Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BUZZ WORD IS A BUZZ WORD (HELP!) or: Why I stopped blogging (until today)

I don’t want to be a buzz-kill, but I hate buzz words. I hate take-aways. I love take-out (at least I did before I moved to LA which doesn’t have great take-out). I hate social networking. I’m anti-social. So sue me! I hate anything with “tube” in the name. I hate Face Book as much as I hate Flckr. I hate information overload. I love information. As long as it is not about the latest buzz words.

Where am I going with this? Remember the Rolodex? the Day Timer? Anybody? Buhler? Buhler?[1] I had some sweet Rolodex shareware. How about the Palm Pilot? And when am I going to get my flying car darn it!

Carving in stone gets you close to eternity, even paper has a shot if it stays cool and dry. But where is anybody going to get a 5 ½ inch floppy drive in 2010? For that matter where is anyone going to get one today?

I have one! But I don’t have a cable to connect it and I don’t have a suitable port on my teeny computer (they don’t call them PC’s anymore do they?) Does anyone say “Hyperlink” anymore? A link is just a link now. But I am Hyper. Hyper fed up that is.

On the other hand…the following youtube video triggered this rant, so I’ll have to find the love and “embed” this “youtube” in my “blog”. Arrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhh



Now shall I calm down enough to get to what’s really bothering me? Yes? Okay then. I took a break from blogging for the past few months. Not really a summer vacation. I just got the blogging blues? Why? Because I was getting wrapped up in the Wiki-RSS-SecondLife-Web 2.0-Social Media maelstrom. I lost my way. What is my way? I’m here to provide a philosophical examination of the issues underlying our nonprofit ways. Sometimes it’s accounting or compliance and yes sometimes technology or meta-tech.[2] I know, I know, I’m a generalist lost between the hot topics with the great take-aways. My message isn’t clear or clear enough and I only reach 29 unique visitors. Yes I’m RSS-able and search optimized and post regularly (at least I did for 14 consecutive months).

So why bother? Because there are things that I need to say and I’m compelled to do so. Before I get too fired up (I know, too late) I must acknowledge that I’ve found myself among a community. One that I never had before. A group of nonprofit bloggers I’m proud to be a part of. And god knows we need the techno bloggers (who alternately intimidate and impress my socks off). And in this community there are so many on the path ahead of me. I don’t have to plug Beth’s Blog, because she is a delicious technorati authority rated, plugged in, flikerd, wiki’d RSS lovin’ blogger, in other words, one wired chica (I love u Beth). So without further adieu here are the five bloggers with a philosophical bent that I love the most) – and if they occasionally write about technology, god love ‘em.

  1. Andrew Taylor’s TheArtfulmanager
  2. The Agitator (IF that is Roger Craver and Tom Belford does this count as two, in which case I’d have to have the top 6 but that wouldn’t qualify for the “top five” carnival!
  3. Ken Goldstein’s The Nonprofit Consultant
  4. Phil Cubeta’s Gift Hub
  5. Bao Vang’s Minnesota Council of Nonprofits blog



[1] Reference to Ferris Buhler’s Day Off. Ferris has cut school and his teacher calls roll, the image of the teacher droning on: Buhler? Buhler? Has become iconic, representing the youth of America thumbing it’s nose at authority. Ah youth.
[2] If I’m going to get into Meta, then I’ll have to write about my favorite book Godel, Escher & Bach, and if I’m going to do that, then you’ll have to listen to me sing the praises of recursion and self-referential comments. And I just can’t do that tonight. I can not. Okay twist my arm. Comeon…

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

A DAY ON THE HILL: FROM IDEA TO ACTION

I'm just a bill/Yes, I'm only a bill
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee
But I know I'll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill. --SchoolHouse Rock, 1970

I went on my first "hill visit" last month. I was very excited about educating our congressman on the challenges nonprofits face. I didn't know how naive I was until I sat in his office.

First, although we had an appointment, we were greeted by an "aide" with a notepad. No actual congressman face time. Second, there was no spark of interest until we described (in detail) what work we were doing in HIS district. So what about city-wide services, just tell me about mine!; Third, the aide did not write anything on the notepad (although she held her pen at the ready) UNTIL we mentioned a specific piece of legislation in committee. She eagerly wrote down the numbers of the bills in question.

As I left I realized that she hadn't heard a word of our "message" and didn't have any better understanding of the challenges facing our nonprofit, than before our visit.

Disheartened at first, I realize now that there was an important moral to that story. Want change? Work with legislature to put it into a bill. If it becomes a law...then voila...you have legal validation of your work (and maybe funding as well).



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