I am a lover of open source, so I really enjoyed using Mozilla Thunderbird and Calendar until we started using Exchange Server in our office and I stopped receiving mail from my CEO and our VCs. Everyone else was fine, mysteriously. So, I had to plug in to the Exchange Server and figured it was a good time to switch to M$ Outlook so I could also start sending an receiving calendar events.
Trouble is, you can’t export Thunderbird mail messages directly to Outlook. The help docs and various menus and screens create the appearance of a possibility, but after some investigation I realized this was all a ruse.
Last week, Huned and I exchanged some emails about the future of the Web. Specifically, we were discussing the interfaces that will replace the current Web browser and client-side applications. Biased by the recent pain involved in deploying graphics-rich Swivel, citing the frequent practice of hiding rich data in PDFs instead of loading them directly into a browser, Huned argued:
Quick note: Huned and co have finally launched Swivel.
Techcrunch loves them, and I do too. Go share data!
I am always saddened to see plywood wheelchair access ramps retrofitted to multimillion dollar edifices. They’re ugly and incongruous, and shout “whoops, we forgot about you,” to a valuable minority of users. It leaves me hoping that the building owners sued the architects. Unless the building was designed before 1670.
Little people write
in little letters
thinking small ideas
about their betters
During the course of my recent search for a Junior Product Manager, I met some people who were interested in learning more about what it means to be a product manager.
Here’s a recommended reading list – these books got me through the early stages of my prodman career, and now live on my nightstand or workbench. They’re heavily skewed towards Internet product design (less low-tech, less marketing stuff, more design and usability). In my future “funnest job” rant I’ll talk about all of the disciplines that product management intersects, so all of my avid reader can better understand just how biased this list really is.
Part of the fun of producing web pages and applications is that we get to be medicine men: wave our hands, write some code, and suddenly the Golem springs to life. The truth of the matter is that we’re closer to Ed Norton’s character in the beautiful but mostly pointless movie The Illusionist. Behind every stage trick is a logical (and sometimes overwrought) explanation. The only real mysteries lie within our own hearts and desires, and we can master our environments by recognizing the distinction between mind and machine.
For my part, I am mystified by engineers who use cajoling as a debugging tactic. These are the people who talk to their dev environments like Han Solo, begging more speed from the Millennium Falcon: “C’mon baby, work for me… (screen refresh)… nooooooo! Why god, why?!”
On Saturday, 9/23 my brother Wil’s band Dubconscious from Athens GA will be playing at the Lion’s Den in the Village.
Dubconscious has been touring nationally, putting on shows with the Wailers, Burning Spear, and other big reggae names. If you’ve met Wil then you know he’s a cool guy, incredible guitarist, and the man who named and raised Mystery Dogg.
Know anyone else who likes reggae, dub, jam bands, or has a large mailing list? Please forward this invitation along.
Catching up on Jakob Neilsen’s articles, I came across this piece on users’ reading patterns. This is a good one to bookmark, so you can easily explain to someone why “clever” section headings aren’t generally a good idea. If a heading doesn’t clearly explain the content’s value, the user moves on pretty quickly.
It also raises questions about the trend towards placing site navigation along the right side of a page. I think it’s a good idea in blogs, where we can expect that a user is really only interested in the current article – don’t distract their eyes with a left-side list of links.
Citing a report by eROI, MediaPost published interesting information today about email open and clickthrough rates. The findings? Weekends get the best open rates (37-38%, which seems extremely high to me).