Micro Matt


Some priorities for new Write.as development at the moment:

Better fediverse integration. It’s time to make the platform more social, and of course we’ll do it with ActivityPub. ”Likes” you get from the fediverse show up on Write.as now (I still need to announce this), and replies will be next.

Importing posts. Other publishing platforms are doing some bad things right now, and I see many people looking for alternatives like Write.as. We’ll start with importing from Substack, then move on to support for other platforms.

Draft posts. Writers have had to work around the shortcomings of Anonymous posts here (called “Drafts” on WriteFreely) for too long, so it’s time to implement true drafts, with the ability to see posts and schedule them before finally publishing. This will also support migration from other platforms, and retain any imported drafts.

#fediverse #ActivityPub #WriteAs #WriteFreely #writeasdev

Thoughts? Discuss...

Fixed a pretty bad issue with our spam prevention system today. It was likely impacting people for roughly the last month. 😞

I thought the drop-off in daily new users (about 80%) was due to spammers slowing their usual onslaught, but it turns out it was mostly this issue. I'll be keeping a better eye on that in the future.


Thoughts? Discuss...

Realizing something about building products for me. When I need to enable something new, I think about it in terms of verbs, not nouns.

For example, while taking another pass on the design of a new “categories” system for Write.as, I started asking myself the fundamental questions: why even add this at all? Does it add anything, besides satisfying a requirement for someone? What’s the galaxy-brain view on a feature like this?

At first thought, categories seem superfluous to me, personally. I don’t need or really want them — I hear “categories” and think “management.” Blech, no thank you. But some larger customers need it, and it will help things behind the scenes.

Still the feature didn’t make sense until I figured out the verb of it all. So on Write.as, categories won’t be about categorizing — putting things in constrained little boxes, for yourself and your readers, giving you new work to keep you busy and distracted from doing the real work (writing).

Instead, categories are the next, more orderly, stage of tagging.

For most writers, you might start tagging your posts only when you want to keep things organized. But it’s optional! You don’t have to organize anything if you don’t want to, and I love that.

But if you do, I feel like tagging is an organic growth from the content. The type of writers I want to build for don’t start a blog with a perfect, unchanging list of topics to write about. They write to explore, and then common themes arise from the writing itself.

So, categories are more like these organic themes or topics that arise from your writing. They solidify and bring more order to the previous stage, tagging — or they can be explicitly created if you feel the need. But first and foremost, categories aren’t things, but merely processes that are born out of your work.

#categories #design #product #writeas

Thoughts? Discuss...

I would very much like to write two or three new blog posts at once right now, and this might push me to hack together a Draft.as prototype soon. Does anyone else have this problem?

My usual solution is opening multiple Write.as tabs, but that keeps the anxiety high. If I ever accidentally close a tab before publishing, one draft gets lost, since the editor only ever saves to a single “latest” draft.


Thoughts? Discuss...

One question: where is the line between writing as “you” and distributing that writing as “Matt” or “Anonymous” or “John Doe” or whatever you choose to go by? I could imagine that the blog selector menu we have in the Write.as editor right now enables writers to “put on the clothes” of whatever alias they’re publishing under, perhaps getting them in the mindset. But I know, for example, I’ve personally started a post fitting for this Micro Matt blog, and ended up realizing it needed to be a full post destined for my Matt blog. In that case, I’ve switched the publish destination, added a title (required on Matt; elided on Micro Matt), and ended up elaborating on whatever I was writing. So I’m not sure if the distribution context should be intertwined with, or separate from (perhaps in another step), the writing process.

#design #writeas

Thoughts? Discuss...