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Microblogging with WordPress

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I wrote at a high level how I improved my microblogging workflow before WWDC, but I’d like to use this post to show the surrounding details. I hope it’s useful to other folks who want to control their own content.

Post formats. Newer versions of WordPress have the concept of post formats. Normal blog posts have a “standard” format, but there are also these types: aside, image, link, quote, and status. For microblogs, I recommend “status”.

No titles. As I proposed in a previous blog post, for small posts we should revisit an original feature of RSS: the title of a post is optional. In fact, early blogging systems like Radio Userland didn’t even have a title field. When you’re writing a microblog post in WordPress, just leave the title blank, and if necessary update the post template to not include the title in HTML or the RSS feed.

RSS feeds. If you create a brand new WordPress blog for microblog posts, you won’t need to do anything special about RSS feeds. But if you share a single blog for both standard and status formats, you may want to have 2 feeds: one that excludes microblog posts and one that contains only microblog posts. Just use a special category for microblog posts in addition to the post format. Here’s a section of my .htaccess file where I use the “cat” parameter to include or exclude this category for my blog’s feeds.

iPhone posting. One of the lessons from Twitter is that posting should be effortless. Using WordPress on iOS is fine, but I’ve found that wiring up a simple posting recipe in IFTTT’s Do Note app makes it trivial to post from your phone. Use the WordPress action in IFTTT but also get this WordPress plug-in. Since the WordPress action can’t yet specify a post format, the plug-in can simulate it by using a special ifttt-status category. Here’s a screenshot of what my IFTTT recipe looks like.

Tweeting. Now that you have a blog that contains all your microblog posts, you can wire it up to Twitter to automatically cross-post them as tweets. You’re writing on your own site first, but the posts still go out to your Twitter followers. Again, use an IFTTT recipe that pulls from your microblog RSS feed and sends the post content to Twitter. Since I don’t post to Twitter, I’ve set mine to post to App.net instead. You can continue to reply and favorite directly on Twitter.

I’m very excited about the potential for microblogging. For the last year I’ve been working on a new platform around this stuff. By adopting some of these tips for WordPress, your microblog will be ready for my platform, but more importantly your blog will be open and extensible. Let’s get back to our roots with RSS and see what tools and web sites we can build.

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brokaw
3227 days ago
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Austin, Texas
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Watching the Watches

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Nathaniel Irons:

If I’m going to start wearing a watch again soon, it’ll happen because of notifications, even though I don’t remotely believe what Tim Cook’s asserting. I was at a lunch a couple of months ago with a guy wearing an Android Wear watch, and by an order of magnitude, he spent more time glancing, poking, and swiping at his watch than I’ve ever seen someone do with their phone in a social setting over a similar period of time.

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brokaw
3331 days ago
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Smartphones have taken over our lives, and the only remedy is more technology.
Austin, Texas
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Ummm .. WTF?

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Last we heard of one-time tech pioneer John McAfee he was living out some sort modern day Heart of Darkness fantasy in Belize and suspected in the murder of a neighbor before becoming an international fugitive and doing all sorts of other awesome stuff. Now House Republicans want him to get to the bottom of what happened with the Obamacare rollout.

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brokaw
3836 days ago
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What, they couldn't get Hans Reiser?
Austin, Texas
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Even Our Ancestors Never Really Ate the "Paleo Diet"

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By Carrie Arnold Despite its name, the Paleo Diet is a new food trend, one which has become increasingly popular in recent years. The diet’s basic tenet is that our bodies haven’t yet evolved to cope with the changes to our food intake as a result of agriculture. Paleo Diet aficionados hold that grains like wheat are making us fat and unhealthy, and that we would be far better off if we ate how our ancient ancestors did, focusing on lean meats, fruits and vegetables. What researchers haven
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brokaw
3976 days ago
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Austin, Texas
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1 public comment
trekkie
3977 days ago
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Why does it work for so many then?
Wake Forest, North Carolina
kazriko
3977 days ago
Low carb diets work for other reasons. your body isn't breaking down muscle because it has enough protein there. Your brain operates primarily on carbs, but has a defensive mechanism to switch to fat consumption if there's insufficient carbs available. Ketosis. Finally, your body is really, really good at storing excess carbs into fat. If you cut the carbs down, you get both the benefit of creating less fat, and the benefit of burning more fat as a result. Of course, it's not without its problems. Other things need carbs as well, and not all of them easily transition over to fat burning...

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book."

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“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book.”

-

Cicero, circa 43 BC (via amandaonwriting)

“The recency illusion is the belief or impression that something is of recent origin when it is in fact long-established.”

(via cimness)

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brokaw
3976 days ago
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This seems too good to be true.
Austin, Texas
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Courtney
3976 days ago
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Cicero knew what's up.
Portland, OR

Watch Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke Break the Fourth Wall in Our Latest “No Talking” PSA!

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We love to watch actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke banter on screen -- especially in the latest Drafthouse Recommends title, BEFORE MIDNIGHT --  but nobody appreciates it when rude people talk or text during a movie. Watch what happens when the pair get interrupted while trying to do a scene -- and feel the burn of Delpy's en français dressing-down of rule-breaking theatergoers.

Catch this PSA before all screenings of the Drafthouse Recommends title BEFORE MIDNIGHT, as well as Hawke's upcoming thriller THE PURGE when it opens later in June. 

**Fun facts: This PSA was shot in just two takes and was directed by Brandy of Fons PR -- with help from Richard Linklater, Delpy, and Hawke -- and shot by Austin videographer Jose Jones.

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brokaw
3980 days ago
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Further fun fact: this Drafthouse PSA was shot at the Violet Crown Cinema. At least that what it looks like to me.
Austin, Texas
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