Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology

My life as an (almost) ex-Technology Consultant

Beth Kanter interviewed me for Blogher recently, and one of the questions included "... you work as an independent consultant ..." Well, those days are numbered. I decided several weeks ago, for a variety of reasons, to retire my independent consultant hat. I've been doing this work for more than 10 years now, full time for about seven of those years. It's been an important part of my life for all of this time.

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Open Source vs.(?) open data

I know most of you aren't surprised, but I'm not the Richard Stallman of the nonprofit technology community. And it's not just because I'm female. I've never been dogmatic. I've always known that when it comes to implementing free and open source software in the sector, pragmatics are important. (And, no, don't even think about comparing me to Eric Raymond!)

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The scarcity mentality

Kudos to Michele Martin who brings up a sticky issue: the scarcity mentality. Her perspective is that the scarcity mentality of nonprofits (the idea that there is only one pie, and we only get our small slice) helps keep nonprofits from taking full advantage of social media (i.e. Web 2.0).

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Satellite Internet: Week 2

I promised updates on Satellite internet, and here are my impressions so far. In general it works well. We've been getting download speeds from 1.5 Mbps (the advertised) to 300-400 Kbps during peak moments. The latency isn't too much of an issue for email or the web. It makes shell sessions basically impossible for all but the simplest stuff. FTP seems to work fine, as do streaming video and audio. I haven't bought anything from the ITunes store, yet, or tried skype for a voice call yet either.

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Back Channels, Workflow, Data, Twitter, and me

I read Beth's recent blog entry on Twitter, and of course, the neo-luddite in me said "waste of time!" But then I had to think about it. What is it about Twitter that seems so, well, besides the point? Why aren't I Twittering away, like so many of my nptech colleagues?

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Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants: Nonprofit Data Management

As you know, nonprofit data management has been a really important issue for me for a long time. So I thought it would be a great subject for the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants hosted here today.

There are some great posts for today:

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Carnival Hosting Again!

Next Monday, I'm hosting the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants. The topic is "Nonprofit Data Management: from slips of paper to CRM" As you all know, I've been thinking about data management issues for years, and it would be great for people to share their ideas and knowledge.

So, submit those posts by Sunday evening!

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Satellite Broadband, Day 1

Dial up just wasn't going to cut it. As someone I talked with today said, "with dial up, the internet feels broken." Someone else said that it would be good for designers to be forced to live with dial up for a while.

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March Blogtipping

I'm folllowing Kivi on the NPBlogtipping bandwagon. I think it's a great idea, although I'm one day late. I promise in April I'll be right on time (oooohh, that could be fun, April Blogtipping on April fools day ...) By the way, I think blogtipping is a great idea for our sector, and it's a great way for me to think more about all of the blogs that I read.

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Computerless

My laptop is in the shop. I'll spare you the details. It's truly a practice in patience to live without a computer. Work doesn't get done. Blog entries don't get written. Emails don't get returned.

It's a lucky thing my partner has a laptop I can beg and borrow (stealing might cause issues.)

My practice in patience only goes so far. The Mac Mini I'd been planning to get for a while just got ordered, next day shipping. It might even arrive before the laptop gets out of the shop. But even if it doesn't, at least the next time a computer dies, I'll have a backup.

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