Have Fun: Mindless Surfing Pulls Easy WordPress Wheaties

Fun to Feast: Mindless Surfing for Easy WordPress Wheaties. (Male Cardinal chasing away a nonbreeding male American Goldfinch. American backyard buddies. Snapped @ Triangle area, NC)

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TL;DR

♦️ Pub: May 25, 2017 | Updated: Aug 29, 2018 | Reading: 3 min. | Words: 1,120 ♦️
Intention: put a few blog posts together. Reality: the web beckons. Ya woulda/ coulda/ shoulda chased procrastination away. Oops! Solution: max your surfing, knowing blog food awaits your discovery. You can even prep a few yummy blog meals during your web ventures.


Caveat

Update: Earlier this year (2018), a WordPress brainiac decided to neuter its Press This bookmarklet. It continued working but pre-filled precious few fields, rendering it functionally irrelevant. Later, a related plugin appeared in the WordPress.org repository. It remains a ghost of its former persona.

The 2017 iteration of this article focused on the then-gem Press This bookmarklet. Given subsequent coding events, I considered marking this article obsolete. But since the dang thing does retain some features, I’ll keep this article in place. After all, plugins see updates, so the muscle may return one day. (A gal can dream, y’all!)

To satisfy my must-be-useful mandate, this refresh adds alternative methods for pulling what’s out there, with an eye toward pushing it into your WordPress post.

General info, such as reason bookmarklet said exist, remains below.

The Power of Bookmarklets

✧︎︎︎ What Is a Bookmarklet?

A standard bookmark is all about traveling. Tapping a bookmark takes you to the underlying website marked by HTML coded plain text, comprising an URL. A bookmarklet is a bookmark on steroids, also plain text. Rather than coding an URL, JavaScript performs a certain task, relying on one or more features of the underlying website. It may transport you to that website, or it may perform a task offered by that website. In both instances, the distinguishing feature remains the performance of the bookmarklet’s designated task, powered by the underlying website. Read: you can drive a car (standard bookmark), or you can drive then exit the car to perform a desired task (bookmarklet).

Bookmarklets eliminate the tedium of frequent chores
Bookmarklets eliminate the tedium of frequent chores

● Example: the PrintFriendly Bookmarklet

For years I subscribed to the top tier offering of EverNote. Profound discontent with that service—the bloat factor, show-stopping formatting woes, annual (hefty!!) pricing increases withOUT new features or cured glitches—pushed me to a bullet journal. Resulting question: how/where to stash saved web pages?

Research led me to PrintFriendly.com, a free resource dedicated to a singular task: convert a web page to PDF, stripping all extraneous matter, i.e. convert a web page into a clean PDF. Bonus: when that PDF file is stashed in Google Drive, its contents are ooo baby! searchable, as is the filename itself.

● One Problem: Installing a Bookmarklet on an iPad/iPhone

Yes, this can be done. The typical method involves saving a standard bookmark, then editing it. One copies the bookmarklet JavaScript coding, then pastes it, replacing the initial URL. While not difficult, the process redefines  tedium.

This gal believes in minimizing headaches where possible, including a fail-safe easy way to install ANY bookmarklet. Once the linked helper is loaded, installing a bookmarklet transforms into a no-fuss one-tap affair. My kinda tool!

✧︎︎︎ The Press This Bookmarklet

You visit a web site. As you read the article, you decide you want to retain a copy. You punch the Press This bookmarklet, activating the process. A new tab opens, showing a partial WordPress editing screen. The content reflects the page url. Sometimes the title also populates the form. Prior reliable goodness (title, etc) now takes a periodic  holiday. Sigh.

In essence, the bookmarklet now simply creates a draft, with the url in the body. You can optionally choose the category and tags.

Surfing the web with the New Sheriff in Town

WordPress killed with one hand (the bookmarklet), yet gave with the other —kinda. WordPress also updated its iOS app. Before, the iOS Share Sheet held a lone WordPress icon. Now, two co-exist. So much for simplicity.

The standard “blue W” WordPress icon appears in the top apps row of the Share Sheet, as usual. The new guy, a black and white iteration of the colorful original, resides within the bottom row. Labeled “Save as draft,” it honors its explicit promise. It saves a draft —a heckuva stingy draft— but a draft.

To my mind this entire scenario can best be summarized as follows: the A+ thinkers left the building, turning over capture-page chores to the C- crew. The former anticipated obvious needs: capture title and whatever text the user highlights, as well as the url. The latter munched potato chips after arranging url capture, then moved on.

My related revised iPad workflow reflects the sad reality WordPress inflicts on us via the <cough>improved </cough> changes. I continue to capture info of interest while surfing, ignoring Press This. I highlight text on the page I want to capture. I open the iOS Share Sheet, choosing Drafts. The page url, title, AND selected text appear. I punch one of 2 buttons provided by Drafts: Capture, or Append.

When I want to post that info, the copy & paste process serves as BFF. To break it down → I copy from a Drafts file then paste into iOS WordPress, or the granddaddy Admin screen. The Modern Editor? Puhleeeeease! To say I despise it is comparable to noting “politicians tend to lack integrity.”

WrapUp

If you’ve stocked your device with worth-your-time capture tools, any web surfing mission easily converts into a blog feeding session. Regrettably, such tools are no longer offered by WordPress ← personal opinion, for the reasons I’ve noted in this article.


Call to Action

  • Your intentions are great, but you falter re implementation as regards feeding worthy content to your blog—on a consistent basis.
  • You’re tired of staring at the still-blank blog editing screen, unable to muster a topic.
  • You have no stash of rough-draft articles to massage into full-blown posts.


Each of these woes is curable. You can continue to complain, or you can position yourself for gain. Positioning =  securing, and mastering, a capture-friendly tool. Bonus: converting a no-true-purpose browsing expedition, into the basis for a blog post, mutes inner critic Poindexter.

Your world, PardNah! Your choice. Why not play Nike, and “just do it!”?

Fun to Feast: Mindless Surfing for Easy WordPress Wheaties. (Male Cardinal chasing away a nonbreeding male American Goldfinch. American backyard buddies. Snapped @ Triangle area, NC)
Fun to Feast: Mindless Surfing for Easy WordPress Wheaties. (Male Cardinal chasing away a nonbreeding male American Goldfinch. American backyard buddies. Snapped @ Triangle area, NC) 4pnterest

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