Importing gMail?

Ben Rubinstein benr_mc at
Sat Aug 15 08:42:56 CDT 2009

On 14/8/09 01:15, James Hurley wrote:
> I'm thinking of sending a query (kind of an open ended survey) via gMail 
> to members of my neighborhood association.
> I'm expecting a couple hundred replies. Is there some way to import the 
> responses into Rev programatically for subsequent processing?
> I've come to believe that there is nothing that members of this list 
> cannot do. Is this a bridge too far?

Indicating once again how many ways there are to skin cats - when I've done 
this sort of thing, I've used my standard mail client (whatever it happened to 
be at the time) to collect the email responses (ie using it's own 
rules/filtering system to collect the relevant emails into a particular 
folder); then used Rev to analyse the emails to derive whatever the statistics 
or results I was after.  Of course, you can configure your mail client to 
retrieve your gmail mail.

Depending on the mail client, I used to use AppleScript to get mail out of 
first Outlook; and then Entourage; now I use Thunderbird, which makes it even 
easier because each mail folder is a single text file with a simple and well 
documented format.  (Apple Mail, which I think you use, I believe keeps each 
email in a separate text file, in a folder structure representing your folders.)

An alternative, not involving Rev at all, would be to use on of the many free 
web services available.  I've used for some things, which is 
excellent for collating responses from a relatively small group choosing 
between alternatives, where everyone's response is seen.  But for larger 
groups, or where you want anonymous replies, a quick Google suggests tons of 
sites offering to host polls.  I suspect many of them are for embedding into 
your blog etc, but there must be some which like Doodle host the whole thing.

- Ben

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