Travis Ennis

Media Diets

Earlier this month, Jason Kottke published his recent media diet. I have always wanted to do something like this. As I said last week I have a habit of tracking what I find interesting, so keeping track of what I read, listen to, and watch seems right up my alley. Personally, I don't really need to publish my ratings and reviews of everything, but I would like to see what held my attention over time, so that I can look back and see what I was reading or listening to a year or two ago. I've already been doing this to some degree. For books, I have used Goodreads for years (although their recent decision to deprecate their API means I will probably need to look for an alternative). For movies, I use Letterboxd. For music, I use Spotify. What that leaves out are articles and podcasts. Over time I have used both Instapaper and Pocket for articles, but neither has stuck largely because those kinds of services become catchalls for everything I might potentially find interesting. They require a great amount of time and discipline keeping under control. For podcasts, I use Overcast although it doesn't do anything in terms of tracking of what I've listened to and when. I'm not sure there is a podcast player that does so, although I'd be interested to learn I'm wrong.

Earlier this week, I started playing around with Pinboard as place where I can send links for everything above. Finish a podcast? Post it to Pinboard with the tag, listened. Finish a TV series, post it to under the tag watched. It seems like it could work because it is easy to post to Pinboard from both my phone and my laptop, but I'll have to keep messing with it to see for sure. What I ultimately would like to accomplish is some way to make this all automatic. If I listen to a podcast then it automatically gets posted to Pinboard. I already use IFTTT so it might be possible, but the biggest hurdle is that not all of the services have integrations. But, if you dig around you might find a hidden RSS feed still lurking. The fact that could break anytime is just part of it. It is unfortunate that we generate all of this data about ourselves all over the internet, but have very little in terms of tools for collecting and aggregating that data for ourselves under our own care. In the meantime, for those of use willing to spend some time gluing multiple services together, you can get part of the way there and sometimes that challenge is fun in itself.

You've found yourself on the site of Travis Ennis, a software engineer who lives in Indiana. If you'd like, you can contact me.