Category Archives: Work


So I sent out this mailing last week. Wasn’t in to deal with the ensuing mails, but I’m steadily working my way through the replies and the out of offices now.

We don’t get any personal mails back complaining that our newsletter is spam, and this time got only one message form an automated spam thingy:

Internet siuksliu filtravimo sistema “Mail Security” uzblokavo Jusu issiusta laiska, laisko tema: College of Europe Development Office Newsletter 4 – October 2005
gavejas: […]

Jeigu tas laiskas yra ne siuksle, pakeiskite jo tema/turini ir persiuskite dar karta.


Subject of the message: College of Europe Development Office Newsletter 4 – October 2005
Recipient of the message: […]

If your message isn’t a spam, change its subject/content and send the message again.

Tee hee. So in other words: if your message isn’t spam, please send a different message?


Waiting for the deluge

I don’t know about you, but I still get that frisson whenever I send out an e-mail newsletter.

I just now pressed the “Send” button for our Development Office’s fourth newsletter. Countless thousands of people will receive a mail I personally sent in their inboxes. Some of them won’t even read the mail because their spam filter will have intercepted it. Some of them will delete the mail outright. Some of them will give it a cursory glance and then delete it. Some of them will read it and actually click on the links.

[note to self: include table of contents next time, it’s become a little too unwieldy]

And then there will be the flood of e-mails back.

“Please remove me from you mailing list” and “Please note my e-mail has changed” and “Person X has been replaced by person Y, please change your database accordingly”. We haven’t received any “Why am I receiving this” or “Stop spamming me” since the very first newsletter, so that’s pretty good. To the contrary, we get “thank you for the interesting newsletter” and things.

And of course, we also get more than our share of “mailbox full” and “out of office” mails.

Which is what I’m now waiting for. Anxiously. Because the first “out of office” mail is a sign that the mailing has actually been delivered to people.

Yes, I know I could check the mail server, and I’ve been down to IT to do just that. But I don’t trust technology sometimes.

update 18:23 …aaand we have impact 🙂 The very first mail I received back:

Returned message. The size of sent message exceeds the max. spool size, 10.0MB, of X’s.
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More 404s


I’d put off going through the 404s (see a previous post) for a couple of days, and to my horror I was greeted by hundreds of errors when I finally got to the 404 folder this morning.

Hundreds! I thought something had seriously gone wrong with our website, but no: some eejit inadvertently entered our domain name when he/she tried to download an entire collection of porn from some German Scheisse-movie site.


So what I though was going to take ma at least an hour or two, turned out to be finished in about ten minutes or so.

Which is good news. Because it means I’m now going to take a stab at implementing the Event Calendar on our site. Not simple by anyone’s standards, what with the site being such an amalgam of technologies and hacks. And I’ve about two and a half hours to do it.


Another year, another opening

Has it really been a year since I last attended an opening of the academic year at the College?

Why, so it has. Imagine that.

Of course, last year I had no official role there, and now I had: I was to take a couple of picture for the internet. To put online while we waited for the official photographer to send us the official photos.

Well, I was a model of restraint. Only a little over a hundred photos, including some last-minute ones at the reception of Javier Solana with students, of professors and ex-professors, and of (weirdly) a numbe rof professors and the rector of a Turkish university. 

“You,” they said, “take pictures of these people”. And so I did. Never mind that I’m not a photographer or anything. Ha!

And I still haven’t properly said hello to someone I knew at the College almost two decades ago when I did student jobs here. Last year I introduced myself to her and she was more confused than anything else; this year I didn’t have the heart to walk up to her and say hello.

Next year!

Meeting delayed

Great stuff.

I had a meeting at ten, but things being as busy as they sometimes are, my meetee didn’t make it in time. So I had some time to burn waiting for her.

It didn’t seem a good idea to start something difficult like, say, the event calendar on our website, or the new intranet because I had no idea if whe was going to be five minutes or half an hour.

So I attacked my Unread Mail folder. Good thing too: there were a couple of absolutely-needed-to-look-at-them-rightaway items in there. And I’m back to 0 Unread Mail.

Which is nice.

Revue de presse

HĂ© ben, ça nous change des accusations de (shh!) mafia: Le Monde de l’Education de cet octobre 2005.

Le Monde

Pas mal, pas mal. Je me demande si on ne pourrait pas mettre cet article quelque part sur le site. Téléphoner le journaliste demain. Mouais.

What, me busy?

Eeyurgh. It’s been one of those plate-juggling days: a dozen equally important, equally needed to be done by, um, let’s see, yesterday things, punctuated with cursory glances at the 404s every half hour or so—can’t let them sit for a day and do them all at once or I’d never get on top of them—and of course the constant e-mail barrage, phone calls every so often, my weekly trip to Verversdijk, the weekly IT/Communications meeting, a briefing to (of all people!) The Reference this morning, a reply to a reply for a call for tender (which come to think of it I still need to redo seeing as I’d done it in French and it turns out they need it in English), et caetera.

Still. Could be worse. Managed to clear up quite a few loose ends on the website, managed to get a couple of misunderstandings out of the way, managed to set a meeting date to add more information about our campus buildings and residences, got some student event info from Natolin, reached an agreement about the new student website (more work I’m afraid, but still, nice to have an agreement).

And I managed to reduce the amount of newsletters I have to send out tomorrow by two. From three: this morning I knew I had to send out one newsletter for our Malaysia project, another one for UNU-CRIS, and a third one—actually a press release in the form of a newsletter—for our latest round of EU Policy Workshops. Fast forward a couple of hours, and the press release will be proper press release plus a section in the regular Development Newsletter, the UNU-CRIS thing has been upgraded (or downgraded, depends on how you see things :D) to an intranet item.

Which leaves the Malaysia newsletter. Which I’ll do first thing tomorrow morning. Right after my meeting with the student representatives. And just before my redoing the ACLT pages. Good thing the afternoon meeting for tomorrow has been cancelled (even if nobody seems to have done anything about the actual meeting request yet, ha!).

Um. Ah yes: welcome to my new weblog, auf Englisch und Französisch.