Monday, May 21, 2012

Smarter Than You

We're Smarter Than You
 Can you mitigate your remotely exploitable nodes? Of course you can't. Do you know how to configure your VPN server racks with AJAX overlays? Don't even pretend you do. What happens if an unauthorized user interface tries to query your Oracle® detection points? Do you know what to do then? Duh. Of course you don't. You're not smart.

This is a quote from As I looked over that website I was laughing and chuckling because it seemed like I had worked with this company before....

Concern eventually set in though and then I started thinking. What if this is how nonprofits really feel when our "experts" talk to them?

When talking about technology planning I have often mentioned how some nonprofits lack enough knowledge to know where to start. Are they hesitant to ask for help because they have gotten this speech from a vendor before, maybe not directly, but it was implied? Yes, I think so. 

Technology responsible person in your org. My suggested approach to avoiding the "we're smarter than you", is first to avoid vendors like that if possible. Second, appoint someone to be the technology responsible person in your org if you dont have full-time IT staff. Then get them some training so they can understand enough technology to make strategic decisions!

NOTE! I did not say get them "Technology Training", I said get them training to "understand enough technology to make strategic decisions!"

I did not intend to turn this post into a rant or a pitch for orgs I love, but that is where my typing has led me....

A great example of the type of training needed is the Technology Leadership Academy from NTEN. This Free, Intense 9 week training gets your org prepared to make better decisions in technology.
(in disclosure, I do present one of the sessions for this training, but I do not receive anything for promoting it, I just love what NTEN is doing!)

Then look at the webinars that, and offer. When a new project or planning phase starts allow a little time to research what should be considered, collect sample documents from other nonprofits and be more deliberate in your technology planning.

And one final thought about, I was a little disappointed that there wasnt more content and pages to read, but the site was fun! The part I found best is that they are making some money off of it to with the ads.... why didn't I think of that? And a huge tip to John Merritt (@johnmerritt) from the San Diego Y for tweeting about the site.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Program Staff as Digital Editors

Content requires work and skill. Lots of people just ignore that fact. They get all excited about content strategy, communication plans and social media. But they hardly ever spend time talking about how to equip their staff to be content creators.

Some orgs look to hire copywriters, publishers or whatever. But I like to look for ways to build up all staff with the skills that they will need going forward with every job of the future. Here is a presentation that I did about this topic. I hope it is useful.