Sending in a photo to email@example.com is the easiest way to capture the action while at a farmers market, even automatically posting to the correct market if your phone has gps. Starting this morning, you can now include the names of vegetables and other items in your email in a special format (e.g “.kale.mustard greens. horseradish”) that will automatically get parsed and added to your post.
In the past week, Cara and I have visited quite a few markets, and I have done most of my posting from my android smartphone. My workflow started out as:
- take a picture
- attach it to an email
- put the name of the farm in the subject
- put some notes of the items in the photo in the body
- send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This worked pretty well. Since my phone has gps, the photos included gps information in their exif tags. Using this information, Real Time Farms automatically tags the post sent in by email with the closest farmers market. This means users of the site could see my photos as soon as I sent them in. I would also include some notes in the subject and body of the email to remind myself and others what the photo was of. These show up as ‘notes from email’ in the tagging page.
These notes help myself and others choose the right farm and vegetables for the post. This proved so useful that I started sending in almost all of my photos this way; the extra note made it much easier to remember.
After doing this for a couple of markets, I realized this tagging from the email note should be as automated as possible. Inspired by the tag parsing of sites like evernote and tumblr, I’m happy to announce that Real Time Farms now supports tags in email as well. Just start any line in the body of your email with a ‘.’ and then separate each tag with a ‘.’ through the rest of the line. For example, having the line
somewhere in the body will result in the photo post being tagged with kale, radishes, swiss chard and lettuce automatically. I chose the ‘.’ delimiter over ‘#’ because it is more accessible on the android soft keyboard, making it easier to type in a list of tags quickly. Note that a new line must start with a ‘.’ for this to work. With this support for tagging, my workflow is now:
- take a photo
- attach the photo to an email
- in the subject include the name of the farm and rough location if I think it is a new farm (so I can remember when adding a new farm later)
- in the body, include the names of the vegetables and other items in the format above, “.vegetable name. another item. yet another item”
- send the photo to email@example.com
In the future we would also like to support a format for tagging the farmers market and farm, but thought we’d get this out as soon as possible. Also note that even if the tags are automatically parsed, the full subject and body will still be displayed as ‘notes from email’ when tagging a photo.