An Executive Director's point of view
May 03, 2013: Remember your password
Don't choose that option.
Instead, enter the password yourself each time you logon to a site. That will force you to remember it, which strengthens security and helps your learning process.
If you are ever asked for your password as part of a security regimen, you'll know it because you've been accustomed to entering it routinely. You won't unexpectedly be locked out of the site.
The practice of always entering passwords will keep your mind sharp, by forcing you to remember a sequence of numbers and/or letters.
So, don't be lazy. Remember the passwords you use regularly, and also manually enter those you may only use occasionally. You can maintain a list of a lot of your passwords (and stash the list in a secure place), but it's still a good idea to enter them all yourself.
December 28, 2012: Cellphone addicts
If your car breaks down, you don't have to walk for miles to find a working pay phone to call for help.
When meeting someone in a crowded place, you can call to report your exact location.
If you are grocery shopping, you can call home to ask a question about a product.
But some people don't realize when they should not make calls or answer calls. Here are a few times:
1. When you are having a conversation with another person.
2. When seated in a concert hall or movie theater.
3. During a funeral.
4. While interviewing for a job (this one's my favorite!)
5. When participating in a meeting.
6. When speaking at a meeting.
7. While trying to make a left turn in rush hour traffic in downtown Chicago.
So, let your calls to go to voicemail when you are busy doing something else. It's rarely necessary to answer your phone immediately.
September 18, 2012: Database problems
If you've encountered difficulties managing your database and integrating it with other online functions, you are not alone.
August 12, 2012: Yesterday
Things have changed a lot in the past 21 years. It will be interesting to see how our technology will be viewed 21 years from now.
July 03, 2012: Not tech-averse
Remote controls, stereo sound, answering machines, voicemail, tape cassettes, fax machines, front-wheel drive, microwave ovens, VCRs, email, computers with hard drives, buffers (so computers could do two things at once), desktop publishing, database programs (instead of card files), cell phones, CDs, and lots of other devices and processes.
All these things were new at one time, and they all faced initial resistance.
Hesitancy to adopt some current technologies - social media, in particular - is often due to a desire to first be convinced of their usefulness. Not everybody grabs something new just because it's there or just because other folks say they should.
When people think they'll have a use for something, they'll use it.
June 05, 2012: Video for work or for play?
Saturday nights were found to be prime time for video viewing, with high volume also occuring during the morning commute.
That may be true for entertainment videos but not for those that are work-related.
Work-related videos still need to be short - 60-90 seconds or less. People in work mode often try to acquire the greatest amount of information in the shortest possible amount of time. They just can't linger for ten minutes or longer on any one item.
So if you post video on blogs or web sites, keep them short. Viewers may skip right over them if they're too long.
Or, suggest that people return to view videos before they leave the office. They may have more time to check them out at the end of the day when they are more relaxed and their work is (more or less) finished.
April 22, 2012: Internet injustice
He cited cases where jurors tweeted or blogged about trials, researched cases online, or posted polls asking for advice about how to vote on the verdict.
Jurors have always been required to restrict discussion of cases to fellow jurors and to make decisions based only on information presented in the trial. Use of electronic communication just makes enforcement of those rules more difficult.
Association professionals: Do your Board members tweet during Executive Sessions?
April 06, 2012: Old computers
Will they be able to run new programs on your old machine? Do they have room on a desk for a giant monitor? Why doesn't the printer have copying and scanning functions?
The groups may be grateful for your generosity but really need up-to-date equipment to conduct business and to connect with funders, government, media, and other organizations. Your old stuff - that isn't good enough for you anymore - really isn't good enough for them, either.
But don't just toss your old equipment in the dumpster or leave it for the cleaning crew to deal with. The electronic waste you are discarding can be recycled or disposed of more safely. And, maybe there is a group somewhere that can use it.
So, if you can't tap a local resource for guidance and haven't gotten referrals from professional colleagues, check out this Environmental Protection Agency checklist for suggestions.
You can also get recycling tips from the National Center for Electronics Recycling. And How-to Geek will tell you what you should do with your old computers before you get rid of them.
Any other ideas?
March 15, 2012: Breakdown
Product satisfaction ratings for individual elements measured only 5.6 on a scale of 10, with self-service options rated highest and various e-commerce functions rated lowest.
And a discussion of the ASAE LinkedIn group yielded a slew of negative comments about AMS.
Cindy Simpson, CAE, of Association for Women in Science, said that, "Lately there have been a massive amount of problems which has all but crippled our association."
Donna Dunn, CAE, of Association of YMCA Professionals, reported that, "After only 15 months with our current AMS, we are starting the process of identifying and moving to a new AMS."
Others posted similar comments.
Here are Shannon Otto's tips for choosing association management software, and Wes Trochlil's advice to consider the quality of the service, not just the quality of the product.
December 14, 2011: Are they all good?
Like all products, these were tested and evaluated. Tips were offered about how to make selections and the overall ratings were displayed for all of them.
Interestingly, most choices for all these products were "recommended" by magazine testers. A few were identified as "good buys."
So, are all of these devices really good? Is technology still too new to differentiate between the good and the not so good? Were only the best models tested?
Decide for yourself.