Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Great interview in today's WSJ (paid access) with Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com who is talking about software being built on "platforms" yet again.

Thing is, I get what he's saying and buy it, big time. Two years or more ago, I was at a SF.com event where they first launched Dreamforce and had a long conversation with a sales guy there who didn't buy it. He told me he was focused on selling salesforce.com and that this new platform wasn't ready for prime time. In some ways, he was right - adoption never took off.

Today, it seems as if more and more companies are using web services and web based platforms for real, mission critical applications. Benioff points out in the interview that there are more than 20 companies now selling "software-as-a-service," up from only Salesforce just a few years ago. Now he's talking "platform-as-a-service." While he admits that this is a long process (perhaps 10 or more years to become mainstream) it's worth noting that the big boys (Microsoft, Oracle etc) are all now moving into this world as well. There seems to be a ton of momentum around this idea.

For non-profits (and others), I think it's time to think outside the box when looking at companies like Salesforce.com not just for their pre-packaged CRM solutions, but for their visions of the future as well. It's also time to start making sure that your existing vendor solutions are thinking about opening up their black boxes. As we all move further and further into this hyper-connected world you'll have to make sure that you can actually connect, swap data between systems, applications, partners and more.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Is Way Too Cool

Geeks out there... get ready - this is way too cool.

Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), Johnny Chung Lee from Carnegie Mellon University demonstrates how you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment.

I don't have a clue as to how a non-profit could use this, but I'm blown away by the sheer coolness factor.


Friday, December 21, 2007



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NetHope Summit 2007

International Rescue Committee CTO David Goodman and IT Director Chad Sutton are down in Panama for the NetHope Summit and they are blogging!

Stay tuned here all day long.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

What Happens When?

Since last week when the steam pipe in NYC blew, our building has been closed. First the building had no access, then we learned that the phone system went down. We updated the web page and tried to get some work done from home.

This weekend, e-mail went down because the a/c shut down and the server room overheated. We do have emergency e-mail thank god, but it's not easy getting things done.

We're so dependant on technology it's scary. I'm no luddite, but what does happen when?

Personally, I realized that I also need a personal contingency plan - a place to stay in NYC in case I can't get out of town, and some stashed cash in case I can't find an ATM with power. The joys of living in a technology driven world never cease to amaze me.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Do You Get It Yet?

My friend Lee has a new video out that attempts to explain RSS.

I have a question for some of you if you aren't already a heavy RSS user.

Does your VCR also still blink 12:00? Get with the program Spalding.

There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don't. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don't know where to start.

Lee, great job - now that's a screencast!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes

I've been toying around with Yahoo! Pipes - a very slick, very cool way to aggregate all sorts of information from different sources. I built a VERY basic feed aggregator and published it to Squidoo (scroll down towards the bottom). This mashup capability allows me to integrate 4 different feeds and then push them through another web site - pretty slick!

My little demo aggregates 2 main IRC feeds, our flickr feed and our myspace blog feed. Check it out.

I should note that this only scratches the surface of what this technology may be able to do.

Learn more about pipes here.

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