With a few searches, you can find articles stating that over 1 billion websites exist on the web. Of these, about 150 million are blogs. And of these, about 75 million are WordPress blogs. What does this mean? While not all of them might be active, this does suggest that millions want to express their own unique voice in the world.

TRIRIGAFEEDIA might’ve started as an experiment. But like an addictive hobby or collection, it’s been an obsession too. Even 17 months later in May 2016. So how do I do it? How do I stay obsessed? How do I keep feeding its endless appetite? First, it might be more helpful to begin with how I built it, before I dive into how I feed it.

  • 1. I created a new blog with my existing WordPress account, and created a new Twitter account as its companion.
  • 2. I signed up for a Feedly account to collect all of the source feeds I can find, and automatically get notifications of new activity.
  • 3. I signed up for a Twitterfeed account to automatically feed my published WordPress posts into linked Twitter tweets.
  • 4. I created a new Facebook community page to manually feed selected links to my more-interesting WordPress posts.
  • 5. I kept it a secret for the first 6 months. In fact, part of the experiment was growing it organically without artificial “Visit me!” posts.

That’s about it. That’s how a simple brainstorm turned into an experimental reality. But how do I feed it? How long does it take? What’s my process? Well, here it is.

  • 1. Each day, I check my Feedly stream for any new notifications. I filter out any duplicate or unrelated articles. For example, if I have 24 new items on a given day, I might end up with 12 items after filtering them.
  • 2. For each article that remains, (a) I create a new WordPress post, (b) copy, paste, and cleanup the content, (c) link it to its source, (d) add its related tags and categories, (e) set the same approximate date and time as its source, and (f) publish it. Although I try not to spend too much time on grammar cleanup, I definitely want the post to look presentable on my blog, especially for email subscribers. For example, if I have 12 items, I might average 20 minutes per post, or spend a total of 4 hours.
  • 3. For each published post or group of posts, I refresh my Twitterfeed check to ensure that the tweets are generated on Twitter. Occasionally, Feedly will grab new items in a sequence that doesn’t match the chronological sequence of the source articles. So, if I need to backdate and publish posts older than my newest posts, then depending on how often I refresh my Twitterfeed, I’ll need to enter a few tweets manually.
  • 4. For the more-interesting posts, I manually post links on Facebook. In this case, the Facebook page is intended as a highlight stream. So I alternate between posts with images and posts without images.
  • 5. To widen my audience, I occasionally find and follow new Twitter accounts in the technology industry. Or I follow them back if they followed my account first. In this case, Twitter seems best suited for this exchange. So I don’t follow WordPress or Facebook accounts.
  • 6. At the start of each month, I post the top ten TRIRIGAFEEDIA posts of the previous month. Not only does this summary encourage new insights, I believe it helps new readers and subscribers to adjust their own expectations of this blog and its community.
  • 7. At any point during this process, I also keep an eye out for any connections or insights I might find. For example, if a new article that I’m posting today addresses a similar issue from one or more articles that I posted last year, then I’ll add related links to those old posts.

Finally, how do I stay obsessed? If this entire process can easily consume 10-20 hours per week, on top of my regular work week, almost every week for 17 months, how do I avoid burnout? Well, I can’t pretend to say it’s easy. On the contrary, it’s a relentless challenge. So, if I keep doing this, am I hoping for something? Am I waiting for DITA-XML to finally fall? Maybe. But for now, it doesn’t feel like work.

[Note: In December 2014, I created the WordPress blog and Twitter account. In June 2015, I created the Facebook page. In October 2016, I deactivated the Twitter account due to the glaring political censorship which is leading its company to collapse. In April 2018, I deactivated the Facebook page for the same reason. Gray text denotes this change.]

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