I made streams.place because I really liked the idea of Linus' Stream, so I built one for my own site. Then I wondered if other people might want one too, and how there wasn't really a great way to go about making one.
It just so happened that the Telegram API was really simple to work with. And the people who beta-tested the early concept seemed to love it. So this is it...
The lowest-friction microblogging platform you've ever seen.
- Start a new Telegram DM with @text_stream_bot.
- Type in the /start command and create an account.
- Send a message to the bot.
- Refresh your Stream to see the new post.
- Learn about the advanced features and commands in the Guide.
What is a Stream?
Streams are microblogs. The most important feature of a microblog is the freedom from having to add a title to your posts. You could add a short descriptive one if you really wanted to, or you can just fire off text into the ether, the choice is yours.
Each post in your Stream is called a Drop. To add to your Stream, you type out posts as markdown-formatted messages, and send them to the bot. You can also edit (for up to 2 days) and delete posts from within Telegram.
Here's a demo of how it works...
I. Create a new post in Telegram
That's all you do, write a minimally-formatted post as a regular Telegram message. The bot confirms the creation of a new Drop with a message that auto-deletes to prevent your DM getting too cluttered.
II. Your Stream is updated
Refresh your Stream to see the new post, simple as.
III. Edit and delete Drops, right from the chat
Use the native "edit message" feature, and a simple /delete command. You can recover deleted Drops using the /recover command.
What is the point of a stream?
Too many people don't write as much as they can because blogging feels too difficult. You have to pick a topic, pretend like you know what to say, write it all down, pick a title, and then hope someone reads through all two thousand words worth of it.
Tweeting is easier, we've known this for a while. But Twitter is noisy and crowded, and everytime you open the app you end up scrolling instead. Streams are different.
They're quieter, and invite more variety (text formatting and embeds). And most importantly, search doesn't break in a new way every week.
Here are some cool examples of streams in the wild. Even pages like Nadia's Notes and DazeEnd follow the same pattern. You can use Streams for anything you like, but here are some ideas to get you started.
- Accountability threads
- Personal logs
- Daily poetry
- Stream of thoughts
- Reading logs
My own Stream is located at streams.place/judah, but I mostly use it for testing purposes when I'm adding a new feature. Now go make your own.