Added a microblog to my blog

My blog has a microblog now!

The first week I ever did RC, I posted quick, unpolished journal entries without thinking about it too hard. As time slogged on, I inevitably polished my posts to be more and more explanatory, socratic, and user-facing. As a result, my blog is pretty sparse because my journal notes don’t make the cut I have started to hold myself to for whatever reason.

Inspired by the ease of Obsidian’s daily notes plugin, which simply spawns a new note titled with today’s date, I implemented a similarly low-friction daily notes feature for my blog, and moved over my old unpolished journal entries to it.

Jekyll “magic” wrangling

As a reminder, Jekyll is the Ruby-based blog-generation framework that Github Pages will auto-serve for you, and it’s what I use to generate this blog.

There are multiple magic ways to create a new category of auto-collected blog posts in Jekyll. Two of the most relevant options in my case were “categories” and “collections”.

I’m keeping these in scare quotes to emphasize that these are Jekyll terms that come bundled with magic Jekyll implications and effects, which get you running quickly but can also bite you in very confusing ways if you don’t understand what they are doing under the hood. (Such a very Ruby approach.)

1. “categories”

Create a new directory with a _posts subdirectory in it, e.g. microblog/_posts, and Jekyll will auto-collect any files matching its “post” detection rules.

The resulting “posts” (this is also a Jekyll Thing) will be collected into the superset of site posts, annotating microblog (or whatever you named your top-level directory) as a member of post.categories.

2. “collections”

Pages live in an underscore-prefixed folder, e.g. _microblog. They don’t have to conform to Jekyll “post” rules.

This requires a small addition to your _config.yml.

include: ["microblog"]
    output: true
    permalink: /:collection/:path/

Again, note that although the “collection” name is microblog, the directory name, _microblog, must be prefixed with an underscore. This is a Jekyll “magic” assumption.

I used “collections” rather than “categories” because, to minimize daily note friction, I wanted it to be ok to have daily note filenames that were simply the datestamp, e.g. and nothing else. Jekyll “posts” must include additional words in the filename, e.g.

Spawning a new daily note

To minimize friction, I made a simple bash script that opens a new daily note, either titled simply with today’s datestamp (, or with an optional addendum ( if needed for either deduplication or just for fun.

Not much of interest here, but here are a few bash fun facts.