Saturday, February 6, 2021

Streamlining content-gathering

This week's Congress Update took more than half the day today—much longer than normal, though not unprecedented. It was a busy, long, complicated and late week in Congress. (The Congressional Record for Friday still hasn't published as of this writing.)

Accordingly, I spent the bulk of the rest of the day dialing back or fine-tuning my IFTTT applets to streamline my content-gathering. Several sources were redundant and eliminated. For the first time, I started to get more specific about how I used some sources in particular. For instance, Roll Call I only want to watch for committee coverage. From Fox News I added a preliminary filter for content about votes, then the Congress headline filter. The Hill is still my most useful source. Several others remain as well.

In some ways, I don't always know what experience I'm giving people in that I have images and JavaScript turned off, so I don't usually see all the ads, auto-play videos and other obnoxiousness that is reading in a browser these days.

I recently decided to run a few daily local links through a formatting filter that makes for a much better and simpler reading experience. The internet is better in text.

Text can be colorful, too. A lot of my IFTTT content goes into a Google Sheet which extensively color-codes headlines and Tweets according to words in and beginning the text using conditional formatting. It's very useful.

A long time ago I used text files in Dropbox, but that was a lot more work and a lot less easy to use.

In Sheets, I just use a column at the end of the row to add a number code for the category into which I want that headline to go. Most get an X to head to the round file later. I copy the contents of another sheet that has headings for each category. Then, the sorting of the files automatically groups all the related headlines together with headings ready to go.

Yes, Google Sheets is a more useful HTML editor than Blogger is these days. Google's right hand doesn't know what its left hand is doing.

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