pop2blog : Blogging by Email

Here are a couple of hacks that might be of interest to those of us who have created low end Content Management Systems for our church and/or charity websites by extending off-the-shelf blogging or publishing systems such as MovableType and/or pMachine; pop2blog.

pop2blog checks a given pop3 email account for email from a particular list of allowed senders. When email is found, pop2blog parses the email for text and embedded jpegs posts an entry depending on the combination of text to image. Hat tip to Gadgetopia for the link.

mail2entry, the inspiration and basis for pop2blog, is a simpler script to convert email into MovableType entries.

Why bother you ask? How about this scenario, a youth mission trip? Here your youth pastor, equipped with a camera equipped cell phone could update their site remotely with text and images of what’s going on while they’re in the field.

Not good enough? Okay, let’s say a men’s paintball fellowship has a sudden change in time, location or conditions. While it would be optimal to call these individuals, you might not have all their numbers handy. However, if you have previously directed them to an event page, that might also be (automatically) rendered in WML, so participants could keep abreast of such last-minute changes from home or on the road.

Personally, I’ve thought about writing a similar yet simpler application that uses a dedicated email (as opposed to polling with cron) address that triggers a simple piece of code that calls BloggerAPI and creates or updates an entry. The real trick will be giving the user this variety of options, while working within the framework of a standard pop email format, securely.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Is there a wheel out there already that I’m about to re-invent? If so, leave a comment.