Adding spam guidelines and admin tools to Micro.blog

Recently I mentioned that I was testing new tools created by Manton to delete spam accounts as soon as they post. The community reaction was “What spam?” That is the way Micro.blog is intended to work: it is difficult for spammers to get access to individual timelines. If you don’t follow someone, their posts won’t appear in your timeline. Very rarely, we have seen attempts to use @-mentions to spam individuals, but we can shut down those spammers pretty quickly.

The problem that we have decided to tackle is the many spammers who create free accounts on Micro.blog every day. As we state in the new policy, “Hosting spam accounts is the antithesis of our mission.” Even if the timelines of the folks in the Micro.blog community are not affected, it feels wrong for us to allow scammers to consume any of our resources, or to allow our servers to be used for purposes that are contrary to our values. It also makes curating the Discover timeline more time-consuming and a bit depressing, because so many of the posts that come into our admin timeline are spam.

Now, as we curate, we can “zap” a spam account, which turns off that account’s ability to post further or to send @-mentions. We also send a notice that their account will be deleted in 5 days. The decision can be appealed by replying to the notice. I have been zapping about 100 accounts a day. We will keep refining the tools to make them easier and faster to use.

Here is the section we added to the Micro.blog community guidelines. We are always interested getting feedback from the community about our guidelines and hearing about your experiences. Feel free to reply to this post, or email me at jean@micro.blog.

Spam Policy

Micro.blog is a service for individuals to share their writing and other creative endeavors. Organizations can also use Micro.blog to share news and information about their products, programs and services.

Unfortunately, the internet has become a place where entities, whether individuals or organizations, have taken advantage of the internet’s vast reach and inexpensive communications to automate account creation and posting in order to gain search engine placement for their product’s keywords. This kind of spam is a drain on Micro.blog’s resources. Its purveyors exploit an open system and a free account option that is intended for individuals who want to blog.

To protect our service from those who would use it for unscrupulous commercial gain, we delete spam accounts with a five-day warning via email.

Here are the things we consider to be spam:

  • Building backlinks and publishing SEO-optimized articles that don’t offer any real value.
  • Repeatedly posting the same content.
  • Certain types of business in particular will be flagged for spam: escort services, bitcoin trading, casinos and gaming, multi-level marketing, medical treatments and prescriptions. This list of examples is not all-inclusive.
  • Contacting people on Micro.blog for commercial purposes without their consent.

Micro.blog has blocked search engine crawlers for free accounts, so there is no value in opening an account for pure SEO purposes.

Hosting spam accounts is the antithesis of our mission. We will be vigilant and proactive in shutting down such accounts when they are created. If you receive a notice from us that your account will be deleted for spamming our platform, you can appeal that decision by responding to the notice.


I know there are some rail travel fans out there, so I wanted to recommend you check out @stevsmit’s posts as he travels on the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada. Amazing photos!


A new episode of Micro Monday is up. I had a nice chat with @rnv aka Rob about the interplay between blogging and social media.

But wait, there’s more…


I had a great conversation with @Denny about his tiny house life in rural Missouri. Go check it out on the Micro Monday podcast. And follow @monday to see new episodes when they are posted. (Thanks to @odd for suggesting this guest!)


Micro Monday is a day to explore strange new worlds… or at least to find new people to follow. Let’s do a new roll call and boldly go where I have wanted to for a long time: Star Trek. Hail us with a reply. What’s your favorite? No spoilers for New Trek, please! 🖖


Previous Micro Monday roll calls:

Conversation threads are open. Reply and let your fellow enthusiasts know where to find you.


The May 2022 Photoblogging Challenge Prompts

Updated with the latest prompts

The challenge begins on Sunday, May 1, with a prompt for each day.

If you want to earn the 30-day Photo Challenge pin, posting a photo every day in May is a good way to do that. The photo needs to appear in a short post on your timeline to count. Longer blog posts with photos are welcome, but the automatic pin calculation looks for a photo post. Photos without text are fine, but if you include the prompt word, it will make it easier for us to curate the challenge gallery.

Here are the first week’s prompts, as suggested by members of the Micro.blog community. The order was chosen at random. Thank you to everyone who has made a suggestion so far! There is still room on the calendar for prompts–send in your ideas. Email your top 3 suggestions to jean@micro.blog.

New! Follow @challenges for daily reminders to post. 🔔

Final Days of May

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1


It’s Micro Camp morning! (In Portland, anyway.) Finishing touches underway. You can still register by going to micro.camp

The Discover timeline updates will be sparse because our curation bots (aka me and @manton) will be focused on Micro Camp. 🏕


Micro.blog Town Hall Live (Friday, 12 noon Pacific Time) 🏛

We are doing an experiment at this Micro Camp, which is itself an experiment, so if you think we are some mad micro scientists, you would be justified. 🧑‍🔬

Jason (@Burk) and I were finalizing the schedule a couple nights ago, and kicking around ideas for adding something new to the Micro.blog lineup. Up until now, we have had pre-recorded videos by individual presenters and live panels. Wouldn’t it be fun and interesting (and possible crazy) to have the community do something live together? 🤔

So here’s what we came up with: Micro.blog Town Hall Live. We hope to have a lively discussion about Micro.blog itself. Anyone who is at Micro Camp can participate. We are going to do it via Zoom, and the link will be in the live chat during Micro Camp. 🖥

You need to be registered and in attendance to participate.

We recognize a live streaming video chat is not for everyone. You should feel free to participate in accordance with your own level of comfort.

  • be seen and heard on the Zoom 🙋🏾
  • be heard but not seen, or seen but don’t speak ✋🏼
  • just watch the live Zoom, and join in on the Micro Camp text chat 👀
  • skip the Town Hall and go for a walk 🚶🏽🚶🏿‍♀️

Jason will be moderating the discussion and he in charge of topics. I will be in charge of letting people into the Zoom, and making sure no one violates our community guidelines. 🙅‍♀️

If you can attend or watch live, I recommend it. If it is a big technical wreck, it might never be available as a video later. 😅


Micro Camp Presentations Schedule

Here are the presentations and time slots for Micro Camp, which starts two weeks from tomorrow. (February always catches me out with its paltry 28 days…)

The times listed are Pacific Standard Time (UTC-7:00). The titles and times are still subject to change, and we put the final touches on the event, but we thought you’d like to start getting excited. Are you on the mailing list? Sign up at micro.camp, and you’ll be notified when registration opens.

Friday, March 11

  • 10 AM The State of Micro.blog with Manton, Jean and Vincent / @vincent
  • 11 AM Maique Madeira / @maique, AMA (Ask Maique Anything)
  • 12 PM Cheri / @cheri, How to Self-Publish A Novel

1 - 6 PM Zoom meetups TBA

  • 7 PM Themes and Plug-ins with Pete / @pimoore, Amit / @amit, and Manton
  • 8 PM Halsted Mencotti Bernard / @cygnoir, Blank Page, Full Pen, Can’t Lose: Journaling For Mindfulness
  • 9 PM Martin Feld / @martinfeld, An Eye for an Ear

Saturday, March 12

  • 10 AM Khaled Abou Alfa / @kaa, A Short Primer on Web Typography
  • 11 AM Sven Dahlstrand / @sod, Accessible Microblogging: A Crash Course
  • 12 PM – break –
  • 1 PM Clifford Beshers / @cliffordbeshers, Daily Photo Posts: From Challenge to Counterpoint
  • 2 PM TBA
  • 3 PM Wrap Up and After Party 🎉

We are looking for folks who want to host meetups. Email me at jean@micro.blog if you have a topic or an interest group that you’d like to offer.


Repeating for time zone coverage:

Artists and musicians: we are putting together a music+art+photos slideshow for Micro Camp 2022 that will play in between sessions. We did this at the first Micro Camp, and it was quite well-received.

If you have artwork or music that you would like to share (we will credit you of course!) email jean@micro.blog.


Reposting for time zone coverage: In December, we had a long discussion about Micro.blog as an inclusive community. To learn more about intentional inclusion and how we as a community can support it, I’m organizing a meetup. If you’re interested, email jean@micro.blog. Next step will be scheduling and agenda.


We just added @cliffordbeshers, @kaa, and @sod to the March Micro Camp presenters list. The schedule will be announced as soon as we work out time zones that will work for our cosmopolitan cast.


More Presenters Join the Micro Camp Lineup

Micro Camp is a virtual gathering taking place March 11-12, 2022. 🏕 (Or March 12-13, if you are on the other side of the International Dateline.) It’s a community celebration and a mutual inspiration opportunity. 🎉 ⭐️

Sign up for the mailing list at the Micro Camp website for future announcements and registration details!

We are excited to announce that these folks will present:

They join the lineup with the four presenters we have already announced:

The topics will be wide-ranging. Personal interests and stories will be shared, as well as advice on blogging-related subjects. The presentations will be 10-20 minutes long, pre-recorded video with the presenter on hand in an adjacent text chat room to interact with attendees. We are using a platform called Vi.to that does a nice job of this. 💬

Specific topics and time slots will be announced later, with a global-friendly schedule that provides live interaction as much as possible. 🌏🌍🌎

We are working on a live panel or two, as well as special interest meetups. If you are interested in organizing a meetup, email jean@micro.camp.


It’s been a while since we have done a Micro Monday roll call. (We’ve been doing a series of roll calls to help enthusiasts find each other.) This week’s topic is Wordle addicts. Leave a comment, and maybe share a strategy or stats, so others can find and follow you.


Micro Camp 2022 Dates and Call for Presenters

We are very excited to announce the dates of our next Micro Camp. 🏕

Micro Camp will take place March 11-12, 2022. (Or March 12-13, if you are on the other side of the International Dateline.) It’s a community celebration and a mutual inspiration opportunity. 🎉 ⭐️

Sign up for the mailing list at the Micro Camp website for future announcements and registration details!

Here are the folks who have agreed to present so far:

The topics will be wide-ranging. Personal interests and stories will be shared, as well as advice on blogging and writing. Short video presentations are pre-recorded, and the presenter will be on hand in an adjacent text chat room to interact with attendees. We are using a platform called Vi.to that does a nice job of this. 💬

Specific topics and time slots will be announced later, with a global-friendly schedule that provides live interaction as much as possible. 🌏🌍🌎

Check out the Micro Camp 2021 presentations to see what it’s all about!

We are still looking for presenters! If you have an interest, story, or topic you’d like to share with the community, consider joining the presenter lineup! We’ll also be scheduling smaller community meetups based on interests or location. If you’d like to propose one of these, we’d love to hear your idea. 📣

Send all queries and proposals to jean@micro.blog. And mark your calendars! 🗓


And prompts for the last three days of October:

(We didn’t have 31 unique contributors, so we used some additional suggestions, chosen randomly, from the contributions we had.)


If you follow @challenges, you’ll see reminders about the daily prompts for the October Photoblogging Challenge.

For example, October 6 is street, suggested by @ohBananaJoe. October 7 is spice, suggested by @ronguest.

That reminds me I need to generate another week’s worth!


The October 2021 Photoblogging Challenge Prompts

Update: Week 2 prompts are posted below

The challenge begins on Friday, October 1, with a prompt for each day. 📆

If you want to earn the 30-day Photo Challenge pin, posting a photo every day in October is a good way to do that. The photo needs to appear in a short post on your timeline to count. Longer blog posts with photos are welcome, but the automatic pin calculation looks for a photo post. Photos without text are fine! 📷

See the prompts below, as suggested by members of the Micro.blog community. The order was chosen at random. Thank you to everyone who has made a suggestions .💡

New! Follow @challenges for daily reminders to post. 🔔

Final 3 days!

(We didn’t have 31 unique contributors, so we used some additional suggestions, chosen randomly, from the contributions we had.)

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1


ICYMI: One More Thing... Door Prizes at Micro Camp 🎟

During Micro Camp, we will be running a random drawing for $25 digital gift cards in these categories:

  • books 📚
  • pens and ink ✒️
  • coffee ☕️
  • crafts 🧶
  • cooking 👩🏿‍🍳🧑🏽‍🍳👨🏻‍🍳

Each registered Micro Camp attendee can choose one category to enter.

For US-based winners, the gift cards will be from these retailers:

If the winner is based elsewhere, we will consult the winner to find the appropriate equivalent that can ship to their address.

Check out the Micro Camp hub on Vito—details will be posted there when Micro Camp gets underway.


One More Thing… Door Prizes at Micro Camp! 🎟

During Micro Camp, we will be running a random drawing for $25 digital gift cards in these categories:

  • books 📚
  • pens and ink ✒️
  • coffee ☕️
  • crafts 🧶
  • cooking 👩🏿‍🍳🧑🏽‍🍳👨🏻‍🍳

Each registered Micro Camp attendee can choose one category to enter.

For US-based winners, the gift cards will be from these retailers:

If the winner is based elsewhere, we will consult the winner to find the appropriate equivalent that can ship to their address.

Check out the Micro Camp hub on Vito—details will be posted there when Micro Camp gets underway.


RSVP for Meetups at Micro Camp 📚✒️☕️🎥📷🧶

Based on last week’s survey, we have created a schedule of small group meetups. The meetups are designed to be an opportunity to get to know microbloggers who share your interests. They are planned to last 30 minutes, alternating time slots with the presentation sessions.

In order to achieve this goal, we are limiting each session to 8 RSVPs so that all the participants will have a chance to introduce themselves and chat a bit.

Please RSVP. If any meetups exceed the attendee limit, we’ll create a waitlist.

As with everything else about Micro Camp, it’s a bit of an experiment. There are so many interests in the community and folks are spread out across many time zones, which makes it impossible to meet the demand within the short time frame of Micro Camp. But depending on how these meetups go, I can imagine organizing more of them at other times outside a special event, with interest groups and scheduling that accommodate more people.

Meetup Schedule (All times PDT)

Friday, August 13

  • 11:30 am: books 📚
  • 12:30 am: pens ✒️
  • 3:00 pm: coffee ☕️
  • 4:00 pm: books 📚
    (Our survey showed the largest demand for a books/reading meetup.
    RSVP for one or the other, not both)

Saturday, August 14

  • 7:30 am: film 🎥
  • 8:30 am: photography 📷
  • 9:30 am: crafts 🧶
  • 10: 30 am: women only meetup

Micro Camp Small Group Meetups

Micro Camp will be a community celebration and an opportunity for mutual inspiration. We have several presenters from our community lined up to share their expertise, insights, and ideas. Their presentations will be pre-recorded and streamed live, and there will be an opportunity to engage in a discussion chat during and after the presentation.

We also want to facilitate casual smaller group meetups via Zoom so that folks can get to know people who share their interests and passions. The specific groups and times will be organized based the demand and the schedule of the potential participants.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try, please fill out this survey so we can organize groups and a schedule.

The interests can be anything, though we’ve suggested some of the more popular ones like books 📚, coffee ☕️, pens ✒️, and running 🏃. Feel free to suggest yours in the “Other” option.

If you’d like to meet microbloggers in your geographical location, indicate where you live. 🌎🌍🌏

We also have options to help bring together those who identify with an underrepresented demographic in our community: BIPOC, Blind/Visually Impaired, LGBTQ+, Women, and are open to other suggestions.

We envision these meetups to be fun and friendly, and above all respectful, like the Micro.blog timeline itself. Micro.blog’s Community Guidelines will govern all Micro Camp events. In addition, there is a conference Code of Conduct that all participants must agree to in order to register.


More Micro Camp announcements 📣

It’s two weeks to go until the inaugural Micro Camp, a virtual gathering and community celebration August 13-14 (August 14-15, if you are on the other side of the International Dateline). We also see this as a mutual inspiration opportunity with presenters on a rich variety of topics of interest to microbloggers. 💡

So in addition to the 11 presenters and panelists we already announced, we are pleased to announce that 4 more community members are slated to present:

The schedule and topics are being ironed out now, but if you want to pencil it in, mark your calendars for 10 am to 6 pm on Friday and 7 am to 1 pm Saturday, Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7:00). ✏️🗓

We are also pleased to reveal a special Micro Camp logo, designed by Jason Burk. I first met Jason at WWDC 2018. He came to the Micro meetup in San Jose with his own Micro.blog swag stickers and t-shirts to share. So it’s no surprise that there will be Micro Camp swag. More details to come. 🎉


Micro Camp 2021: First Announcement of Presenters and Panels

We are very excited to make our first announcement of Micro Camp sessions and presenters. 🏕 🧑‍🏫

Micro Camp is a virtual gathering taking place August 13-14 (August 14-15, if you are on the other side of the International Dateline.). Our goal is to make this a community celebration and a mutual inspiration opportunity. 🎉 ⭐️

Here are the folks who have agreed to present so far:

The topics will be wide-ranging. Personal interests and stories will be shared, as well as advice on blogging-related subjects. The presentations will be 10-20 minutes long, pre-recorded video with the presenter on hand in an adjacent text chat room to interact with attendees. We are using a platform called Vi.to that does a nice job of this. 💬

We’ve confirmed two panels as well:

Specific topics and time slots will be announced later, with a global-friendly schedule that provides live interaction as much as possible. 🌏🌍🌎

We are still looking for additional presenters. If you have an interest, story, or topic you’d like to share with the community, consider joining the presenter lineup! We’ll also be scheduling smaller community meetups based on interests or location. If you’d like to propose organizing one of these, we’d love to hear your idea. 📣

Send all queries and proposals to jean@micro.blog. And mark your calendars! 🗓