A question came up today about something I’ve been doing for years but never adequately explained. In addition to this blog (which contains long-form articles written by me), I also maintain two other link blogs: Symlinks.Tumblr.Com is my collection of interesting tech articles, and SFoskett.Tumblr.Com is for non-technical “Good Reads”.
2022 Update: I don’t think anyone follows me on Tumblr, but you can follow my Symbolic Links on Mastodon!
In UNIX file systems, a symbolic link is a “pointer” to a file somewhere else. Likewise, my “Symbolic Links” blog contains pointers to interesting technical articles written by other people. You can follow that blog or browse it independently, and I’ve got a running “ticker” of those headlines right here on the front page and sidebar of blog.fosketts.net, too.
My Symbolic Links blog typically contains articles about enterprise storage, virtualization, networking, and similar technical topics. Often these are written by fellow independent writers like me, many of whom come to Tech Field Day. And many of the articles are inspired by Tech Field Day, a fact I take great satisfaction in.
I do most of my blog reading using a combination of Feedbin and Reeder to browse rss feeds. I subscribe to well over 2,000 technical blogs this way, skimming through upwards of 500 articles a day and seriously reading 50 or more. When I find something great, I star it in Reeder, triggering an IFTTT action that adds it to the queue for my Symbolic Links blog in Tumblr.
Everything posted to Symbolic Links goes into my Twitter feed automatically. But not everyone wants to see automatic shares in Twitter, so I tag those with the #SymLink hashtag. Most Twitter clients allow you to filter out posts with a certain hashtag, so people can follow me on Twitter without seeing all those automatic shares.
Did you know you can also follow the Pack Rat Blog on Facebook?
I’m not just a techie, though. I also love reading a wide variety of material covering politics, world events, science, entertainment, and just plain oddball stuff! All that goes into a separate Tumblr blog I call “Good Reads”.
As you might guess, these links are shared on Twitter using the #GoodRead hashtag. They’re also shared on my Facebook account (which I use only for close personal friends and family) and which doesn’t get the Symlinks.
I tend to do most of my long-form reading in Instapaper. When I find something I want to spend time reading, I’ll save a copy there. Then I can really devote my mind to it when I have time. Anything I “heart” in Instapaper goes into the Good Reads queue. I also frequently manually add items to that Tumblr.
I’ve been told that my shares drive traffic to the blogs I read. I’m thrilled that I can share great writing with you in this way, and I hope you find it valuable! But just in case you don’t, I hope you’ll take advantage of the fact that I filter these posts for you into “Symbolic Links” and “Good Reads” so you’ll find it easier to ignore them.