Sunday, May 27, 2012

Org-Mode + t Makes Tweeting Easy

Update 2012-06-04 Mon 00:57

You can download the code from its Github repository.


After yesterday's ranting about Octopress, it occurred to me that while I now own the content of my blog postings, I don't own the content of my tweets. I'm sure that there's some way to convince Twitter to give me my tweets, but why should I rely on them to store my tweets.

The obvious answer is that my tweets should be created on my computer and then sent to Twitter.

It should be noted that I'm not interested in implementing a full Twitter client. There are more than enough of those. I'm interested in having my tweets, or at least the bulk of my tweets, in a simple and easily accessible format.

The Answer Must Be Cheap

While I want to author and store my tweets locally, it is not a high priority task for me. Whatever solution I come up with must add little or no overhead to my tweeting workflow, must be simple to implement, and cannot require ongoing tinkering to keep working.

Being that my relationship with Org Mode is rather simple: The more I learn about it the more of my life I want to be based on Org Mode. Org Mode just seems to make everything easier. So I decided to use Org Mode for the author, publication, and storage of my tweets. The system I'm describing has these properties:

  • It took me just a few hours to design, implement, test, and begin using it for tweeting.
  • Besides not adding overhead to my tweeting, it has made tweeting dramatically simpler.
  • The entire implementation is a single file of elisp that is 120 lines long. 50 of those lines are standard Emacs header comments that are automatically created. The implementation, along with its documentation, is only 70 lines long. While a small code base isn't one of my goals, not needing ongoing tinkering is. It is hard to imagine that 70 lines of code will require too much tinkering.