It’s a boy!


At a time when blogs, web sites and digital photos can reach the furthest friends around the world, you may still miss the chance to let your neighbors know about your greatest news ever: your kid is born. Colored bows (blu = boy, pink = girl) attached to doors or anything that moves (car antennas, scooters, etc.) are the best way to advertise the happy news. The rest organically happens when your favorite butcher, postman or hairdresser will spread the news to their customers. That’s what I call social tam tam.

We are writing an e-book about the Italian culture

Francesca is writing an ebook about the Italian culture. She is 90% done and this blog just scratches the surface of its content. This project was inspired by our previous trip to Italy. Given the fact that we have two little kids, we had to take a much more rigorous and organized approach to the plan, because there is very little free time in our life…

Fresh from my Program Manager experience in Microsoft Office 12, I divided the work in the following five phases:

Planning
Francesca spent two months (mainly weekends and nights) researching any available travel guide on the market to make sure that she wouldn’t duplicate efforts. Then we started collecting all our ideas in Microsoft OneNote (a fantastic tool, if you haven’t used it yet). During this exercise, we identified 630 subjects that we wanted to capture in pictures.

Content creation
We then flew to Italy for three weeks. While our parents where busy and delighted to babysit our kids, Francesca and I drove around several cities and took thousands of pictures. With our little MP3 recorder, we also captured a variety of original sounds.

Development
It took several weeks to clean up and organize our digital archive, but now I can proudly say that I can retrieve with a few mouse clicks any of the 2364 pictures by any subject (e.g. parking, food, shopping, etc.). Francesca in the meantime started writing her book.

Testing
After several more months of work (remember, she is still a full time mom), she is close to the end. The ebook is almost complete, we are reviewing it with friends and family and the feedback we are getting is very encouraging.

Shipping
The launch of the ebook is planned in the May ’06 timeframe. Stay tuned for more updates and in the meantime, please enjoy this blogged preview of its content.