Weekly Writing Challenge: Mail It In
No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll be highlighting a feature in the WordPress.com Dashboard and challenging you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on WordPress.com to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.
To participate, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight the week’s best posts on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
We spend a large portion of our days checking email, sending email, reading email, and following up on email. Suffice it to say that, for many of us, our email inbox is like a second home. It’s a place where we can communicate with old friends, update coworkers, or schedule meetings with colleagues. We share articles, ideas, emotions, and thoughts through our virtual mailbox.
Did you know that on WordPress.com you can send a post to your blog via your email address, without even visiting your Dashboard? With the Post by Email tool, you can draft a post, insert photos, and publish it to your site without ever leaving your mailbox. It works by creating a unique email address to which you can send your posts and that automatically converts your email into a regular, WordPress.com post. (Do note that it’s very important to keep this email private, since anyone with access to this email can publish to your blog.)
For this week’s challenge, use the Post by Email tool to create a new post touching on email, communication, and online correspondence. Go beyond how email may have changed how you communicate and dive into a specific example of a funny interaction, specific trends, or a detailed, comedic account of your email obsession. If you need a few ideas to get you started, try these on for size:
- Take the challenge literally, and write an email for your blog. Your email can be to your favorite favorite teacher from grade school, or an open letter to that gigantic chain store you just can’t stand. Either way, write your post in email format, complete with salutations and small talk.
- Talk about email itself. Do you roll out of bed each morning, dreading to check your inbox? Or do you thrive on the accomplishment of clearing your unread emails each day? For those of us who remember the days pre-email, we know not to take online communication for granted and remember both the pros and cons of relying on telephones, snail mail, and even spontaneous visits to a friend’s home as the only way to stay in touch.
- Use a subject from your inbox to write a story. It can be a line from a ridiculous Groupon offer that prompts your tale, or a sincere message from a blog follower. Use whichever email subject that strikes your family as a writing prompt and go from there.
Don’t forget to add the post title shortcode to your email so that you can set your title before mailing in your post. To do this, add the following short code to the beginning of your email. Replace “Weekly Writing Challenge: Mail It In” with your preferred post title.
[title Weekly Writing Challenge: Mail it In]
For an advanced challenge, incorporate the other available Post by Email shortcodes so to embed photos, select your categories, and insert a slideshow without ever even visiting the WordPress.com Dashboard. Who knew that checking your email could help you with your daily posting?
Update: For those who would prefer to not email in their post, please feel free to use the prompts to respond to the challenge without using the Post by Email feature.