Hoosoffline, Hoosonline

My mail is now working again. For the curious and other UVA alums out there, the problem alluded to in my previous post was caused by bad data in Hoosonline. It appears that when the UVA alumni association migrated Hoosonline from its original custom-developed platform to Kintera, some of the data for lifetime email forwarding was incorrectly migrated. Some people had their forwarding addresses forwarded to their forwarding addresses (holy circular routing, Batman!), while others just had things screwed up. Fortunately, after a few calls to the help number (434-243-2935), I got a live person on the phone named Tammy who was able to fix the problem.

The data issue was apparently compounded by the fact that the mail containing the temporary password for the new system was sent out the day before the changeover. Lesson for implementors of software: always give your users three times as much time as you think they’ll need to adapt to your new platform, or else your support call volume will triple.

I did learn one thing during the process, which is that the team that runs the project, UVAIM, has a blog (though no comments or trackback). Subscribed, obviously. I can only hope they check their site logs enough to find this message and that they consider involving alumni on the web in future decisions that affect alumni services.

Other reactions to the Hoosonline platform switch at the ever-vituperative message boards at TheSabre.com.