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Email into Forum?


#1

Hi - in the past our support group has used a Mailman mailing list for group communication. I would like to move us to using the forum system inside of HelpSpot.

A couple of questions have come up:

  • Is there any way to email into a forum?
  • Is there anyway to subscribe to a forum via email? I know that there is an RSS feed, but I have staff members who really like email.

#2

Hi Ben,

You can’t email into the forum directly, though using the API you might be able to do someting but you’d have to build that yourself.

There’s only the RSS feeds, though there are sites that can convert an RSS feed to email for you so that would be a good option there.


#3

Ian,

Thanks for the reply - it pointed me to a solution. In case others have this need, here is what I did. It should be cross-platform, but this was done on a Linux host.

  1. Download and install rss2email (http://rss2email.infogami.com/). This is a nice Python script that manages rss2email conversion.

  2. In the folder where you downloaded rss2email, run “r2e new” to initialize the system.

  3. Run “r2e email” and provide a local email address alias, such as “itstaff” or similar. You’ll add addresses to this alias later. Obviously, if you’re running a mailing list somewhere else, you could just use that address.

  4. Run “r2e add feedurl” where feedurl is the RSS feed that you want to send to email; in our case we wanted a locked feed to go to email, so I also had to include a username and password in the feed url (all one line, will probably wrap in the forum post):

r2e add http://HELPSPOTUSERNAME:HELPSPOTPW@SERVERNAME/help/admin.php?pg=feed_forum&type=RSS20&forum=1

  1. Do “r2e run” to generate the feed to email event.

  2. Add r2e to cron; you will probably need to edit r2e to include full paths to each of the files; otherwise cron will probably not be able to run the script. Monitor to your cron and mail log files to verify proper functionality. I set it to run every five minutes so that it would not lag too far behind posting to the forum.

  3. If you’re sending to an alias like “itstaff”, you’ll need to define that alias in /etc/aliases and then you’ll need to run newaliases (at least for sendmail and postfix; the details depend on your MTA, of course).

That’s it - your staff will now get an email for each new posting. You can do lots more with r2e.

Thanks,

Ben


#4

Ack!

I hope Ian will fix the formatting of the post - at least in Firefox, the above post is not really readable.


#5

Thanks Ben, great post!!

I’ll clean it up.