Techcafeteria Turns Five!

Today is the fifth anniversary of this blog, which was started on May 20, 2005.  Back then, it was on another website and not very well-defined. I’d say my purpose in starting it was pretty much “because I should be blogging”. After a year or two, though, I started to find my voice by discussing what I do: nonprofit technology. And then I registered Techcafeteria, the personal arm what I call my “extra curricular activities” beyond family and the day job.

Things didn’t really take off until the fall of 2008, when I stated blogging elsewhere. Many of the posts here are republished from the Idealware Blog, which I now run. Accordingly, the Techcafeteria-only posts tend to be housekeeping ones (like this one); way off of NPO technology topics (such as my more political and personal entries) and overflow, because, while I write regularly for Idealware, I find myself with more things to write about than would be appropriate to flood that blog with, at times. I’ve definitely hit my stride, and expect this to continue to be a steady source of content for some time to come. But, if all you really want is the technology stuff, and could care less about whether we homeschool or how I feel about civil rights, you might be happier subscribing to Idealware, which has the benefits of a stricter focus and nine additional excellent bloggers contributing.

Over the years, a handful of my posts have either gained notoriety or stood out in terms of synthesizing some of my key messages, so I thought I’d re-recommend them. Here’s my best of the first five years list:

  • Message to The Spammer – I occasionally write missives to people who will never read them. I’m particularly fond of this one, based entirely on a true story.
  • Schlock and Oh! Facebook’s Social Dysfunction – This is timely: My initial reaction to Facebook, after reluctantly signing up.  I’ve been bashing them since 2007.  (Take note, Jon Looper!)
  • The Lean, Green, Virtualized Machine – I took a stab at explaining the geeky concept of virtualization in relatively plain english, and I think I nailed it.
  • Why We Tweet – In case you were wondering.
  • The ROI On Flexibility – I consider this to be the best thing I’ve written, a synthesis of my philosophy on technology management and my standard rant against IT control freakishness.
  • Why Sharepoint Scares Me – I think I hit the corporate zeitgeist with a post that doesn’t slam Microsoft’s collaborative platform, but catalogs the things about it that might be difficult for nonprofits to deal with.
  • Why We Homeschool – Homeschooling gets a really bad rap, and, as parents who have determined, for good reasons, that it’s the right path for our kid, we deal with a lot of flack and misconceptions.
  • The Offensive Bardwell Defense – Keith Bardwell was a Louisiana Justice of the Peace who refused to marry interracial couples on the grounds that it was unfair “to the children”.  As is gay marriage.  As is any hatred-based viewpoint that a bigot desperately wants to justify and defend.  On a side note, I’m pretty sure that this is the article that spawned a ton of traffic from Sean Hannity’s website.  I hope it was educational for those visitors!
  • Why Geeks (Like Me) Promote Transparency – In order to obtain funding and improve effectiveness, NPOs are going to have to start managing and sharing their outcome data. This is a big theme of mine, and this post said it well.

It’s been a productive five years.  Here’s to the next five at Techcafeteria!

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