Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Open Source Gift Registry

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Seems like people are starting to talk about Christmas already. I know I’ve started thinking about it a bit. Man I love this time of year. All the Holidays right in a row.

Anyway, many people struggle with the challenge of having a list of things that they’d like for Christmas, but then you don’t know if multiple people are going to buy you the same thing. That’s right, then you get 2 of the same thing and 1 person sometimes feels bad if their gift is a lesser model than the other one.

Today I found an open source project that tries to solve this problem. It’s called PHP Gift Registry. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I’m going to give it a try. Could be interesting to see how it goes.

Basically, you can make a list of things that you’d like (which I like since I always forget things that I want so I need to make a list when I think of them). Then, people can either Reserve or Purchase an item on the list. However, the person that created the list can’t see who else bought it. Only other people can see that info. Pretty slick.

Of course, the entrepreneur in me wondered why we hadn’t seen this type of software out there in mass where people could use it and not have to have the skills to host it themselves. Plus, the affiliate sales you could make from a list like this would be awesome. Not to mention the marketing data that you’d have at your fingertips. If done right, this could do really well.

Personally though, I’d probably want to convert it to a BuddyPress plugin so that then you’d get all the social elements of it. Plus, you could use the invite plugins to make the thing grow virally. Seems like a great extension of the BuddyPress Group API to me.

Gmail Canned Responses and Email Signatures

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

UPDATE: Now Gmail (or Google Apps) will do a signature on a per email basis. So, if you get an email to your account john@xyz.com you can have one signature and another one for john@lmn.com. Even better than the Canned Response solution below.

I’d been looking for a way to have a regular signature for my google apps (basically gmail) email accounts. See, the thing is that I have a dozen or so domains all going to one email address. So, I respond from all of my various personalities (or maybe I should call them online profiles) from one account.

Gmail recently launched an email signature feature that would be specific to the domain that I’m emailing with. I was really excited about this, but I hated the way it was implemented. First, I don’t ALWAYS want the email signature to be there. Sometimes I just want to have my name. It’s far too formal to have the full signature for some of my emails. Second, I hated how the email signature was at the very bottom of the email. I wanted the email at the end of what I wrote instead of being after the long list of “quoted” reply messages that might be there.

Third, It added a — before the signature. I didn’t like that. Mostly because I like to have it say Thanks, before my signature. Although, I don’t want the signature to add that. I have this quirk that I like to add the Thanks, myself to the signature. I see it as my little reminder to be thankful for the people involved in my life. Plus, sometimes Thanks doesn’t make sense.

For a little while I’d been using the signature and I’d go to the bottom and copy and paste the signature up to where I like it. You can imagine how painful that is.

Today for some reason it just clicked. There was something I’d seen before, but never used called “Canned Responses.” I’d considered using them for some responses to comments on my blog that I seem to write too much. However, I realized that Canned Responses is the type of email signatures I really want.

I created a number of email signatures and Canned Responses works just the way I want. It only adds the signature if I choose the Canned Response and it adds it in the location that I want it added. Why didn’t I think of it earlier. Sweet!