One of the more interesting things to land in my feed this week was Basecamp‘s new Guide To Internal Communications. As early proponents of agile project management, I have a lot of respect for the company, but I’m was not a happy camper when I read this. In short, the 30 principles of internal communication listed seem somewhat antagonistic toward interpersonal communication. Take principle 3: “Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.” and principle 5: ” Meetings… Read More »Basecamp Is Off-Base On Internal Communications
Once again, I’ve left a steady paycheck and I’m open for consulting and fractional CIO work. I am officially available to help out organizations with technology management and strategy. As always, my preference is to work with organizations that help people and/or the planet. Here are some of the ways that I can do that: Act as a CIO: serve as your Chief Technologist on a part-time and/or interim basis. This can be helpful for an org that is either just setting out to implement technology strategy and/or infrastructure, or needs to reassess what they have in place, but doesn’t want to commit to hiring… Read More »Experienced Technologist For Hire (Specialty – Nonprofits)
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
Just a quick post to commemorate ten years of blogging here at Techcafeteria. That’s 268 entries, averaging to 22 posts per year, or damn close to two posts a month, which is not too shabby for a guy with a family and a demanding day job. The most popular stuff all now lives in my Recommended Posts section. The goal here has never been much more than to share what I hope is useful and insightful knowledge on how nonprofits can make good use of technology, peppered with the occasional political commentary or rant, but I try to restrain myself from posting too many of… Read More »Happy 10th Anniversary!
It’s nice that Facebook is so generous and they give us their service and apps for free. One should never look a gift horse in the mouth, right? Well, if the gift horse is stomping through my bedroom and texting all of my friends while I’m not looking, I think it bears my attention. And yours. So tell me why Facebook needs these permissions on my Android phone: read calendar events plus confidential information add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge read your text messages (SMS or MMS) directly call phone numbers create accounts and set passwords change network… Read More »Why You Should Delete All Facebook Mobile Apps Right Now
We’ve hit the golden age of telework, with myriad options to work remotely from a broadband-connected home, a hotel, or a cafe on a mobile device. The explosion of cloud and mobile technologies makes our actual location the least important aspect of connecting with our applications and data. And there are more and more reasons to support working remotely. Per Reuters, the state of commuting is a “virtual horror show”, with the average commute costing the working poor six percent of their income. It’s three percent for more wealthy Americans. And long commutes have negative impacts on health and stress levels. Add to this the… Read More »Telecommuting Is About More Than Just The Technology
This was originally posted on the No Nonprofit Spam blog on November 3rd, 2011. Hat tip to Deb Finn, who started that blog. You work for a great org. What you do is important and meaningful. To you, it’s not just a job — it’s a mission. And it deserves funding and support from the public. I get that. But if your next logical step in that progression is to assume that I want to be on your email list, you’ve stepped over a line. It’s a line that does not invalidate your mission, or your devotion to it. But it doesn’t serve your mission,… Read More »Is It Only Spam If The Other Guy Does It?
This article was originally published on the Idealware Blog in July of 2011. Google unleashed their latest attempt to grab the focus from Facebook and Twitter with Google+, a Social Network that, at first glance, looks like a Facebook clone, but differentiates itself in at least one significant way: the people you communicate with on Google+, along with the way that you do it and the tools for inviting and connecting people are far superior to the social networking competition and they emulate the way we communicate in real life. This makes for a very engaging and, once you have a handle on it, comfortable… Read More »Is Google+ The Future Of Networking, Social And Otherwise?
This article was first published on the NTEN Blog in March of 2011. The keys to managing a successful project are buy-in and communication. Projects fail when all participants are on different pages. You want to use tools that your project participants can access easily, preferably ones they’re already using. By Peter Campbell IT Director, Earthjustice As an IT Director, co-workers, peers, and consultants frequently ask me, “Do you use Microsoft Project?” The answer to that question is a resounding denial. Then I elaborate with my true opinion of Project: it’s a great tool if you’re building a bridge or a luxury hotel. But my… Read More »The Five Best Tools For Quick And Effective Project Management
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?