This post was published in September 2010, so the information in the post or about me in the sidebar may no longer be correct.


Lots of seemingly-different-but-actually-related thoughts coming together these last few weeks. What Gruber said at dConstruct seems to be underlying everything. Spoiler? It all comes down to taste.

Aside: Listen to the talks. All of them.

This email from university today made me think about this more. On top is the email I received, below is how I would have written it.

Email from York

If you’re going to be given the ‘power’ to email several thousand students with one click, somebody should be ensuring that you have the level of taste required to do that properly. This person does not. Seriously: that’s the entirety of the email she sent. No indication of who she was, why I received it, where it came from (except the from: address). This isn’t rocket science, it’s just that some people clearly have attention to detail approaching zero in some situations.

This is something that’s coming up time and time again for me. It sounds elitist and snobby, but I can’t think of a way around it: in situations where lots of people can affect a single thing*, there needs to be a gatekeeper.

* A thing can be a project, website, brand, or any number of other things.

In this case, her email is affecting the Halifax college or university brand - and not in a good way. YUSU is an organisation who really look like they get this. Everything that I’ve seen come out of there has been beautiful. From their weekly emails, to logos, to building signage and their website. All the way down to whatever rubbish they’ll give out to new students in a few weeks (key rings, calendars, pens, etc). It all looks stunning. This is so important.

Taste, and attention to detail. I’m going to be thinking about them far more than ever before.


By Vanderdecken on 15 September 2010 at 12:59:

Capital F on the second occurrence of Facebook. :)

The worst thing that stood out for me immediately upon reading the first one was how much she managed to mangle that Facebook group URL. I keep being reminded of how easily I was able to deconstruct FB’s URL system and know which bits related to what and how so many people don’t know how this works. To wit, that the group URL can be stripped down to - it’s a group so group.php displays it and it has a GUID of 118076614803325. &ref=ts is just a referrer note and all the other crap in the middle is dealing with a photo that they first viewed then clicked an internal FB link to get to the group.

By Alex Muller on 15 September 2010 at 15:59:

Exactly Greg - it’s stuff like that I can’t get my head around. Surely, no matter how much you hate computers, photo.php is something to do with a photo and group.php is something to do with a group. Apparently some people don’t notice stuff like that…

By Vanderdecken on 15 September 2010 at 17:56:

Nope, they don’t look at the URL and even if they did they wouldn’t understand that the .php is a PHP file, that the ?foo=bar&something=else are arguments to that or that the #!/ is Facebook’s silly way of tacking on the new address to the previous page you were viewing.

By Michael on 20 September 2010 at 01:35:

I got this from spd2 and it had this on the bottom of it:

Amanda Robb

Senior Accommodation Assistant

so it looks like you got the version without the from on the end…

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