Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How to: Top 10 Email Signatures

Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to create an email signature that includes your personal Top 10 songs (based on playcounts). When another user clicks on the animated image, then Windows Media Player will launch and begin to play your Top 10 "hotlist". If that user is a MusicNow subscriber, then they will enjoy the full playlist. If they are not, then they will experience 30 second snippets of each song in the list.


Phone: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
AIM: aolscreenname
Music Profile: [

[muSick in the Head] Top 10 Songs

1. Find your MusicNow profile ID # by going to "view my profile" and looking at the URL (following "id=")

2. Your personal "Top 10" feed is available by typing:

http://www.musicnow.com/rss/a/?ac=user_top&id=58868597 (but replace my id # with the one you got from above) By entering this URL into a browser, you will be taken to a simple text page of your Top 10.

3. Go to http://www.feedburner.com/ and create a free account.

4. "Burn a feed" by copying your new feed URL (as created above in Step 2).

5. "Activate" your feed by clicking the button at the bottom of the confirmation page

6. Click on the "Publicize" tab, then click on "Headline Animator" in the left-hand column of the page. Make sure your newly created feed has been used to create the animated graphic.

7. Click on "Activate".

8. Copy the HTML that is generated. It should look something like this:

9. Create a new HTML email signature.
The easiest way to do this is to open Notepad* and paste in the following HTML , making sure to replace the ID number in the "Music Profile" line so that it matches your ID. Also enter your own personal information for the rest of the signature field or simply edit them to what ever you want;

And then paste the HTML from Step 8 below the Music Profile line so it looks like this;

9a. For AOL you need to add some HTML tags before you paste in the HTML code snippet you created above.

  • Then select all of the text you have just created, right click and select Copy to copy the HTML to your clipboard.
  • Go to AOL Mail and click Write Mail (or just click Write).
  • At the bottom right of the letter template it says Signatures.
  • Click Signatures and then highlight and click Set Up Signatures.
  • A window will open, click Create.
  • In the upper field of the new window, type "Top 10" .
  • In the lower field, paste in the signature HTML you created that is now in your clipboard.
  • Then click OK.
  • Click Default on/off to turn your signature on or off.

9b. For Outlook, the process is very similar:

  • Open Outlook > Tools > Options > Mail Format > Signatures
  • Create a New Signature by selecting "Start with a blank signature":

10 . Choose your signature preferences, alter the font, formatting, etc.

Done, and done!

* Notepad comes standard with all installations of Windows, you will find it in your Start menu under Accessories or just click on Run in your Start menu and type in notepad. Then click on OK and it will start up.

Friday, October 07, 2005

AIM Presence

AIM Presence: "Now, visitors to your Web site can see when you are online with AIM through this simple cut-and-paste code. AIM Presence uses the familiar Running Man icon to let your visitors easily see when others are online and available to chat in real time. "

Just updated my blog to support this "official" API. Before it was kind of a hack....