Let's talk about: Discover

On Micro.blog you can get an idea of what’s happening across the platform by taking a look at Discover; the curated hub of posts, all of which are highlighted by a mixture of hand-picked choices and automated filters, and presented as timelines and feeds.

You can access the timelines on the web, in the iOS and Mac apps, and via JSON feed.

Let’s explore Discover.

To have your posts appear in the automated filters, simply include a relevant emoji in said posts and it will appear in the filtered timeline:

Screenshot of a short post in the New Post editor, in the Micro.blog web app, including the microphone emoji.

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Whether on the web or in the app you need to access Discover via the section’s main timeline. Look for the tab to load the timeline:

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the Discover tab link.

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app, highlighting the Discover tab link.

Now you can see the main Discover section, down which you can scroll to find the highlighted posts:

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog web app.

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app.

Next, let’s look at filters, represented by emoji to become what we sometimes call “tagmoji”. They are at the top of the page:

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the emoji menu.

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app, highlighting the row of emoji links.

Select the emoji you want to load the relevant section, wherein posts including that emoji can be found:

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog web app, filtered for the basketball emoji.

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app, filtered for the basketball emoji.

Another option is to use search, which can be found at the top of the page:

Screenshot of the Discover timeline in the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the search link.

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app, highlighting the search link.

Type in the search bar, using either a name to find people or any word to find previously featured posts:

Screenshot of the search results page for 'puppy' in the Micro.blog web app.

Screenshot of the search results page for 'puppy' in the Micro.blog iOS app.

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There are other ways to use Discover, the first of which is via JSON feed; you can access the main section and the filters this way:

  • Main section: micro.blog/posts/discover/feed.xml
  • Filters: micro.blog/posts/discover/[FILTER-NAME]feed.xml

The emoji can also be found in two directories:

  • The document in Help: Emoji in Discover.
    • This is also where you will find the special sections of Discover, separated since they are for specific events (for example: NaNoWriMo) or because they are filtered in a different way to the rest of the tagmoji.
  • The original directory: Discover Tagmoji.
    • Made and maintained by Jason Burk, this page includes suggestions from the community for new filters.

Discover is available to non-members and members alike, can be used in the official apps, and is available to third-party developers for their apps. It is updated once or twice per day by Jean or Manton, and the web app currently has the most comprehensive version of this part of the platform, specifically regarding the emoji menu and full search results.

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This publicly available part of the platform is good for both non-members and members, providing insight into the community and further access to the people within.

With Discover you can find other people with similar interests or simply get involved with one-off conversations about any number of subjects, whilst you can also catch up on news and information regarding the lives of people, the things they make and are doing.

There we have it; that’s Discover. Now you know what to do and how to do it.

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Let's talk about: Favorites

On Micro.blog you can save posts into a separate collection, made available in a special version of the timeline called Favorites. This collection is entirely private and the authors of posts you choose to favorite are not made aware of this action at all; there are no notifications of any kind when it comes to favorites.

You can both take this action and access the timeline on the web and in the iOS app.

Let’s save and view some Favourites.

Whether on the web or in the app saving favorites means using your main timeline. Make sure you have it loaded.

When you see a post you would like to favorite, look for the Favorite action which can be found in the meta data below the post, next to the Reply action:

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the Favorite action link.

Once you have selected the action, it should change to Unfavorite:

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the Unfavorite action link.

This means you have favorited that post and it is now saved to your Favorites collection. To view this collection look to the top of your timeline on the web:

Screenshot of the top of the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the Favorites tab link.

… or in the tab menu on iOS:

Screenshot of the timeline in the Micro.blog iOS app, highlighting the Favorites tab link.

In there you will see the posts you have saved, as part of your Favorites collection, a static timeline:

Screenshot of the Micro.blog web app, situated in the Favorites tab.

One important issue with Favorites is the availability of the feature; whilst it is available via the method displayed above, it is not as consistently available in every view, for example you can favorite replies in certain situations but not all of the time.

You can also use Favorites outside of the official apps, whether in dedicated third-party apps or those that use protocols built on open web standards. For example, you could use the Bookmark feature with OmniBear, Quill, or Indigenous to save anything from across the web.

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Favorites can be used in different ways depending on how you’d like to use them;

  • they can serve as a simple bookmark system for different posts and replies, all saved conveniently in a separate timeline;
  • you can also treat them as a read-later timeline for those posts you don’t currently have time to read;
  • lastly, they can be used for grouping together mini-collections by favoriting the individual posts and replies one after the other.

You can use them in one of these ways or a mix of them, such is the flexibility inherent to this simple feature.

As with the rest of Micro.blog, there is no doubt Favorites will be improved over time in a stable, iterative manner; in the meantime you can ask for help and provide feedback via the official support channels.

There we have it; that’s Favorites. Now you know what to do and how to do it.

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Let's talk about: Pins

Let’s talk about Pins.

On Micro.blog you can collect pins for your account, represented by small icons you can see within your account. They are available on the web and are unlocked by reaching certain milestones or other conditions, such as publishing your first post to the Micro.blog timeline, or posting after midnight. With that in mind…

Let’s get our hands on the Pins.

Getting a look at the regular pins means using the web. Make sure you’re logged in and ready to go.

Make your way to micro.blog/account/pins – as well as the link below, you can get there by selecting the Account tab:

Screenshot of the top of the Micro.blog web app, highlighting the Account and Show All links.

… and then selecting Show All. Once you have done this you will see the pins screen:

Screenshot of the Micro.blog pins page, showing only the top pin as having been collected.

Here you can see all of the regular pins and how you can get them, along with your instantly collected first pin for registering a username! By fulfilling the conditions set out here you will collect the pins; like this:

Screenshot of the Micro.blog pins page, showing five pins as having been collected.

(NOTE: To collect the Custom Domain pin you will need a hosted account, with which you can map your custom domain to your hosted site.)

The collection of default pins are as follows:

  • Welcome: Every account starts with this pin. It is a word of thanks for creating an account.
  • First!: You unlock this pin the first time you post to your account.
  • 10 Posts: Once you have published 10 posts you will receive this pin.
  • 25 Posts: Once you have published 25 posts you will receive this pin.
  • Daily Blogger: Once you have published at least 1 post every day for 30 days you will receive this pin.
  • Micro Monday: The moment you partake in Micro Monday for the first time you will have also unlocked this pin.
  • Photoblog: The first time you publish a post with a photo in it you will unlock this pin.
  • Photo Challenge: If you publish a post with a photo every day for 7 days you will unlock this pin.
  • Custom Domain: Should you choose to subscribe to a Hosted plan and configure your site with a custom domain this pin will appear.
  • Night Owl: As soon as you publish a post after midnight you will unlock this pin.

Over time you can also collect special pins. These are limited to specific events, announced by Manton ahead of time. For example, in 2018 the two biggest Apple public events had the following pins:

Screenshot of two special pins for Apple events, showing both as having been collected.

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Pins are a fun way to both get involved with the community and motivate yourself for posting in a variety of ways, with the potential to become even better over time; who knows, perhaps we’ll have real pins, whether for general availability or meetups and the like!

Over time Manton will add more pins and continue to release limited editions for events. If you have any ideas for new pins or issues you can contact the team via the official channels, as they are happy to take suggestions and help.

There we have it; that’s pins. Now you know what to do and how to do it.

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