Idealware Blog

Happy 10th Anniversary!

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!

My Foray Into Personal Fundraising

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

Is It Time To Worry About Cybercrime?

This article was originally posted on the Idealware Blog in September of 2011. For the past decade, the bulk of unlawful web-based activities have been profit-motivated: phishing, spam, “Nigerian” money scams, and hacking to get credit cards. This year has seen a rise in politically motivated crimes, most widely exemplified by the loosely-knit group of hackers known as “Anonymous“.  Anonymous hackers attack the websites of organizations, be they government, corporate or otherwise that they deem to be repressive or unethical.  In addition to defacing the sites, they’ve also routinely exposed confidential user information, such as login names, passwords and addresses.  If we are now entering the age… Read More »Is It Time To Worry About Cybercrime?

Do Nonprofits Spam?

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?

Accidental Technology

This article was originally published on the Idealware Blog in February of 2011. There’s been a ton of talk over at the NTEN Blog this month about Accidental Techies.  I had a few thoughts on the phenomenon. If you don’t know, Accidental Techie is an endearing and/or self effacing term for someone who signed up for a clerical, administrative or other general purpose position and wound up doing technical work.  Many full-blown techies start their careers accidentally like this. The NTEN discussion has wonderfully run the gamut.  Robert Weiner, a well-known NPTech consultant, started things rolling with “Going From Accidental Techie To Technology Leader“, a… Read More »Accidental Technology

Delicious Memories

This article was originally published on the Idealware Blog in December of 2010. Like many of my NPTECH peers, I was dismayed to learn yesterday that Delicious, the social bookmarking service, was being put to pasture by Yahoo!, the big company that purchased the startup five years ago.  Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb has written the best memorial,  But the demise of Delicious marks a passing of significant note to our community of nonprofit staff that seek innovative uses of technology.  So let me talk quickly about how Delicious brought me into this community, and, along the way, a bit about what it meant to all… Read More »Delicious Memories

Tech Tips From The Nonprofit Technology Conference

This article was first published on the Idealware Blog in May of 2010. Last month, I reported on the first annual Tech Track, a series of sessions presented at the April, 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference. In that post I listed the topics covered in the five session track. Today I want to discuss some of the answers that the group came up with. Session 1: Working Without a Wire This session covered wireless technologies, from cell phones to laptops. Some conclusions: The state of wireless is still not 100%, but it’s better than it was last year and it’s still improving Major metropolitan areas are… Read More »Tech Tips From The Nonprofit Technology Conference

How Google Can Kick Facebook’s Butt

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

What’s Up With The TechSoup Global/GuideStar International Merger?

This article was first published on the Idealware Blog in April of 2010. TechSoup Global (TSG) mergedwith GuideStar International (GSI) last week. Idealware readers are likely well-familiar with TechSoup, formerly CompuMentor, a nonprofit that supports other nonprofits, most notably through their TechSoup Stock software (and hardware) donation program, but also via countless projects and initiatives over the last 24 years. GuideStar International is an organization based in London that also works to support nonprofits by reporting on their efforts and promoting their missions to potential donors and supporters. I spoke with Rebecca Masisak and Marnie Webb, two of the three CEOs of TechSoup Global (Daniel… Read More »What’s Up With The TechSoup Global/GuideStar International Merger?

Adventures In Web Site Migration

I recently took on the project of migrating the Idealware articles and blog from their old homes on Idealware’s prior web site and Google’s Blogger service to our shiny, new, Drupal-based home. This was an interesting data-migration challenge. The Idealware articles were static HTML web pages that needed to be put in Drupal’s content database. And there is no utility that imports Blogger blogs to Drupal. Both projects required research and creativity.