Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blogger posts using email

Charlie as a puppy in our front yard in Aspen

I received an email message today from Chris and KT of SV Billabong, currently hanging out in Finike, Turkey. They are promoting a product they have put together that they call Blurb Bits. It allows far-flung cruisers to stay in touch with family and friends through their blogs by posting text, images and current location maps using just email through an SSB radio connection and SailMail or a similar service.

I have been thinking about this idea myself and have experimented in the past with using Blogger’s built-in Mail-to-Blogger feature, but I have never tried it with images or links. So this post is an experiment, sent from my regular email account, that contains an old photo of Charlie as a puppy along with a Google Maps link to the exact location where he was sitting when the photo was taken: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=39.248880,-106.895943&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1. Let’s see if it works…

Follow-up: The text and photo came through just fine, although the paragraphs are widely spaced and the photo is its original size instead of a scaled-down version. In the future, I would probably use line breaks instead of paragraph breaks and format photos to fill the available center-column space. The link is not really a link but rather a Web address that would need to be copied and pasted into a browser, so I guess Blogger doesn't automatically interpret Web addresses the way Outlook and Word do. It might be worth trying the HTML "a href=" version to see how it gets interpreted. Even with the minor issues, it's pretty cool to think that it's possible to publish full-blown blog posts from anywhere in the world you can get some kind of email access.

1 comment:

aarone said...

I've been thinking of this too. Glad to see someone else is working on it.

Another nice feature would be integrating an offline editor like qumana and post on availability (the way email programs used to work in the days of dial up) including partial upload.

And being able to sync an index of photos that were perhaps uploaded while ashore would be nice, so they don't need re-sent over a low bandwidth SSB link.

I'm picturing a desktop application for writing blog posts, a smart uploader that keeps track of network ability, and an intermediate site that can assemble previously uploaded pictures and store partial images and test uploads until their complete before posting.