Monate: August 2010

Software for NGOs with an undersized budget

Since over 4 years I am struggling with the contradiction between a Central-East European, absolutely-non-profit budget and the need to work efficiently, to present ourselves as professionally as possible and to keep software security in a good shape. This a particularly tricky job where private contributions to office running costs are even lower than the local bank charges, which you pay both for holding the account and for every incoming money transfer and which are extra high for charities. It probably goes without saying that software and Web administration are increasingly rejected by donors as budget items in projects, which are requested to be tightly goal oriented, understaffed and cost efficient and which are supposed to promote the donor’s brand. IT work is of a kind that is well done if you don’t see it. I have experienced, however, countless nerve-wracking problems with inaccessible pages and countless breakdowns after updates, and many of them were caused by my stupidity. In fact, if you decide to run your own NGO without the budget for a webmaster, …

Wie viele Blogs verträgt der Mensch?

In den letzten Tagen und Wochen habe ich eine Blog-Site für das Burma Center eingerichtet, wobei ich zunächst einmal zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen wollte: Von unserem Projekt zur Integration von burmesichen Kontingentflüchtlingen hatten wir einen Blog über, den ich zwar weiter online lassen wollte, um den ich mich aber nicht auch noch zusätzlich kümmern wollte mit Updates etc. CMS, Newsletter, Web-Analyse, Blogs, e-Shop, online Office, … Updates, Patches, maßgeschneiderter Code, eigene css, die man nach den Updates wieder reaktivieren muss … langsam wird es ein bisschen zu viel. Im Zuge unseres Indien-Projektes werden wir 3 Journalisten nach Delhi bringen. Über ihre Zeit dort werden sie jeder einen Blog führen – entweder auf ihren Seiten oder bei uns. Nun noch mal 3 Blogs dazu??? Und dann kam die Idee, wie so viele Organisationen und Firmen diese Form dazu zu nutzen, um auf etwas leichtere Weise davon zu berichten, was wir eigentlich so machen. Das geht einem im Blog sehr viel leichter von der Hand, als wenn man jedesmal einen „Artikel“ für das Hauptweb erstellen …

Kyrgyzstan vs. Burma: 1-0

I just came across an interesting news report: The Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva has launched what is hoped to be the first free election for a parliamentary republic in Central Asia, when she signed a decree setting the date for 10 October. Here is something that Burmese leaders can learn about speed and precision. While the junta still leaves it up to rumors to convey the date of 10/10/2010 – absurdly considered an auspicious number by the anti-Christian leaders, even though these dates stem from Western culture and are calculated after Christ’s birth – the Kyrgyz people have simply made a decree and set the date. In Burma, the pseudo-democratic elections might as well be in December. Or next year. The only clear thing I can discover in the obscure matter of Burma’s upcoming elections is the junta’s message: What does it matter anyway?