Link Blog Automation

Posts are usually 1) a link as the post’s title, 2) an excerpt from said link, and 3) a snippet of commentary. Occasionally, a list post will turn into a mini-essay; other times, the commentary will be a single sentence. Think of it as a retweet with comment on a domain you control.

As a reader, it’s a great UX—especially in an RSS reader. When you open the link in a browser, it opens to the actual link, not the link post. This also works with Instapaper—it saves the destination link, not the commentary. That said, there are many times where I get the gist of the link from the title and excerpt without having to click through. Come for the links, stay for the commentary.

Unfortunately, most blogging platforms don’t natively support this format. There’s a post about linklogs running on Octopress, but the project hasn’t been updated since 2015 and it’s not the vanilla version of Jekyll that runs on GitHub Pages. I found another post from 2015 about DF-style linklogs on Jekyll, but it wasn’t 100% clear how to get this working with GitHub Pages without breaking the RSS feed. So I wrote my own implementation.2

I’ve adopted this convention with my Jekyll blog and have included in my automation. I can simply select the text I want to quote, and the Shortcut does the rest.