Post Conference Spam

Sadly information technology conferences give our email addresses and phone numbers to the vendors who attended. That results in me getting an uptick of spam especially in the weeks after it. It is easy to tell the spam from the conference because the vendors mention the name of the conference. All the conferences do it. It is just one of those things from going to them.

One recent gem: “Sorry we missed you.” Actually, I intentionally did not visit the vendor area. I have no budget authority,  so I am pretty much wasting their time. Last year I did with an old boss and ironically used my familiarity with Desire2Learn to get him a moose doll for his son. (He’d already gotten one for his daughters but felt bad about getting a third. Family stability is more important than some extra spam.)

Technically spam is “unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses.” This is commercial email. The number of addresses is modest so not large. But, I think where it gets interesting is whether or not it is solicited. One could make the argument that the conferences solicit the email addresses of attendees as an enticement for the vendors to attend. The quality of the vendors entices attendees. (I’m pretty sure people who care enough at all are a small proportion.)

It is tempting to ask the conference if it is possible to have the vendors mark categories of products they sell and attendees to mark what categories they are interested in hearing. Unfortunately, I would expect 93% of attendees to mark nothing as their interests to avoid getting spammed. Maybe a mitigation is say if you mark nothing, then we send you everything. (So pick your poison.)

 

Name Collisions

Blackboard has a conference they call BbWorld. I noticed there are some odd tweets with the same #bbworld hashtag lately. These appear to be about a Blackberry conference to be held next month.

Collisions on names are common enough. For example, here are a couple names our clients use to brand their sites which other places also use.

My own project, GeorgiaVIEW is not immune. Some time ago I noticed the GeorgiaView Consortium (geological remote sensing) at the University of West Georgia.

I guess it is a good thing one Bbworld is in July and the other is in September.

For now I’ll just drop my RSS feed for the hashtag.

VistaSWAT

Do you run one of these versions of the former WebCT products?

  • CE4.x
  • CE6.x
  • CE8.x
  • Vista 3.x
  • Vista 4.x
  • Vista 8.x

If so, then you should join us for the next Vista SWAT web conference call Thursday, May 14th (and every other Thursday). We help each other solve issues and better understand how to use / run the product.

To be added to the Vista SWAT e-mail list, please e-mail jeff.longland who uses the uwo.ca domain. He graciously sends out the reminders.

I’m sure the Blackboard acquisition of ANGEL will get discussed.
🙂 

Search

Information is only valuable when found. It is great someone took notes during the conference call, but four months later, when I do not recall the date of the meeting or who sent the notes, I’ll rely on my computer searching for it.

Thunderbird returns pretty quickly when it searches subjects only. So I will start there. I will try a few terms. Probably it will yield a few results without what I seek or too many results to browse through because people rarely use descriptive subjects.

Next, I will turn to searching the bodies of emails. As long as the notes were taken by someone technical, they will be text in the body of the email. So I will find them easily. Non-technical folks send the notes inside Word or Excel documents. So I won’t find the notes.

Not finding information because notes are inside attachments has burned me lately, so I have taken to copying out the text and sending it to myself as regular text.

Bb 9 is NextGen?

UPDATE: Have another source who disagrees with Badge who made the claim below.

———

Hopefully this is true. I’d hate to be spreading a false rumor. Anyone willing to confirm? 😀

According to J. L. Badge, Blackboard 9 will be the “NextGen” product we are… *cough* eagerly… *ahem* waiting to see. John Fontaine was in our building Thursday. He mentioned NextGen several times. I must have fallen asleep to have missed a version number was mentioned when he talked about NextGen. It makes me wonder if Jan Posten Day’s recent blog post re: Blackboard Ide Exchange is to elicit early feedback on NextGen?

Certainly, if Bb9 is The One and people can get a first look at BbWorld ’08, then the conference will be mobbed. Lovely.

The “Too little, too late.” comment is funny. Apparently he is professor who has moved on to hanging out by himself in Second Life. A little ahead of the curve.

My interest for Blackboard products are 1) stability, 2) deployments, and 3) doing tier 3+ support well. These early looks are only going to tell me maybe a bit about #3. I really won’t know what I want to know until I talk to the Bb Perfomance Team and look at the dirt from the command-line. Of course, the elimination of all but a few Java applets deserves for us to lift John Fontaine up on our shoulders and parade him around all during BbWorld ’09.

BbWorld 2008 Call for Proposals

Last year, we three DBAs submitted three proposals thinking one might be accepted. All three were. Its daunting to think of something because we are behind the times. We run Vista 3.0.7 while almost everyone else is at least on 4.1.x or higher. Also, we ended up changing our presentations last year because we were not doing things we thought we would be doing. Ugh.

Presenting at BbWorld or Blackboard Developers Conference is a great professional development opportunity and fabulous way to share your knowledge with your peers. BbWorld® ’08Deadline for Proposal Submission: February 22, 2008

Maybe we could do one on:

  • Staying Beneath the Threshold of Doom: 6-8 vs. 40 clusters?
  • Planning the Largest Vista 3 to 4 Migration
  • API Logging: Users Connection to Vista Not in Your Logs
  • Creating an Audit of User Activity

Rock Eagle Wrap-Up

Index of posts:

  1. RE 2007: GeorgiaVIEW Meeting (Pre-Conference)
  2. RE 2007: Birds of Feather: GeorgiaVIEW Vista
  3. RE 2007: Top Ten Disruptive Trends
  4. RE 2007: Birds of a Feather: Luminis
  5. RE 2007: Administering Sakai
  6. RE 2007: GeorgiaVIEW Vista File and Content Sharing
  7. RE 2007: USG Digital Content Repositories: Resources to Share

After this point, I got wrapped up in other things, moderating, fireworks, a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, and dealing with tickets. The above are all sessions which affect my area even tangentially. Hope you enjoy.

RE 2007: Birds of a Feather: Luminis

Kathy Kral, University of West Georgia

  • Luminis IV CPIP connector: Clayton, Augusta, West GA.
  • Issues with IMS when allowing IMAP from outside the Luminis application? VSU no issues with IMAP and POP allowed outside. Augusta initially restricted but opened up access without advertisement. Mention on one of email lists Blackberries fail to do a close with connection resulting in stale sessions accumulating.
  • Mailbox sizes: West GA 10MB, Augusta 40MB for students and 125MB for faculty, Valdosta 250MB.
  • Makarand Kulkarani, Sungard – Created a replacement so mailbox is Gmail. This is a professional service engagement. Engagements start at 90 hours with unused hours un-billed. When GCF connectors are built Training similar, typically 48 hours.
  • Name changes are a pita.

Jesse Lyman built a Luminis to Vista 4 single-sign on connector to handle multiple institutions.