Fixing RSS

Blue and red linked paper clips with one link broken
Fixing broken links in my RSS feed

One of the unintended effects of automating the posting of blog post links to Mastodon has led to the fix of a long standing issue I had with my RSS feed. As seems to be a recurring theme with running this blog, the fix was very simple, taught me more about the way Hugo works, and has delivered other benefits too.

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Publishing New Posts to Mastodon

A clipboard with a bullet list of tasks to publish a blog post next to a MacBook
Automation can help reduce the friction when publishing a new post

An thought struck me when browsing Mastodon yesterday - how can I automate the posting of a link to my new blog posts on my Mastodon account? While this took me on something of a journey to find what options exist, the actual solution I landed upon is very straightforward.

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Goodbye Friend

A cinema light box showing the words "Goodbye Friends"
Is this goodbye?

I discovered that the Hello Friend theme I am currently using will no longer be maintained. The repository was archived on 10 June 2023. This leaves me with a decision to make.

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Verification on Mastodon

Two mobile phones showing the Mastodon website
Mastodon is a free, open-source decentralized social media platform with nice people

With the demise of 3rd party Twitter clients such as Tweetbot (and with it my use of Twitter itself), I’ve started using Mastodon as an alternative. One of the capabilities it offers is verification of links added to your profile. There are a couple of ways to do this, and I’ve settled on what I think is a nice clean method.

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A sample of analytics from GoatCounter
GoatCounter is an open source privacy-friendly web analytics platform

I haven’t really told anyone about this blog as it’s more of a project to give me somewhere to do something technical rather than a place I want to drive traffic to. Even so, as I write more content, it would be nice to see more traffic arrive organically at the site. To track how this grows over time, I’ve enabled GoatCounter on the site…

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Font Awesome

Font Awesome Icons
The clue is in the name!

While in the process of writing my (currently unpublished) About page, one of the things I wanted to add were icons for the links to my various social media profiles. I could add these as images, but I figured it might be cool to add Font Awesome to the blog. Turns out it’s actually very simple to do…

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Archetypes Are Really Useful

Person Using a Cookie Cutter
Having an easily repeatable pattern removes friction from a task

One of the reasons I feel have failed to blog at all over the past 4 years is that the barrier to entry was too high. Rather than focusing on writing content, I would spend lots of time trying to remember how to use the tools, get frustrated, and give up. Some of this friction can be removed with a handy Hugo feature called Archetypes.

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Sweating the Small Stuff - Part 1

A sign saying sweat
Sweating the small stuff makes all the difference

I am much more enthusiastic about this site since the theme change! I would say it satisfies about 95% of what I would have created myself had I the skills to do so!

There are a few things I would like to change to take care of that final 5%. Here’s how I tackled a couple of them.

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Site Updates

It’s been a long time since I updated this site! Almost exactly 4 years in fact. I wasn’t totally happy with how the site looked which lead to a bizarre case of not really wanting to update it at all. I’ve finally had a little downtime to perform some updates and I’m much happier! Here’s what I changed…

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