E-Cards, from my site to your email?
February 19, 2007 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Trying to send images from my website direct to friends, via email. I've seen this on other sites, usually with a button that says "email this image to a friend." But I can't figure out how to do it, despite two days of googling.

I've set up a php thing called WebCards, which works, but is ugly, and won't do a direct email--you have to log in to "pick up" your web card. Any links or advice?
posted by largecorp to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
why don't you just send the link to the picture itself? that way people aren't forced to download pictures attached to an email before they have a chance to read it.
posted by tjenks at 5:19 PM on February 19, 2007

This seems like it would be doable with the standard formmail-type form processors that come with almost all hosting plans.

Make a form field for someone to enter an email address, put the URL of the photo in a hidden form field and make the "email to a friend" button actually "submit" button.

Then when you make the email template, stick a standard img tag in there and have the URL of the photo dropped into the correct spot. Voila.
posted by bcwinters at 5:23 PM on February 19, 2007

The "email image to a friend" button on most sites doesn't actually send the image file. It sends them the URL for the image file.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:47 PM on February 19, 2007

I wrote a utility to mail ecards with short user-written messages. It was a fun job, but not simple.

Once you're providing service for people to send images anonymously or pseudonomously (you don't know who any user is, you only know who they claim to be), you have to be able to log who sends what to whom, have the ability to ban accounts and IPs from the service, and that means developing a full admin system behind the 'mail this image' button.

A mailto button that generates a predefined message plus an URL linking to the image is a lot safer, harder to abuse, and keeps your bandwidth manageable. Stick with it.
posted by ardgedee at 9:00 PM on February 19, 2007

email is for text. just send them the url to the picture and they can choose to look at it on their own time/bandwidth.
posted by bizwank at 8:52 AM on February 20, 2007

Yeah, I guess I'm looking at both a technical and a philosophical question.

I'm not trying to take over the world with a web-card business, just have a simple way for friends to send these images. I like the ease and the safety of just sending a link, but...I dunno, I guess it just seems more fun to get a real picture in your email, than having to go track it down.

Thanks for all the help. God bless the smarties!
posted by largecorp at 10:29 AM on February 20, 2007

I'd much rather get a URL than an unsolicited attachment.
posted by allterrainbrain at 5:58 PM on February 20, 2007

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