Every product planner should read this

When I linked to Jonathan Schwartz yesterday I knew that I'd be taught something within 24 hours that'd make me smarter.

Nicole Simon did it.

She explained why products don't escape the echo chamber of the geek world. International differences.

What kinds of international differences are you seeing that keeps you from adopting technology? 


Email triage

For the past few days, in between "getting back in the office" meetings and some video shoots, I've been dealing with the mess that is my email. I still have 470 emails to go. Sorry for not getting back to you. 

Anyway, I've triaged them into separate folders and now am turning on ClearContext and am trying to get them worked down.

Here's my folders, which might get you some insight into the kinds of emails that I'm getting.

BBQ: (7 requests to attend my BBQ on July 2)
Blog News (179 things emailed to me to put on my blog — I only can get around to five or 10 a day lately, so this shows the liklihood that something that gets emailed to me will get here).
Channel 9 (52 items, mostly about videos coming up, a lot of asking what's up with existing videos, I'm way behind, also, anyone asking for a Channel 9 guy, those are being sent out)
Condolences (114 emails saying sorry about my mom. Richard Edelman donated $500 to the National Park Service in my mom's memory. That was very nice, thanks.)
Events (39 emails about various events that are coming up, lots of speaking requests that I have to mostly turn down).
Interviews (15 requests for interviews. Now I know why we have a PR team! Heheh.)
Microsoft Internal Requests (teams want various things, mostly want feedback on new stuff, there are so many new things coming soon that I can no longer keep track of all of them).
Requests (29 general requests for me to track down info or help with a problem.)
Tech Support (14 emails asking for tech support with a Microsoft product or service that I need to figure out who to email to).

Whew, lots of emails. I'm very tempted to select all and delete. But I won't. It might take me a while to get back to these, though. While I typed this three more emails came in.

How do you deal with email when you come back from vacation? Anyone come back and have more than 1,000 waiting (which is what would have happened if I hadn't done some email work when I was out of the office with my mom in Montana)? 

Anyone have any good tips? Yeah, I'm using ClearContext too, but it only helps you get started, it doesn't answer the email for you.

By the way, thankfully I have Outlook 2007. There's something about using it that makes dealing with email a lot faster. I'm still trying to figure it out, but whenever I'm back on Outlook 2003 I feel slow. For one thing the search rocks. For another the UI is a lot nicer to use. But maybe that's just me. Anyone else noticing the same thing? 

Off to VLoggerCon

Tomorrow my son is graduating from elementary school. Heading to seventh grade. Damn, the years go so fast. I'm so proud of him, though, you should have seen his country report. It was a work of art! Thanks to Dave Winer, who bought him an iBook for his birthday, he got an A++ on that and, rumor has it, scored all A's.

Hope that all continues. I think back on my Junior High time back at Hyde Jr. High in Cupertino. I was there when that school uncrated its first Apple II. Yeah, with a cassette tape drive! Wheeeee, was that a lot of fun. I think that's gonna be my equivilent of "I trudged to school 10 miles in the good old days through foot-deep snow" kind of stories we used to hear from our parents and their friends as they tried to tell us how easy our lives were. Patrick will never know the joy of loading stuff into memory off of tape. He takes having Wifi for granted. I wonder what his world will be like when he's 41. "Hey, I remember the good old days when we only have 10mbit wireless and it was only at Starbucks or in our house."

Anyway, after the ceremonies with Patrick, I'm off to VLoggerCon. Damn, it sold out (there were 100 tickets available three days ago).  

I can't wait to meet Eric Rice again. He's doing a "HipCast" of the conference in Second Life, details here. I think we'll test the scalability of Linden Labs' server architecture, that's for sure. If you're there, let's get together make stupid faces at each other's videocams. 🙂