I’ve been a very satisfied subscriber of the hosted micro.blog service for around eight months. It’s excellent and I’ve recommended it in many places to anyone interested in a blog. I’ve moved both of my WordPress blogs to Micro.blog. The quality of the hosted service is why I’m here.

The timeline feature is a bit of a mixed bag. The main timeline of posts of those I follow is excellent. But the Discover timeline, has, over time, proven to be a bit disappointing and sadly, this is due to intentional design choices (as far as I know). The Discover timeline is the most likely place to find folks to follow in the micro.blog community. This timeline is human curated by Micro.blog staff, there is no algorithm. I appreciate that. From what I can tell the Discover feed is updated 4-6 days a week. But the problem is that site search on micro.blog only includes posts which have been shared on the Discover feed. To my knowledge no one knows what percentage of posts that is but I’d guess it’s a small percentage. So, if I want to find others in the micro.blog community who post on particular topics I don’t get many results by using the search function.

Another method of using the Discover feed is to search by emoji. At first glance I liked this idea but quickly realized how limited it is. As I understand it the emoji on micro.blog are a kind of tag but it’s such a tiny set of possible tags that it can’t begin to encompass the range of possible topics covered in the posts of a diverse community. If your interests fall within this list of 38 topic areas you’re good. But if you’re interested in something outside of that list you’re out of luck.

Between the keyword search limitation to previously featured posts and the limited set of emoji tags I come away feeling like the Discover feed is the opposite of a way for me to really discover folks who I might want to follow. My hope is that a more complete keyword search can be put into place. Perhaps there is a technical limitation that limits this. But I really hope to see this improved. From what I’ve gathered the intent is to be inclusive and safe but the end result feels far too curated, too homogenous. Or, put another way, it feels like a leash that will only allow for so much discovery.

A last point, while I like the idea of human curation of the Discover feed, in practice result is that I often see the same names over and over. And, again, the topics within the feed really feel as though they fall within a pre-determined safe zone. Perhaps the micro.blog community is much smaller than I thought and this is just a reflection of that small sample size.

At the end of the day I’m really happy to have my blog home here but I feel strangely disconnected and limited in terms of my ability to actually meet and discover the micro.blog neighborhood.