I am very excited to announce that this website is being redesigned professionally by the best web designer I know, Eve Simon. What you’re looking at right now (assuming you’re reading this in September of 2023) is a website that I designed. Having worked with and for lawyers most of my life, I know the adage about fools representing themselves, and I’m here to tell you that the same is true of consultants designing their own websites. In preparation for the new site (which I expect to have up sometime next month, I’ll make a lot of noise about it when that happens), I’ve been… Read More »Blog Quandary
I had the pleasure of participating on a panel with this topic for the Data Analysts for Social Good/Good Tech Fest, put together by my friend Andrew Means. The panel included Joshua Pesky, of Roundtable Technology; Kelly Misata of Sightline Security; Andy Abrams of the United Way; and moderator Laura Quinn, currently of Laura S. Quinn Consulting, formerly of Idealware (now Techimpact), and a long-time friend and collaborator of mine. Our goal was to present a grounded conversation for nonprofits, dealing less with some of the more philosophical questions about AI and facial recognition and more with the concerns that nonprofits have about working with… Read More »Data Ethics And Security
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
I’m back and moderately recovered from the 2015 NTC in Austin, Texas, where, along with plenty of good Texas food and beer, I shared some wisdom and learned a lot. Here’s a summary, with my favorite pics: #NTCBeer is a proven formula. Take a decent bar, Nonprofit techies, and a room without blaring music, and everyone has a great time, whether they’re NTEN mavens like me, or first time attendees. We estimate that about 275 people came by this year. Here’s a great shot of the room by Jason Shim: On Wednesday morning I led my session on contract negotiation. I’d been hoping for… Read More »Highlights Of The 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference
I’m back from our (Legal Services Corporation) 15th annual technology conference, which ran from January 14th through the 16th in San Antonio, Texas. It was a good one this year, with a great location, good food, great people – nearly 300 of them, which is quite a record for us. There were plenty of amazing sessions, kicked off by a fascinating keynote on international access to justice web app partnerships. Slides and videos will be up soon on LSC’s website. But I did want to share the slides from my sessions, which all seemed to go very well. I did three: Are You Agile I… Read More »How I Spent My 2015 Technology Initiative Grants Conference
This post was originally published on the MAP Techworks Blog in November of 2014. For a nonprofit that’s reached a size of 25 or more staff, a key question revolves around how to support technology that has grown from a few laptops and PCs to a full-blown network, with all of the maintenance and troubleshooting that such a beast requires. Should you hire internal IT staff or outsource to a more affordable vendor for that support? I’d say that the key question isn’t should you — that’s more a matter of finances and personal preferences. But what you outsource and how you go about it… Read More »Should You Outsource Your IT Department?
For a website that hosts so many cute pet videos, Facebook is not a place that reeks of happiness and sincerity. It’s populated by a good chunk of the world, and it’s filled with a lot of meaningful moments captured in text, camera and video by people who know that, more and more every day, this is where you can share these moments with a broad segment of your friends and family. And that’s the entire hook of Facebook — it’s where everybody is. The feature set is not the hook, because Google Plus and a variety of other platforms offer similar feature sets. And many… Read More »A Tale Of Two (Or Three) Facebook Challengers
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?
Following is a guest post from Jon Loomer, offering a different perspective on Facebook’s privacy changes:
It took a few weeks, but internet rage over Facebook’s Like button and latest privacy ramifications is in full swing. Bloggers swinging at Facebook’s knee caps with aluminum bats seem to outnumber those who come to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s defense 20:1. And if a blogger does post a defense, duck and cover as soon as you hit “publish” because the rage will bubble up from the comments section.
This article was first published on the NTEN Blog in April of 2010. As the technical staff at our nonprofits, we wrestle with all sorts of complex security concepts: firewalls, encryption, network address translation. But here are three quick questions: Would you spend $10,000 on a security system for your building, and then set the access code to “12345”? Would you set the administrative account name and password to your network to the same thing that five other companies in your building use? Would you allow an outside vendor to manage your network without sharing the passwords with you or anyone else at your organizations?… Read More »The Softer Side Of Security