Scott Watermasysk Husband, Father, Bootstrapper, Developer, Keyboarder, Pained Sixers Fan.

What Are Shorts? And Why You Should Use Them Too.


There are few things lamer than blogging about blogging, but this is a subject I think is very important.

In my virtual circles, Twitter has killed blogging. I do not believe Twitter did it on purpose. Twitter is simple, and you can reach a lot of people quickly. And despite all the negative energy around Twitter, it still the place where I learn the most on a daily basis.

What concerns me about blogging's demise is how much information vanishes after a couple of minutes. You can like it, but good luck finding in the future.

What I am trying to do instead is something I am calling shorts. A short is a post that is either small enough to live inside a tweet or has enough formatting applied so that it can start as a tweet and can be followed on site if it piques your interest.

I even went as far as building a simple UI which posts to this (static!) blog:

Shorts UI Demo

If you are interested in the logic around the posts, you can see my Jekyll hook here. In a nutshell:

  1. Figure out if there is an excerpt defined or not
  2. Format the excerpt/content
  3. If it is a link to another site, link to it directly otherwise link back to this site only if we need more than 280 characters.

I then push the posts to their own feed and allow Zapier to deliver them to Twitter.

The other significant benefit of this approach is I will have a list of content that I find essential that lives outside of Twitter.

Long term, I would love to make this easy for everyone, but for now, I wanted to share how I am doing it and provide some tips and strategies for doing it yourself as well.