Apps for super fast Web publishing

Jason Sackey
Apr 26, 2015 · 2 min read

[This content is old and out of date. Lots of broken links. Update for 2018: https://overflow.space/2018/12/10/low-friction-publishing/]

I’ve picked these tools for simplicity, and a quick posting process with a minimal number of steps. The essential criteria: no registration required, so anonymous posting is possible, and it must be accessible through browsers. Some will let you make an account to have greater control over your published work.

  • Pastebin — Particularly useful for source code, since it has syntax highlighting for various programming languages. Less ideal for prose, as it uses a monospace font.
  • privatepaste — like Pastebin, with encryption.
  • PiratePad — anonymous (if you like) realtime collaboration for text documents. Use another service when you’re ready to publish a finished work.
  • Pen.io — Simple, attractive styling suitable for prose. It used to have formatting via Markdown, but that’s gone now. You get a title and body text and that’s it.
  • NoteHub — Markdown with realtime preview plus extra formatting options (fonts, colours), and an API.
  • txti — Spartan super-lightweight presentation, with Markdown formatting.
  • Checkthis — Make ‘social posters’ by dropping in blocks of text, images, and various embeddable widgets like YouTube videos, and PayPal payment forms. Constrained styling options keeps everything looking pretty.
  • TinypasteJust discovered this one. It has formatting tools (with weird BBcode-like markup) but still shows text in monospace for some reason. Its ad-supported business model involves revenue sharing.
  • FearlessBlogging — another one I just found today. Includes search, categories, and comments. You can’t post URLs, and there are links to other people’s posts alongside yours (I much prefer the isolated presentation of other services).

All these services, except Pastebin and Tinypaste are ad-free on content pages. I guess they’re cheap to maintain. Might be a fun side project to make one. Perhaps one for a certain topic, like reviews for games, movies, or books. Or one with an interesting interface (e.g. paste.click is usable via command-line tools.)

Jason Sackey

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systems humanist / web dev