[Theforum] Roll Call

Madhu Menon webguru at vsnl.net
Tue Oct 30 13:56:59 CST 2001

My apologies for not contributing anything useful to theforum, but I've 
been away all of last week at a wedding, and only just managed to get all 
my email down. I've got over 200 messages, so sorting it out will take some 
time. I do have some ideas for evolt, but need a day or two to get it all 
into a cohesive format. Meanwhile, you admins can finish your slugging 
match <grin type="cheeky">

And with that, let's move on to:

>Who are you?

My name is Madhu Menon. 26 on Nov 30. Single, white-ish (well, fairer than 
most Indians), male. Live in Bangalore, India (I seem to be my country's 
sole representative on thelist).

Nicknames: Madman, Mad - for no particular reason other than that in 
Tasmania (where I went to University), the Australians could pronounce my 
name properly, so I got myself a nick. (For the curious, the "dh" sound in 
Madhu is like the "the" sound with an added soft "d" emphasis. Oh, it's 
impossible to explain in email.)

>What do you do?

I recently chucked my job at a web development company to go solo as a user 
experience consultant. Before that, I was the Webmaster of CNET India. My 
interest areas are information architecture, usability, writing, UI design, 
Internet strategy, marketing, law and social psychology. More gory details 
at http://madman.weblogs.com/faq

>What do you want to do?

Oh, lots of things. Don't have space to list them all, so here are some 
important ones:

1) Like Isaac, I too want to travel all over the world. Budgetary 
constraints, unfortunately.
2) Own a restaurant
3) Start an innovative company like IDEO (http://www.ideo.com)
4) Get a regular cast member role in a Star Trek series
5) Write a book on management or some other topic that I'm passionate about
6) Make things easier to use in our daily lives
7) Be Matt Dillon in that scene from "Wild Things"

>What has been your experience with evolt so far?

I've been a member since mid-1999. I find the community very helpful, and 
unlike some other lists, there don't seem to be too many fanatics and 
people who are religious about technology. Religion (i.e., "my 
platform/OS/programming language/coding convention/database/[anything else] 
is supreme. People who use anything else are idiots") is never a good thing.

The good:
1) There are gurus on just about any topic. You know who you are.
2) Answers are usually received within 24 hours
3) I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I can help others
4) The list, thankfully, is not like the iron hand of one administrator. It 
truly feels like a "community".

The bad:
1) Sometimes, discussions can just get out of control. Long arguments do 
occassionally break out that witness many messages flying back and forth, 
hijacking the other discussions on thelist. Somewhat akin to carrying on a 
conversation when there are other people in the same room shouting at each 
other. If your cry for help with an issue gets caught in this crossfire, 
your chances of getting the question answered go down significantly.

This is, unfortunately, just a general characteristic of any list on which 
there are opinionated people. When things get to a point where we're just 
debating, say, whether Microsoft is a monopoly (<yawn>), we should either 
take it offlist or take it to another list created especially for that 
purpose (call it, say, therants?).

2) The US influence seems to be a bit heavy. I suppose this is because many 
members are American, but still...
When someone makes a cultural reference, I'm sometimes at a loss to figure 
out what he or she means. For example, a reference to, say, Starbucks. 
Assuming that everyone knows what Starbucks is/sells isn't a wise move. (I 
used Starbucks as an example because they're very well known.)

3) Sometimes I wonder if some of the designers feel alienated with a few of 
the tech-heavy discussions that take place. I know that one of the admins 
feels this way. Being a techie, I love them, but I just wonder. I know that 
when something, say, PHP-related, comes up, I just skip it entirely because 
it's something I know nothing about.

The annoying:
1) I hate it when people quote a message verbatim and don't trim their 
posts. The listmom of another list I'm on makes sure that people don't do 
this by rejecting a message to the list if it contains a certain footer 
that is automatically added to the end of every message. Perhaps we should 
consider the same?

2) Damn time difference (India is 10.5 to 12.5 hours ahead of USA). By the 
time I get the digest, somebody will have already helped someone out. So I 
usually don't bother writing the same thing again unless I have some new 
perspective to offer. This may make me look like someone who doesn't 
contribute as much as some other people. :(
Not the fault of thelist at all, however.

3) Dan, run a grammar/spelling check on your messages please. (ha ha ha, 
couldn't resist that one. You know I jest, right?)

>Do you have a cat?

No. I dislike cats intensely. I'll never have a cat, not in this lifetime. 
I wish I could have a dog, though.

>Do you kick kittens?

Only if it kicked me first.

>Got a URL?

My weblog is at http://madman.weblogs.com
The design isn't anything to write home about (it uses a built-in theme) 
and I hope to change it soon.

>If you limited yourself to one food for the rest of your life what would

Since eating and cooking are favourite pastimes, I'd much sooner kill 
myself than be stuck with just one dish. But if you pin me to it, I guess 
it would be Singapore Laksa. If you haven't tried this glorious dish, 
you're missing out.

>Boxers or Thongs?

Huh? In Australia, thongs are what Americans call flip-flop slippers (see 
what I mean by cultural references?). But I know what you mean. I'd like to 
be able to afford boxers (they cost about 4 times as "thongs" here), so I 
usually have to make do without them.

>If you got into a fight with Taylor, would you win?

Of course.
BTW, am I armed? If not, a snap kick to the shin, followed by a strike to 
the throat, a jab to the carotid artery, and a knee to the groin would 
probably do it. Those damn Jean-Claude Van Damme movies make you think that 
high kicks are better. In fact, the higher the kick, the lower the power 
and more the chance you'll lose balance. Low kicks to the knee and shin are 
so much more effective. They can't fight you if they can't stand. ;)

Er, which Taylor are we talking about? The one who runs 
www.captaincursor.com? I've never seen him. I'm 5'7".



<<<   *   >>>
Madhu Menon
User Experience Consultant
e-mail: webguru at vsnl.net

Weblog: http://madman.weblogs.com

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