Revealing Email Completion

The smarter software gets, the better it reflects our needs. Take the automatic completion of email addresses, for example. Start up a new message in and many other mail programs, type a letter in the To: field, and the program will complete the most recent/most popular person’s name that starts with that letter. Here are my completions, and why they’re in there:

  • A is for Andrew Calvo, our conference sales manager.
  • B is for the backchannel, where we mail our thoughts we shouldn’t blog publicly.
  • C is for Chris diBona, the Google open source guy.
  • D is for Dornfest, Rael — my other wife.
  • E is for Schuyler Erle, map hacker extraordinaire.
  • F is for Brady Forrest, one of the coolest people at Microsoft.
  • G is for Gina Blaber, director of conferences.
  • H is for Marc Hedlund, our entrepreneur in residence and the man behind CodeZoo.
  • I is for Ian White, the man behind amazing physical map technology.
  • J is for Jon Orwant, coolest guy in the world.
  • K is for Lauren Kilcullen, venue manager for O’Reilly conferences.
  • L is for Lauren as well.
  • M is for Vee McMillen, our speaker coordinator.
  • N is for me. Why the hell do I send myself mail, when all incoming mail from me is filtered out of my sight?
  • O is for Om Malik, telephony reporter extraordinaire.
  • P is for Surj Patel, telephony genius at large.
  • Q is for Quinn Norton, the whip behind Life Hacks.
  • R is for Rael again, we’ve been catching up a lot after his vacation.
  • S is for Sara Winge, the genius behind FOO Camp.
  • T is for Tim O’Reilly, you might have heard of him.
  • U is for Udi Manber, the CEO of
  • V is for Vee McMillen again. We have a lot of conferences coming up.
  • W is for Sara Winge again.
  • X is for Xavier Cazin, an editor in our French office.
  • Y is for Peter Yared, CEO of ActiveGrid.
  • Z is for Zawodny, Jeremy, the best public face Yahoo! could have.

I’m not surprised that conferences staff feature so heavily: we’re in crunch mode for OSCON and EuroOSCON. The Google and Yahoo presences aren’t surprising–I try to keep up with what they’re doing. You can see some of my recent interests (telephony, mapping) and some friends (Quinn, Brady). It’s a pretty accurate reflection of who I email. It’s a fun thing to check yourself: what does it tell you about where your email goes?