Back in the FeedBurner days, we were big fans of a feature called Headline Animator. This takes your feed and converts the last 5 posts into a rotating, animated GIF. Lots of publishers started adopting it in their e-mail sig files - it was an easy way to promote their blog/news feed to any outgoing message, and many recipients actually liked it. (Useful sigs - what a concept!)
There was one problem: Gmail didn't really let you add images or rich text to outgoing messages. It was technically possible to use Headline Animator and Gmail, but not exactly for the faint of heart. Thankfully, the Gmail team added native support for rich-text signatures in July, and I've been meaning to write this post ever since.
Here's what you need to do:
If you don't already use FeedBurner, go there and set up your feed. Click "publicize", then "headline animator"
Make your picks, click 'activate'. Right-click on the resulting image, select 'copy image'. In Gmail, go to Settings > Signature and paste the image into the box:
Last step: highlight the image, then click the hyperlink and type in your blog's URL: