The Personal Blog of Stephen Sekula

A microblogging experiment

Microblogging, the act of writing just a few words about an observation or a thought, is becoming more popular. In and of itself, I’m not that thrilled about it. In a way, it’s just another cheap, short form of communication. However, most of the reason why I’ve avoided it is because existing microblogging options, like Twitter, are owned by a central company. I’m tired of having accounts on different company websites that have to be simple enough to do yourself.

Microblogging is simple. You type down your post in 140 characters or less and post it. Unlike full-fledged blogging, you don’t have to waste time worrying about what you’re going to write. No categories, tags, etc. get in the way. It’s just thoughts, from mind to paper.

It turns out there is an open-source implementation of a microblog, called Laconica. I installed it on our server, and I’m going to try it out as a complement to full blogging. You’ll find the feed from the microblog in the left column of this blog (look for “Chirp”). Or, you can go to the site and read it from there: You can subscribe to the feed using the URL

I’m still learning about all the features of the software, so it will take time for me to figure out how to make post without using the web interface, but it’s functional. And, I control it, not some company. I like that.

I’ll be posting short observations and thoughts there. I’ll also try to use it when I’m at conferences, etc. to point out where I am for dinner, meeting up, etc. That’s the other use of microblogging – social connections.

It’s an experiment, and like all experiments it may succeed or fail.