E-mail to Open Notebook – Exploring WordPress Capabilities

For the 2013 version from WordPress, I found post via e-mail by looking under:



Visited “my blogs”

my secret blog address @post.wordpress.com


Gives the option to re-generate or delete – good feature in case the account is compromised

So now, I’ll attempt to e-mail a message with attachment from volmail to my personal wordpress blog.

Note: here are some references on attachments:

Post by Email

Post by Email

First, I’m messaging a note from a colleague that contains my original e-mail, plus two attachments.

Sent at 1:06 pm. Let’s see when/how it shows up in wordpress.

By the time I switched windows, it was available; essentially instantaneous.

However, I appear to have neglected to set publish via e-mail to draft only – this went straight to live view.

It appears that neither my original message nor my colleague’s response was included, but the attached images came through nicely. And, this is indeed more efficient than uploading images manually.

The image is assigned a caption based on the file name of the image, e.g., “d1wgv5.png” has the title “d1wgv5” and the caption “d1wgv5.”

Dimensions are 1024 x 768.

A “short link” can be generated.

There is an attachment page. e.g., http://mountainsol.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/evolution-visualization-tools-geophylobuilder/d1wgv5/

The blog title matches the title of the e-mail.

Could images be something better managed with figshare? It would be worthwhile exploring if images can be e-mailed to figshare as well.

For now, I am pleased that the wordpress blog accepts and publishes two images via e-mail. I am disappointed that the text did not come through.

I am checking to see if text is somehow obscured by code:


In fact, the images are not contained in a package that I expected; I see a java script type “gallery” instead.

Path: pย ยป img.wp-gallery

It is possible that WordPress created a gallery. I will check the media component of my work.

There is also a problem with “post via e-mail” as draft – unable to locate the setting for that.

There is a complete help section here:

Post by Email

I will now experiment with forwarding one sent mail.

Again, this e-mail was published immediately upon receipt, when I would prefer that it be published *after review* – not because I have anything to hide, but because I would like the opportunity to format the content outside of the e-mail inbox into whatever is appropriate for my notebook.

One point could be that once forwarded, it is verbatim.ย  Whether that is good for science or bad for science I cannot say.ย  In terms of interpersonal relationships, I think it’s probably a negative thing.ย  In terms of transparency, it might be good.

And certainly, if my e-mail is compromised and a spammer gets a hold of my “secret” wordpress publish via e-mail address, then I have a problem. True, I can reset the password – but this system would be in place even if I were in a coma, or worse, dead.ย  So my blog could be perpetually hijacked, as the parcplace.org site I work on recently was, by the “pharma hack” or something else equally devastating to the value of my personal blog and open notebook.

As I try to track down a solution, a problem is that wordpress.org and wordpress.com are not the same thing.ย  So there are solutions for the wordpress.orgย  version, which the notebooks.dataone.org site runs on, and separate solutions for wordpress.com.ย  So by using wordpress.com as my sandbox, any solution I find may not work.

However, I might be able to e-mail posts to myself, then copy then “re-blog” on the DataONE notebook site the appropriate entry from my personal wordpress.com blog.

A second problem is that I forwarded the e-mail without modifying the “slug” portion (whatever this is called that contains the “to” “from” “date” etc.

I will now experiment by re-forwarding the e-mail, this time AFTER first deleting the header information, and reporting on the results.

First, I moved the previous blog, “Evolution Visualization Tools – GeoPhyloBuilder” to the trash.ย  Interestingly, wordpress allows me to have multiple blogs published via e-mail with the same title.

I am now prepared to try the experiment.

I have deleted everything above “Hi Chad,” (Chad is the colleague I am corresponding with).


As hypothesized, this allowed all the text content to be published.

So, learned today that forwarding via e-mail requires deletion of the heading, when sending from microsoft outlook.

Evolution Visualization Tools – GeoPhyloBuilder

About Tanner Jessel

I am a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE and pursuing a Masters in Information Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science. I assist scholarly research efforts supporting the Sociocultural, Usability and Assessment, and Member Nodes working groups within DataONE. I am based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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