Today, I thought I should try and make my Outlook email signature show my latest blog post every time I send an email. After some digging and trying, finally I have got something that is workable.
Feedburner has a feature called Headline Animator that generates an animated gif of recent 5 posts for your blog feed. It is easy to add a signature to Outlook, I created my default signature with just my phone #s. Once you create a default signature you can open the HTML file in C:\Documents and Settings\<User name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures directory and cut paste the code Feedburner Headline animator generates. There you go! You have an animated image showing your recent blog posts in your email signature.
Here are some improvements I made:
1. I didn’t like the idea of an animated image in the signature
If you generate a feed only for the most recent post then Feedburner has only 1 item to show, so animation can be avoided. Maybe there is easier (better) way to do this…but here is what I have now. I created a category in wordpress called “new”. WordPress automatically generates a feed for a category. My new feed looks like http://blog.pullur.com/tag/new/feed. I need to manually tag my new post as “new” and remove the “new” tag from previous post (Anyone knows a better way to avoid this manual step, please post a comment). I submitted this feed to Feedburner Header animation, I got an image which is not animated!
Important note:You need to remove the”new” tag in your previous post and then save the new post with “new” tag, this order is important! Feedburner will get the new feed immediately when you save a blog post. So if there are 2 posts tagged “new” it will start animating! In case you forgot to remove the tag from old post, no harm, remove it come back to the current post and save again.
2. Show my name is the signature and click should take to my blog
Changed ‘Title’ to my name instead of the blog title in Feedburner header animation. Edited the URL generated in the code to direct to my blog site. The signature now looks like:
I also have my phone contact below this block, which I have deleted here 🙂
Finally, if you find outlook is still showing the older blog post, just close and restart Outlook, your new image should be updated. Outlook caches images and does not fetch signature image every time.
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