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Names matter

Posted by arnold on June 28, 2005 at 4:27 PM PDT

A clue for the folks who run this conference: When I run into someone I've met at last year's JavaOne, what's the first thing I want from the conference badge? Let me give you a hint: it isn't to see whether they have the same X-Ray of a cell phone that every other attendee has. This may come as a surprise, but trust me on this.

I want to know their freakin' name.

I'm particularly bad at names, but I know I'm not the only one who needs the help. This is why conference badges traditionally have names on badges that are large enough to be read from a few feet away, sometimes even across a room, and occasionally are readable from low Earth orbit. This allows you to be reminded of someone's name when they greet you without peering in way that at best makes your memory failure obvious, or at worst will get you slapped.

This year's badges have print you can only read by grabbing the tag and pulling it up to your eyes, or by getting your nose closer to some folks than is actually healthful.

Whoever designed the badges needs to be forced to put their noses close to all the attendees until they get the point.

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