Monday, June 1, 2009

Beckoning our Alumni

Finally, today I sent out a mass mailing to all of the Venice Project Center alumni for whom we had an email address:

Dear VPC alumn:

As you may recall, the first team of WPI students conducted their “bootstrap” project at the Venice Project Center in term B of 1988. 

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have taken a look back at the last two decades and have been releasing all of our information through a variety of web tools:

Our main Venice 2.0 web site – you can get everywhere else from here.  It changes every time you reload it!                      
The anniversary blog – is the best place to find out what is happening now and how your projects are being followed up!
The
 
VPC social network site (ning) – please JOIN this!  You will reconnect with your old pals!
Our
 
Venipedia wiki – our contribution to the world!
Our Photo Gallery – help us populate this with pictures form YOUR time in Venice!
The
 
Project Repository (Dspace) – find your project here!

I am writing to invite you to take a look at these impressive sites and to give us some feedback on this alpha release, by sending emails to me and to the “team” who is helping me put this together, at venice2point0@wpi.edu.  If you are more ambitious and want to spare us some time, you can also enter your comments/reports in our BUGS/SUGGESTIONS WIKI at http://venice2point0.wikidot.com/bugs, which is off our Dashboard (reachable by clicking DASH on the Venice 2.0 main menu) at http://venice2point0.wikidot.com/.

There are many other interesting links on the main menu off the Venice 2.0 site, such as the Fabs link at: http://www.venice2point0.org/fab-lab/ that you may want to explore as well. 
Click around on all links in the blog as well, if you have time.  Any feedback you can give us before the BETA is released next month would be greatly appreciated.
Keep visiting these sites.
  They change daily!!!

We are planning some BIG EVENTS for the coming B term, so stay tuned! (Considering traveling to Venice this fall?)

I wish I could see you all in Venice!  Please drop me a note ane let me know where you’re at in your life…
Or, better yet, leave comments on our
VPC Alumni NING social networking site.

Most serenely,

Fabio

Hamlet Nina helped put together our initial list of former VPC students, obtained from our alumni office.  The initial SQL query on the WPI alumni database yielded 344 names.  A manual integration based on the original Access database of all VPC projects got us to 453 names, which we the integrated with the last 3 years of student projects that are now being stored in our fabulous Dspace repository, which shows 492 authors (but is missing 13 students from 2007 projects), for a grand total of 505 Venice IQP alumni (still to be confirmed).  In addition there were also a dozen or more MQP students in Venice over the years, and we plan to get them included in our anniversary celebration as well.
Careful online sleuthing by Hamlet and Kyle Miller helped us track down contact information for almost all the names we have.  We are still collating all our datasets, but it seems like we have some sort of contact information for all but 25 of our alumni. 
Today, I sent out the email to 377 alumni and only a dozen addresses bounced back.  We will probably need to send out letters and/or call the remaining ones to inform them of our anniversary celebrations, which are set to include a world heritage mashup, interactive art installations, concerts, biennale exhibits, newsletters, VPC merchandise, parties and a lot more!
A few dozen of our alumni have already heeded to our beckoning and joined our social network site... 

We're off to a good start!

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