Today I built a thing to allow me to get photos from my phone to this website without much manual intervention. I’ve dubbed it Timstagram.
Check out Timstagram
There are photos on my iPhone I don’t really want to upload to Instagram.
Part 1 - iOS Shortcut
I created an iOS Shortcut to take a photo from my camera roll, and send it through some wires and oceans finally reaching my website.
I hadn’t really explored Shortcuts too much since their release but I’m suitably impressed and already I’m thinking of all the things I can do with them going forward. The shortcut is too large to screenshot in its entirety, but it does a few things:
- ✅ Prompts me for a photo from my camera roll
- ✅ Does a bunch of transformations on it, eventually ending up as base64
- ✅ Asks me for a caption
- ✅ Beams that juicy info up to my remote function
- ✅ Shows a local success or failure notification
Not the whole configuration, but the good bits:
Part 2 - Netlify Function
At this point in time, this website is built with Hugo - meaning it’s basically a bunch of static HTML files. It’s also hosted on Netlify, meaning I’m able to take advantage of Netlify Functions.
I built an endpoint (a lambda if we’re being fancy) to process the information from the shortcut, and commit a blog post to my blog posts repo using GitHub’s API.
What this means is: each time I want to upload a photo to this website, I essentially have to make a code change and add the image as a blob to the repo, and re-deploy the website on Netlify for it to appear.
Check out the code for the function here
Part 3 - The Future?
I really like the idea of reclaiming ownership over my content, and I’m hoping to push forward with it and start using this website as a place to keep things as well as on the large centralised social networks. Perhaps I’ll start looking at integrating some IndieWeb stuff here at some point too.