David tweeted to me the other day to point out a problem with my automated Flipboard posting.
@web_goddess I reckon your Flipboard script might need some more work. Keep seeing the Personal Branding link.
â€” dead gar (@gilmae) July 23, 2014
To be honest, I’d spotted that one myself previously but chose to ignore it simply because I didn’t think many people were still reading the blog. But never let it be said I don’t listen to my audience! His tweet was just the prompt I needed to fix up my script.
You’ll recall from before that I’ve been using Pocket as an intermediary to Flipboard. I’m a lazy coder, so I was basically just scraping the previous day’s posts from the RSS feed Pocket publishes for my account. There are two problems with that approach:
- My Pocket account fills up with saved articles, and I don’t know if there’s any limit to how many they’ll let you store. So I had to periodically go in and clean it out.
- Certain stories kept appearing at the top of my RSS feed, even though I’d saved them days ago. I believe this is because Pocket had subsequently flagged them as “trending” (which I could see with a little badge when I went to Pocket) and somehow that kept bumping them up the list.
So I bit the bullet today and replaced the RSS script with one that uses the official Pocket Developer API. Now every day my script retrieves my list of items, constructs a blog post out of them, and then deletes each one from my account. Pretty sweet, huh? That takes care of both problems. I’m happy.
Note: I’m still a lazy coder though, so rather than implement proper OAuth (when I’m the only user), I instead found this StackOverflow question with a helpful comment that pointed me to this handy tool. After you create your app in Pocket and get your consumer key, just plug it in there, authorise your app, and retrieve your access key. Easy peasy!