A Far More Direct Siri Blog Publishing Method

Previously I set up a Rube Goldberg method of publishing my Jekyll-based blog via Siri. Here’s a more streamlined update.

Every step in the process is a potential breaking point. Fortunately, the two biggest that were breaking on me are also fairly simple to replace. IFTTT works great, but wasn’t always real-time. Dropbox had a major outage this week that meant it couldn’t be used at all. I replaced both of them with a far more direct AppleScript:

The basic concept is the same, only now instead of creating an IFTTT rule to generate a text file on Dropbox that gets synced to my Mac mini where Hazel notices it and fires off an AppleScript …

… I have an AppleScript that checks Reminders.app directly and put it on a launchd job to check every 15 seconds, similar to the process I set up in my post Create Reminder Tasks from Email. Now I’m keying directly off of Reminders.app and have the same flexibility to add new automation tasks at any point.

Siri-controlled Blog Publishing

Hot on the heels of setting up my markdown-dropbox-blog workflow, I realized I needed a more reliable way to regenerate and rsync the rendered files. The workflow I had set up worked fine for new articles, but not for edits to already-published articles, it assumed I wanted to publish immediately, and didn’t offer any easy way to handle any sort of failure.

What I came up with seems like the digital equivalent of a Rube Goldberg machine but it works and affords flexibility for automating other tasks as well. Besides, Rube Goldberg machines are awesome.

tl;dr – Simply hit a button or say “Siri, add refresh blog to the automation list” and sit back while your Jekyll-based blog rebuilds and republishes itself.

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