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)
As you likely know, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she set up a private email server at home and used it for her email communication, passing up a secure government account. This was a bad idea, for a number of reasons, primary among them the fact that sensitive information could be leaked on this less secure system, and that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests could be bypassed. But the burning question, at a time when Clinton looks likely to be nominated as the Democratic candidate for President, is what her motivation was for setting up the server in the first place. Was… Read More »Hillary Clinton’s Shadow IT Problem
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
This article was first published on the Idealware Blog in December of 2011. My work planning for, evaluating and deploying technology at nonprofits requires that I have a good understanding of fundraising concepts and practices, and I do. It’s an area that I’m sufficiently knowledgeable about, but no expert. So my current personal fundraising campaign for Idealware is an amateur effort. It is, happily, a successful one. I did some things right, including, I think, making strategic use of my social networking connections and channels. I might have done a few things differently, given what I’ve learned. And much of the success has been instructive. Setting Up… Read More »My Foray Into Personal Fundraising
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 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?
This article was first published on the Idealware Blog in May of 2010. (XKCD Cartoon by Randall Munroe) Facebook really annoyed a lot of people with their recent, heavy-handed moves. You can read about this all over the place, here are some good links about what they’ve done, what you should do and why it bothers some of us: Facebook’s Announcement (from their Blog) Understanding the Open Graph from Chris Messina Mark Zuckerberg’s claim that internet privacy is “over” from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb Three Ways Facebook Will Dramatically Change Your Nonprofit (from John Hayden) Why I Don’t “Like” Facebook and Void Rage: Unable To Muster… Read More »How Google Can Kick Facebook’s Butt
Long time readers of my ramblings here are aware that I drink the Google kool-aid. And they also know that I’ve been caught tweeting, on occasion. And, despite my disappointment in Google’s last big thing (Wave), I am so appreciative of other work of theirs — GMail, Android, Picasa — that I couldn’t pass up a go with their answer to Facebook and Twitter, Buzz.
…or you might. I find that, in a 25 year IT career that has always included a percentage of tech support, human nature is to use the features of an application that we know about, and only go looking for new features when a clearly defined need for one arises. In that scenario, some great functionality might be hiding in plain sight. Here are a few of my favorite “not very well-hidden” secrets.