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Blog Automation

If you can't tell, blogs and personal websites are something that's actually important to me. But I've noticed some reticence on my own part to actually write some posts. Someone I follow on Twitter, though I can't remember who right now, posted about their own efforts to automate their blogging, and how the automation may have played a role in their actual writing of posts. Largely because of the reduction in friction.

I can certainly believe that sentiment - after all, when I used to use Blogspot (before Google ultimately bought and destroyed it) I could create blog posts from my phone. And this was a crappy flip phone! I could take a picture and send an MMS to an email address and the contents would become a blog post with the image automatically embedded. I definitely blogged quite a lot. So what about today? What does my process look like. Maybe I can automate parts of it.

Well, let's just write it out in list format:

  1. cd to ~/programming/waynewerner.com/site/blag/
  2. Copy template:
    cp template.html $(date +%F)-some-title.html
  3. Write the blog post (this is the hard part... or easy part?)
  4. Add template and summary to index.html
  5. Add entry to Atom feed.
  6. Commit changes to git.
  7. Push changes to my remote copy of repo.
  8. Run my deploy script that uses rsync.

And that's pretty much it. It's not really a super complicated process, and I'm definitely glossing over a few of the steps. I guess for the most part maybe it's not all the tedium that prevents me from writing. Or maybe just any amount of tedium is a blocker.

Honestly, I think the bigger issue is actually that I get a bit of a dopamine hit when I check my notifications on Mastodon or Twitter. And there's a casualness about using that service as a way to interact with folks.

I think I will probably investigate some kind of automation to this process. I actually do love the hand-crafted nature of my current page, as ridiculous as it is. I don't really need any special tech - just a text editor is fine. But if you want to hook me up with some dopamine, why don't you say thanks?

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