I’m a big fan of Micro.blog. After a false start in 2019, I came back in 2020 and couldn’t be happier since then. I went back to read my 2019 blog post to see the reasons why I didn’t embrace Micro.blog at the time. In fact, my wish list started in 2019, but now, I feel the need to revisit the current situation. Did Micro.blog improve in the past year? Yes, version 2.0 is a proof of this. Is there still room for improvement? I do think so. In recent days, I thought a lot about what are my pain points with the service. I made a list of things that should be done or improved, grouped in three categories: the service’s foundation, the web side of the service and the mobile application experience. Items are in no particular order.
The service’s foundation
- A rework of subscription plans: I’d like to use the highlight feature but not the podcasts support that comes with it.
- Additional plugins support. After the initial launch of plugins, new ones are hard to come buy. I’d like an integration with services like Pocket or Readwise. Would this be possible with the current plugin architectur
- Remove ghost accounts from the service or mark them as such. It would make easier to spot them in the Discover view and skip following those.
- Add a “Tech” category in the Discover view.
- A cross-posting to Medium that is actually working would be nice too. Right now, it’s not working for me and others are reporting similar situations. Is there a fix in sight?
- Make the followers count available to each users and add an option to make it public or keep it private. This decision should be put in users hand, not from the service owners or operators.
- Provide more flexibility in archive options to Github (markdown files support) instead of just a big HTML file. Add a way to notify the user if the archiving is not working.
- Ability to customize the permalink of each post at the time of publication.
- Improvements to themes handling when switching from one theme to another (a fix for my account to enable the switch to Hello theme without breaking my website would be appreciated).
- Improved support for automation services like IFTTT.
- Better exposition to category-related RSS feeds. Currently, we need to dig in the category setting page to access them. Adding “copy” besides the feed URL would be nice too.
Web side of Micro.blog
- Better display of conversation (replies) to a blog post. Currently, after a few replies, it can become quite confusing to see who’s answering to which reply.
- More visual themes as current ones lack inspiration.
- Faster posts update. That one is a long lasting inconsistent issue.
- Better support for favicon editing and uploading.
- Higher resolution RSS feed icon would be welcomed too.
- More theme customization options (I’m not a CSS expert, I don’t understand anything about this weird language).
- From the web editor, categories should be shown by default while creating a new post.
- Support for Grammarly spell check in the post editor on the web.
- Dark mode support in all visual themes.
- Reply all option.
- Allow pictures in replies.
- Ability to edit replies.
- Easier indie web mention support and guidance.
- Support for photo caption in all themes.
The mobile experience with the official iOS app
- Ability to edit replies from the iOS app.
- Ability to set the category while editing a post.
- Share sheet tweaks on the iPad to make it work better with Apple Magic Keyboard; the bottom part is partially hidden.
- Rich notifications support.
- More features parity with the website (categories management, better photo inserting workflow).
Don’t get me wrong, Micro.blog is unique and based on found principles. That being said, Micro.blog is a service run by a few individuals. They do have limited ressources. Yet, I think many of these improvements are no big deal to implement and could be part of a more aggressive improvements rollout schedule. These improvements would increase the stickiness to the service among its user base, reduce some friction and provide a richer experience while using the service. I’m confident about the future of this open platform. I think I have to be patient, though.