Archive for category Web
The post and spreadsheet provided by Amit Agarwal on How to Create a Mail Merge with Gmail and Google Docs is extremely useful. But for last few days, I have been wanting to send attachments along with the mail merge. I tried many options but was unsuccessful, finally a set of combinations worked for me and I am sharing that spreadsheet so others don’t have to go through the same trouble.
Follow the above provided link for understanding how to use Google Docs for mail merge, after that is working fine, you can use the following spreadsheet. This is the spreadsheet which can be used to add attachments to email. I have an editable column F13 where you will have to provide Document ID. Once you provide the document id, the steps to send emails are exactly same as mentioned by above blog post.
How to get Document ID:
Step 1: Upload the document that you want to attach on Google Docs.
Step 2: While uploading the document make sure that the option ‘Convert documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and drawings to the corresponding Google Docs formats’ is checked. If you do not check this option, your documents will not attach properly.
Step 3: Open the document and go to the URL. You can to use the id value as document id. Example: If URL is
then the characters in bold are document id. Copy and paste them into the F13 box. When you send the mail, document with id will be attached.
I have added another feature of getting the remaining mail count of the day. That can also be accessed from the menu and count is shown above on the spreadsheet.
Update: I have updated the script to provide multiple attachments. Now columns F13 to F17 can contain different attachment IDs, or can be left blank.
Since you joined as CEO of Yahoo you have been on one mission – call it downsizing, righsizing or cutting fat. The mission is clear to cut off all the services that are not generating revenue for the organization. Over last two years we saw a lot of services go down and some were for good, for example Geocities. May be world does not need geocities anymore but there are services which we all love and could see potential for Yahoo. World does not need another social network or a clone of twitter in Portuguese. And that aligns with my understanding of working with your core competencies.
Delicious has been my favorite site for long now. Without it, arranging the links would have been a very tough task. Those tag clouds that we have created help us day in and out. You had bought this company and did not change much in it, except integrating with yahoo id and creating some nice Firefox plugins. That was great, the site had worked well and we didn’t want to change it. And that Firefox plugin made the site more useful then ever. I believe the content generated via delicious is very precious, where else will you find curated data in such format. How else can you have hundreds of thousands of geeks working for you and arranging the links from all segments. This could be a perfect way to utilize it into your search (or anyone else’s search).
It is inevitable that Yahoo would let delicious survive, but we want it to work. Lets have a deal, pass us the code and data, we are ready to maintain it and keep it alive. We can collect donations and host the system on our machines.
- Del.icio.us Fanboy
I found out about this quiz from American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on This Week in Tech (TWiT) and thought sharing this information is important. This quiz (yep, its a quiz to demonstrate how harmful they can be) tells you the data accessible to third party applications when you give these small quizzes. Worst part about this is, you do not just give your information but also provide information about all your friends. Even all the private information like political view, birth year, preferences, current location about your friends is accessible to these third party applications. To prove the point ACLU displays some information as you can see on the screenshot below.
As you notice private information about my friends is accessible to them and these third parties can be anyone, not have to be a reputable organization. That’s why These quizzes should be avoided. Even Facebook does not have control (as of now) on how this information can be used/misused.
Update: here is an article on how to secure some of your data after recent FB policy changes.
Facebook has added the privacy settings option so one can select what his/her friends can share about him/her. This setting can be found under ‘Privacy settings > Applications and Website > What your friends can share about you‘
Part II of The Unfinished Internet. Here Vint Cerf discusses the new challenge, how to extend Internet to different planets and what are the issues associated with TCP/IP that does now allow that.
10:51 AM – Vint Cerf is already here, presentation is up and hall is almost full.
11:01 AM – Introduced by someone from Computer Science department. Widely recognized as father of internet because of his contribution to TCP/IP. Currently holds position of Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. Pioneering work in packeting technology and won many awards,. I believe all information about this is on Wikipedia.
Earlier this year I did a podcast on Facebook platform and why it is attractive. But since then I am losing interest in Facebook’s capabilities and thus this blog post. In that podcast we discussed how Facebook connect/Google connect are going to be used as openIDs and would help build communities around external sites. Those things have not changed but my understanding of social communication had changed.
Everyone indulges in few types of communication – private, public, official and collaborative. As I see, I have better tools for everything that I mentioned. For private communication IM suits perfectly, a one on one real time communication. Public communication can be achieved via Twitter, especially its capabilities have enhanced with excellent clients like Tweetdeck and Seesmic. Twitter also changed the default settings of ‘replies’ going to all your followers, and that has helped in improving twitter experience. Official communication can be achieved via emails and collaboration via Groove, Google docs or Wave. These all makes you wonder the importance of Facebook?
I use Facebook for three purposes – Photo sharing, Social calendar and Social games (yes, I used to play Farmville). Facebook has grown to be the biggest photo sharing site, since it has advantage of tagging people it is attractive but one cannot upload hi-res photos and that’s what bothers me. Secondly, how many photos one wants to share, I think I have hit my limit (not FB’s limit). Social calendar has been a really cool feature and I used it a lot too, but integration of Google Calendar, Gmail and iPhone calendar has worked much better for me. This combination does not tell me who is attending or not attending an event, but if I care about that I can always use email/IM. No comments about social games, they are addictive but scandalous.
My usage of Facebook has reduced drastically, they tried to bring together the experience of IM, but its broken; email, but it has limited capabilities – no forwarding/adding of new recipients, just reply not reply-all, no attachments; calendar, but its not open to exchange (microsoft or other formats); real time updates, but not as efficient as twitter. This does not mean that Google or Twitter has taken market share, it just means that Facebook is losing its capabilities in keeping people at hand. We cannot see it now as it has reached critical mass and growing rapidly, but as I see, people will start (or have started) losing interest in Facebook. Its main strength was to bring people back to site but that seems to be weakening, combined with the advertising fraud, no proper source of revenue, I see Facebook will have to come up with a plan to keep in this business or they will be the Friendster of 2010.
A set of tweets in a language I don’t understand made me think of about the problem of twitter groups. Many a when I tweet I face the problem that I am going to annoy my followers who are not interested in certain topics such as F1, Cricket or Web2 technologies. Since we have been waiting for long about Twitter groups, we have come up with hashtags and clients such as Tweetdeck to resolve most of the problems. But last month twitter turned on the feature where a ‘reply’ would be visible on your timeline only if your follow the person who the ‘reply’ is addressed to. So, here is the idea how we can harness that to simulate group feature.
I will demonstrate this idea with an example: I am interested in formula1 and own the account ‘fakeF1’. People, who need to see tweets from me about F1, should follow ‘fakeF1’ because whenever I want to post a tweet, I would be replying to ‘fakeF1’. So, none of my followers who are not interested in F1 will get my F1 related posts till them come to my specific page (which is very rare). For people who do not follow me but just ‘fakeF1’ should put a search filter in their clients to get all the details about F1. We can have handles like CricketTweets, WCT20, OnlyFootball, GeekTalk etc.
Only one person has to create a dummy twitter id and it would resolve problems of many. I believe in wisdom of crowds and think this id can work brilliantly.