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:
> // 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
YYYY-MM-DD-.md, 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.
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.