Almost every non-profit I go into has kluged-together technology. As they grew and shrank over the years, they picked up a website run on one platform that doesn’t talk to their data. Their program management doesn’t talk to their accounting. Their accounting doesn’t talk to their CRM or the link is so tenuous it takes hours every month to get anywhere. Their intranet is on a 5th platform. Three servers are new and they don’t even know what’s on the other ones. Many tactical decisions were made that add up to a bad work environment.
That mess is usually quantifiably negatively affecting their productivity. When presented with this situation, shown how that can be improved over a period of time, and in a way that saves money, strategically focused management is willing to go through the changes to make it happen. Getting to that point is a lot cheaper than it used to be. Most of the issue with too many firms is getting over the fear of changing how things are done.
I hate texting for the below reasons. This opinion is, admittedly, out of the main stream. I thought I’d document and explain.
Everyone I communicate with has email to their phone. Email has many more capabilities. Most people lose their text archive when they get a new phone.
I’m sitting here next to my computer happily typing away and the cell phone over by the door makes this unfamiliar noise that means I have a text message. Texting’s the only medium that one can’t use on a full keyboard.
An exception is that some workplaces use Chatter, Skype, or Yammer successfully. Those are usually answerable multi-modally by computer or phone..
Texting got popular when people were too cheap to pay for minutes to talk and I think a lot of this continued because early iPhone weren’t very good for voice. Now, minutes are cheap and most phones actually work as phones.
Texting is supposedly less intrusive than phoning. But a call goes to VM and you answer when you choose. One is expected to promptly answer a text. If the sender or receiver happens to be in a different country you pay more.
Can’t we just simplify. Between phone, email, Facebook chat, Skype, Skype chat, and Twitter, there are plenty of ways to reach me. And call me “old fashioned”, but I think spelling and punctuation actually contribute to understanding. Half the texts I get make no sense.
I don’t have a texting plan, and I don’t really want one. Each text sent and each received cost me the ridiculous sum 20 cents. That usually costs me less than the ridiculous sum of $5 for the min 200 texts a month plan. Texts cost the carrier almost nothing.
I did some sys admin work, last night: transferred the recovery partition on my HP Envy X2 to a USB drive, deleted that partition, and used the Windows Store web installer to install Windows 8.1 Preview. Belarc Advisor gave me my Windows Key. When 8.1 RTMs, I’ll probably have to re-install 8.0 from that USB to get the final 8.1.
I’m hoping the version of SkyDrive that comes with 8.1 will allow me to sync a micro SD. I may have to make some symbolic links to fool the OS into thinking that additional space is on this 64GB hard drive.
I’ll probably change my Office 365 subscription from P1 to Small Business Premium. I’ll, then, be renting Office from MS. Next year, I might rent Windows (with Intune) too.
Andrew Sullivan gets 8,000,000 hits a month with a WordPress VIP back-end and monetizes with tinypass. Miniscule development costs. 6 employees. (I watched his interview on NYT and checked out his set-up.)
Today, I bumped into 3 innovative content monetization services/companies that are making me wonder if we’re seeing a trend in the lowering of the barriers to creating profitable content. Skimlinks is creating affiliate links within/for Pinterest. Videola makes it easy to monetize your video. Gumroad makes it easy to sell your stuff. Seems like there’s new opportunity in these services.
I finally switched my own site, email, and intranet to Office 365. The Exchange is a little better than my previous version. For instance, it has full task syncing. The integration into my Windows Phone is a little better. Email flagging on the phone is nice. When my domain approaches its expiration date, I may transfer it to a different registrar and move my site to WordPress.
The buy versus rent choice is really another way of saying: cloud or on-premise systems. A non-profit can get huge discounts off the commercial rate on software or services either way. The capital expenditure versus expensing doesn’t really matter to a non-profit. Continue reading “Non-Profit Infrastructure Choices: Buy vs. Rent”
I thought some of you might be interested in the FabLab DC events listed below. This personal fabrication stuff is interesting to all sorts of people. Please spread the word to your tinkerer friends, family, and associates.
A friend of mine had been sending around emails of this research he’d done on some potential corruption. It seemed like good work that wasn’t getting its due. I asked him last summer asking how he’d feel if I posted his research on the web.
I put up and customized a $15 a year WordPress site, wrote an About page, forwarded the research emails to it, and cleaned up the formatting on the posts. That was 3 hours. I cleared it with the friend, mentioned it a few times to associates, wrote a few teaser posts, and eventually started tweeting when there was a new post. 3 months in, I designed and printed a few fliers and bought them to a meeting where I knew I could ask some journalists questions about the issue in the site. Continue reading “Activism 201: Achieve Your Goals – Getting the Right Publicity”
I finally got some real worth out of LinkedIn. When looking for a very specific geek skill, I searched my LinkedIn Contacts for the name of the technology and constrained to my geographical region. Up popped a few candidates and mutual Contacts to ask for a reference. Forehead Slap Thought: I really out to Connect with all the people in my address book to make these searches better. I’ve also started using LinkedIn Groups and am getting some value out of that.