Recently I’ve seen a few different threads on Micro.blog regarding finding niche topics/sub-communities. The chief complaint is the discoverability of the platform. I agree that discoverability is an issue, but I also know that there are sub-communities out there for different people. I only say this because I often go down the rabbit hole in the Discover section and see someone of interest to me, then check who they are following that I am not, and 20 minutes later I am 8 layers deep and find myself in a completely different community than the one I see and interact with daily. That said, it isn’t easy to find those groups of people, in that example it took 10-20 minutes to find, that isn’t great, but I think Manton and Jean are doing a great job for the limited time they can spend on it.
I also realize that I have a specific reason for coming to Micro.blog, mainly to interact with other like-minded people like myself. When I come onto Micro.blog I am looking for photography, technology, paper, and football (US Soccer) interested users. I’ve found groups of those people on Micro.blog, and I’m amazed at how often some if not all of those listed topics intermingle. The original topic that pushed me to Micro.blog was technology, and from there, I found many likeminded people who I’ve interacted with a great deal over the last year and a half. Amit helped with my move to Blot, Jack helped with Blot, TiddlyWiki, and photography. Andrew and Phil both helped with wikis, general technology topics, and organizational ideas as well. These are examples of the people I interact with the most on Micro.blog, not to detract from the others I interact with semi-regularly.
I understand that finding your interest group on Micro.blog might not be possible now, or ever depending on that group’s willingness to adopt this time of platform and mindset changes about social media and owning your data. For example, I am a huge fisherman and love boating, but I would never think to try to get the guys who I know in person to move from Facebook/Twitter to Micro.blog. They don’t care, they only want to check what’s running today and if anyone had any luck in the usual spots. For those interests, I stick to keeping my social interactions in person at the marina, docks, marine shops, or local coffee shop/bait shop we all go to before heading out.
I am self-absorbed and only focus on things that interest me. Both people and objects are valuable to me, and worth engaging with, insofar as they can contribute to whatever I’m focusing on right now. Beyond that, I don’t care about them.
I do this, and possibly to an extreme. I stick to what I know, though sometimes stick my nose in threads it probably doesn’t belong, but I’ve never received a hostile reaction on Micro.blog, unlike other platforms. That isn’t to say that I don’t like expanding my tastes, I enjoy finding new topics and interests to explore, but I will only do so if something grabs my attention. Back to the point though, I like my interests, and I want to learn more about them and interact with people who share my interests, so if there is a topic that doesn’t wholly interest me, I ignore it and move on. I don’t have the time to waste on topics that don’t interest me. I’m sure other people feel the same, although may delve into these for a little while, for me, if it doesn’t grab my attention wholly, then I don’t see the benefit on wasting my time or others with interacting on it.
I think Micro.blog is an excellent platform for many different people, I do realize that currently it is overrun by technology enthusiasts, but I believe that is due to the early adopters/Kickstarter funders being technology focused. They were the ones who spread the word, so their followers were probably tech-focused as well. I am already starting to see a mix of different interests though, so there is hope that in the next six months to a year, the platform may expand to even more topics and niche interests.
I’ve loved every second of Micro.blog, I’ve met so many amazing new people here that are so kind and warm. My hope for Micro.blog is that it does expand at a reasonable rate and begin the process of introducing new communities so that more people feel the same way I do about Micro.blog.