Text Only

Or how to submit content to a website.


Aside from my day job where a manage a big, big website, I also run a small community website for where I live, the St Margarets Community Website. I try to do a few postings of articles or events throughout the week, but usually I reserve all of Thursday night to put up all the updates. This means, I usually just flag all the emails I get in gmail and look at it on the Thursday, when it is far too late to realise that I have a problem with anything submitted.

The most common problem I have is, as have likely guessed from the title of this post, that there is no text that you can actually copy and paste. I get loads of requests for postings with content that are just images. They come in all sorts of formats, as jpegs, gifs or even as pdf of images or my personal favorite, MS Word documents of images (why?).

So, there I am Thursday and I have to either, hope google can OCR them, email the sender and hope they are online, search the related website or inevitably, retype the text. This is annoying and makes me question the worth of doing the site at all.

So here is a tip to anyone relying on anyone to repost their events or articles. Supply both the image and the raw text (as text, just pasted in the email!). Websites don’t really like anything else, google doesn’t like anything else. By all means, send the image too, but please send the plain, simple text. It means that it will take five minutes to post your event/article opposed to fifteen to twenty minutes of retyping, or worse, that I just delete your email altogether. It also means that I will like you and be willing to post your stuff more often and more quickly.