Web

Topics related to using and dealing with digital life.

Why Geeks (like Me) Promote Transparency

Last week, I shared a lengthy piece that could be summed up as:

“in a world where everyone can broadcast anything, there is no privacy, so transparency is your best defense.”

(Mind you, we’d be dropping a number of nuanced points to do that!)

Transparency, it turns out, has been a bit of a meme in nonprofit blogging circles lately. I was particularly excited by this post by Marnie Webb, one of the many CEO’s at the uber-resource provider and support organization Techsoup Global.

Using RSS Tools to Feed Your Information Needs

This article was originally published at Idealware in March of 2009. The Internet gives you access to a virtual smorgasbord of information. From the consequential to the trivial, the astonishing to the mundane, it’s all within your reach. This means you can keep up with the headlines, policies, trends, and tools that interest your nonprofit, and keep informed about what people are saying about your organization online. But the sheer volume of information can pose challenges, too: namely, how do you separate the useful data from all the rest? One way is to use RSS, which brings the information you want to you. ┬áMany of… Read More »Using RSS Tools to Feed Your Information Needs

Both Sides Now

Say you sign up for some great Web 2.0 service that allows you to bookmark web sites, annotate them, categorize them and share them. And, over a period of two or three years, you amass about 1500 links on the site with great details, cross-referencing — about a thesis paper’s worth of work. Then, one day, you log on to find the web site unavailable. News trickles out that they had a server crash. Finally, a painfully honest blog post by the site’s founder makes clear that the server crashed, the data was lost, and there were no backups. So much for your thesis, huh? Is the lesson, then, that the cloud is no place to store your work?

Rails Wrap-up

So, I came to this Rails conference looking for a few things. It’s not over, but I think I’ve got a good sense what I’ll walk away with tomorrow. I started to learn a bit about Rails while considering joining a software start-up (in the non-profit space). I spent a month hammering away with a few O’Reilly books and a sample project, then got pulled away by real world concerns like starting up my new career fast so my family won’t starve. I got far enough to get the concepts and philosophy, master the innovative database management (activerecord), and start an app that I plan… Read More »Rails Wrap-up

Instant Open API with Rails 2.0

Day 2 at the Ruby on Rails conference – after the Keynote. My main focus is on technology trends that allow us all to make better use of the vast amounts of information that we store in myriad locations and formats across diverse systems. The new standards for database manipulation (SQL); data interchange (XML) and data delivery (RSS) are huge developments in an industry that has traditionally offered hundreds different ways of managing, exporting and delivering data, none of which worked particularly well — if at all — with anybody else’s method. The technology industry has tried to address this with one size fits all… Read More »Instant Open API with Rails 2.0

The Rails Thing

It’s Thursday morning, and I’m in Portland, Oregon at the 2007 O’Reilly Railsconf, all about the web programming language/environment/framework called Ruby on Rails. I was introduced to Ruby on Rails by a friend/associate who I hope to be doing some work with soon – we’re part of a group looking for funding to develop some applications. I program in a few languages, mostly PHP, but agreed to learn Ruby on Rails after being introduced to it. Ruby on Rails, it turns out, is a controversial language, in a way that is very reminiscent of the Apple vs. everything else debate. Rails enthusiasts are very attached… Read More »The Rails Thing

A Day of Joomla (live)

I’m posting this live from the first Joomla Day West conference being held at Google headquarters in Mountainview (so, yes, wireless is reliable!) This is an interesting event – an “un-conference” as Ryan calls it, which falls somewhere in the territory of a traditional conference, a town hall meeting, and, maybe, the Phil Donahue show, as emceed by the always entertaining Gunner (of Aspiration fame). It’s about halfway through the day, and continuing through tomorrow, but I won’t be able to come back, because that would incur the justified scorn of my son’s mother, who expects me to not be a computer geek on her… Read More »A Day of Joomla (live)

What does OpenID mean to Non-Profits?

Earlier this month, in the Q&A following my Managing Technology 2.0 presentation at the NTC, I was asked how OpenID would impact organizational data management issues. I was somewhat familiar with OpenID, in it that I knew that it was a proposed standard for single sign-on and identity management on the net, but I hadn’t paid a lot of attention and I think my answer, that it would make verifying user data easier for non-profits, might have been way off target. So, to clear it up, I did some research. The “I’m feeling lucky” response from a Google search for “Open ID” is the very… Read More »What does OpenID mean to Non-Profits?