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Unearth Diary #02: How Does It Work

This is the second in a series of articles where I discuss my long-time side project, Unearth. Topics will include the motivation behind building Unearth, what it is, how it works, and the technology powering the service to name a few. Check back often for future updates.

Unearth is a service that sends users a personalized newsletter with a handful of their Reddit saves at the frequency of their choice. Read the first article in this series to get a better understanding of what Unearth is.

New users can join by visiting the Unearth homepage: www.tryunearth.com.

From there, signing up is as simple as clicking the "Get Started" button. This authenticates users via Reddit using the OAuth 2 protocol and authorizes Unearth to use their Reddit information (namely, their Reddit id, username, and saved things).

Assuming they've never joined Unearth before, users are then walked through a simple three-step onboarding process. This consists of gathering their email, preferred frequency for newsletters (daily, weekly, or monthly), and finally, syncing their Reddit saves with Unearth. Even with a thousand saved items, this entire process is very quick, usually taking less than a minute.

Once onboarding is complete, users are:

  1. sent their first Unearth newsletter containing five of their saved things
  2. displayed the date of their first scheduled newsletter

From this point on, users do not need to do anything else. Depending on the preferred frequency, they will either receive their scheduled newsletters every day, every Monday, or every 15th of the month. Again, these Unearth newsletters are personalized, containing only links that they themselves have saved.

If a user would like to update their email or frequency preference or delete their account and all associated data entirely, they can do so by visiting the Account page.

Example Unearth Account page
Screenshot of the Account page.

The main focus of Unearth is tackling the issue of rediscovering and managing saved content. As such, the current features may seem minimal but they are doing the trick.

Potential features to come:

  • unsaving things automatically, either:
    • when clicking a link in the newsletter
    • when the thing itself is surfaced (added to a newsletter)
    • never (manual unsave via Reddit)
  • newsletter previewer (to see the below email options):
    • include thumbnails
    • show/hide Reddit post self-text
    • show/hide nsfw content
  • browser-viewable emails/newsletter
  • browser extensions of Unearth to inject saved content into Reddit main feed
  • up-to-date syncs with Reddit (limited or manual usage for free accounts, automatic backups/syncs as a premium feature)

Stay tuned for the next post where I dive into the various tech used to power Unearth. Until next time!

If Unearth sounds like something you would find useful, sign up today and give it try. I would love to hear your thoughts about the service and any other questions or comments you may have.

Cedric Amaya

Written by Cedric Amaya, a software engineer who enjoys occasionally taking a break from coding to write about what is on his mind. You should follow him on Twitter.