Ben Werdmuller:

I’m not bullish on squeezing long-form content into a microblogging platform, whether on Mastodon or X. Long-form content isn’t best consumed as part of a fast-moving stream of short updates.

Yes! This is an ongoing source of frustration for me. I often write posts that are 600-1,000 characters. That’s not long-form by real-world standards, but it’s slightly too long for Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky and the timeline, and the resulting posts are ghastly.

Facebook doesn’t have those length limitations, but it also doesn’t permit simple hypertext like links, blockquotes, headers and boldface.

Tumblr is a full blogging platform, without length limitations and with great support for hypertext and embedded media. But it has user-interface and community conventions that seem to be offputting to most people. Also, Tumblr seems perpetually on the verge of shutting down.

I want to publish once, and allow anyone to read what I write on whatever platform they like. Dave Winer calls this “textcasting,”, and it’s a great idea, though he focuses on the needs of the writers and I’m focused on the needs of the readers. (I imagine Dave might say the needs are the same.)

Also, the Web doesn’t seem to have a universal standard for letting folks know you’ve replied to or mentioned them in an article — nothing like @mentions on Mastodon or Facebook tagging. So for this post,, I guess I’ll tag Ben Werdmuller and Dave Winer in Mastodon or Threads, as well as Manton Reece, who builds and runs and whose post flagged Ben’s comments to me.

These limitations are frustrating! Why can’t everything be more fluid?