Allow me a few notes on what I have discovered in the last month. I have discovered that there are two types of people (aren’t there always ?) :-). Those who enjoy participating in Social Networks and those who don’t. I realize that this is a very broad generalization. I am mostly referring to two distinct groups ‘within’ the “Internet Savvy” domain. The first of the “Internet Savvy” user types are those users who have Internet at home, on their mobile device or who are not restricted from surfing the web from work. This group is comfortable in the use of personal email accounts, uploading images to image sharing sites and creating an online presence (Internet Footprint) on sites like Blogger, WordPress, Google’s Picasa Web, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn amongst other.
The ‘other’ side of this coin is the group who know how to use these tools but who want to retain their anonymity. These guys may (and I say this cautiously) believe in all sorts of conspiracy theories about how this information can be used against them, or they simply feel that it’s a waste of time to hang out in places like Facebook :-). I respect that. I belong in the former category. I am personally comfortable in the use of Social Media and participating in Social Networks. I have recently discovered a neat way to keep a profile of your entire “Internet Footprint”. It is on the site retaggr.com. What is also neat about Retaggr is that it also allows you to create a signature for your personal email account. Much like you may have in your corporate email account.
There are some problems with the use of HTML signatures in Gmail. Unlike Yahoo, Gmail prevents the use of HTML in the email body. And this is where GreaseMonkey comes in. GreaseMonkey is a plugin for the (highly recommended) Mozilla Firefox web browser. GreaseMonkey allows scripts to be executed within the web browser to process or manipulate the display of the information on your screen. One such script allows you to attach a HTML signature to your Gmail email. I personally don’t use GreaseMonkey for my Gmail signatures. I prefer the Blank Canvas plugin for Firefox.
The GreaseMonkey script that works best for me, (amongst the hundreds of scripts available on UserScripts.org) is the one that blocks all those annoying invites from friends to join groups and install time wasting applications in Facebook. I really love Facebook, but I maintain that it will be a much better concept without all those time wasting add-on’s. If you feel the same way and want to have better control over what you see (or don’t see) in Facebook then install GreaseMonkey and this very nifty script !