I just published Alisio, a free and open-source tool that allows bloggers such as myself to easily tweet text-as-image previews of recent posts. The results look like this:

Screenshot of an alisio-generated tweet

It takes a bit of nerdish skill and resources to set up; it has requirements about as complex as those of Jeremy Bernard’s twitch-to-slack, which I wrote about last month*. My adventures with that simple, discoverable, narrow-focused tool helped inspire the creation of this one, which I hope will possess the same positive attributes.

I haven’t performed a rigorous investigation of incoming traffic sources to Fogknife, not since discovering that counting RSS-based users is hard. But I can tell from server logs that I get plenty of hits from social media, including but not limited to the Twitter posts I make after publishing something new here. I’ve long struggled with how to word those tweets — Should I just post the title and a link? Add a word-count? Write a separate micro-summary? — but in the end I am a very lazy person who gets dumb project ideas in the shower. This was my dumb idea yesterday! I hope it pans out, one way or another.

As Alisio’s README notes, it’s very alpha, with all the fragility and inflexibility that implies. I expect that to shake itself out if I find it useful enough to improve. It therefore joins Starble and Plerd as open-source, modestly scoped blogging tools that I created as share-worthy utilities but which I ultimately maintain for my own regular use. Not bad!

* I can add, as a proud aside, that I have contributed to twitch-to-slack since then, cleaning up its documentation in a way that makes my own blog post a bit obsolete…

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