We held our last regular meetup of 2016 at ACHIEVA in the South Side. Thank you to Nicole, Steve, Dave and the rest of their staff for hosting us!
Our next meetup will be the Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party at Dave & Buster’s on Friday, 12/9 from 1-4 pm. As in the past, we will have our regular meeting in the dining area (each person buys his or her own meal and Cindy will get some appetizers for all), have a “techie white elephant” gift exchange and then go play some games. A reminder email will be coming out within a week or so.
Here are the notes from November’s meetup:
- Backups are critical
- There’s typically a time period of 120 days from the time something happens until the time it is discovered
- Backups should not by attached or kept close to the main data server or source – need to store copies off-site
- Have a social media policy to combat potential info security compromises in that area – nothing is truly private on social tools
Programs Related to Technology that Employ (or Engage as Volunteers) People with Disabilities & Veterans
- Dave Tinker mentioned a program that ACHIEVA is doing in conjunction with CMU for their residents to perform microjobs online
- Cycle Point (part of Source America and partners with Goodwill of SWPA) employs people with disabilities and veterans (located in DC)
- Computer Reach particularly is interested in finding veterans to volunteer at their org
Salesforce Database Conversions (What to Expect)
- All data gets put into spreadsheets and is then cleaned (usually by the organization not the vendor)
- Lot of effort to go through an implementation like this, but well worth it in the long run
- Best to keep the same vendor contact during the entire implementation process if possible
- There is a learning curve involved but it’s great once everyone is trained and things are up and running properly
- Cool plugin for Salesforce is Gridbuddy – it makes the database display data in spreadsheet format
- There’s an annual conference called Dreamforce
- Katie Gascoine shared a local Salesforce-related event called Dreamforce Comes to You (#DFC2U) that happened on Nov. 14 (sorry I didn’t post this in time!)
AFP National Philanthropy Day
- Example/question given was about an organization moving from paper forms being entered in database to direct entry of data (and the resistance being encountered by staff and volunteers)
- Training is essential
- Important to get buy-in from staff and volunteers, preferably before rolling out a change
- Need support from management – they have to have your back and hold staff/volunteer accountable for making the necessary changes
- Can also gamify or incentivize the change – figure out a way to make it fun
Other Items of Interest
We met this month at ACHIEVA in the South Side. Thank you to Steve, Nicole and Dave for hosting us! We’ll be back at ACHIEVA for November’s meetup.
Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:
- Schneider Downs – does security updates via email
- Cars can be hacked
- Cybersecurity insurance
- Cybersecurity conferences
- Website hacking / security – how do you secure your website from hackers?
- MS Office – no more clipart
- Get images from Bing.com now
- Have to watch for viruses when getting images off the web
Databases for nonprofits
Mobile Internet Hardware
- How to get Internet when working in places without it or when travelling abroad?
- Mobile hotspots or devices that provide wi-fi
- Verizon Jetpack (can get global plans)
- Connect 10 users to one and devices can talk to each other
- Data plan required
- Verizon has nonprofit flat rate for NPOs, unlimited data, domestic only
- Can buy SIM card, swap out, use that country’s domestic plan while traveling
- T-Mobile 2G (unlimited international data)
- Satelite wi-fi
- When build websites
- Have to consider slow internet
- Consider audience
- Google Fiber – setting up in cities where city owns infrastructure
We held our September meetup at Jewish Residential Services again this month. We appreciate Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us! Next month we go to ACHIEVA in the South Side, Oct. 5, 8:30 am start time.
A quick reminder that TechNow conference registration is still in Early Bird mode until September 30. If you need to register, be sure to do it in the upcoming week to get the best price!
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
- Going rate for content updates $50-150 – depends on speed of person and hourly rate
- For DIY updates, try free Easy Updates Manager plugin
- We discussed best practices for finding a developer
- Response time
- Price point
- Ongoing costs
- SNOM phone system – full service network, nice phones, less admin features than you’d expect
- Brokers (for usage analysis and recommendations, can generally get your costs reduced)
- VoIP Phones (fairly standard these days)
- UX5000 by Advanced Communication
- Google Grants – Need to be a 501(c)(3) with valid website
- Give you access to:
- Google Apps
- $10K/month in Adwords (don’t have to use it all)
- Some requirements for ads (no video, for example) (can’t just ask for money)
- Promote events, etc
- Have to login quarterly to make sure till active (& ads still relevant)
- Can use keywords/targeted words
We held our August meetup in the sunny conference room at Jewish Residential Services. Thank you to Paula, Harold and the rest of the JRS staff for hosting us! We will return to JRS for our September 7 meetup, then it’s off to ACHIEVA for October and November.
P.S. TechNow 2016 Conference registration is open and early bird rates are active! Register by September 30 to get the best rate!
Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:
Adding Search to Website
Technology Challenges Faced by New Nonprofits (and Some Suggested Solutions)
NP Tech Skill Set
Custom Software vs. Off-The-Shelf Software
- Hybrid is best- off the shelf that can be customized
- Example: want to process volunteer applications via the web
- Upload PDFs/scans, etc.
- Portal on website
- WordPress Visual Form Builder plugin
- If WordPress site, turn off Google indexing of PDFs in media library by editing robots.txt file
- Spiceworks – network monitoring, management, help desk ticketing and inventory – has concierge service and is free
Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs
Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)
For October, we were pleased to hold our meetup at ACHIEVA on the South Side. Thank you to Steve, Nicole and Dave for hosting us! Our next meeting will be held at the same location on November 4. In the meantime, we hope to see everyone at the TechNow Conference on Oct. 29!
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:
Upgrading Windows software
- 2003 server upgrades possible (general consensus was “yes”)
- Windows 10 upgrades not very easy (some 3rd party software not doing well on it)
- For adding phones in Google Apps, there’s an app (Google Device Policy) that you can add to devices that connects with your Google admin page – providing a way to control device connection to services
- BYOD policy? Some have, some don’t – varies on the level of access given
Password management system
Office 2016 (and other productivity software)
- Outlook is less “white” and more “gray”
- MS is moving this package to just being called “Office” with no version number in the title
- Pushing Office 365 + Sharepoint server right now
- A preview video is available
- Other (free) alternatives include:
- People tend to resist change and to resort to software with which they are already familiar, so it may take some work to get your org to move away from Office to one of the free equivalents
- Largest risk to data is still employees – accidental or purposeful
- Frequently the ball is dropped between HR and IT, in the sense that IT isn’t notified immediately if someone leaves the organization
Advice for new “accidental” techies
- Don’t feel like you have to know everything
- Don’t expect kudos – you won’t hear so much when things are going well, but when something breaks…
- You have to like to solve mysteries or puzzles
- You need an appreciation and tolerance for lifelong learning
- Users can be very obstinate (machines are easy, users are less so)
- IT is a people business
- Users are the weakest link – don’t enable users who refuse to read instructions
- Find a good stream of tech information and absorb slowly – can’t learn everything at once – 2 hours a week of continued learning is probably sufficient
This was our final month at Jewish Residential Services lovely sunlit conference room! Thank you once again to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us! We will re-convene on October 7, 8:30-10 am, at ACHIEVA in the South Side.
In the meantime, remember to get registered for the 2015 TechNow Conference (Oct. 29) before the early bird pricing ends on Sept. 30! 🙂
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
- Volunteer database software
- Windows 10 upgrade?
- Better than 8.
- New Horizons just had a free Windows 10 workshop, covered a lot of server-side info for using 10 on your network.
- Has interesting applications for remote desktop.
- Speed and ease of use is better than 10 there – how it mirrors the drives – is faster.
- Word on the street is, Windows 10 is to be the last version of Windows ever, going to just be 10.1, 10.2, etc.
- Alex has been upgrading old XP machines to 10 – going well – also upgraded a win 2003 server recently to 10 with good results.
- All Win 8 licenses from TechSoup automatically get upgrades to Win 10.
- Edge browser is of interest (only comes with Win 10).
- Issues with sending to AOL email addresses
- Web forms in WP sending to AOL accounts tend to fail more often.
- What to do with older thin client boxes?
- Network filters
- If have sites or keywords blacklisted across the network, doesn’t matter what device you use for access, will still be blocked on that network.
- Best practice to have a central policy for what sites or keywords get blacklisted.
- We didn’t take away watercoolers when back in the day when that was how time-wasters goofed off at work, we shouldn’t necessarily block everyone because of one employee. Better to deal with the issues with that employee.
- Some organizations take the opposite approach, having a more open, lenient policy on network usage, addressing performance issues rather than cutting privileges.
- SonicWall – has an add on, a virtual machine, SonicWall Firewall Analyzer, that records network/internet activity, great if have a situation arises, records for about a month at a time, when have a performance issue come up, then can check it as evidence or documentation.
- Productivity tools
- IFTTT.com (if this, then that) – let’s you create “recipes” (aka scripts) that let apps interact that normally don’t.
- Todoist.com – also links disparate software tools, for example, if someone sends you an email with a task in it, Todoist has a plugin, where you can send the email to your to-do list in one click. Can also send tasks marked completed to a google spreadsheet. They have channels on their website where people have created “recipes” that you can use, tweak, etc. to accomplish your workflows.
Thank you once again to Steve, Nicole, Dave and the rest of the ACHIEVA staff for hosting us in their South Side office this month! Next month we will hold our annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 12, from 1-4 pm at Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront. See this upcoming BCNM E-news article for more details. I hope to see you there!
This month, Steve McDonell of ACHIEVA gave us a demonstration of Google Drive and answered many questions about setting up Google for an organization as well as about the apps. Here are the notes from the meeting:
Google Drive and Apps
- Has sharing and chat features
- Has revisions (when in a Google doc, click on “all changes saved in drive” at the top of the menu to access revision history)
- Grid on top right has all apps/icons
- Upgrades take a few days to roll out
- Check out Google blog and Tech Republic’s Google blog for news
- Can now convert and edit MS Office docs in Google Apps
- Mail merge – only available for email merges (Still need MS Office for envelopes, etc.)
- Email archiving is available if you pay for a Google Vault account
- Free, but certain features like spam filtering or email archiving cost ($35/per user/per year)
- To set up a new account, register with Google, provide 501c3 proof (Google gives you MX record to hook up your domain name for email)
- Saves time on app (desktop) installs and other IT admin items
- Groups and Sites (can mix internal and external) (Can limit who can admin or send/share)
- Sites – can have pages, calendars, etc.
- Can insert/add lots of other Google Apps – into pages – integrate easily
- Groups – can use a variety of ways (has its own archive) – public or private
- Support available through reseller(s) and from Google
- Very few outages and service interruptions
- MDM is available (mobile device management)
- Good job at explaining in layman’s terms
- Big culture change
- Collaboration and sharing are the two biggest pieces to this
- Can backup if want to usingthird party apps, but Google has good backupbuilt in
- When deleted, email stays in trash until deleted so there’s a chance to retrieve from there
- Can retrieve for up to 30 days
- Very scalable – up or down – since it’s subscription based
- https encryption for docs
- Gmail to Gmail is encrypted end to end
- Procedures and policies used to “control” transmission of HIPPA related info (Faxes still being used a bit, online service such as e-fax)
- Email monitoring through/in Google Vault
- Gmail has Labels that act like tags
- Google labs – experimental plug-ins for Gmail
- Undo send
- Using canned responses
- Google Learning Center has lots of tutorials and documentation