Phone to Blog Blip Workflow
Couch to Internet
With a cat snoozing on my lap and less than 10 minutes before I’m supposed to start watching a new-to-me episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the thought occurred to me: how quickly could I make a blog post happen?
Long ago I set up Working Copy on my iPhone. It’s an app that helps you handle a Git repository. If I recall correctly, I set it up as an extra “safety net” for giving presentations using Reveal; I wanted to make sure I had a way to fix typos or other last-minute edits.
Now I’m instead trying to see whether this app could be repurposed as an POSSE-mindset alternative to Mastodon or other microblogging platforms.
It’s been 10 minutes! Let’s commit this!
Edit, After the Episode
Here’s a Mastodon post I made minutes after publishing the above:
With more practice, I’m certain I could make this go more quickly. These 10 minutes included trying to figure out what I’d write about, plus re-familiarizing myself with how Working Copy actually works.
I spent a few minutes looking in Textastic, a text editor app. Instead, it was easiest to:
- make the new file with Working Copy
- copy and paste the relevant front matter from another post in the same category
- edit the front matter
- actually write
- save and commit
Then I had to wait about 3 to 5 minutes for GitHub to process that commit and turn it into a published page.
It might sound closer to a Rube Goldberg machine than fully automated queer space blogging, but it’s a workable solution for a mostly-POSSE approach to blogging.
And I still have the cat snoozing on my lap!
Overall, this seems like a pretty useful alternative to posting longer thoughts on Mastodon or other social media.
There’s probably an extra 5-ish minutes of work involved.
This 5 minutes of labor (not 5 “real-time” minutes) includes:
- set-up (generating the new file with appropriate lines of YAML)
- file management (committing and pushing the new file to GitHub),
- then (after waiting a few minutes outside of these “5-ish” ones for GitHub to process and publish the new file), getting the URL to share in Mastodon and actually sharing it.
So this is clearly somewhat more involved than just posting a routine idea or thread on Mastodon. But it’s a workable alternative!
Some thoughts (or other purposes) might well be worth that 5-ish minutes of labor. (And yes, for those following closely: even after that episode and all these edits, the cat is still snoozing away on my lap.)