Which one of you brought down the Internet… again?

DISCLAIMER: I’m getting a little technical but this is not a comprehensive article on Internet security. It does provide some simple (relatively) ideas to help you secure your home network. 


Yep.. the Internet got nailed last Friday and it was mostly due to home connected devices… IOT – The Internet of Things. Get to know that buzzword, it’s worth $175/hr. if you’re a tech security consultant. Continue reading “Which one of you brought down the Internet… again?”

Cloud-based Project Management and The Project Management Blues (a song)

Last week I spoke for PMI LA’s North LA County meeting. I again covered Cloud-based Project Management Strategies and Tools – showcasing 3 specific tools and strategies on more effective team communication.

I’ve included the PDF as a download below.

Three Project Management Tools

  • Smartsheet
    Full-project management tracking.  Gantt chart and calendar views. Auto-notifications, etc.
  • Glip
    Project team collaboration & discussions in real-time.
  • Google Drive (docs and sheets)
    An amazing tool when used properly. Shared files (better than dropbox with folders and sharing using folder structure permissions) plus real-time document and spreadsheet editing.

When Microsoft started their “to the cloud” ad campaign, those of us using Google Drive were sitting there waiting for them and had been for 5 years.

All of the above products are great at what they do. They all struggle with user and group security management. That’s my knock with MANY collaboration tools. Tie that stuff into Active Directory and we’ll be very happy.

The slides

Download PDF of Slides

The Project Management Blues

I often include music in my presentations. (sneaky hint: I’m double-dipping… it makes the presentation more enjoyable plus I’ve won a few music fans in the process).

The morning of the presentation I decided I would write a project management song. Sure.. I’m probably not going to win a grammy with this but given my workload – developing 3 different pieces of software, plus a writing project – I’m pleased with how it turned out. Unfortunately, I did not have the time at the presentation to perform any music. We were up against a hard-break and there were a lot of GREAT questions from attendees.

So… here is the song for your listening pleasure. I recorded it yesterday morning at around 6:30am.  Download it here or play it below. The lyrics are below the player.

Project Management Blues – lyrics

© 2015 Matthew Moran

Deadlines loom like a coming storm
This status report is due in the morn
My assistant’s no help, ain’t doing what he can
Just posted a picture of his dinner on Instagram
Another cup of coffee, add a shot too
It’s the fuel to cure my, Project Management Blues

The CFO, she says the budgets gone
I’m left to do this on my own
She’s a pretty smart cookie, at least at math
But she don’t know squat about critical path
But I’ll buckle down, yeah I’ll see this through
It’s the just-in-time, agile, or scrum Project Management Blues

I’ve worked for hours on end, I did my best
But my  gantt chart looks like a Rorschach Inkblot test
Dependant tasks keep sliding to the right
And I got no resources in sight
But I can weather this storm and make it rain too
I’m the cure for their, Project Management Blues

Yeah I know why I’m here and I’m sure you do too
I’m the cure for your, Project Management Blues

Yeah I know why I’m here and I’m sure you do too
You’re the cure for their, Project Management Blues

Thank you Los Angeles! Good night!

I’m Leaving Facebook after January 1st

You lie, you lie, with a booger in your eye!!

About Facebook’s New Terms, Privacy Settings and More

I just got the Facebook email where they are updating their terms and policies and introducing privacy basics.

What I know about this is that it will (already does) create a flurry of status updates that sound/appear something like.

“This lengthy, rambling, pseudo-legalese blah blah blah – protects me from the monster that is Facebook, Zuckerberg, and the CIA. Blah blah blah. And by posting it, I declare that I am a sovereign nation!”

 

Continue reading “I’m Leaving Facebook after January 1st”

Adding Rollover Buttons to your WordPress Website

ABSTRACT: A tutorial to teach you how to create image rollover buttons using CSS.

rollover buttons using cssI’m not going to teach you all about CSS and HTML elements here. I’m going to assume some knowledge; that you know what CSS is and that you know what a <div> tag is.

If not, go here.

A Summary of the Steps Needed to Create Rollover Buttons using CSS. More explanation below. Continue reading “Adding Rollover Buttons to your WordPress Website”

Creating website buttons quickly using Microsoft Publisher VBA

File under: Automate Everything.

ABSTRACT: This is a simple explanation of how I use Microsoft Publisher to create web images – in this case buttons with a rollover effect. I’ve provided a downloadable publisher file with the necessary VBA code.

I’ll explain the CSS and HTML to make the rollovers happen at a later date.

The Cobbler and His Children’s Shoes

First, I should be automating a LOT more. My consulting company, Pulse Infomatics, automates documents, reports, and other stuff. I’ve been an automation fanatic for 25+ years (yeah, I’m that old). In fact, read my book, Building Your I.T. Career, and you’ll find that I suggest (strongly) that information technology has only two roles: Information & Automation. Automation is the one most often neglected in organizations and is easily the most valuable! Continue reading “Creating website buttons quickly using Microsoft Publisher VBA”

Facebook Messenger – Security, Privacy, and the Real Conversation

facebook messenger security

Should I Install Facebook Messenger?

ABSTRACT: This blog post covers security concerns over Facebook Messenger but also covers security, technology and philosophy/policy.


facebook messenger securityThis question – or something like it – has come up with clients and friends a LOT lately. Mostly due to Facebook separating functionality from their main app into two apps. The Facebook App (your timeline and stream of photos) and Messenger – an app focused on direct person(s) to person(s) chatting.

Articles have cropped out – most with an ominous tone of big brother watching you – due to “permissions” the application requests when it is installed. Continue reading “Facebook Messenger – Security, Privacy, and the Real Conversation”

How to Use Google Drive to Record With Musicians Across The Internet

SUMMARY/ABSTRACT:
This article explains how to use Google Drive (cloud computing baby) to coordinate and organize recordings (musical collaboration) with other musician across the Internet.

Remote Collaboration For Musicians

Do you have an interest in collaborating with other musicians? I talk to a lot of artist who want to do just that. This tutorial explains the collaboration process and provides instructions on how to effectively accomplish this with Google Drive. Continue reading “How to Use Google Drive to Record With Musicians Across The Internet”

Why LinkedIn Endorsements are like bad garage sales

LinkedIn Endorsements are not very useful

LinkedIn Endorsements are not very usefulPeople clamor and rush to the next social network, while grasping, often weakly, to the older ones.

LinkedIn might be the best example of a largely disconnected social network. Very few people actually use it as a day to day connection.. with the exception of LinkedIn Groups – some of which are pretty effective. Of course, some are largely a jumble of “Look at me” parties.. Another topic for another day.

This past year, LinkedIn introduced “Endorsements.” That is where you recognize a connection for skills they have. Basically, you are offered a list of skills that you can click on as an endorsement.

===========
FYI: In the above image, taken from my “endorsements” page, I know 2 of those connections personally and can whole-heartedly endorse them. But when I do, I write about them and link to their work.. That is how you know I’ve endorsed them..
===========

This generates a message to the contact who can then, respond in kind, by endorsing you. It is all the rage it seems but, in the end, similar to Facebook likes, largely useless in advancing your business, career, or true social clout.

Why LinkedIn Created Endorsements

LinkedIn, like every brand (and this is a hint for you), wants eyes on its website/page. They are hoping/banking on the fact that while on their page, clicking on a word or two to “endorse” someone who has “endorsed” you, that you will help them monetize their efforts. Facebook has been the best at this, keeping people on their website – although their more recent “Suggested Page” ads are a bit confusing and too obtrusive in my opinion.

To date, LinkedIn has not be very effective at keeping people on their site. Most people go, connect, and then leave until the next connection. They’ve enabled a status feed and just today I got an email introducing new video and image galleries. We’ll see if this helps them.

The danger with endorsements is similar to the danger with Likes on Facebook. Individuals and brands are still focusing on the quantity of theoretic eyes on their page rather than the impact and value of the content they share.

Content is King… … still

I’m speaking with a new social media coaching client. They are being told many things.. Be on Pinterest. Be on Instagram. Be here, be there.

Here is the hard truth. You (they/any brand/individual) would be better served to have 20 connections who share your GREAT content on their networks/pages, then having 1,000 likes or endorsements, who are simply “drive-by clickers.” People clicking a skill or a like is nearly valueless.

In fact, it reminds me of visiting garage sales. There are garage sales where I look and do not even get out of the car.. I simply drive-by.. those are the useless “Likes” and “Endorsements.” Then, there are those garage sales that entice me to stop the car, get out, and walk around. MUCH GREATER CHANCE OF A PURCHASE… OBVIOUSLY.

People taking what you’ve posted, re-posting with some type of attribution, now that is powerful!

What is our take away?

Think about your content! Create something of value. I keep repeating, educate or entertain! Better yet, do both…. EDUTAIN or ENTERCATE. 😉

And I’ll repeat this as well. That does not mean educate them about why they should buy your product or service… Educate them more broadly and they will learn to trust you. They will look at what you are doing more earnestly. They will share, connect, engage, and ultimately buy.

Someone clicking a skill – ie: Matthew Moran knows “Blogging” is far less important than someone using one of the “Share” buttons below and posting a message like

“Hey everyone, you should be reading this article about how to truly engage readers.”

That was a not so subtle hint – do with it what you wish.

If you want people to truly endorse you, engage them with true value.

My child saved my flier design

Quickbooks and SQL Server integration

The past couple of weeks has been a flurry of activity around Casa Moran. My oldest daughter is in California for her dream job and my 3rd child is living with me again and learning some programming.

I’ve also started a new consulting company – Pulse Infomatics, Inc.

In creating some collateral material for Pulse, my youngest daughter saved my flier design. Let me explain.

About Pulse Infomatics, Inc.

I cut my teeth in technology with Blue Cross of Californai (Wellpoint, Anthem, Whatever they are called today). While there, I built a large and fairly complex document assembly system and a number of databases and reporting systems.

Since then, I created similar systems for both insurance and legal companies. My consulting crossed into network integration and a number of web applications as well as serving as the Virtual CIO for a few different companies. I do several things and I do those things pretty well… but I LOVE automation.

Recently, I worked on a project, creating a web-based time tracking system. The client then wanted the time to be entered or imported automatically into Quickbooks. Enter the Quickbooks SDK. This is now working and I’ve created additional integration with with their database and Quickbooks.

During a conversation with a friend and client in Arizona, she suggested that such automation was the most critical service I brought her company. She said I gave her the PULSE of her business. She then suggested that I should focus on this alone. Executive reporting and automation to give executives and owners the true PULSE of their business. She kept talking about the PULSE of her business and…

It is something I enjoy and so… Pulse Infomatics, Inc. was born.

A Simple Handout

First.. I’m NOT a designer. Never claimed to be one. I’m an entrepreneur and at times I am tasked with creating my own collateral.

I designed an image that created a picture of what Pulse Infomatics does. Basically, take data from multiple sources and create reports that are meaningful and provided at a touch of a button.

I then created an flier that asks some questions about the company’s I.T. and it’s perceived value.

My first stab at the flier started with the questions. It looked something like this.

Pulse Infomatics flier without a heading

When my youngest saw it, she said, “Shouldn’t it have some type of heading? I don’t know what I’m looking at.”

She was right.. basically, I was being lazy with my message. The new handout looks like this.

Quickbooks and SQL Server integration

Much better. Same information basically but it definitely ties things together.

She doesn’t do graphic design. She isn’t in business and hardly knows what I really do.. “computer stuff and writes.” And to be honest, that’s probably a good thing. She just knew that the first design was confusing because it never introduced anything.

I wonder if you’ve had a similar experience. Good advice on business from an unlikely source?