How to approve curated content for publishing

Social media is exhausting.

I know that the position I hold here isn’t unique. You might even share a similar view. The truth is, I have social media to thank for a few things:

  1. something like 96% of the people reading this were connected with what I’m doing because of Twitter

  2. I worked at a social media company for 8 years, starting in 2012

  3. a good chunk of my community has been forged thanks to either #1 or #2

That sorta makes it a necessary evil then.

I guess the moral of the story is that there is a beneficial utility to it all, but many things can be true at once and that utility can lose its value as new effects take hold.

I believe that deliberate and intentional connections will continue to be facilitated by social media platforms. These platforms will evolve and adapt based on what they believe is right and true. (What’s right and true will also continue to evolve, so watch out.) You’ve probably heard about how you’re merely renting an audience on social. I believe that to be pretty damn accurate and a core motivation in building building WTF NO CODE.

Put differently, my newsletters and my freelance business are the destination. Social media content ends up being the mile markers, directional signs, and billboards scattered along the way to the destination.

Sign Road GIF by Glass Animals


Setting aside the fact that Aza Raskin, the inventor of social media’s infinite scroll hates what he’s done, we’ll index on the utility benefits of social media content and build a way to:

  1. harvest and curate content for social media

  2. schedule that content for publishing

  3. pull in the URL of your published content

Each of these aspects of what we’re building can also be used further. For instance, if you run something like a job board you might want to publish recently added jobs to Twitter or Instagram. For that, all you’d have to do is add or create the right sort of data to the database before your publish things.

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The edges of what you need should be taking shape. At a tangible level, you’ll want to create an Airtable base with two tables – in our case, one named Harvested Content and the other named Publishing Queue.

Once everything is up and running, the effort you put into creating your social media content will start to resemble what you might already be doing with long-form writing; like in a newsletter or blog post. What you put out there will be far more premeditated and, as a bonus, you’ll start to recognize aspects you can automate even further.

The first thing you’ll want to establish is your publishing cadence. I’ve built things that publish multiple times a day. You may only want to publish once a week. You can change this down the road but to get things started, let’s assume you’ll be publishing content twice per day, every few days.

⚠️ One piece of advice: Conceptually speaking, it’s a good idea to think of your Publishing Queue table in terms of open slots that are available to be populated with content of your choosing. Your chosen cadence has everything to do with the open slots in your publishing queue so if you want to dial that up or down, it’s as simple as adding or removing open slots.

With that in mind you’ll want to make a point to design and lockdown your workflow. Personally, I compartmentalize things as much as possible so I can benefit from a little focus. I’ll typically spend about 15 mins each morning harvesting content from emails, blogs I follow and folks worth following on Twitter. Airtable’s Web Clipper is the least disruptive way of gathering the content you want to share on social.

In the case of Podcast Delivery, I also let people submit content via a form, which I cover in DROP #1.

With that out of the way, you’re going to want to establish some sort of mechanism that lets you approve content; moving it from your harvested content queue and into a queue focused on publishing to your social networks.

That boils things down to two themes – harvesting and publishing – both of which will be powered by their own automations.


With a reliable way of harvesting content in place, it’s worth thinking about things like the themes or groups you might want to draw around similar content. I’d also consider the destination social networks your content might be suitable for. After all, what you publish on Twitter doesn’t necessarily work on Instagram.

Let’s pull it all together.

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