Why the Cloud Is More Secure

Smart Idea!
© nicotombo - Fotolia.comLast week, in talking with a potential customer, I spent a lot of time talking about data security. Specifically I was getting at the now accepted belief that having your data hosted on premises, or in a server that you manage remotely, is a lot more risky than entrusting your data to a cloud provider.

This blog post from Tech Crunch, an industry technology site, lays out in relatively clear layman’s terms why data hosting in the cloud is a much more secure option than doing it yourself.

The simple truth is that we've witnessed some colossally large data breaches in the last year or two, and conventional wisdom suggests that these kinds of attacks will increase rather than decrease. That means that anyone that’s managing their own data security infrastructure is going to be under more and more pressure over the next few years.

If data security hasn't been something that’s on your mind, this article might be a good place for you to start.

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Streaming the Future

© Ig0rZh - Given the popularity of live video in Google Hangouts, Apple’s FaceTime, and Skype, many of us are replacing phone calls with a live web-based video call.

I’ve been predicting for some time now that this type of technology will morph and soon enable people to live-stream events from their iPhones or Android phones to their friends on the spur of the moment. It appears that time is upon us, and this article shares some of my thinking on what’s happening and whether it’s good or bad for the arts.

First, the news. At the recently concluded SXSW, a new app called Meerkat was a big hit. The app allows users to set up a live video stream from their mobile phone or tablet, easily send a link through Twitter to their followers, and then stream whatever is happening at that moment to the users’ community, for whoever is free to watch.

Click here to watch. 2:14
Let’s say you’re going bowling and you want all your friends to watch you bowl a strike. Just fire up the app, send a link, and your friends can watch you at that moment! If YouTube is a repository for videos of events that happened in the past, Meerkat is about what’s happening right now.

What makes this even more interesting is that Twitter bought a company, Periscope, and launched a service that does pretty much the same thing. It’s all happening very fast, so the facts are murky — but it doesn’t take much creativity to predict that Facebook will follow suit quickly if this catches on. The main point is that live-streamed video is hot. Meerkat announced that it now has more than 300,000 users.

For those of you who work in the live event business, whether it’s a concert, a play, or a visit to a museum, the implications for live-streaming are profound — both positively and negatively. (click to read more...)

The Perils of Ignoring Data Management

Smart Idea!
© massimo_g - Fotolia.comSometimes, incredibly important things are... simply not that sexy to write about. Such is the case with data management. These words make you just want to fall asleep, don’t they?

I’m here to tell you that our colleague Jill Robinson at TRG has nailed this topic with rock solid precision in this excellent blog post. If you’re up for the challenge of really understanding the fundamental importance of data — collecting, managing, scrubbing, and using it to target your marketing and fundraising efforts — I guarantee you that you’ll have better results if you read this.

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How to Blog When You Have No Time to Blog

Smart Idea!
© Yury Zap - I’ve been writing this blog since 2007, and I’ve been an advocate of blogging since then. But many organizations don’t have a blog and part of the reason is that they simply don’t have any time to do it. If that sounds like your organization this article from is for you! It describes the plan for creating a team of people who can blog for you and take a lot of the responsibility off your shoulders.

If you’ve been thinking about blogging but haven’t started, this might just get you going in a quicker and easier way than you ever thought possible.

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Do You Have a Social Media Policy?

Social Media
© ilkefoto - At the beginning of the social media revolution, organizations treated social media like a newfangled kind of public relations. They hired someone (or got a volunteer) whose job was to be the social media person. That person was the voice of the organization on social media. Many organizations have that right now and it’s a good thing.

However, if that’s all you’re doing you’re not going far enough. Everyone in your organization could be a social media advocate! After all, they are all on social media, or most of them anyway. If you run a theater all of your actors could be an online ambassador for the organization. If you run an orchestra every one of your musicians could do the same. The social in social media means getting everyone in your organization to help build your organization using social media. I’m opposed to the idea of requiring people to do so, but I’m a big advocate of encouraging people.

What this article talks about is that, to do this effectively, you need a social media policy. It’s a set of guidelines or “rules of the road” that you can give to your employees, co-workers, or artistic community so that they know what you expect of them and you don’t run into problems that could’ve been avoided. This article from Spin Sucks — a website for the PR industry — does a fantastic job of laying out many of the things that you should be thinking about as you create your social media policy. In fact there are exactly 21 specific ideas here and I encourage you to read this and let it propel you towards building a social media policy for your organization.

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Mondays Don’t Have to Suck

Smart Idea!
© BartPhoto - Does your Monday at work start with a meeting? Well, mine does. This article from argues against that. Essentially the writer calls into question a lot of things accepted as normal on Mondays. He points out that Monday is generally the worst day of the week for most people and tries to change that.

This article gives you a few specific suggestions about how to make Mondays a lot less painful. This part of the article caught my attention:

Mondays don’t have to suck. Mine certainly don’t. But not everyone can set up their day using all of the approaches I’ve laid out above, which is what helps me make my Mondays work for me. So try just one of the tactics I’ve discussed and you will find that Monday will be less of an enemy and more of an ally going forward.

I’m for that!

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