Seven Questions For Peter Campbell On Open APIs

This interview was conducted by Holly Ross and first published on the NTEN Blog in July of 2006. What’s an Application Programming Interface (API)? APIs are the code in any application that allows for the customization and migration of information in and out of the program’s data store.The API allows your application to interface with other systems in the same manner that a door or data line allows your home to interact with the world around it. APIs were originally developed in the telecom industry, as the need to have computer applications that integrated with telephone systems arose.The concept quickly expanded as a method for… Read More »Seven Questions For Peter Campbell On Open APIs

The best record you never heard (and you’ve heard that one before, right?)

Okay, first, apologies — one more neglected blog in the wasteland. And I’m not going to promise to do better. In the mid-seventies, I was a folkie. I liked Pete Seeger and Chris Smither and loved the British folk/rock stuff like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. And there was one record that I truly loved that was really unlike any record I’d ever heard prior or have ever heard since – Fraser and DeBolt. Fraser and DeBolt were Allan Fraser and Daisy DeBolt, and this was about the most surreal folk duo I have ever heard. The music was strumming guitars and violin and harmonious… Read More »The best record you never heard (and you’ve heard that one before, right?)

Managing to have a disaster

As many a blogger has noted, Katrina’s impact on the levees safeguarding New Orleans was an accident not just waiting to happen, but one that makes Bush’s dismissal of the “Al-Queda will attack on U.S. Soil” briefing almost insignificant by comparison. A lot of good writing on this is over at The Huffington Post , the short story being that FEMA has been systematically gutted to free up war-mongering funds, and, as with most of the Federal Government, has been managed by Bush cronies with no actual experience or qualifications for their posts. The media has not ignored this one – newspapers have been stating… Read More »Managing to have a disaster

Message to the Krazy.com Spammer

Okay, so I understand that you have a lot of time on your hands, and that you choose to, apparently, spend a significant amount of that time trying desperately to post spam advertising gambling and prescription drug websites to the guest book on my Krazy Kat web site. Let’s review: First, you started posting very large HTML spams to the guest book. Since the guest book is moderated, those came to me for approval by email. My guestbook is set up to email me the post, followed by a link I can click on to automatically publish it. I approve anything that’s remotely on topic,… Read More »Message to the Krazy.com Spammer

Who owns my content?

There are reasons that I use WordPress on my own server to publish this blog. I keep running into interesting web sites that I would like to sign up with, but two items in the privacy policies chase me right away: “This privacy policy can be changed at any time without prior notice” is the equivalent of shrink-wrap software that reads, on the box: “By opening this package you agree to the terms explained inside”. What kind of world do we live in that allows this type of thing? Why is it so widespread? I’ve found that I have to accept this rider fairly often,… Read More »Who owns my content?

Looking for a nptech job?

Okay, I’m using my blog to blatantly advertise, but, hey, it’s for open jobs in my department, so I think it’s kosher… I have two positions open at SF Goodwill in the IT Department that I manage there. I always prefer finding people who are motivated by our mission, and SF Goodwill is a particularly exciting place to be right now under the leadership of Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez. With a dramatic change in management and a new focus on distributed leadership, Goodwill is now a place that considers technology a key enabler, and our recent budget approved a number of strategies that I think are particularly… Read More »Looking for a nptech job?

Distributive Leadership

Okay, this isn’t technology related, but I’d love some feedback on this, so it’s going out on the nptech tag. And, since this topic is right out of my job, note the disclaimer that my opinions do not represent the opinions of SF Goodwill in any official or unofficial capacity. My company, Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, is deep into an organizational change process, and I’ve been given particular responsibility for facilitating the creation of a leadership development group (I am not the current group leader, but I was, and the CEO keeps looking right at me whenever the subject comes up…). This isn’t a… Read More »Distributive Leadership

NPTech Phase 2

About six months ago (give or take a few months) Marnie Webb got together with a few other people as interested as she was in del.icio.us, flickr and the possible intersections of RSS, social networking and non-profits, and started an experiment. What if they all, started tagging del.icio.us bookmarks of interest to non-profit technologists with the tag :nptech”? The idea picked up. People joined in. The attribute expended to flickr, furl and other tag-based information systems, and to technorati‘s stab at pasting tagging functionality on top of the blogosphere. The best way to see the result of this project (until yesterday) was to go to… Read More »NPTech Phase 2

More on the Blog vs. Website topic

I’m going to piggyback off of Sonny’s work and strongly recommend that anyone who is thinking about setting up a web site for their organization put aside a half hour or so to read this collection of inter-related blog entries on the topic: Blog v Web Reve This conversation goes into much more detail both about: * the technical advantages of blogging platforms * the strategic advantages – don’t skip Marnie Webb’s comments: blogs may be obsolete but blogging isn’t. * the general pros and cons. The main point that I would add (after reading this) is that it’s not just an apples/oranges decision, and… Read More »More on the Blog vs. Website topic

Non-profits: are blogs better than websites?

It’s a common scenario for your average non-profit (and a lot of small businesses as well): 1. You need a web presence. Goes without saying, right? 2. You have limited staff and budget, and nobody in your agency has the time, skills or desire to design your web site. 3. Even if you can budget a few grand to get the local HTML student to design a site for you, there are some inherent problems with this approach: a. That student is moving to Methuselah after the job and won’t be around to maintain it. b. The site needs regular updating to be viable, and… Read More »Non-profits: are blogs better than websites?