The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Bill Gates

TL;DR: You can automatically create social media posts from specific Hugo blog posts using tags, RSS, and either IFTTT or Just point the automation to the tag-specific RSS link:

IFTTT setup

Once you know this trick, you can set it up in one click. Keep reading for the long boring saga of how I figured that out.

This seemed really easy. Like 1 click easy. Part of my hatred for web development is that there are so many of these types of workflows that should be really easy, but aren’t because of some developer’s arbitrary decision, or because of their employer’s business model. I was hoping to find a quick and easy way to automatically share my Hugo blog posts on social media.

Hugo already builds RSS feed and post summaries automatically. How hard can it be to tweet those? Or post them on LinkedIn? I thought I could do it for free, in one click, with IFTTT. I could using this IFTTT recipe, but then realized that this would post every single Hugo blog post to my LI profile. I wanted control over which blog posts would become social posts.

IFTTT can filter by keyword, but they don’t document how the logic works and I don’t want a keyword query - I want a reliable logical filter. IFTTT can’t scrape sites and CloudFlare blocks their bots anyways.

I separately looked into using either GitHub Actions or CloudFlare Workers, but they seemed too tricky for what should be a simple workflow. (Remember: I hate webdev)

Then I thought: maybe I’m not finding anything because I use DuckDuckGo. I tried searching again for a solution with Google and found (formerly Integromat). Despite vaguely remembering that I hated Integromat, I was willing to give it a try.

Unlike IFTTT, shows you what is going on inside the query/IF action. Now I could see the content it was scraping from RSS. I realized I could pass a tag to Hugo’s RSS template to trigger social sharing. For example the tag “LI” would mean I want to repost on LinkedIn. This was an important clue.

Hugo automatically generates RSS feeds for tag pages. After some trial and error, I figured out how to target the RSS feed for a specific tag.

Or, my very explicit working example:

Ultimately, after a few hours of fumbling around, I got automated social sharing working in one click. Use this recipe to do it for free with IFTTT. Here’s a RSS to LinkedIn template for Make as well. This experience got me excited to explore more - it looks like they’ve improved the UX since Integromat and the pricing is reasonable.