The other day I experienced the limits of what automation can deliver and realized that not all tasks are best done in an automated fashion. Some tasks need that manual touch to get done properly.

At the start of the I got back on the writing bandwagon and published another of my muddled thoughts a couple of days ago. Being a lazy guy, I have App.net’s Broadcast setup that takes my daily posts from the RSS feed and publishes them to App.net and to my email subscribers. One of the reasons I done this is that I would ordinarily forget to do it.

This morning I had the realization that I might just be missing an opportunity here. Automating this sharing process from blog to you the reader is all well and good, but what if at an earlier point I could let you decide whether you want to read this post or not?

A couple of weeks ago I started adding a summary to the beginning of each post. In it I try and condense the gist of the post into a couple of lines. If it’s not for you, you can move on, if you’re interested then you keep on reading.

There was another couple of places though where I could be doing this, and that’s in the original broadcast message and the post to my timeline on App.net. I turned off the automatic posting and sharing of my blog and instead opted to use the intro to the blog post as a brief description on the broadcast. The post which was originally sent to my timeline, doesn’t include the intro and it uses a shortened URL which I don’t want. So as well as using the intro on the new broadcast, I’ll rewrite the intro as a condensed version for posting to my timeline on App.net. I’ll do both of these tasks myself rather than relying on the automation tools to do it for me.

Automation is great for when it’s mundane tasks that can be repeated over and over without interruption, but when we want to tailor that task each time it happens, we need to step in and do the work ourselves. It’s not a bad thing either. Now I get the chance to tweak the broadcast and post in the hopes that I can encourage you to keep reading as well as reaching out to more people.