Sharing links

The amount of content on the web is so large, that it's tricky to find the stuff worth reading. One of my strategies is to follow people I trust and read what they share. For anyone with interests similar to mine, I've opened a Links section on this website, too (with it's own RSS feed).

My plan is to publish no more than a couple of links per day (if any). They will mostly be related to technology and/or ethics. I have taken inspiration from many others, like Jeremy's Links section. Mu-An inspired me to use Shortcuts as a tool to create links and notes.


The reason I want to publish links on this site is mostly for selfish reasons. I've posted links on social media for a long time, but in the black box of algorithms, it's hard to recover them after time passes. I want to at least try and have some sort of system for organising and archive my interests (tags… I'm adding tags).

I also want to try and experiment with shorter, quicker posts.

How: low treshold publishing with a Shortcut

I read mostly on the go, when on public transport or waiting for an appointment. This means I usually am not logged into a CMS or near a computer where I can do version control. This site doesn't use a CMS, but I have (Markdown) files in version control that I populate a static site from. To appear on my site, links shared would ultimately need to exist as Markdown files in a specific folder.

This is what I wanted for my link sharing system:

  • Very minimal effort
  • Should work on all devices
  • Should draft a note with both currently selected text and a link to the page, named after that page
  • Should also include the current date in the draft and let me title the note
  • Should place my draft somewhere that I can move to my site quickly

What I ended up with is an Apple Shortcut that takes the current text selection, page name and page URL on a given page in Safari and creates a blob of text with current date, selection and link prefilled. When I run it while in Safari, a popup opens with something like this prefilled:

tags: []
date: 2024-01-10

> // Selected text

(From: [Name of the page](link to the page))

I can then write some context around the link, optionally add a comma-separated list of tags and then save the file. The filename becomes, where I can write a title for the post after the date. My site generator grabs that title from the file name.

At the time of writing, I haven't figured out how to then get this file in git, so I save it in a specific folder, requiring me to manually drag it into my site whenever I do reach a computer. That works fine for now, I don't write that many anyway.

Summing up

I'm looking forward to continue doing this for a while, and hope the low treshold publishing will make it so easy that I actually will. Check out /links to find out what I've posted so far.

Comments, likes & shares (177)

@hdv FYI en MNATD (misschien niks aan te doen): je preview cards worden gechopt (in mijn Mastodont-cliënt (op mijn device))
@jvhellemond oei… heb 'm zojuist vervangen door eentje met een gangbaarder formaat, moge de og goden me welgezind zijn
@hdv I used to save them on a micro site I had built with WordPress.I eventually stopped as I already have my own Mastodon instance where I share the links (not deleted/lost).I upload my Mastodon archive to make it searchable fast: Easy access/search in a single HTML page.Additionally I save the most relevant to my private wiki.
@hdv ???? using Shortcuts is so smart! I must do the same for my page! I was thinking of doing something involving netlify functions and a personal slack channel but didn't get around it yet (also don't know if it is possible) because I have the problem as you regarding getting the .md file live. Oh Hello Ana
@hdv i’ve been meaning to do something similar for aaaaaaages. might get around to it this weekend. was going to use a shortcut too.i know that people use working copy ( to do the git bits. might help you too. Working Copy, Git on iOS
@stevenjmesser @hdv came here to say that. This page may help connect working copy to your shortcuts: I highly recommend the app. Working Copy - Users Guide - Shortcuts and automation
@stevenjmesser would love to subscribe to yours! oooh I should look into Working Copy…thanks!
@nhoizey @hdv I've got yet one more solution — surfacing items tagged as `share` via Readwise's Reader API ???? Link blogging using Readwise Reader • Cory Dransfeldt
@joostvanderborg @stevenjmesser @hdv I came here to apparently thrice the Working Copy recommendation. I used to fix stuff for from my phone on the go back in the day!
@cory I didn’t know Readwise Reader before reading your post! ????Another option is using your own site as a Share Target, but it’s a bit more complex, and requires some dynamic parts.@hdv
@nhoizey @hdv so if I read something I want to share, I tag it as share, my site rebuilds and surfaces it as data in Eleventy which is then added to my /links page, my now page and the feed that is sent to Mastodon.When it's sent to Mastodon it rebuilds and adds the link tot he post from the cache.
@cory nice automation! ????I like to sometimes add some words, so this wouldn’t work for me.@hdv
@nhoizey @hdv ah yeah — I’ve co-opted the description field in Readwise and pass that text through a markdown filter to render it on my links page, but it’s not included when syndicating it here.
@ohhelloana I'm hoping to keep the habit by optimising for easy note writing, as that's the part I probably don't have motivation to do later (whereas the task of getting it live seems less prone to procrastination ????)
@joostvanderborg @hdv excellent, thanks for sharing!
just realised that I forgot to build in sending a webmention to the page I'm linking to. Will add at some point
Sophie Koonin wrote on 28 January 2024:
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