Jul 17

Nat Torkington

Nat Torkington

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?

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