Social Media

Doing more with the links you share

A linkblog. Do you remember those before social media? On my spudart.org blog, I had a sidebar of links. The earliest version of my linkbar is on Archive.org from 2002.

Screenshot of link sidebar on spudart.org from 2002

In that 2002 example, I didn’t have any commentary on each link. The following year, I started to add a little piece of insight about each link. I kept the link sidebar on my site until 2010:

Screenshot of link sidebar on spudart.org in 2010

What replaced it? A Facebook widget. Seriously. Facebook. How fitting that social media killed off my link sidebar.

My sister loved the link column on my old site back in the 2000s. I should start posting these links somewhere again.

As of right now I rarely tweet links to articles. But I do save articles in Evernote. LOTS of notes in Evernote—over 5,500 articles since 2012. (that’s over 700 links per year)

Maybe I should be doing something more with all these articles I share.

This gathering of links could appear as a side-column on my site. I have something kinda like this with my reading list at mattmaldre.com/reading

Where would the links be shared?

With this linkbar, every time I save a link, it would go on my website. Ideally, the system for the linkbar would also automatically post to various services:

However, I don’t like the blatant sharing of links with no insight. That’s just useless. (I’m looking at everyone who tweets links with no commentary). All my links would have some sort of comment, summary, or pull-quote.

Mapping this idea for how it would work in WordPress. I would build a range of custom fields.

Custom fields for my link content type

  1. URL of link
  2. Title of link
  3. Summary about the link
  4. My comment about the link
  5. Maybe a featured image
  6. Tags
  7. Category
  8. Author of article
  9. Pull-quote(s)
  10. Via link (how I discovered the article)
  11. My rating (maybe three stars?)
  12. Social URLs where I shared this link

That’s a lot of fields! I wouldn’t fill out all the fields.

But looking at all this data I’m capturing, I’m essentially building my own Evernote. With my own fields.

Share the links via RSS feeds

Once this custom post type is built in WordPress, I would make custom RSS feeds in order to populate all the various services where the system would automatically share the link.

This template would have a bunch logic, so if an article has a summary, then it would include the summary, but not some of the other fields.

Articles with a particular category would be posted to specific areas.

Same idea goes for Flipboard. I would make custom “magazines” in Flipboard for content types.

The template would also be built to schedule out the timing for each article. Maybe space it out by one hour for each link.

What is the point?

Conversation? Sharing? Being an expert? Archiving for my reference? Learning + connecting concepts? Make author aware I’m reading and sharing?

Maybe all off the above?

I just know I enjoy looking at my friends’ Flipboards: Erik Maldre, James Pinnick, Marco Buscaglia. It’s tempting to build my system with Flipboard as the the base. But Flipboard has no ability to automatically export out my links. That’s where WordPress comes in.

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