Blog Quandary

I am very excited to announce that this website is being redesigned professionally by the best web designer I know, Eve Simon. What you’re looking at right now (assuming you’re reading this in September of 2023) is a website that I designed. Having worked with and for lawyers most of my life, I know the adage about fools representing themselves, and I’m here to tell you that the same is true of consultants designing their own websites.

In preparation for the new site (which I expect to have up sometime next month, I’ll make a lot of noise about it when that happens), I’ve been pruning out all of the outdated or irrelevant posts on this 300 post blog which I’ve been running for close to 20 years. I’m weeding out obsolete things like my multi-post sets on using Google Reader and developing on Drupal 6; most of the off-topic political posts; all of my “where I’ll be at the Nonprofit Technology Conference” posts, but not the recaps; and other things that over the years have grown embarrassing or irrelevant.

What’s clear is that, in 2009, I saw things differently because things were different. A big theme for me was that information security needs to be applied judiciously so that it doesn’t alienate users and stifle innovation at a time when the web was introducing new strategic tools for nonprofits daily. “The ROI on Flexibility” is still one of the best I’ve written, and it was important at the time. But I’d be a lot more cautious about suggesting that the need for security might be a problem today.

It’s interesting to see how my thinking about technology has grown, and how accurate or inaccurate my predictions were:

  • And I was really big on the theme that security threats and regulation were going to force nonprofits to either invest more heavily in IT staffing or get to the cloud, where it can be managed for them. That was a good call.
  • But then there were the three posts talking about how Google Wave is going to replace email and Word, and I missed not just the boat but pretty much the whole ocean on that one.
  • I loved RSS. I still love RSS.

On the new site, I will need to treat these posts less like a blog and more like a book. I need to highlight the utility posts on topics like “how to write a technical all staff email“, “why help desk metrics are useless” and “why nonprofits need to compensate techies fairly“. These are old posts that are perfectly applicable today. In the early 2000’s, I had pretty relevant thinking on the intersections between technology and organizational culture, a lens that I bring to my current consulting work that I think elevates my assessments, which not only recommend what the company should do, but how they can do it given their budget, resources, and culture around technology use.

I have some valuable thoughts and recommendations here, but I can’t expect anyone to wade through it in reverse chronological order hoping to find them, even after the weeding is done. When this blog was active, the readership was relatively small. In the last five years, since I stopped posting more than once or twice a year, it gets little traffic. If any of the three people reading this have ideas on how I might highlight the good stuff on a new website that is in the process of being redesigned, I’d love your input.

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