Use shortcodes to embed tweets, videos, etc. in your blogdown blog posts

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Shortcodes are simple snippets inside your content files calling built-in or custom templates. This short post is a shout-out for the blogdown::shortcode() function. Example(s) of blogdown::shortcode() can be found in blogdown book. To learn more about shortcodes visit

Shortcodes make it super easy to embed content in blog posts. Lets say we have a video we want to embed in a post: By adding

```{r, eval=TRUE}
blogdown::shortcode("youtube", "CjTLN-FXiFA")

to our .Rmd file, we get:

How I discovered shortcodes

For some time I have had the routine of (scrolling twitter and) sending tweets holding information I see myself using to my e-mail. For example, I find @rensa_co’s example of dplyr::case_when() and geom_text() to be quite useful:

So I sent it to my (work or personal – I’m not sure which) e-mail with hopes to easily find it in the future. One can experience the pain of the e-mail system after first time really looking for something. One can quickly understand that there must exist a better way. As I was looking for a way to archive all these pearls, I was thinking about devoting a blog post to those tweets. I started by looking for a way to embed twitter cards to blog post written with blogdown. I googeled “how to embed tweet in rmarkdown” which not surprisingly lead me to stackoverflow. This question was answered by Yihui and pointed to the blogdown documentation where I learned about shortcode() function.


After giving the blog post approach a second thought I realized that this is probably not gonna work. It seemed to be too much hassle to update the post manually or figure out how to automate the process. I ended up creating a #rhtwotes (rh – my initials; twote1 – twitter note/quote) and the plan is to retweet things I see myself using with #rhtwotes hashtag. This gives me easy access to my twotes whenever I have internet connections and also simplifies (retweeting is easier than sending an e-mail) note taking part.

For now, using the hashtag system feels quite natural and optimal way to cover my use case. I also ask myself: “How could I use something not as simple as retweeting system before?”. As it often happens, obvious solutions for our problems become obvious only after we have tried many not so obvious ones.


  1. I first had tnotes for twitter notes in mind. Fortunately ML proposed twote which has much better sounding. Word twote seems to have wider usage as well:

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