Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pre-honeymoon horoscope

From iGoogle:

You are growing stronger day-by-day as you move closer to realizing your goals. But there appears to be so much on your plate now that you wish you accomplished more when you had extra time on your hands. Fortunately, you may be ready to accept a more balanced approach to life. Ease off on the gas pedal just enough to enjoy the ride. You'll still reach your destination on time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Three days and counting...

Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful. There are brides who take sabbaticals from work in order to plan their weddings. Others hire high-price professional wedding planners to help with the coordination and execution. And others opt to go it alone.

On the night my fiancee and I got engaged, we made the decision to plan our wedding in San Francisco, where we've both lived for many years. We're East Coast transplants so planning the wedding here meant it would be very difficult for our families to support us during location scouting, vendor selection, menu selection, compiling guest lists, selecting gift registries, ketubah and wedding ring selection, dress selection and alterations, music selection, and general coordination of the entire event. We both work pretty intensive full time jobs and wedding planning was going to take a backseat if we didn’t figure out a way to get on top of it.

How do we plan a wedding where nearly everyone except the bride and groom are from out of town? How do we make sure that our moms don’t miss out on the experience of planning the wedding with us? How do we bridge the 3000-mile distance between our guests and us? How do we get the wedding of our dreams without diverting too much attention from our demanding jobs?

I had an idea.

I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in front of a computer. In fact, outside of Silicon Valley, the amount of time I spend online might be considered a severe illness. Lucky for me, I live in California where this is just par for the course.

I’m three days away from my wedding and the only tool I used was free and under my nose the whole time. Firefox 3. My browser of choice since the first beta came out.

Announcing that I wanted to plan my wedding using a Web browser that hadn't yet been declared "final" made some people very nervous. "You mean you're not only planning your wedding online, you're also planning it with BETA software?!" The moms were sufficiently horrified. What if something crashes? What if you lose everything you've been working on? What if? What if? The moms had an abundance of "what if's," particularly around wedding planning.

There was an opportunity buried in this challenge. I work on public relations for Mozilla. Much of my job involves talking about the importance of the browser, why it matters, why it’s more than a commodity, how it can make you more efficient, more effective, and more organized. So, I decided to “dog food” Firefox 3 and plan my entire wedding on the Web and then share how I did it. Here’s a quick run down of all of the things I’ve used the Web to plan my wedding. After the honeymoon, I’ll let you know how it turned out. :)

Using the Firefox 3 Awesome Bar:
  1. Location scouting
  2. Vendor selection
  3. Gift registry
  4. Ketubah and Wedding Ring Design
  5. Wedding Dress Selection

Using Gmail and Google Documents:
  1. Compiling Guest Lists
  2. Menu Selection
  3. General Coordination
  4. Music Selection
  5. Shared Scheduling/Calendaring