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Wordpress Themes - WP Forum at BFA » WordPress Themes » Atahualpa 3 Wordpress theme » RSS, Feeds & Subscribing »

How can I mimic a newsgroup in WP?


  #1  
Old Mar 14, 2010, 05:06 PM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
After a flurry of emails from extended family members talking about our genealogy and family history, I created a mail list through my web host, and then set up a family WP site with Atahualpa.

I'd like to find a way to collect and post all the emails on the WP site, without having each one show up on the blog as a separate post. Is there a way to do that? I've experimented with using www.posterous.com to create a post from an email (it takes the email and makes a post on a site Posterous maintains, and then publishes that to other sites such as a WP blog), but would prefer something more like Google Groups or the old style newsgroups. Ideally, people could choose to get notified each time an email came in, or only once a day, or could go visit the site when they wanted to see the activity.

By the way, Posterous is pretty cool - it allows you to email almost anything to post to the site, including photos and I think video too.

I know this question does not have to do with Atahualpa per se (although I use Atahualpa on several sites including this one) but would appreciate any ideas or suggestions!
  #2  
Old Mar 14, 2010, 06:35 PM
lmilesw's Avatar
lmilesw
 
10,174 posts · Jul 2009
Central New York State USA
You might want to take a look a BuddyPress. It's a plugin that adds social networking functionality to a WordPress site. If you search this forum you will find some info in integrating it with the Atahualpa theme.
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  #3  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 12:24 PM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
Thanks Larry. I have downloaded and installed BuddyPress, using the tips I found on this site for how to integrate it into Atahualpa.

I'm not sure yet how well it will serve my purposes. It does a whole lot, but maybe too much for what we need. Our family has some members in their 70's and 80's who are not very computer savvy. They understand email, and how to send to a common address that will go out to the list, but I'm not sure about having them use forums and all the social networking stuff.

Is there a simple way to make it possible (with BuddyPress) for someone to send an email to a special address, and have it posted on the site (in a BP forum or as a post), and email everyone on a mail list the actual contents of that mail message? That's really what I want - the simplicity of email, but the long term ability to browse through related messages in sequence on a page.

Thanks again for your suggestion. If anyone else has ideas for how to make this work I'd be greatly appreciative.
  #4  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 12:36 PM
juggledad's Avatar
juggledad
 
23,645 posts · Mar 2009
OSX 10.11.5 WP 4.x Atahualpa(all) Safari, Firefox, Chrome
there is a plugin called POSTIE(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/postie/) that you do exactly that. Send an email to an address and WP check's it every so often and then will post it if something is there. I use it when traveling, wspically for my wife's posts. she can write an email, attach a picture and 10 minutes later it's posted.
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  #5  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 01:50 PM
lmilesw's Avatar
lmilesw
 
10,174 posts · Jul 2009
Central New York State USA
Could you clarify something you mentioned about not wanted the emails to show as individual posts? How do you want them to show? Trying to create what you want for those that are older or not tech savvy can be an interesting journey. I'm going to continue to ponder your requirements as this resonates with some of my needs at times.
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  #6  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 02:03 PM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
I'm thinking that a Post should have something new, such as sharing a story, etc. As this group has just gotten started, I have manually created a number of posts, each one collected from several related emails that talk about the same or similar subject. These posts show as excerpts on the home page, and it's pretty easy to skim through and click to read more.

Many of the family emails are actually comments about previous emails, and so really don't make sense as individual posts; they are better placed as comments on the original post, or simply collected in sequence much like a forum or newsgroup (today's emails could be a post, for example).

I suppose that every email, even the briefest, could be automatically added as a Post on the site, but it would likely get very cluttered with lots of Posts with similar or identical subjects (e.g. "Re: My kids").

For example, someone sent in a glamorous photo of a family member from the 1940's, and a typical reply email says: "Gorgeous!!!! - Helen". I don't really want an email like this to be a separate Post - it should be a comment to the original one. Is there is a way for emails with "Re: XYZ" to be automatically added as comments to the original Post??

Last edited by Eric Bobrow; Mar 15, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
  #7  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 07:54 PM
lmilesw's Avatar
lmilesw
 
10,174 posts · Jul 2009
Central New York State USA
It seems like that would get into some pretty hefty coding.
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  #8  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 11:19 PM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
Yes, it would be pretty complex to create a system that automatically created and sorted out discussion threads from emails.

However, to simply collect each day's emails into a single post wouldn't be that complicated, and would still serve the purpose of recording the interchanges and content for later reference.
  #9  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 04:45 AM
juggledad's Avatar
juggledad
 
23,645 posts · Mar 2009
OSX 10.11.5 WP 4.x Atahualpa(all) Safari, Firefox, Chrome
Eric,

I think it might be harder than you think. Say you post something day 1 and Larry replys and you reply back. Great that can all go in one email. Then day 2, Larry makes a post and you reply, but I was away and read your post from day 1 and reply. If you add my reply in with your reply someone is going to sound like an idiot (that will probably be me, but I'm use to that )

food for thought
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  #10  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 11:52 AM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
You're right, this isn't a trivial or simple exercise. I have found a reasonable solution: Google Groups, a free service (like most of what Google offers) that compiles and archives emails.

In GG's web page archive, emails are automatically threaded (replies with RE: Subject are attached to the original email with that Subject in a natural way) whether sent the same day or later. Group members may receive copies of each email, or a daily digest, or no notification (they can go to the website to view the activity).

There are two limitations that still bother me:

1) I can't embed the Google Group page in my WP site. I tried using an iframe, and it worked in Firefox; it came up blank in Chrome; in IE8 it displayed an error message saying that the website would not allow it's content to be shown in a frame because of security concerns, and offered a link to open the page in a separate browser window. Apparently, Google doesn't want the Groups to be seen through another host or site, and I'm not sure if there is any way to work around this. At this point, I've simply pointed one of the top level menu items to point directly to the Group page, taking the visitor away from the site.

2) Now there are several ways to share with the family group: emailing to the Google Group (which goes out to family members via email and is archived on the GG page); emailing to Postie or the www.posterous.com service (which adds the email directly to the WP site, but doesn't work well with comments - people have to visit the site to comment in context); or traditional posting on the WP site directly. It's confusing, even to me, and I have to explain it to my family including those who are not very tech-savvy.

I hope my explorations and postings are of use to others. If anyone has further suggestions, please reply...thanks!
  #11  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 12:21 PM
lmilesw's Avatar
lmilesw
 
10,174 posts · Jul 2009
Central New York State USA
For your IFrame did you use a plugin like IFrame Embedder? IFrames break in the WordPress editor.
__________________
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This site should be a membership site since it so full of good stuff.
Please consider donating which gives you access to even more good stuff.
  #12  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 12:35 PM
Eric Bobrow
 
70 posts · Jan 2009
I use EmbedIt, which allows one to save HTML code snippets in custom fields, then insert them into a post using [HTML1] - [HTML9] shortcodes. It works beautifully, preserving the code when working in the WordPress visual editor.

It appears that the IFrame Embedder has a similar (but more focused) capability, using shortcodes to protect the code snippets from the editor. I don't think using it would make a difference - it seems to be something in Google's code that sniffs out if it's being seen in a different context / host and refuses to cooperate...

It would be nice if there is a workaround. Perhaps by looking at how Firefox declares it's environment, comparing it to Chrome and IE8, one could figure it out, but I'm not optimistic. Google can be pretty sophisticated in their coding...
  #13  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 01:49 PM
Rashell's Avatar
Rashell
 
67 posts · May 2009
Hey Eric,

Just wondering if you could somehow embed the RSS type feed from google groups. At the bottom of the group page there's a button called XML. When you click on it, you get the choice between Atom 1.0 feeds or RSS 2.0 feeds.

You can subscribe to the feed in any reader you want. Usually you can get a feed link and add it to the RSS widget to have it displayed on another page. Not exactly remembering how to do it. But...

Just a thought...

Rashell
  #14  
Old Mar 16, 2010, 03:03 PM
Rashell's Avatar
Rashell
 
67 posts · May 2009
You may also consider

http://intensedebate.com/features

Quoting their features page...
Quote:
Email Notifications

Commenters receive email alerts when a response to their comment is posted, linking them directly to the response. Add in reply-by-email, along with the option to subscribe to all comments and let the debate ensue!
Another called JSKit cost $12+/year...
http://js-kit.com/

more info...

http://davemo.wordpress.com/2010/02/...ystem-roundup/

Rashell

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