It’s no secret that the modern attention span is shrinking rapidly and that people are less interested than ever before in reading longform articles online.

And while researchers point to a whole host of different reasons behind this titanic shift and dramatic condensation of our ability to focus and concentrate when reading, the cold hard truth of the matter remains – if you want to influence and persuade online you need to get the job done quick.

This has led to a dramatic rise in the “microblogging” medium.

Strategic business owners, marketers, and influencers are using microblogging to great effect today but there’s another interesting shift happening in the online world, too.

Folks are less interested than ever before in giving up control over their content to centralized and closed off platforms like the ones the tech and social media giants are running right now.

This has led to the creation of open source microblogging platforms, combining the best of all worlds and opening up a world of new opportunities.

Below we dig little bit deeper into the ins and outs of microblogging, the advantages and benefits of taking this approach, and breakdown some of our favorite open source platforms on the market today.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Quick Intro to Microblogging

Microblogging is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – short, compact blog posts or articles that are easily shared and easily digested by readers and audiences all over the web.

Microblogging can be used to describe pretty much anything from Twitter threads to email marketing and even more in-depth forum posts, with one major exception – microblogging (by and large) has very little interest whatsoever in creating search engine optimized content but instead shoot for high levels of virality.

The idea is to create a captivating headline, a really juicy hook that provokes and excites, and then a payoff that usually gives readers “just enough” to want to know more and inevitably get deeper and deeper into your longer form or multimedia content.

The Advantages of Open Source Microblogging

There are a lot of advantages to getting into the swing of things with microblogging (particularly open source microblogging), including:

  • Dramatically Ramped Up Output – Because you’re going to be condensing down your ideas and your articles you’ll be able to get a lot more content out into your niche or market. This gives you more “swings at the plate” than you would have had otherwise, which increases your chances of hitting a homerun with new prospects or people you’re trying to influence.
  • Dramatically Reduced Effort – At the same time, you don’t have to spend a mountain of effort and energy researching every little aspect of your microblogs. You’re only going to be working with about 1000 words or so, and that means your focus should be more on persuasion than overwhelming them with research, proof, and other outbound links.
  • Laser Focused – Again because you’re working with about 1000 words or so you’ll need to keep your microblogs on target. Each microblog should have one core idea that you really hammer home rather than trying to hit multiple points all at once in a ridiculously compressed amount of space.
  • Mobile Friendly – Microblogs are easy to scan, easy to read, and easy to digest even on smaller screens (like phones and tablets). This increases the amount of opportunities that your audience will have to read whatever it is you are looking to share.
  • Complete and Total Control – The beauty of open source microblogging in specific is that you are going to be in the driver seat of how your content is shared, where your content is shared, and what can be sent out without having to worry about censorship. You’re the “king of the castle”, so to speak when you are running things on an open source microblogging platform.

Top Open Source Microblogging Platforms

Though there are literally dozens and dozens of open source microblogging platforms out there to pick and choose from, we highlight four of our favorite options below.

A little bit of extra research and due diligence on these four platforms will help you find the perfect microblogging outlet for your needs!

Mastodon

Perhaps the most popular of all the open source microblogging platforms available right now, Mastadon started out as a “Twitter clone” and has grown into something really special.

Giving users the opportunity to jump on board the Mastadon.social “node” and use the platform like they would any other social networking platform, but also offering the ability to instance a unique version of Mastadon, too, there’s a lot of freedom and flexibility with Mastadon you won’t find elsewhere.

Because of its popularity there are plenty of YouTube tutorials and resources to help new users get up and running with this open sourced microblogging platform as well.

Choqok

Another top-tier open source microblogging client you’ll want to further investigate, this platform allows you to post, receive, and transmit direct messages, updates, and uploads across a variety of different microblogging sites – including Twitter, Pump.I/O, and a whole host of others.

Being able to immediately distribute your microblog content across a variety of platforms all at once is a huge advantage. But the big benefit of using this microblogging platform is that you don’t lose control of your content at the same time.

Instead you turn those closed source platforms (like Twitter, for example) into a distribution network rather than a singular place that your content “lives”.

StatusNet

Part microblogging platform, part traditional CMS, this open source project is built entirely on PHP and MySQL which makes it really easy to run off of inexpensive shared hosting plans (as well as more expensive dedicated servers and the like).

Mobile friendly (specifically optimized with iOS and Android devices in mind), this is a great tool for communication and collaboration.

The platform was really created to facilitate internal comms with groups and workplace teams, though it can be adapted to fit a variety of different applications without a lot of headache or hassle (thanks to its open-source nature, course).

P2 Microblogging on WordPress

The last platform we will talk about is the one created by the folks that made WordPress, the developers at Automattic.

Huge fans of microblogging in general, the team found themselves using a whole bunch of different microblogging and internal communication tools sort of mishmashed together for a couple of years and never really being happy with the results.

Recognizing that most of the microblogging solutions they were using just weren’t quite as flexible or as adaptable as they wanted them to be they decided to produce their own – and built it on top of the WordPress CMS!

The end result was the P2 theme, available 100% free of charge and completely customizable just like everything else on WordPress. It’s lightweight, fast, and super stable and can be extended with plug-ins, add-ons, and the like, too.

It’s well worth checking out whether or not you’re already using WordPress for other purposes!