I’m on a project where we need to collect metrics around a function named "Share a Story." The idea is very simple — if you’re looking at an interesting article on the intranet and want to share it with someone, click a link labeled "Share this story" email it to your buddy.
We played around with a custom form for this purpose, but in the end, common sense won the day and we just use the familiar <a href=mailto:…> technique. (<a href mailto:…> is a surprisingly robust little bit of HTML; as a bonus, that link brings me back to my old UNIX man pages days; those were the days!).
This technique provides a great interface for end users since they get to use their familiar MS Outlook client (or whatever email client they have installed).
It makes things harder on us poor developer types since they client *also* wants to run a report in the future that shows how often users share stories and even which stories are shared most often.
We whiteboarded a few potential solutions. My favorite is to carbon copy (CC) a SharePoint list. That way, the end user still gets the outlook client while we get to capture the event because we’ll get a copy of the email ourselves. There are some obvious drawbacks. The main problem is that the user could simply blank out or otherwise mangle the CC address. And, we need to manage that event library of emails. We have a scheduled job on the white board responsible for that cleanup.
If you have some clever approach to solving this problem, please do tell.
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