TheoryMail: How do I create “personalized” Daily Posts?

TheoryMail will be a new experimental series where I share geeky questions emailed from fellow scholars, bloggers, hackers and gamers. Depending on my available time and interest, I will showcase questions submitted via my contact page.

Steve Dembo wrote:
I’m extremely interested in how you’re doing your daily links right now. Especially the way you are able to add a photo ‘banner’ at the top of them. It really looks great and has a much more personal feel than the traditional ‘daily links’ postings. Do you do this by hand, editing the post from and adding the photos yourself or have you figured out some other way to do it? I’d love to hear some details if you don’t mind sharing!

Here’s how I do it
Sorry to disappoint you Steve, it’s 50% automatic and 50% human labor. If you’re wondering why my link posts look different, it’s because I’m using a more complex way of doing this instead of the Daily posts technique I mentioned last month. My method isn’t for the faint-hearted as it involves the Yet Another Daily Delicious (YADD) hack (secured) for WordPress and a unix cron job every night. I didn’t explain beyond this previously, but this is the link posting workflow:

1. A nightly cron job executes YADD to grab the latest links off my account.
2. The links are automatically tossed into my draft post on WordPress
3. I sort out my links based on themes (e.g. how-tos, funnies, Mac-related)
4. I then flickr for relevant creative common images to compliment my post
5. I give it a final once over before posting it on my blog!

As you can see, my workflow is semi-automatic. I did it this way because I wanted to provide “themed” links instead of a random mashup of links. This also prevents the “dreaded single link post”, which happens when insufficient daily bookmarks makes for to a pretty thin post. You’re right by saying that it’s more personal, though I do wish there were some algorithm to replace that last 50%!

BTW: Have you tried playtagger? It easily adds audio playback for mp3 links!

6 thoughts on “TheoryMail: How do I create “personalized” Daily Posts?

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    All the best,

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