Hey, it’s Doug, and this is microcast number 103.

Now the hilarious thing is I’ve already just recorded this, but I used the wrong microphone.

I’ve got this Apple studio display, which sounds all great and yes, it’s expensive and la la la, I did it as a business expense.

But the included microphone in it isn’t the best.

So I’ve bought this Logitech Yeti microphone, and you can turn on various things.

And so obviously I’m not listening to my own voice most of the time when I’m on Zoom calls and stuff.

But my colleagues say that it’s much better if I turn the bass booster on, I sound like a proper podcaster and everything.

So this microcast number 103 doesn’t exactly come hot on the heels of the previous one.

Microcast 102 was in October 2023, and quite a few things have happened since then, not including the fact that I’ve moved house and I’ll be moving house again.

I’ve started an MSC, et cetera.

But really what I want to talk about here is what’s changed with Thoughtrapnel over that time.

So let’s just rewind and just think what was happening before that change.

Well I was using WordPress as I had been for many years, and I was posting things on Thoughtrapnel and then on a weekend, sending out a newsletter and that newsletter would be kind of semi-manual process so I could automatically using MailPoet, which is a plugin for WordPress, I could import posts and then I could put a start and an end and I could put a super secret link and do all that kind of stuff.

And it would maybe take one to two hours to kind of manually process this post at a weekend, which was fine.

But the main thing was that MailPoet had this really annoying feature.

And that feature was that in order to stop MailPoet itself being marked as spam, it would automatically deactivate or even unsubscribe audience members who it didn’t think were opening the emails.

Now, how would it know if you’re opening the emails from Thoughtrapnel?

The only way it knows is by putting like a tracking pixel in.

Well, of course, lots of modern email clients block that tracking pixel.

So I think Apple Mail does that, the one that I use, so ProtonMail does that as well.

So lots of people were getting unsubscribed and I knew this was annoying for people because Laura Hilliker, my colleague, she was using MailPoet, or still is using MailPoet as well.

And I wasn’t getting her newsletter.

And because I knew that she was sending it out because I talked to her every day, I was having to resubscribe.

It was just very annoying.

Now I think in the end there was a workaround for it or they fixed it or something.

But in the meantime, I jumped ship.

So what I did was I continued posting things using WordPress on Thoughtrapnel, but I moved to Substack.

Substack at the time seemed like a really nice solution.

It’s very easy to use.

It’s got a bit of a community around it, all that kind of stuff.

But the problem was that they started to platform or certainly not de-platform Nazis.

And sometimes, or most of the time, you should put your values ahead of your ability to use nice shiny things.

So it was time to move on.

And so I was looking at different options.

I almost went with Ghost.

I noticed that Audrey Waters went with Ghost, for example.

But I went with Microblog and that was for a few reasons.

One of them is that it will auto-post to the Fediverse, which is nice.

So that is a place where I spend a lot of time these days.

I already had a Thoughtrapnel Fediverse account, but I was either having this junky workaround or post manually, whereas this is automatic.

So you can subscribe to Thoughtrapnel using RSS or email, which I’ll talk about in a moment, or using the Fediverse.

So the email version, it creates a digest.

This is not a manual thing.

This is automatically taking everything that you’ve posted this week and sending it out every Sunday.

And so I imported my subscriber list and instead of me having to do additional work, people who subscribe just get all the posts that I’ve written in order.

I subscribe to that.

It works pretty well.

It’s less personal, but then I guess that everyone’s getting, you know, what they signed up for.

They’re getting every post that I’ve written that week and finding that a bit more sustainable.

Now what it hasn’t, well, there’s two things that have been a little bit annoying with Microblog on the whole, great experience, but two things.

Number one, when it took all of the categories from WordPress, it imported them, which is great.

But now when you go to the archive page, it lists all of those categories before the actual posts.

Now I had hundreds of categories or maybe even turned the tags in the categories.

I’m not entirely sure.

Anyway, there’s not a bulk way of deleting these categories and it’s taken me a long time to delete them one by one.

So what I’m doing is I’m deleting some categories, like a page full of categories because the buttons next to each category and then posting something and then deleting some more.

So every time I post something, I’m deleting more categories.

So that’s why maybe you only see, you know, from M to Z onwards at the moment, but eventually all those categories will disappear.

It’s just better UX, I think.

The second thing is that it doesn’t look like the audio came with me when I moved from WordPress to Microblog and I didn’t check that in time and I don’t think that audio now exists.

I could go back and have a look, but either way, the chance of me going back through 102 posts and re-inserting the audio is quite slim.

So there’s that.

They’re all on archive.org altogether, so it’s not like they’re lost forever.

It’s just that you have to go hunting for them a bit more.

Maybe I’ll put a link to that with this microcast number 103.

So there we are.

I’ve got this new microphone.

Hopefully this sounds okay.

I’m going to try and put a little bit of audio, which is taken from a track by Mac Miller on his album Swimming from 2018, which was the last one he released before he sadly passed away in September 2018.

It’s just a lovely kind of baseline riff at the end of the second track of that album.

And I’m going to try and mess about with that in Audacity and see if it works.

I’ll try and top and tail this episode with that.

And if it works and I don’t get any kind of copyright complaints, which is only a very short clip, then I will continue to use that for these microcasts.

So there we are, microcast number 103.

Hopefully someone other than me will listen to this.

Here we go.

A little bit of an error there.

How’d it go?