Displaying embeds in the timeline

I know, I know, this may seem too close to “quote-tweet” and how much we don’t like that on Micro.blog. But thanks to @heyloura’s app, Lillihub, I realized you could do that quite easily on Micro.blog. But more interestingly, you could do that natively just as easily with that extra dose of friction to prevent “abuse” by using the embed feature.

Micro.blog posts look decent enough on the timeline but on from Threads do not. I’m trying to avoid coming across as clickbait. The first example is good enough but not the second one.

I’m wondering if Micro.blog has any thoughts on this; mostly for the UX POV.

In any case, timeline aside, they both look great on the blog.

PS. The type of “quote post” with Robb’s post was one of my favorite types to do and see on Twitter. I used it that way more than to dunk on anyone.

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There’s broadly two approaches when it comes to quoting on the web:

  1. Actual quoting, like your first example quoting Robb. You own the quote. Even if Robb decides to delete that post, the quote will still be around on your blog because you’ve copied the content there.
  2. Embedding, like your second example with yantastic. You do not own the quote. If yantastic decides to delete that post, it will disappear from your blog. If Meta removes that post for violating their policy, it will disappear from your blog. And when Meta decides to shut down Threads, the post will also disappear from your blog.

I enjoy owning the content on my blog and not being dependent on other peoples websites when quoting, so I always use the first approach. Here’s an Instagram quote from my timeline:

That quote will always be present on my blog, even if GERD takes down the original post or Instagram shuts down.

There are tools and apps to make quoting easier. I like Quotebacks which is what Micro.blog uses for their embeds. Yep, that is confusing. It is called embedding, but you should think about it as copying or quoting. Technically, Micro.blog copies the post as an HTML blockquote sprinkled with some JavaScript and CSS on top (provided by the Quotebacks project).


Hello Sven. May I ask what method you used to make the quote in the post you mention? I went to your blog and I see the image is micro.blog hosted. Thanks

I have set up a handful of personal Shortcuts to help me blog (and quote) the way I like. But it can also be done manually, by uploading the image to Micro.blog and paste the HTML img snippet inside the blockquote. Here’s what the source of my previous example look like in the Micro.blog editor:



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That (actual quoting), in fact, is much better than what I was proposing. I’ve experimented with Quotebacks before but haven’t gotten to a place to incorporate them into my workflow. Can you share the Shortcuts you use for Quotebacks?

They are not in a state suitable for sharing right now, messy and with lots of personal information, but I’ll keep in mind to clean them up and share as a project for a rainy day. :blush: They are not too different from other Shortcuts, though, like @jarrod’s Publish Quote and Micro.blog Multimedia Uploader. Just tailored to my preferences.

Hmm…ok. While Quotebacks is a decent solution for text articles, this thread was originally about using other platforms’ embed code to have it display properly on the Micro.blog timeline. For some of those embeds, I’m fine with the ephemerality of those posts. It seems you have kinda solved the problem by customizing @jarrod’s shortcuts but are unwilling to share them, which is fine.

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I’d have to experiment, but it looks like the timeline responds to the blockquote and cite tags, and it’s not just a Quoteback thing that works there. I’ll put it on my list to see what I can do with Shortcuts. It’ll be an interesting challenge to pull out images from various services and upload them to M.b.


Yes— the timeline blocks arbitrary injection via a literal HTML embed (which also blocks things like posting Youtube video players into the timeline)— but is fine with blockquote, cite, and most standard text-styling HTML entities. Quotebacks are just some inline styles to pretty normal HTML text, which is why they “degrade” well into the timeline.

It’s not just a matter of “I don’t care if this post loses its content when someone deletes content”.

For example, I previously used Twitter’s embed in some of my posts, but when those tweets were deleted, Hugo builds would fail so I couldn’t post to my blog until I removed them (and then, whole posts really made very little sense which I think sucks).

So it’s more of a Hugo problem (ergo Micro.blog’s) more than a blogger’s choice to choose what and how to blog. But since this is not mentioned in the documentation or by Micro.blog developers, I’m not sure if that’s why it isn’t made easier to do so.

I think that’s a bit too far. I’m just saying that our blogs do support embedding stuff, but many embeds can fail if the original content isn’t there. Sometimes that fails more gracefully and it’s fine. When a lot of people starting to delete Tweets, I discovered that it broke Hugo builds using Hugo’s built in tweet embed.

I can tell you for sure that MB’s decision on embeds mostly comes from Manton not thinking it’s good to have a ton of multimedia on the timeline (at least in part) and that embeds create security and design challenges (which is why Twitter and mastodon do not support embeds in timelines— in fact, no social medial does that I know of. Opengraph unfurling is very explicitly not embeds).

I’m saying a separate consideration as a blogger is that when embeds fail there are other problems like failed builds, post that don’t make sense, platforms being bough and the embedded content being swapped for other things, etc to consider irrespective of what platform you use (these problems are not Hugo specific).

As I was leaving Twitter, I hurriedly started archiving my embeds on the WayBack Machine. Then I replaced embeddz with screenshots snd added the Wayback link. In a few cases, I was already quoting quoting, so I just repointed those links. Anyway, yeah, I hated that others’ changes were undoing my own posts, so I slso started looking at other embeds I had, videos excepted. My latest change has been to remove YouTube embeds and replace those with linked screen shots and a normal text link along with a note about what happened. These videos have been around for ages, but I didn’t want to set up a cookies notice just because of YouTube’s behavior. In a few cases I found the same video on the Internet Archive, so problem solved. But the whole Twitter fiasco in late 2022 really brought home to me the importance of these changes.

My next step will likely be to start using the Internet Archive to capture any links I’m worried will disappear. I’m talking about cases where simple quoting doesnt feel adequate for whatever reason.

I’ve been finding holes where I wish there was documentation, or clearer or more complete documentation. But in a small and ever-evolving operation, that’s probably normal. I’m happy I can appeal to the institutional memory of those who’ve been here longer, assuming I can work out how to word my questions and suggestions in the local lingo.

That never happened to me on WordPress, but I’ve noticed here that errors in a template can screw up the build. And I’ve had HTML carry past one post, if I forget to close a tag. Makes sense in this context of static web pages. And I’m happy to make the trade-off in order to quit fiddling with WordPress to speed up page loads. I’m glad now to know about what can happen with the embeds. Will keep that in mind.

As a complement to Internet Archive, you might be interested in Micro.blog link archiving.

That looks interesting. Does its embeddedness in the whole platform mean that one could easily export such data too?

I’m not sure, I’ll let @manton answer that one.

We currently have a couple export formats: exporting bookmarks and exporting highlights. The archived web pages are available from the API, but I guess we don’t have an export option for them. That’s a good idea that I’ll look into, something like a .zip that contains HTML files for each archived page.