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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Create a Feed of your Files

Create RSS Feeds with WatchDirectory and WatchFTP

Here is a tip from one of our customers (Thanks Preben!)

Most (all?) blog software allow you to post new blogs by emailing the post to a special email address. Both WatchFTP and WatchDirectory can send emails for detected changes. Other people "worldwide" can subscribe to this blog and see the detected filenames/files. See "Security/Privacy" below if you do not want everybody (including Google) to see your blog.

This will allow you to create a blog with all "new files" detected. People can subscribe to the blog (or add it to their iGoogle home page) so they stay up-to-date with what is happening inside the monitored directories.

There are a few things you can do with WatchDirectory's Email Task that are not currently possible with WatchFTP's Email Action (see the bottom of this post), but a future WatchFTP release will improve on that.

Email posts to Blogger

(Blogger Specific Help is here)

Once you have created your blog (free on Blogger), go to "Settings -> Email" and enter a Mail-to-Blogger Address. This will create a special email address on the blogger domain that will automatically publish all emails sent to it.

Create (or change) a WatchDirectory or WatchFTP task that sends email to the above email address. The subject of your email will be the subject of your post. Your (picture) attachments will also be published (WatchFTP currently does not support attachments). If you want to use the contents of the detected file inside a WatchDirectory email (WatchFTP does not support this yet) as part of the message sent to blogger, enter
@@@%WD_FILE%@@@
in the message-body of the email.

Security/Privacy...

When you setup a blog on blogger, you can make the blog "private" to just the people you invite to this blog. Go to "Settings -> Permissions" and set the Blog Readers to Only people I choose. This allows you to have only a selected audience for your blog.

Other important settings are found on "Settings -> Basic", if you are concerned about strangers viewing this blog, make sure you set them properly.
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WatchFTP limitations

Currently, WatchFTP's Email Action has the following limitations:

  • Can not send HTML email
    WatchFTP's email are "plain text" only.
  • Can not attach the detected files
  • Can not use the content of the detected file as the email body

The above limitations will be removed in a future WatchFTP release.
The current WatchFTP release can only show the filename(s) inside the email messages sent to blogger.

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