Monday, January 31, 2005
Apparently some people are hesitant about bidding on the auction in case they win. I know the feeling, do I have enough tough questions to justify an hour of Richter or Prosise time, do I have my act together on Web Services and Interop enough to grill Michele on them properly...
Relax. You don't have to think of it that way. Whoever you win, fire us an email with something that's been bugging you. Like “can you really explain this whole destructors in C++ when it's managed code and the object I'm using wasn't even written in C++?” Or like some of the old emails I cleared out this last week: “how can I uninstall a service?” “how do I restrict forms authentication in ASP.NET to only some folders? How can I force a logout when they browse from a secured to an open page?” and “why am I getting this linker error?”. Maybe that uses up 10 or 20 minutes. Fine, next time you have a toughy like that, send it along. By the time you use up your whole hour, you'll probably have become a friend/colleague/former client who can send questions like that once in a while for the rest of your life.
Or, how about this? Take a look at the talks your selected consultant has prepped for upcoming conferences (get us to send you the abstracts we've submitted) and have us deliver a private session of a useful talk to your whole company over LiveMeeting. There's a free LiveMeeting trial going on, and the talks have to be prepped anyway, so your hour would just be the delivery of the talk, to as many of your colleagues as you can get online at once. So it might end up 90 minutes, we don't mind.
You can't lose! Hell, even if you use your hour to take one of us for a drink the next time we're in the same city, what really counts is you gave $100 or $150 or $200 to help people who have NO clothes, NO books, NO walls around them.... this is a FUNDRAISER so come on, let's raise some funds!
Thursday, January 27, 2005
The February meeting of the East of Toronto User Group will be on a Monday, due to room issues. Join us February 21st for the MSDN User Group Tour.
We are meeting in room 1011 at the Durham District School Board, 400 Taunton Road East in Whitby. Social from 6-7, presentation starts at 7. Visit http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/UG_Events/936.aspx to register, to click for a map to the location or to check all the goodies we will have for attendees. Come and hear Adam Gallant of Microsoft show you what interop can do in real life.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Barry Gervin is bidding on some of his fellow celebrities in the fundraising auction. But the thing is, Barry is a .NET expert in his own right and employs quite a few more. And you know, if he asked me to help him with some little thing that would only take an hour, I would. So he doesn't need the services he's bidding for in quite the same way as other folks do. So he has a few, er, creative ideas for how to use an hour... still consulting, mostly, but ...
But to clarify, I won't so much shave my head as shorten my hair by the same number of inches that Barry shortens his. That should still leave me three feet or so
I am learning a lot about how EBay works. In IM with Adam and Julie I think I have figured it out. Let's say you went right now to bid on the auction (good for you!) and you bid $200. Not “$100 now and if I need to then automatically raise me to $200” but just flat out $200. Your bid would still appear as $100. Why? Because there are 30 items available and so far only 27 have been bid for. Once there are more than 30 bids, we will start to see real bids and not just the minimum. So come on, go bid. Believe me you will get more than $100 value no matter who you get, and you'll be helping a good cause.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Stephen Forte has posted a voluminous update that includes links to all our blogs and little bios of us all, in case there are one or two you haven't heard of. Check it out.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Here's a blog entry by the surfers I mentioned yesterday explaining some of what they're up to and how desparately it's needed. And Julie has a delightful picture of them, too.
Julie is still getting our ducks in a row with EBay. As you can imagine, you can't just hold an auction and claim it's a fundraiser -- what a fraud opportunity.that would be! There are letters and faxes and suchlike to make sure that everybody is on the up and up. The good news is that because EBay and Paypal are doing this, you can be confident your money (you are going to bid, aren't you?) is going where we say its going. The bad news is I don't have an EBay link yet
Thursday, January 20, 2005
An absolutely stellar group of people, dubbed by Julie Lerman to be .NET Celebrities, have come together to offer up our tiny little bit of help for those whose lives, homes, loved ones, livelihoods, and dreams were washed away on Boxing Day of last year. The immediate “if we don't get fresh water in there they will all die” crisis is past, but there is so much rebuilding work to be done. The agency we've selected is Aceh Aid at IDEP which is local to Sumatra and has been on the ground since the waves hit. This is a nimble and creative group that, for example, teamed up with the surfing community to get boats into the worst hit places while large outside groups couldn't figure out how to reach them. It's going to be an EBay auction with payment through PayPal directly to a US foundation that supports IDEP -- that way for US-based people it will be tax deductible for sure. I am working on an answer for Canadians on that. Of course if your company spends the money to get the advice, then your company can deduct it as an expense, just the same as if you wrote me a cheque for my time.
There are 25 of us up for auction. Top bidder gets their pick of Jeffrey Richter, John Robbins, Jeff Prosise, Michele Leroux Bustamante, Jonathan Goodyear, Andrew Brust, Richard Campbell, Adam Cogan, Malek Kemmou, Jackie Goldstein, Goskin Bakir, Hector M Obregon, Patrick Hynds, Fernando Guerrero, Kate Gregory, Joel Semeniuk, Scott Hanselman, Barry Gervin, Clemens Vasters, Jorge Oblitas, Stephen Forte, John Lam, Deborah Kurata, Ted Neward and Kathleen Dollard. Wow! (And like I need to link to their blogs -- you know who these people are!) Most are friends of mine already, 18 are RDs, 5 are Canadian, all are top notch .NET stars who know their stuff and are in the habit of solving problems for people.
So what we are auctioning is one hour of mentoring. Phone, IM, email, whatever. (We won't fly out to you.) If you're the top bidder, you get whoever you want from that list. Second bidder chooses from the still stellar list remaining. And so on.
Most of us are consultants so you could theoretically buy our time. But that's in theory. My firm doesn't take one hour jobs. We don't really like to take one day jobs. Our preference for mentoring work is to take a $5000 retainer and let you know when you've used most of it up and need to send more. (We make exceptions for some work that's really technically interesting and fun, but we still need to be confident it will go on for a while.) I expect it's a similar situation for the others. That means we're offering something you otherwise couldn't buy. I want you to keep that in mind, then go bid more (a lot more) than you think an hour of my time is worth. The money goes to those who need it, you get a deduction, and you get some important business problem solved. Can't fail!
I'll post a link to the auction as soon as it's live.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
In fact, you've been able to register for over a week, I just didn't notice until today. Last year it sold out, so if you already know you want to go, start making your plans now. If you register early you save money, there's some sort of sweepstakes to be won, and you'll know one little part of your year plan well in advance. Go on, register.
Me? I'm hoping to be there as a speaker (I submitted a number of C++ talks) or to take advantage of some not-yet-announced-I'm-just-hoping pass for RDs or MVPs or INETA speaker bureau folks or something, so I haven't registered. One way or another, I will be there.
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