What's octotype and why do we need it?

Originally published as a GitHub Issue on · 3 minutes read

Why is writing and sharing stories important?

As we approach the advent of AGI (artificial general intelligence), it's becoming increasingly crucial for developers in the tech industry to have an audit trail of their public content and a demonstrable record of their insights. In a world where AGI will analyze vast amounts of data and make decisions faster than humans, we will have to prove the validity and accuracy of our work. An audit trail of public content and a record of insights can provide evidence of the thought processes and research that went into a particular conclusion or decision.

This is especially important in the tech industry, where the pace of change is rapid, and the stakes can be high. Having a clear and transparent record of the decisions and the reasoning behind them is essential. But it's also important to consider the long-term implications of AGI. As AI systems become more advanced, they may be able to analyze and understand our work in a way that humans cannot. That's why it's crucial to take control of our narrative and protect the value of our contributions by keeping an audit trail and record of our insights.

So what can we do to ensure our hard work is recognized and valued by humans and AI systems? Here are a few action items to consider:

  • Start keeping a record of your public content and insights
  • Make sure to document your thought processes and research
  • Regularly review and update your audit trail to ensure accuracy and completeness

How does octotype help?

I find modern blogging platforms for developers such as dev.to and Hashnode very compelling, to the point that I have been a user for years. However, with all the tumult going on in the tech industry these days, I wonder how my audit trail of stories would survive if these platforms, for whatever reason, have to close down.

But wait, does it mean we should build our personal blogs and sites for storytelling from now on? Not quite. I think owning your content is super important, but there is a considerable gap between owning it and publishing it to share with others. Not everyone has the time, money, or energy to run their personal blog; yet everyone takes and shares notes.

That's where octotype can help. Developers can take notes and tell stories as GitHub issues, and octotype will publish those issues automatically as shareable blog posts. Yes, that's precisely what you think: octotype uses GitHub Issues as CMS. GitHub's Issue management system gives developers all they need to create and manage content behind the scenes: they are very familiar with it, and it's easy to use, and widely adopted. It has an out-of-the-box API with an excellent free tier. It's just perfect!

How is this good?

First of all, GitHub Issues gives us a distributed content management system out of the box. You can write your notes, tell your stories using markdown, and share them when you are ready. Yes, you can still share the GitHub issue link itself, but not everyone is a developer who enjoys GitHub's user experience. That's why octotype presents your content in a readable, mobile-friendly format to share with the rest of the world.

I know what you are thinking, GitHub could even close down! Although that's unlikely, you still own your content as a personal Git repository, and maybe in the future, there will be so many blogging platforms you can plug your repository into. That's the power of portability and distribution for content management.

What are the main features of octotype?

  • First, you can go from idea to Web publication in less than two minutes. All you need to do is create an octotype repo for your user, create an issue with the published label, and that's all. You're ready to share your stories via the Web with others.

  • Second, you get the same collaboration experience as GitHub Issues, with your issue comments and reactions displayed on the Web. Note that octotype's User Experience is simple by design, as it's intended to supplement the vast number and excellent GitHub communication capabilities. Do you want to follow a new developer? Do it on GitHub. Do you want to be notified about comments on your blog post? Go to GitHub notifications. And so on.

  • Third, bring your own publishing workflow. You can automatically create new GitHub Issues as part of your CI/CD process and immediately publish them as blog posts. Or you can create new GitHub issues using GitHub CLI and never leave the terminal. Or you can use GitHub UI on the Web or the Desktop. You own your content, and you own your publication mechanism.

  • And fourth, octotype is fast, as most of the content is pre-rendered using Next.js on Vercel. I will share more technical details about the design behind the platform in a future blog post.

I hope this new blog platform fosters collaboration and storytelling amongst developers so we can all share and learn from each other. As you will notice, simplicity is a fundamental design principle of octotype, so give it a go, test it, and help refine it.

Happy writing!

Comments (1)


This is cool