[portland] followup re Red Cross

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 19:58:37 CEST 2009

Yes, that's good advice Dylan, glad you appreciate this is a workflow
issue, not just about what happens to an HttpRequest once it gets in
the door (lots fall off the roller coaster in this case, plunge to
their deaths, but hey, it's only virtual, plus there's a whole other
website that'll swap in if we're nuked or Hood blows or whatever, hope
we don't have to use it, might be written in ASP/VB?).

However, I'm a good person to come forward with this as I've been
working in the non-profit sector for some years (Sisters of the Road,
Burnside Projects, Oregon Food Bank, Vision Northwest, Clackamas
County, Disability Determination Services, Aging Services of
Multnomah, and yes, Red Cross, though not any time recently -- been at
this since 1980s actually).  In other words, I'm good at managing
workflow, plus have help.


On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Dylan Reinhardt
<python at dylanreinhardt.com> wrote:
> Wow... there certainly is a lot of room for improvement here.
> That said, when an organization maintains its web site this badly, it's not
> typically because of an inability to find programmers.  It's because their
> business processes don't include the web site and/or a lack of perceived
> value toward having an up-to-date web site.
> A new toolset might generate some heat, but it is not going to change
> management priorities nor will it fix their broken business processes. I'd
> be really shy about dragging an ad hoc band of geeks into a project with an
> international organization without having a really good idea of what you're
> actually up against.
> Dylan
> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 8:31 AM, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hey there geeks!
>> pursuant to my lightning talk this last time @ PPUG, which was
>> somewhat impromptu i.e. I only got the info that very day, here's more
>> of the deal on my Red Cross connection:
>> (a) read both blog posts if interested in an idea of the current
>> status quo (fucked up):
>> http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2009/04/ppug-2009414.html
>> http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2009/04/frustrated-with-red-cross.html
>> (b) I'm staying in touch with the Red Cross CTO plus have forwarded
>> more details including some emails to our combined PPUG & OS Bridge
>> leadership, namely Jason and Michelle, Selena and Audrey, though I'm
>> thinking they're all too crazy busy to do much about it, just wanted
>> to scattergun across skill set communities, with Michelle strong in
>> Django, Jason in everything Python, Selena in PostgreSQL and Audrey in
>> Rails.
>> Yes, I'm cluing the Rails community as I'm looking from over the
>> shoulder of Red Cross CTO towards Cubespace as this bevy of relevant
>> webapp developers, not differentiating much further than that, all
>> comers welcome (Perl Mongers, let's get on it).  I do favor Django
>> though, have been consistently suggesting it both around Ecotrust
>> (which already uses GeoDjango) and around Center for Outcomes Research
>> and Education (Providence, more into MUMPS, not atypical in
>> hospitals).
>> I also forwarded the data to Mosaic Consulting whom I contract with
>> for HR (human resources) consulting, in case this gets to the resume
>> stage or we actually want to offer Red Cross a coherent development
>> plan.  Fred Meyer Trust is a puzzle piece.
>> I'll be happy if we get that far, as I think the promise of open
>> source is it actually strengthens NGOs, nonprofits, those glue
>> organizations that serve community.  It's not just that the tools are
>> powerful, but that we think more the way they do, in terms of freely
>> sharing our liberal arts (cite R0ml Lefkowitz et al).
>> This has always been the hype, plus it's real on the ground in a great
>> many cases, however Portland, with a reputation as a FOSS capital
>> (CSM:2005) stands to improve its reputation as such if its signature
>> nonprofits aren't wallowing in licensing fee hell paying like double
>> for only half the result.
>> As an erstwhile consultant with Free Geek (CollabTech chapter) I know
>> that serving in the nonprofit community is difficult, frustrating,
>> often uphill work but is also potentially rewarding and great for your
>> resume if you wanna be a USA senator someday (OK, most of us don't).
>> I've played (and been paid) in this sandbox for years and have
>> treasured working with some really dedicated people doing obviously
>> important and interesting things.  If you've not worked with
>> nonprofits before, I suggest trying to find out more at OS Bridge.  Or
>> talk to me sometime (4dsolutions.net), maybe after a PPUG meeting, or
>> talk to Jason (idealist.org).
>> Kirby
>> PS:  and again with the Pycon slides, which went by kinda faced on the
>> remotely operated white screen:
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/sets/72157616066135225/
>> re my workshop:  http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2009/03/urner-workshop.html
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