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Feature request: Set Post Date, Description, and Keywords for Post by Email

Started by on May 08, 2014 – Contents updated: May 20, 2014

May 08, 2014 20:05    

Nowadays, people spend more time on their cellphones than they do in front of computers. Most people will spend all day posting to facebook or twitter or instagram directly from their phones, and much less frequently from their computers. Posting by email is one of those areas of b2evolution that really needs to be expanded on since it opens up the "mobile" side of the platform. We can already manually adjust Post Date and Time in the back-end, as well as adding keywords, meta description, tags, etc, so hopefully that functionality can just be connected to post by email.

Something like this added to the body of the email:

<desc>A brief description of the post</desc>
<keys>word1,word2,word3</keys>
<tag>tag</tag>

(If "excerpt" is automatically generated from a truncated post text anyway, then it could be duplicated for the Meta Description.)

Also, another function I personally would find invaluable is being able to (optionally) back-date or forward-date Posts by Email.. Again, this already exists in the backend, so could you *please* hook this into posting by email? Something like the following in the body of the email:

DATE:YYYY:MM:DD

This would be an optional field. Leaving it out would publish at the current day/time. The format I show above is also the default output for many applications like Excel, Libre Office, OpenOffice, etc. This would use the back-dated date as the publishing date, and the current time as the publishing time. Using colons instead of / would help ensure that emails sent from command line or other automated methods don't get unwanted linebreaks or escapes added in. This would open up a whole new realm of b2evolution posting directly from text file, CSV or external database.

Right now I'm trying to come up with a workaround using command-line 'sed' to pull a row from csv into command-line sendmail to automate creating posts from csv (and it works very well), but not being able to backdate posts by email isn't something I can see a solution for when working with legacy csv data. Is there any chance we can get this type of functionality added to the post by email system? Hopefully since back-dating and future-dating is an already existing backend feature it can just be connected to post by email? Hopefully?

May 20, 2014 08:15

@bberjab Thanks for your request, this will be discussed by the development team to study its feasibility.

In addition to your comment, I would suggest to manage any of the item's fields, including the custom fields. For example: post_url, item_featured, post_status, etc.

If is there anything else that you want to add to this request, please let us know.

Regards!

May 20, 2014 22:48

I think your additions are good also.. The key is to make this an "easy" system, bearing in mind that cellphone screens are so small and it's inconvenient to be remembering and typing all the various options.. Maybe some kind of template system could be created which "prefills" the email with all the options, or at the very least which users could save as a text file on their phones, tablets, or laptops, and then copy/paste the template into a blank email before they create their post.. The text file would list all the variables in two sections (REQUIRED and OPTIONAL), and maybe each entry is followed by bracketed "hint" text where anything in brackets is ignored once the email is processed into a post:

REQUIRED (Anything omitted from this section and the email will not post)
Main Category:
Post Title:
Post Body:
OPTIONAL (fill it in or leave it blank or delete it)
SubCategory: [SubCategory#] 53
Post-URL: [leave out the http://yourblog.com/] the-clean-title-of-my-emailed-post
Date: [YYYY:MM:DD] 2014:01:07
Time: [24 hour time, HH:MM] <-- since it's optional, leave blank to post "now"
Post Status: [Draft, Private, Community, Public] Public
or maybe
Post Status: [(1)Draft, (2)Private, (3)Community, (4)Public] 4

This is just off the top of my head, but I think as many of the core editor functions as possible would be great.. Not sure we want to mess with bold, italic, and so on, but having mobile control over things like categories, time, date, post_url, tags, post_status, embedded html for linking an image (maybe).. these things would, I think, make b2evo much more attractive to the on-the-go generation that is always posting and always commenting.

It would be great if the same tags that are created for posting by email are also available for the "Mass Create Post" function in the admin panel.. I know right now we can separate posts by a blank line and create multiple posts en masse, but being able to define date and time and status and all the rest would be great for desktop use also. It would allow for the very fast creation of entire blog sites based on pre-existing text, or the import of entire blogs from other systems with a little regex / sed / awk manipulation or even just search/replace.

Hopefully other users here will offer suggestions also, on how to make posting by email more comprehensive, but at the same time maintain a simplicity...

jj.


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