Blogging your photos

Colin Devroe started microblogging on his own site, with separate sections for statuses and photos:

“I want to post content to my own personal site and not through closed social networks — because I want to keep control of everything I create forever. […] This doesn’t mean that I won’t be posting to Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, but that everything that I post there will originate here on my site.”

It’s the photos and their RSS feed that caught my attention. Others have done this too, but for some reason I rarely post photos here on my own site. I’ve stuck with using Instagram instead.

I need to change that. I do like the Instagram app, though, so I’m going to keep using it. I’ll just copy the photos over to my site as well, and I’ll use Workflow on iOS to help automate it. The basic steps are:

  • After posting the photo on Instagram, copy the caption to the iOS clipboard. This will be the title of the blog post.
  • Select the Instagram-edited image in the Photos app and run the workflow.
  • Workflow makes a filename based on the title, with some simple substitutions. Lowercase, spaces become underscores, and drop some characters.
  • Transmit gets launched and I confirm the upload to my own server.
  • Workflow creates a WordPress blog post with an img tag and the relevant metadata.

It’s not bad. You can see the workflow here. I’ve uploaded a bunch of my most recent Instagram photos this way. I’m not sure whether I’ll go back and mirror all the old ones.

These photos live under a new Photos category. I’ve excluded this category from the main RSS feed that I use for cross-posting, so they won’t automatically go to Twitter. You can continue to follow me on Instagram if you prefer that.