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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday Links: July 7

Help Desk as Customer Service
I had a client years ago who ran a company providing continuing education to nurses and other health professionals. From time to time I'd be there when one of the folks working the phones would get an irate call from a customer who was ticked off about something. The boss always told them to feel perfectly free to pass these calls straight to him. "Happy customers never call" he told me, "so these are pretty much the only customers I get a chance to talk to. Of course, I make sure they are happy by the time we hang up!"
How committed are you as a technologist - as a consultant, IT staff person, or software developer, to making your irate users happy? Dr Zimmerman's Customer Service Tips are meant for any industry -- but feel right on target in the IT world. His current tip sheet focuses on my old friend's game of turning a complaint into a compliment.

WiFi Security
Are your staff and board members connecting in more from their homes? Wondering how secure those home networks are? Here's a comprehensible introduction to home WiFi security from one of my favorite techy sites. This can't be your entire work-from-home policy though - with all the reports of personal data on stolen laptops, we've got to worry about what data we allow to go out into the world slung over our user's shoulders. In Ten Top Laptop Security Recommendations, SecurityProNews advises that you
Leverage advanced data protection technology to remotely wipe sensitive information in the event that your computer is lost, stolen or nearing the end of its lifecycle.
But they don't suggest particular products or approaches. It's certainly something we should all begin exploring.

Blogging for Non-Profits
Techsoup has added quite a comprehensive review of blogging tools in their always expanding library of great technical information. The article was created by Laura Quinn's Idealware project - a New York based organization that strives to be a Consumer Reports focused on non-profit IT.

Still lost on the whole RSS thing?
Every tech blog I know has, for at least two years, posted the occassional tutorial on how to use RSS to access information feeds. But surveys still show that rss and related technologies are being adopted very slowly. PBS's Mark Glaser in tries his hand at the RSS tutorial in his MediaShift blog this week. It's pretty non-technical and easy to follow - if you are still string to get a handle on this one, give it a read.

And now for something completely different.
From time to time I've focused on videoblogging and citizen-video sites. Here's a short documentary that caught my fancy. Anyone want to help her out?

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