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Blot, aText & nvAlt

So, I found this Blot blogging platform / tool and it really has blown me away. I moved all my posts over (yay markdown files), and will point my domain to this blog over the weekend.

I’ve been interested in Indy Microblogging as described by Maton Reece. He’s starting a service soon that users can tie their own microblog to. I’m looking forward to what he cooks up.

So, you’ll see some posts on my homepage, along with lines of text. Micro posts, if you will. That’s the microblog. Some people are publishing their microblogs and then tweeting them out. I might automate some of that, down the road, but for know I’m focusing on writing posts and micro’s more often on this site.

I’m about 33% through Jeff Goins’ You are a Writer book. One of it’s premises is that you shouldn’t call yourself a wanna be” or hack” or any other word in front of writer. Just call yourself a writer, and write. The rest works itself out over time. So, that’s what I am doing.

I am a writer.

But I’m also a geek who works hard to know the difference between Yak Shaving and working smartly. I also like to help people and teams understand that too.

So I’ll use this post to 1) Write something today and B) Demo how I’m using Blot, aTExt, and nvAlt to write micro blog entries without friction.

For a the regular posts, I’ll be writing MarkDown in Typora. Then just dragging the post from my Drafts folder to the main Bolt folder. Once Dropbox is done syncing the blog is published. I am still amazed at how quickly and effortlessly this works.

How I micro

I got some help in the indymicroblogging Slack channel for setting up the rss feeds. Phil Ulrich was kind enough to give me the tips to get that gong. From there I fumbled my way through the entries.html file in my Blot theme. I was able to add some code to display the Posts as you’d expect, with a clickable link. As well as the micro’s with no links. Just like embeddeding the contents of a Tweet or Facebook post. That’s by design. I can expand on all that in another post someday. Shoot me an email if you want to talk about it.

OK enough with the tech talk

Well, I lied. There’s a little more tech talk here. Here’s the tools I’m using.

Blot turns a Dropbox folder into a blog. Write a post in markdown, drag it to the folder, and then you’re done. It really is crazy easy. If you’re wanting to start writing, or change up your flow I highly reccomend this service. $20 a year for the tools and hosting.

nvAlt is a writing tool. From the website: ″… is a way to take notes quickly and effortlessly using just your keyboard.”. Simply start typing in the search bar, and you’ll see results in the note browser. Hit enter and you make a new note. Super fast! I’ve set the default folder for nvAlt to the Blot folder on Dropbox.

aText is a $5 tool that let’s you write a small snipet and have it expand into a larger block of test. No mater how fast your Words Per Minute typing is, text expansion makes you faster. Grab the tool, then just use one snippet, say for your email address. You’ll see how much you use it in a day or week. Then add more. For example, if I type ;lis the text expands to the first sentance of Lorem Ipsum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit met, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna a liqua.

On with the micro

I launch nvAlt, type some text in the search bar then enter ;mcr and I have a post published within seconds. No server to start/stop. There is no delay. Out of my head and quickly into the world, for better or worse.

The ;mcr is short for micro”. This text expands to hitting the return key, then adding micro: yes on the first line of the file. The micro: yes is needed for my Blot system to know it’s a micro post and not a regular post with a link. nvAlt automatically saves the file, so you can just go on about your business, and you’ll have a quick microblog up in seconds.

Out of my head and quickly into the world, for better or worse.

Here’s a demo

Hi there everyoneHi there everyone

Posted on 2/16/2017






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