How I collect & create bookmarks

I have been collecting bookmarks for quite a while, as you read this there are 902 of them, which shocks me, they really build up fast. What I haven’t done yet is explain how I collect them and how they end up on this site.

Ethos

Describing my ethos properly is probably another post by itself, but if I find something delightful, engaging, interesting, beautiful or useful it will probably make it into my list.

One rule that I do have is that I can only add something to the list once, which can be a bit limiting if somebody does a great redesign of their website.

Sources

I have a few places that I find my bookmarks, the best one being the many RSS feeds that I am subscribed to. My favourites are:

I often browse a few websites that I have saved as Safari bookmarks. Some of my favourites are:

I also find a few of my bookmarks by scrolling Mastodon, and sometimes my lovely coworkers will share something in Slack that I find interesting too.

Sometimes I even just stumble upon things by myself, if you can believe it.

Method

I usually spend a Sunday morning browsing through all my feeds, websites and accounts to find new links to bookmark, it’s a bit like reading the Sunday newspaper. I use my trusty iPad to do this.

Once I find a link to bookmark I will store it in Drafts to work on later. I will also keep note of the place I found the link, so that I can credit them.

When I next find time and I’m working at my desk I will sort through my links in Drafts and begin adding them into my extra-special-custom-made CMS.

The first step is to open the Raycast extension I built, it allows me to enter all the bookmark details and save them to a database as a draft, to be edited or published later.

My custom Raycast extension that I use to create bookmarks.
My custom Raycast extension that I use to create bookmarks.

A few notes on the extension:

Later I can open the other Raycast command which I use to manage the bookmarks, and publish them. In the screenshot below you see that it displays all the saved content with handy indicators for unpublished bookmarks. From here I can tap a keyboard shortcut to publish or delete the drafts as needed.

My custom Raycast extension that I use to managea draft bookmarks.
My custom Raycast extension that I use to managea draft bookmarks.

Once published the new bookmarks will appear on the bookmarks page the next day – I publish my website every morning, automatically.

Back-end

The bookmarks system backend is a simple app written using Hono, which is a more modern equivalent to Express (which is how the first version was built). It makes it easy to write a CRUD style API to list, create, edit, and delete bookmarks. The API is hosted on cloudflare as a serverless worker.

For a database the bookmarks system uses cloudflare D1, which is a nice wrapper around SQLite.

Front-end

As I’ve shown above I add, publish, and edit bookmarks using Raycast.

This website is built with Eleventy, my favourite way to build a website. Eleventy makes it easy to grab the bookmarks data, adding a JavaScript file to the data folder that exports an object is all that is needed.

Once the data is fetched I then display the bookmarks using a Nunjucks template for the markup.

No client side JavaScript is exported, just plain HTML.


That’s pretty much it. That’s my DIY approach to collecting links a putting them on this website. You can browse all the bookmarks at /bookmarks, you can also find the RSS, and JSON feed to subscribe to them on that page too.

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