org2blog

Posted by Ezra Glenn on February 18, 2012
Code

For those of you who’ve noticed that I’ve started being a more active blogger over the last few weeks, there’s a good explanation: I’ve discovered org2blog.

Given that I try to live as much of my life as possible in emacs (or at least as much of my virtual life as possible), org2blog is a godsend. Using the emacs’ excellent org-mode has already revolutionized my writing, coding, and the way I organize my time and my projects, and now – through this intuitive and clever extension — it is helping organize my blog activity as well.

Others (for example, here and here have already written extensively on the how and the why of org2blog: basically, you install org-mode (already built-in to most modern emacsen), load a few more special .el files, and with a little customization you’re good to go.

The real magic, however, comes in the use of org-mode to bring order to the chaos of your thoughts, so that blog posts are planned, scheduled, and reflective – and the resulting blog is actually organized and structured (as opposed to the random “shopping lists of my thoughts” model).

Thus, as I write to you in these little bite-size missives, I’m actually in the process of composing a much larger oeuvre – a well-formatted .org document with a robust1 tree-like structure. As ideas occur to me (while on the web, while in my wanderlust email client, while coding in R), I simply hit a quick C-c c and launch a little org-capture buffer to file away my thoughts.

Later, when I have time to blog a bit, I open up citystate.org and see what’s there. The Categories of my blog form the structure (Film, Data, Census, Good Causes, and so on), and below those are subheadings of posts I’ve written, as well as posts to come.

Together, org-mode and org2blog have a ton more features, many of which I’m still just getting to know, but so far I’ve been impressed at how the two both integrate so well with the world of emacs.

Footnotes:

1 Read: overwhelming/daunting.

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