Table of Contents
As I mentioned in my recent posts, I had a test Micro Blog up to archive some toots from my Mastodon account, but I had only recently managed to populate it with the vast majority of my Public toots. In this short post, I’ll go into my thinking behind the whole endeavour, what the test was like, and why I changed it.
The concept of micro blogging is not a new one, and was of course popularised with Twitter, though I understand many do not view it as a micro version of a blog. Alternative to Twitter Mastodon launched in 2016, and Micro.blog came a year later more focused on the blogging aspect.
I was never a significant Twitter user, and saw no need in short form posts, so micro blogging was something I was aware of, but not interested in. However, since becoming an avid Mastodon user, and as I described in the linked post at the top of this, I wanted to preserve my toots from Mastodon, and reformatting them into a micro blog sounded like a good way to do it.
As I was one day scrolling through the Hugo themes website (as you do!), I came across this really interesting theme called Neofeed. I liked the idea because it looked like a lo-fi version of Twitter, a simple layout designed for short form posts, and I also liked how it linked back to the original toot on Mastodon as well as who you replied to.
Importing The Toots
As explained previously through the archiving process, I ended up with dozens of .md files, each being of a toot made on Mastodon. I copied these over into the
posts folder within the
contents folder of the Hugo website running Neofeed.
However, I did not like how these posts were displayed, seeing them crunched up as many of my toots are of more than one line.
As such, while I was mostly micro blogging on Mastodon, I wasn’t always micro blogging, and these longer toots didn’t translate well when on Neofeed. I wasn’t sure what to do, as changing the theme would mean losing the nice linking back features, though I realised the imported toots in my new system of archiving them lost that feature anyway. As such, I decided to look elsewhere for a simple theme for the toots.
The micro blog would only display posts of text - no code, mermaid diagrams, about page, tag page… nothing except the text of toots. As such, it really didn’t need much more. So, my requirements were:
- Very lightweight
- Minimal dependences
- Easily configurable CSS
- Light and Dark modes
- No landing page
And I quickly found Anubis to be a perfect match! I was very quickly able to reconfigure the light and dark modes to fit my favourite Catppuccin theme, remove elements I didn’t want, and have a Read More button there for longer toots.
Although not an exciting journey, I am pleased that my micro blog is now fully functional and looking really neat, as well as being super fast! I think if any one uses Mastodon extensively, particularly if they are mostly posting text based toots, I would recommend they give an archive a try, and use Hugo as a means to view the archived toots in a meaningful way. As Hugo can run locally, and its output being static web pages, you don’t even have to make this archive public if you didn’t want to, instead having it stored locally for you to navigate whenever you want.
I personally like the idea of it being public, reflecting a more personal me on Jessica Journals, alongside the me that writes these longer blog posts about various things in more depth, not often reflecting on the day-to-day me.