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Auto Generating Jekyll Posts that Redirect to Medium

I’m making quite heavy use of the jekyll-redirect-from plugin. This allows me to create a normal apge or post file with a special frontmatter item and have the page 301 redirect to the specified URL. I’m already using this to forward URLs like <> to Notion, but I also want to use it for blog posts that I’ve written elsewhere.

I’ve recently written an article for Delocate, and I can quickly add that to this site by creating a file in _posts called with the following frontmatter.

title: Not all communication needs a definite purpose
redirectURL: ''
platform: delocate

The post will behave totally normally as far as Jekyll is concerned, but instead of rendering the empty body, it will 301 redirect to the specified URL.

Although I’d like to move all my medium posts over to this site in the end, that’s a big job. So for now I want to create a file like this for every medium post I’ve written. Creating 40 of these files by hand isn’t very appealing, so I whipped up a quick ruby script to do it for me.

I started out trying to parse medium’s RSS feed but it doesn’t include all the posts, so I’m using medium’s private API instead. The script hits the medium API, extracts the data I need into an array and then loops over it creating a correctly formatted file for each post. It lives in scripts so I can run it whenever I want with ruby ./scriipts/generate_medium_forwards.rb to pull any new medium articles in.(If the whole Medium class seems like overkill, it’s because I based this on some old code that was more reusable.) Here’s the code…

This worked a treat and I only had one hiccup: I spend far too long trying to work out why many of the articles had identical published_at dates before I eventually realised that I needed the firstPublishedAt value rather than the publishedAt one – the latter gets updated every time the post is edited and re-published.