Color code e-mail in Apple Mail

colorpaletteHave you figured out that you can color code your Apple Mail messages?

Go to Format –> Show Colors

Select a message in your inbox, then click a color in the Colors palette.

You can’t sort based on the colors, but at least you can do more than just mark as flagged, read/unread, or by priority to quickly find something in your inbox.


PayPal shipping per order

Here is a simple hack that took me a while to locate, so here is a post to document…

The PayPal cart and buy now buttons allow you great variety in shipping, but how do you charge a flat rate for shipping per order? It isn’t obvious.

Add the following line of code to your “buy now” or “add to cart” button forms:

<input name="handling_cart" type="hidden" value="2.00" />

The value above is the flat rate you want to charge per cart in dollars.

The above works as long as people are ordering one type of product. If more than one product is added to the cart, the handling_cart value for that product will be added also. If someone knows how to get true per-order flat rate shipping implemented, let me know.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-21

  • SugarCRM 5.0.2f update is out #
  • oops, make that SugarCRM 5.2.0f is out… need… coffee… #
  • List of "40 Essential iPhone Applications For Web Designers", most of which are for pay #
  • @jeffmilton my Facebook status is already automatically updated when I post to Twitter — I don't see value in those URLs you listed in reply to jeffmilton #
  • Why do people feel ask questions in e-mail followed by so many question marks????????? Just one is fine, more makes you look like a child. #
  • RT @MakeMoneyIQ: IBM's free, cross-platform Lotus Symphony now MS Office 2007 compatible #

Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google owns search. And any discussion of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will focus heavily on what we know about Google’s indexing and ranking methods.

According to TechCrunch, “Of the 137 billion estimated total searches performed in the U.S. last year [2008], 85 billion were done on Google.” That is 63.5 percent of all search in the U.S. Google also grabbed 90 percent of all new search in 2008, leaving Microsoft, Yahoo, and Ask with stagnant growth.”

So if your site performs well in Google, you should be seeing traffic, and traffic should be converting into sales.

When discussing Google and their PageRank algorithm, understand that PageRank is a value determined by the popularity of a page. Popularity is based on how many and how popular are the pages linking to it.

Google describes PageRank this way:

… important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results.

PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page’s importance.

So ideally you want a lot of links from pages that have a high PageRank. Each page that links to yours passes some of its popularity juice on to your page.

Be aware that there is a difference in paid search results and organic search results. Paid search results appear across the top and down the right hand side of Google’s search engine results page. These ads are managed through AdWords, Google’s advertising system. Organic search results appear in the left hand column of the page. Ideally, you want to appear in both the organic search results on the left, AND in the paid search results on the right. This has a reinforcing branding effect on Google users, lending validity and authority to your page.

If your pages have a high PageRank value, they should appear higher in organic search results than pages with similar content that also have a lower PageRank value. So working to build links to your site from other sites is a very important part of SEO: more links are better.

If you have a website that isn’t generating enough traffic or sales, contact us for more information. We have experience in developing search engine marketing strategies that get results.

Previously published in the Graphics and Motion e-mail newsletter for June 2009.

Joomla 1.5 hack – replace the META Generator tag

In Joomla 1.5, the system automatically creates a META Generator tag that you might want to change or hide.

The default tag looks like this:

<meta name="generator" content="Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management" />

There is no way within Joomla to change or remove this tag, so you have to put a little line of PHP in your template.

Edit your template and look for this line:

<jdoc:include type="head" />

Just above that line, paste in the following:

<?php $this->setMetaData('generator','my site'); ?>

The two lines together should look like this:

<?php $this->setMetaData('generator','my site'); ?>
<jdoc:include type="head" />

In the above code, substitute your custom generator tag value in place of the words my site.

Because this hack is in your template, you don’t have to worry about the next upgrade to Joomla overwriting hacked core files.

Thanks to for showing the way.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-14

iPhone apps I can’t live without

Recently I had a burst of downloading and testing out some new iPhone applications. Here are a few I find useful and interesting. In no particular order:

This free Twitter client is all I need for using Twitter on my iPhone. Twitterific, I’m just not that into you anymore. Twinkle, you’re trying too hard. TwitterFon, you’re just right.

If you use SugarCRM at all, you need to download KinitoPro for free, now! This app isn’t perfect, but it is the only SugarCRM app out there since Sky Data was acquired by SAP. And for a limited time, the Pro version is free.

Bloomberg (iTunes link)
The built in Yahoo-powered Stock application is just a bit anemic. Bloomberg offers more stock information than I really need, but it makes me feel important just having it there on my screen.

Current weather conditions, forecasts, maps, videos, and live webcams in the area.

Fliq Notes
Simple note taking, with name, date and category sorting and search. If you are near other Fliq Notes users, you can “fliq” notes to each other.

Decent iPhone app for managing your WordPress blog. ┬áNot as full featured as it could be, but I’m sure they’ll be updating it soon.

Inexpensive painting program. The artwork people have created using this app are just amazing.

Facebook (iTune link)
The hot social network du jour.

Safari 4.0, slick and fast

Apple pushed out an update earlier this week, bringing mostly security enhancements and bug fixes to Mac OS X. Included in the update to Mac OS X 10.5.7 is the final version of Safari 4.0, the Apple developed web browser based on Webkit.

At first glance, there are some minor cosmetic changes to the interface. But starting to surf with Safari 4.0, I immediately appreciated just how fast it has become.

If Apple applies the same level of refinements to the OS as they have with this recent update, then 10.6 Snow Leopard is going to be amazing even without any major new features.