How to summarize and classify content for your local newsletter


So I got things wired up and working in WTF NO CODE DROP #10 so I can pull in as much news content about a specific city as possible, once a day. This means you could send a daily email and include as many of the relevant links as you want.

You can also dial all of that up or down depending on what you want to achieve.

The thing I’ve discovered about local newsletters is that it’s largely a volume game. By that, I mean you have to cast a wide net and pull together as much content as possible, summarize it, classify it, score it, and then publish it.

Optional: Bopin’ It.

At this point, an important assumption is that the Airtable base being used to harvest content is open to multiple sources. You don’t have to keep it to just the content being pulled in from Inoreader. In fact, it probably makes sense to anticipate a world where you let people submit content via a form on your website and have it land in this same Airtable database.

For now, let's assume that content from anywhere on the internet can land in your Airtable base and that you want to summarize it for your subscribers.


I've mentioned this before, but it's worth reiterating – we’re drinking from a firehose with this project. They're simply isn't enough time to read the articles that I'll be sourcing so we're going to do three very distinct things as we determine whether an article is relevant enough to include in the newsletter.

I need this system to:

  1. summarize the content of the news articles

  2. tag articles based on content

  3. score articles based on a given criteria

We’ll be spending lots of time with OpenAI’s API!

Let’s take a look.

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Part 1 (✔️)

Part 2

Part 3


Remember, we're still chasing the ultimate goal of automating a local newsletter. A big motivation for this is that newsletter operators have to wear a ton of hats and context switch frequently. Eliminating a repetitive task can let you focus on other higher value things like subscriber acquisition, ad sales, or content creation.

In each of those categories, you want to make it so that data and content come to you, instead of you going to it.

That's just what comes together here.

When all is said and done, you'll have a system in place that not only finds relevant content for you but ensures that the most appropriate content is filtered to the top so you can easily add it to your newsletter.

You're no longer sourcing content, your approving content that is automatically sourced for you.


As you pull more and more content together, and as you publish more more of that summarized content for your subscribers, it isn't a terrible idea to cross reference your own published content.

Why? In theory you want to do this sort of thing in order to create consistency for things like tone, spelling style, and nomenclature. I can imagine this being especially helpful if more than one person is involved in curating and summarizing the content you publish.

And while we’re at it, maybe we lay the groundwork for creating audio summaries too 🤷‍♂️

All of that is for later. Let’s go to the now.

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