Blog status update (July 2019): New social networks, plus Goodreads alternative Riffle

MacBook, coffee mug, and cactus

Last updated on December 10th, 2021

I haven’t written one of these in awhile, but here’s the current state of things on the blog.

Giving Mastodon and Pixelfed a go

As I wrote awhile ago, I’m trying out Mastodon, a federated social network. Since I’ve only got so much attention to pay to social media. Thus, for the moment, I’ve stopped using Pinterest. I also added (via a plugin) a button for Mastodon in the sidebar.

As a Facebook page replacement, Mastodon seems to be working OK. So far, it’s gotten almost as many followers as my old Facebook page had. There’s also more engagement, as there’s no throttling like on Zuckerberg’s network.

As for Pixelfed, not much to report on so far. That might be from a mix of my taking relatively few photos that seem postworthy and the Instagram-clone being “early days.”

Trying out Riffle, a Goodreads alternative

My Riffle profile.

I’m trying out Riffle, an alternative to Goodreads. (A link to my Riffle page is in the sidebar.) Riffle, like Goodreads, allows one to list what books one’s currently reading or already read, make various custom lists, and so forth.

Riffle’s also not owned by Amazon, which is the case for Goodreads. I thought trying an alternative to Goodreads might be worthwhile, as well as lessening dependence on Amazon. That said, the other alternatives I looked at too often had some sort of limitations or other issues. Out of the best alternatives:

  • Libib ( It offers similar features, but most of the more advanced ones, such as actually displaying bibliographical information about the books listed, seems to require paying for a subscription.
  • The public library, which offers some similar services to Goodreads (user reviews, setting up your own “to be read”/favorite book lists, etc.). While it’s nice, the only downside is it’s tied to members of a specific library; someone who isn’t a library member can’t do much.
  • A page on your own blog. Again, blogging is great, but it’s more work to create a list of such books, including adding book covers for each one, links to where to buy the books, etc.

Riffle seems to be working OK so far, though it has a few issues. There’s a broken link in the footer to its privacy page, while individual books’ Twitter share buttons don’t seem to work.

Here’s one of Riffle’s features in action, an embedded version of one of my lists:

ClassicPress is working OK

Since switching the site to ClassicPress, a Gutenberg editor-free fork of WordPress, it’s worked about the same as before. The only downside so far: I’ve had to find alternatives to, or go without, features I used the Jetpack plugin for. Jetpack only works with current versions of WordPress.

If there’s any issues with the blog, or if you have any questions/suggestions, feel free to list them in the comments below.

(Updated 7/5/21)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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