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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.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend Links

1. Tools: Web-development plug in for Firefox
If you do any web-development work, you'll want to get a hold of the Web Developers Extension for Firefox. This capable tool lets you view -- and more importantly, modify in real time -- the css, scripts, images, cookies, and form elements in any page you are viewing. It was the CSS features that got me to install the plug-in. My friend David from Orchid Suites was helping me debug a style sheet, and I was blown away when he brought the css up in a sidebar of the browser and modified parameters, watching the displayed page change instantly as he did so. Really, this thing can save you hours. Give it a try.

2. Management: Mythical man-month and non-profit workloads.
It's almost thirty years since Fred Brooks published his now-classic book "The Mythical Man Month", which revealed the fallacy that throwing more people (called manpower in those benighted days) at a technology project that was getting late would help bring it in on time. About thirty days ago Michelle Martin made some similar observations about non-profit workloads. Michelle's point is that most organizations could more usefully focus on the inefficient use they are making of their current staff resources.
Before we start thinking that if only we had more staff we could do so much better, I think we need to take a look around at our operations and decide if we're doing everything we can to run "lean and mean" with our current resources. Adding more people to a poorly-run organization only means you have more people doing poor work.
3. Social Platforms: Facebook's Future
In the last couple months there's been a growing interest in the university-centered Facebook platform in the non-profit community, especially as organizations ponder outreach to the Millennial generation. Facebook currently has 25 million subscribers and envisions growing to four times that size within the year. Part of Facebook's appeal stems from its open development platform, which allows third parties to create software extensions that users - and soon groups - can choose to install. On this video I found via Nick O'Neill's blog, Facebook's 23 year old founder and CEO Mark Zuckerman - discusses Facebook's future plans for the platform with a group of developers.

4. And now for something completely different
Looking for a summer tech project to while away the time you should be using to do something productive? This looks like fun.


Comments on "Weekend Links"


Blogger Paul Morriss said ... (July 23, 2007 at 5:05 AM) : 

My favourite extension for Firefox is Firebug which seems to do a similar thing to the web developers extension you mention.


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