What’s Holding All This Together (Morning Coffee: November 21st, 2022)
This week’s newsletter will be discussing the tools I use to run nashp.com and this newsletter. I’ll be breaking down each service and app that gets me from a blank page to everything you see here. Let’s begin.
What’s Holding All This Together
I’ve been wanting to give a breakdown of the tools running this site for awhile now. It hasn’t changed much over the years, so you might’ve seen me discuss these already, but if you haven’t, here’s what I use. (Also, if you need help setting up something for yourself, let me know. I’ll try my best to help out.)
Site — My website is built on plain text files. There’s no fancy website that I go to add new things to my site. It’s just an empty page waiting for new words. This is all possible thanks to Blot: Blot turns a Dropbox folder with text files into a website.
Words — I write everything on my site using Ulysses. I’ve yet to find a better writing app to run this website. It’s on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so whatever device I’m using, my site and all its words are right there waiting for me.
Photos — If there’s an image I want added to my writing, I have a shortcut that I use. This shortcut uploads the image to Imgur and then copies the link to my clipboard. From there, I paste the link into my writing, and Blot then turns that link into an image. This process is as simple as going to photo library, finding photo, pressing share button, pressing shortcut, pasting into Ulysses where the blog post is being written.
Newsletter — My newsletter is built on Buttondown. The same words that I write on my website for the newsletter are pasted onto Buttondown’s site. I send a draft to myself to preview the email, then I send it out to everyone on my mailing list. The same code that I used to style my site is also brought over, so the site and the newsletter have a similar look.
Music — My music page and all the songs on it are hosted on Bandcamp. A simple site that hosts songs and albums. Been using it for over 15 years. I take what I upload to Bandcamp and paste the embed code into the text file I’m using for my site.
Automation — Sometimes automation is used on my site to make one thing lead to another. If I like a Youtube video, IFTTT turns that liked video into a text file for me (Blot turns that text file into a blog post). Anytime I post something new to my site, Zapier shares that post with Twitter.
Reading — I also have a cool little box on my site at the bottom, that shares what I’m reading: anytime I highlight a sentence on my Kindle, it shares it on my site. Goodreads handles that code for me.
Code — What you don’t see, and what I hardly even see, is the code that’s used to make all of this look good. My friend Jay Ray handles that side of things for me. The code used to style and structure the site is something that we’ve iterated on like crazy for many many years. Having someone handle the backend of the site allows me to open a blank page and start typing. I’m thankful for that.