I ask because my articles are up, including my big piece from NTEN’s Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits on Architecting Healthy Data Management Systems. I’m happy to have this one available in a standalone, web-searchable format, because I think it’s a bit of a signature work. I consider data systems architecture to be my main talent; the most significant work that I’ve done in my career. I integrated eleven databases at the law firm of Lillick & Charles in the late 90’s, using Outlook as a portal to Intranet, CRM, documents and voicemail. We had single-entry of all client and matter data that then, through SQL Server… Read More »How Easy Is It For You To Manage, Analyze And Present Data?
Picture : Rhadaway. This is a follow-up on my previous post, A Tale Of Two (Or Three) Facebook Challengers. A key point in that post was that we need to be customers, not commodities. In the cases of Facebook, Google and the vast majority of free web resources, the business model is to provide a content platform for the public and fund the business via advertising. In this model, simply, our content is the commodity. The customer is the advertiser. And the driving decisions regarding product features relate more to how many advertisers they can bring on and retain than how they can meet the… Read More »The Increasing Price We Pay For The Free Internet
Last week, I kicked off this series on setting up a basic web site with Drupal, the popular open source Content Management System. This week we’re going to take a closer look at Modules, the Drupal add-ons that can extend your web site’s functionality. One of the great things about Drupal is that it is a popular application with a large developer community working with and around it. So there are about a thousand modules that you can use to extend Drupal, covering everything from document management to payment processing. The good news: there’s probably one that supports the functionality that you want to add to your web site. Bad news: needle in a haystack?
I’ve been doing a lot of work with the open source content management system Drupal lately, and thought I’d share some thoughts on how to get a new site up and running. Drupal, you might recall, got high ratings in Idealware’s March ’09 report comparing open source content management systems. Despite it’s popularity, there are some detractors who make good points, but I find Drupal to be flexible, powerful and customizable enough to meet a lot of my web development needs.
I’m following up on my post suggesting that Wikis should be grabbing a portion of the market from word processors. Wikis are convenient collaborative editing platforms that remove a lot of the legacy awkwardness that traditional editing software brings to writing for the web. Gone are useless print formatting functions like pagination and margins; huge file sizes; and the need to email around multiple versions of the same document.
There are a lot of use cases for Wikis:
Here’s my 11/7/2008 Idealware post, originally published at http://www.idealware.org/blog/2008/11/small-footprints-robotic-and-otherwise.html As the proud owner of a T-Mobile G1, the first phone out running Google’s Android Mobile Operating System (OS), I wanted to post a bit about the state of the Mobile OS market. I’ve been using a smartphone since about 1999, when I picked up a proprietary Sprint phone that could sync with my Outlook Contacts and Calendar. We’ve come a long way; we have a long way to go before the handheld devices in our pocket overcome the compromises and kludges that govern their functionality. My personal experience/expertise is with Palm Treos, Windows Mobile, and now… Read More »Small Footprints, Robotic and Otherwise
There were a ton of interesting side topics that came up at the Salesforce Non-Profit Roadmap event, but a few hit on some related themes that have long interested me, and they can be summed in two basic, but meaty questions: 1. Why isn’t there more collaboration between non-profits and open source software developers? 2. Should non-profits seed software development? You’d think that open source and mission-focused organizations would be a natural fit, given that both share some common ethics around openness, collaboration, sharing and charity, and, let’s face it, both have challenging revenue models that often depend on the charity of others. And I… Read More »Should Non-profits Seed Software Development?
Day one of the Salesforce Roadmap session was a well-crafted, but fairly standard run at typical strategic planning. Hosted by Aspiration’s ever-able Gunner (who I seem to run into everywhere lately), we had a group of about 40 people: five or six from Salesforce/Salesforce Foundation, five to six NP staff, and an assortment of Salesforce consultants. While I’m a consultant these days, I maintain a bit of a staff perspective, as my primary experience with Salesforce was to roll it out for SF Goodwill. The day consisted of breaking up into small teams and hammering out what works for our sector, what doesn’t, what could… Read More »Mapping NP Salesforce
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
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