How Very Meta works

Very Meta is a linklog about writing, reading and publishing. It includes articles, videos and podcast episodes, but also, crucially, ‘link posts’, which alert you to interesting, exciting things on other, external websites.

What is a link post?

When you click on a normal blog post title, you are sent to that post’s page on Very Meta. A link post is different because clicking on the title sends you to a page on an external website.

That’s a good thing. It’s what I want you to do. The point of a link post is to share something that I think you need to see. In most cases, alongside the link, I will quote a section of the piece I’m linking to and add my own commentary for extra insight and context.

That’s what I love about this form of blogging. As a reader, you find new and interesting content, but you get my spin on it too. And over time, the whole thing starts to tell its own story.

What does a link post look like?

A link post behaves differently to a normal blog post, so you need to know one when you see one. On Very Meta, link posts are easy to spot. They have blue, underlined titles. All other posts have black, slightly larger titles.

Because link post titles send you to an external site, if you want to access its dedicated page on Very Meta, click the ✤ symbol at the end of the post.

How do link posts work for subscribers?

Subscribing by RSS or email to a website you enjoy is a good idea, especially for linklogs. It means that new content comes to you, rather than you having to check the site itself all the time.

There is something important subscribers need to know. Just like on the site itself, link post titles will take you directly to the article I’m linking to. Those titles are followed by → in your feed reader.

Again, this is a good thing. It means that you don’t have to first click through to this site, and then through to the linked article. You just go straight there.

All other posts will appear and work in the normal way.

What about comments?

You can currently leave a comment on all post types on Very Meta. I’ve considered disabling them on link posts because I’m more than happy for the conversation to take place on the original, external piece. But I’ve seen it done both ways. Let me know if you have any strong opinions.

Are linklogs common?

Well, yes and no. Sort of, but not really.

Yes, because link posts on any Tumblr blog work in the same way. No, because they also have lots of other posts in between, typically images, videos and audio files. Although Very Meta has those things too, it’s not with the same frequency. Very Meta is much more linklog than tumblog.

The technology world is littered with popular linklogs. My favourites include Daring Fireball, Shawn Blanc, 512pixels, and Marco Arment. I don’t know of any other linklogs that cover writing, reading and publishing.

Can I ask you a question?

Of course you can. If none of this makes any sense or if you have any queries at all about the site, just email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.