gist.io: writing for hackers

About gist.io

There's a scale of permanence to writing on the web. On one end, we have the tweet: brief and ephemeral. On the other end of the scale, we have longform blog writing: unlimited in length and hopefully impervious to the passage of time.

Sometimes, we just want to share a bit of writing that is neither. Maybe we want to write for a specific audience, but don’t want to address the people who usually read our blogs. Maybe it’s just something that doesn’t fit into 140 characters.

For these situations, even setting up a Tumblr seems like too much effort. Pastebins are great, but the reading experience sucks in general, and particularly on mobile devices.

Gist.io is a solution for that, inspired by Mike Bostock’s delightful bl.ocks.org.


  1. Create a public gist on Github with one or more Markdown-syntax files.
  2. Note the gist ID number. It’s usually a longish number like 29388372.
  3. View your writing presented nicely at gist.io/gist-id-here

Be lazy like me and drag the gist.io bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar. Click it when you’re on a gist page, and it will take you to the corresponding gist.io page. Click it when you aren’t on a gist page, and it will append gist.io links to every gist link it finds on the page.


Right now the service supports writing, and that's it. The gist's description field will be used as the title for your writing. You should structure your writing such that the highest-level heading is an H2, as the post title will be a first-level heading. Check out the example post for more clues on what you can and should do when writing for gist.io. If you run into something broken, or your markup isn't rendering, file a ticket with the gist id.

Happy writing!

Idan Gazit

Web / Twitter / Github