This post was originally published on the NTEN Blog on December 24th, 2015. As years go, 2015 was a significant one in my career. The work of a CIO, or IT Director, or whatever title you give the person primarily responsible for IT strategy and implementation, is (ideally) two parts planning and one part doing. So in 2015—my third year at Legal Services Corporation—we did a couple of the big things that we’d been planning in 2013 and 2014. First and foremost, we (and I do mean we—I play my part, but I get things done with an awesome staff and coworkers) rolled out the… Read More »Year-end Reflections
Topics related to using and dealing with digital life.
We’ve gotten far past the early internet days when registering a domain name usually meant choosing between .COM, .ORG, and .NET. The number of top level domains (TLD) has exploded, and you can now grab names ending in .BAND, .BEER, .BARGAINS, .BEST, .BLOG, .BOO, .BUZZ, and .WTF (really!), to name just a few. The full list of new additions is here. Two new TLDs are of particular interest to nonprofits. Next week, you’ll have the option of registering a .NGO domain (Non Govermental Organization). Should you? I’d say that it depends on the scope of your nonprofit. Is it international? Do you work outside of… Read More »A Tale Of Two Domain Extensions
Here we go again! Another communication/info management Google product that is likely doomed to extinction (much like recent social networks I’ve been blogging about), and I can’t help but find it significant and important, just as I did Google Wave, Google Buzz, and the much-loved Google Reader. I snagged an early invite to Google’s new “Inbox” front-end to GMail, and I’ve been agonizing over it for a few weeks now. This app really appeals to me, but I’m totally on the fence about actually using it, for a few reasons: This is either a product that will disappear in six months, or it’s what Gmail’s standard… Read More »Why I’m Intrigued By Google’s Inbox
Regular blog readers know that landing my job at Legal Services Corporation, the single largest funder of civil legal aid to people in financial need, was not an accident. The mission of providing representation to those who need it, but can’t afford it, is one that I targeted for over half a decade before getting this position. I’m passionate about the work of our grantees, because there is something about social and economic injustice that offends me at my core, and I consider it my responsibility and my privilege to be able to do work that attempts to alleviate such injustice. That’s my best explanation,… Read More »Hackcess To Justice
This post was originally published on the LSC Technology Blog in January of 2014. LSC is Legal Services Corporation, my employer. At LSC, we’ve been taking a critical look at our web site, to see if we can make it a more useful web site by factoring in all of the ways that people might want to view or use our information. In these days of big data and small screens, we realize that we have to be much more attentive to the ways that we present data than we have in the past. Identifying the different visitors who frequently use our site, we took a closer look… Read More »Making Your Website More Useful For More People
This post was originally published on the LSC Technology Blog in January of 2014. LSC is Legal Services Corporation, my employer. Hands down, the most popular feature on LSC’s website is our Find Legal Aid lookup, which directs you to the LSC-funded legal services provider in your service area. I’m happy to announce that we’ve given this lookup a refresh while simplifying its use. But we didn’t do it alone, and the story of how we got this project going is one that I really want to share with our community. As I’ve blogged about before, our service areas are a unique geography that doesn’t lend… Read More »Finding Aid To Improve Find Legal Aid
Image: Vince Lamb At least, if everything you know about it is everything that I knew about it before last week. I attended an NTEN 501TechClub event where Brett Schenker of Salsa Labs spoke on how the large mail services identify Spam emails. It turns out that my understanding that it was based primarily on keywords, number of links and bulk traits is really out of date. While every mail service has their own methods, the large ones, like GMail and Yahoo!, are doing big data analysis and establishing sender reputations based on how often their emails are actually opened and/or read. You probably have… Read More »Everything That You Know About Spam Is Wrong
Well, not real tears. But the announcement that Google Reader will need no longer available as of July 1st was personally updating news. Like many people, over the last eight years, this application has become as central a part of my online life as email. It is easily the web site that I spend the most time on, likely more than all of the other sites I frequent combined, including Facebook.
This article was originally posted on the Idealware Blog in September of 2011. For the past decade, the bulk of unlawful web-based activities have been profit-motivated: phishing, spam, “Nigerian” money scams, and hacking to get credit cards. This year has seen a rise in politically motivated crimes, most widely exemplified by the loosely-knit group of hackers known as “Anonymous“. Anonymous hackers attack the websites of organizations, be they government, corporate or otherwise that they deem to be repressive or unethical. In addition to defacing the sites, they’ve also routinely exposed confidential user information, such as login names, passwords and addresses. If we are now entering the age… Read More »Is It Time To Worry About Cybercrime?
This article was first published on the Idealware Blog in March of 2011. NPTech maven Deborah Elizabeth Finn started a blog last week called “No Nonprofit Spam“. As a well-known NPTech consultant, Deborah is far from alone in finding herself regularly subscribed to nonprofit email lists that she has never opted into. But, as opposed to just complaining about what is, in anyone’s definition (except possibly the sender’s) unsolicited commercial email; Deborah took the opportunity to try and educate. It’s a controversial undertaking. Nobody likes spam. Many of us like nonprofits, and aren’t going to hold them to the same level of criticism as we… Read More »Do Nonprofits Spam?