So I get a mailer from my local public radio station (an emailer - they've been pretty decent about not overloading me with unnecessary email) reminding me that it's renewal time for my membership. I'm on a monthly membership sequence, so the hit isn't too huge at any point in time.
So this year it appears they've outsources all the fulfillment to Convio, who would appear to offer "e-Philanthropy" services to many, many non-profits (including the campaign of the former frontrunner, Howard Dean).
Which is cool enough. I mean, if the organization can shave off some of their fundraising overhead and put it into the services they provide to the community, I'm ok with it.
But you must do one thing, I think. You really must complete the templates which Convio provides you. They don't fill themselves out, that's for certain...
Postscript: The email evinces the same gaffe...
If you aren't following the blogs.sun.com juggernaut... Well, you aren't a geek, are you?
Up there the other day, a funny Tufte story which is worth checking out.
And for Chicagoans, I see that Edward Tufte is again in town to do some training August 24th and 25th. I self-funded the course last year, and it was worth every penny and more, I thought.
I've been reviewing a lot of the OSAF stuff lately, and am pleasantly surprised as well by the secondary material as it has been cropping up. Generally more accurate than the information that had come out initially (it isn't an outlook killer, it's a project to broaden the space, etc).
So today the NYT ran a quick profile/update of Mitch Kapor, the prime initiator of the project and org... Linked for later recollection.
Jimmy Guterman's Sandinista Project has moved forward - its own weblog, and more refined progress schedules. And some publicity.
As if this entry here on my weblog with 12 readers would drive much publicity, but one never really knows what the overlap is, do we?
More news to come, including my own Mike-esque tale of computer recovery (with some insights and updates to previous raves, to boot!).
Also from Ted Leung, but apparently referenced multiple other places in the blog-navel-gazing-o-sphere, is the potential use of Dewey Decimal categories, as being experimented with by Lisa Williams at her delightfully entitled weblog.
I do like the idea of shareable - if not necessarily standardized - categories, as a layer of metadata atop commentary and trackback. Certainly bears watching...
A couple interesting wiki-related entries crossed my radar today....
Ted comments that the work in the OSAF Wiki has been an uphill learning trend. As a regular reader of their Wiki, that does come across, but it's also improving and useful for those of us outside the hallways (virtual and physical). Not yet granularly addressable, but that's a common nit (including for this project still....)
In the meantime, SocialText has put out some PR and cool graphs about the successful use of their wiki/collab toolsets at Ziff-Davis Media. Interesting stuff, and pretty pictures never hurt. The challenge of getting daily email to zero is clearly the selling point, though even in a highly chat leverage organization we still do a large bit of email, or other heavyweight collab systems. Lightweight and distributed are still a tough sell, but SocialText is making headway, it would appear.
Heading into some radio silence for repairs...
I knew it was just a matter of time before Mike popped a gasket.....
While the Theme from the Third Man is an amazing tune - haunting and beautiful - it is designed to be played on the zither. The guitar is not a zither. And unless you're Doc Watson, it's unlikely to approximate one....
Channeling Cupertino (Will Parker) has a nice piece up in the last read period titled
Mac Office 2004: How to Learn From Mistakes, Part 1. It's a nice high level view of some of the efforts of the Macintosh Business Unit of MSFT in their design of the very-initial-user-experience of the Office product suite -- the packaging.
Having been through a couple rounds of packaging decisions for products, I only wish we'd been able to spend as much time focusing on the total experience, instead of what seemed to be a keen (and ultimately largely unused) set of packaging. But it did look cool, and it pulled through the logo...
Sitting back on the customer side of the desk, I've learned that rolling up a product for a demanding customer is hard and demands a lot of detail focus, something too often missed despite best intentions (and something I believe we didn't lock down when we focussed on the box). That it goes well beyond the package (though first impressions certainly count) to the errata, virtual hand-holding, and all the rest. As products increase in complexity (we can't all just drag Foo.app to our /Applications folder...), the catches, checking and verification becomes quite intense.
Cool not only because I like to see IRC logging enabled and centralized whenever possible (now we need an archive.org for all these), cool not just because I like watching the ATOM project from a safe distance. But also cool because its an example of using multiple markups for IRC chat -- too often IRC chat is locked into an HTML rendering at close of business, or trapped in a safe interface in a remote location. In RDF it becomes extensible and reusable. And subscribe-able, though I don't see a way to have a hot feed from this page... Or maybe the latest... page is just broken temporarily.