Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Monday, November 01, 2004

If you hold a meeting, and no one shows up, did the meeting ever happen? : I can't remember if or how much I've written on this subject here, but over the past year or so I've been investing a certain amount of energy in trying to get some sort of social/intellectual interaction happening between the PhD students at GSLIS. On average, attendance at our gatherings is ok, about half of the group (8-9 of 18). At this afternoon's get-together, four people besides myself showed up, and two of those left (and I don't blame them) after seeing that this wasn't going to be much of a meeting. Two people had emailed me with regrets before hand, but a lot of folks just didn't show.

I suppose I should expect setbacks, but I couldn't (can't) help feeling disappointed about the turnout. While I don't spend that much time on this kind of thing, it is one more thing to think about, one more thing to do. My ROI on these meetings are low: I'm lucky if I break even, so to speak. But meetings like today leave me deeply in the red.

One of the other folks who did show up suggested that we take the meeting back to its original purpose: for PhD students to do breif presentations on thinkgs they are working on, and get feedback. To kickstart this process, at our next meeting (in a few worrks) we three will be giving 'lightening round' presentations on our work: 10 minute presentation with 5 minutes for questions. That and some coffee should hopefully make the meeting worthwhile.

At the end of the meeting, we'll choose three new people to present at the next meeting. If there is not enough interest, or if not enough people attend for us to find three people to present, I'll probably step away from the meetings and focus on other things.

(It may be, of course, that the other students have already reached the same decision I have and decided not to bother attending. If that's the case, I hope I find out soon so that I (and others) can stop wasting my (our) time.)