Month: July 2013

  • Managing My Social Media World and Staying Employed at the Same Time

    The following question came up today,  “How do you tweet and post so much and get your job done?”  Since it came up once I thought it might come up again and it might come to one of you in the form of “How can the idiot IT director do his job when he is spending all his time on social media.”  Here is the answer.

    I do use many aggregation and sharing tools. Most of it is automated with a sprinkling of live tweets.  However, every single tweet is something I have either scanned or read.

    Because there is so much to learn in the IT field every single day I long ago started using tools such as Google Reader to glean and filter topics in areas such as higher ed, community college, finance, the economy and of course IT.  I had started looking at and experimenting with other aggregation tools prior to Google’s announcement that Google Reader was going away.  That announcement just turned into an opportunity for me to refresh some of my thoughts on aggregation and distribution of news via social media.   Here is how I go about it.
    1) I use about a half dozen aggregators that go out to the web and glean articles and papers on topics such as those listed above.  I then use another tool to aggregate my aggregators to a single location.
    2) From that single aggregation point  I usually spend the following time looking for interesting content:
    15 -30 minutes first thing in the morning scanning and marking content.
    15-30 minutes at lunch scanning and marking content
    1 hour at night before going to bed scanning and marking content
    1-3 hours Saturday morning scanning and marking content
    3) When I find a piece of content I believe might be interesting and which is not time dependent I push it to another tool(s) that schedules tweets and Linkedin posts


    Bitly is a free URL shortening service that also offers analytics and sharing tools. If you are unfamiliar with the term URL shortener, it is a service that redirects a user from a
    short url (ex. to a much longer url
    Buffer is an automated posting tool for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and that allows you to share to multiple accounts, all from one place and at optimal times. I almost feel like I should warn you to not get me started on Buffer, but I won’t because it is currently my favorite, and maybe my all time favorite, social media management tool.
    Why I Love Buffer
    They also offer a free version that allows you to add three accounts. However, for $10/mo. (less than the price of lunch!) you can add up to 12 social accounts, unlimited posts, and access for 2 team members for an entire month. Account options are: Facebook (profiles and pages), Twitter, LinkedIn and even
    Why you’ll love Buffer

    1. Get Analytics for each social update you share: Clicks, retweets, likes, shares, mentions and more. – See screenshot below.
    2. Get your posts automatically timed and scheduled, so you never have to worry about setting a time and date. Just hit “add to Buffer”.
    3. Add updates to your Buffer from lots of different apps or via email.

    Therefore all day while I am doing something else,  tweets and linkedin posts are being automatically pushed out by me.  Then occasionally if I am looking something up I will push it out, but if I push something out live I sometimes will put it in a que for a retweet at a later time.

  • Going Rogue into the Cloud?: Hidden issues in Cloud Deployment.

    Institutions are moving quickly to the cloud. Often CIOs justify the move based on gains for enterprise applications in the areas of speed, agility and flexibility in spite of their concerns about redundancy and security.   A recent report indicates there are still other potholes on the road to the cloud for the enterprise.   This 2013 report “Avoiding the Hidden Costs of Cloud” is based on a Fall 2012 survey commissioned by Symantec of 3236 business and IT executives in 29 countries It provides insight to the types of issues IT departments will encounter in the push to the cloud.  
    Hidden Costs?
    The issues summarized from the report are indeed challenges.  However, for a survey report with a title that includes the term “Hidden Costs”  there is precious little financial detail as to what these costs are: are we talking one dollar or a million dollars?  Lack of financial details aside, the survey results provide important issues which are not always discussed when an institution is developing an overall cloud strategy.
    Hidden Issues in Cloud Deployment
    Rogue Clouds
    This Rogue Cloud challenge is an offshoot of a challenge some refer to as “Shadow IT”  he deIn the past several  years you began seeing impatient department managers securing extra budget money and hiring outsiders to build a database for various tasks.  These tasks range from managing mailing addresses to retrieve feedback from a targeted population.  After accomplishing desired goals with this activity the department head would work the cost into their operating budget.  Other managers would take notice and start building their own databases. Then along came the cloud, and IT’s perceived lack of timely delivery of a desired service was amplified. Managers also encountered consumer based products which were easier to access and which heightened frustration with the traditional delivery of IT service.  This issue,sometimes referred to as the “Consumerization of IT”  allows department managers to seek outside vendors to automate various business processes, from customer relationship management to classroom evaluation services. Many of these consumer-based services can also be defined as a rogue cloud services as identified by the survey.  
    The survey revealed 77 percent of all businesses have experienced rogue cloud situations, or unauthorized use of cloud services, over the past year. This can put sensitive business information into a position where it could be compromised, without approval from IT or high-level management. Those responsible are doing it in order to save time and money, and yet the results may in fact be the opposite.
    The concerns about rogue clouds should be considered. Forty (40) percent of organizations surveyed have in fact experienced the exposure of confidential information. Other issues include theft of goods or services, account takeover and even defacement of web properties, experienced by more than one-quarter of businesses.
    Backup Difficulties and Inefficient Storage in the cloud
    Backup is a challenge for organizations. A majority of organizations surveyed are using at least three different backup solutions. Nearly half have lost cloud data and two-thirds have experienced recovery failures. Another hurdle is the perception of cloud recovery as a slow process; only about one-third considers it fast, and the majority estimate that if they experienced a catastrophic data loss it would require three or more days to recover.
    The ability to store information in the cloud is one of the most significant advantages the technology offers, because we only pay for what we use. The survey showed, however, that the utilization of the storage businesses are paying for is low – only 17 percent, when it should be over 50. Storage is made even less efficient by the lack of deduplication – about half report that little or none of their data is deduplicated.
    Compliance and eDiscovery Difficulties
    Half of organizations expressed their concern about meeting compliance requirements and proving compliance. Twenty-three percent of respondents have been fined for violations of privacy. There are also eDiscovery concerns when businesses are required to find the right information quickly. One-third of organizations have received eDiscovery requests for information stored in the cloud, and they have not responded well. Two-thirds of those receiving the requests have missed a deadline, leading to costly penalties.
    A list of recommendations provided by the report include:

    1. Focus policies on information and people
    2. Educate, monitor and enforce policies
    3. Embrace tools that are platform agnostic
    4. Deduplicate data in the cloud
      Below, I have included a MindMap I put together several years ago to help clarify how the cloud impacts use.  Amazingly it is still relevant.