The point is: At the moment micro.blog seems like the ideal place that is not twitter, but has moderation figured out (and still lets you connect to mastodon users). I feel like I'm in good hands with them. If you're willing to fiddle, you can connect your own blog for free, or you could pay them 5$ a month and have everything set up for you. Connect a domain and you really truly own your content, even in the case you feel the need to move away, since the permalinks point to your domain not micro.blog's (I'm not claiming the moving blog hosters is easy, but it's possible…).
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