Saturday, November 11, 2006

Managing Experience: How about MX-Amsterdam?

I just read about Adaptive Path's upcoming conference MX-San Francisco:
Adaptive Path is launching a new conference on February 12 & 13, 2007 in San Francisco focused on the strategies and tools for managing experiences and design teams. The conference is focused on issues that managers face in designing the next generation of digital products.
(Hey, when did Adaptive Path start organizing conferences? Even though it was officiallly an IA Institute event, IDEA2006 was really Peter Merholz' baby, and now they're at it again. Or are they simply renaming their workshops? I'll ask.)

The topics of this event (societal trends, experience strategies, service design, design processes, business+design, agile development) are timely and of great importance to user experience design teams. I would love to attend this event.

But the cost of entry ($1000-$1500 for 2 days) combined with the travel costs make this too expensive for me to attend; I am already planning to spend a big chunck of my education budget on the IA Summit, 6 weeks later in Las Vegas and I also need to save some money for the next EURO IA conference.

Sparked by the naming of the event and Adaptive Path's history of going on tour with their workshops, my only hope is MX-Amsterdam!

So if, like me, you are in Europe and interested in attending an event like MX-Amsterdam (or MX-London/Paris/Barcelona for that matter), let me know. I will collect your statements of interest and discuss it with the Adaptive Path crew.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pure flattery (just what I needed!)

I found this What Does Your Birthday Mean online quiz through an old acquaintance and I just had to try it.

(Lisa and I prepared a CHI2002 workshop on IA deliverables together with Keith Instone and George Olsen)

And, surprise, surprise...the results are straight-out flattering:

Your Birthdate: January 1
You are a natural born leader, even if those leadership talents haven't been developed yet.
You have the power and self confidence to succeed in life, and your power grows daily.
Besides power, you also have a great deal of creativity that enables you to innovate instead of fail.
You are a visionary, seeing the big picture instead of all of the trivial little details.
  • Your strength: Your supreme genius
  • Your weakness: Your inappropriate sensitivity
  • Your power color: Gold
  • Your power symbol: Star
  • Your power month: January
I, for one, welcome our new Peter overlord.

(That last bit is from an old Simpsons episode, but I knew it from sites like MetaFilter and Fark.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let's try that again: I'm back!

As I wrote before, on Sunday, October 15, around 1:57AM a spammer's bulk-email program sent a large series of messages that seemed to originate from my domain. This in turn generated about 2000 Returned Mail messages that overflowed my Inbox.

Here's what happened after that:
  • When I complained to my provider about not being able to access my email; they were kind enough to send me some suggestions to my regular inbox! It took a week before they replied to the alternative Gmail address that I mentioned in my requests. After that I could at least access my Inbox and email archive.
  • Then they sent me instructions to move the stuff on my old server to a new server, because they were discontinuing the machine that my site was on. I still don't see why I had to do this myself.
  • Anyway, the instructions were set up to make me fail: Step 1 made me change my DNS settings, which normally take effect after about 3 to 4 hours. Since I didn't complete the entire process within that time frame (I refused to copy all my files manually, 5 at a time, using their web-interface which was my only alternative since I happened to not have enought rights on my laptop to install an FTP program) after those 4 hours I could no longer access my old server.
  • When they fixed that (and I installed an FTP program so I could download all my files onto my laptop) it turned that there was another error in the instructions, so I couldn't upload my files to the new server!
  • And then, after they sent me new instructions, the server wasn't configured correctly so my uploading had no effect.
  • Last Sunday they promised to have someone fix it on Monday and report back to me when that was done. When I asked them this afternoon what happened, they said they fixed it but had forgotten to tell me...
So, I can now access my server again, maintain my website (which I confess I haven't done in ages) and create postings for my blog, like this one.
Unfortunately, I cannot upload my email archive and the new webmail interface is a crippled version of Outlook Web Access, which sucks! (I know it is crippled because we use a full version at work and this one doesn't allow me to Select All, create Subfolders, return to a Folder, and other nuisances.)

So, from now on I am on the lookout for a new hosting provider...

Oh, I did learn something in the process: There is no standard subject line for Returned Mail messages. Below is a subset of the subject lines I saw in the flood of messages.

English versions:
Auto Reply Messages
Considered UNSOLICITED BULK EMAIL from you
Delivery Status
Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
Delivery Status Notification
DELIVERY FAILURE: User (user) not listed in public Name & Address Book
failure notice
**Message you sent blocked by our bulk email filter**
Mail could not be delivered
Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Mail System Error - Returned Mail
None Delivery Report
Returned mail: delivery problems encountered
Returned mail: Error During Delivery
Returned mail: Over quota
Returned mail: see transcript for details
Returned mail: User unknown
[SPAM] Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender
Undeliverable Mail
Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender
Warning: could not send message for the past 1 hour
Warning: could not send message for the past 4 hours

International versions:
Benachrichtung zum Ubermittlungsstatus (Fehlgeschlagen)
Mesaje no entregado - Underlivered Message
Mutmassliche unerbetente Massen E-mail von Ihnen
Nie powiodla sie proba wyslania pczty: zwrot do adresata
Notifica sullo stato del recapito (Errore)
Notificacion del estado de la entrega
Notification d'etat de remise (echec)
*Tu mensaje ha sido bloqueado GSL Antispam y no se entrego