Starting tomorrow, January 1, 2009, Washington state residents will be able to recycle computers, monitors and TVs at no cost, thanks to the e-waste producer responsibility laws we passed in 2006.
You can find collection sites here, or read more about the program here.
This is a big step forward for responsible recycling in Washington!
The good folks at Idealware have added another nice article to their “A Few Good Tools…” series, this one titled “A Few Good Email List Discussion Tools.”
While the article provides a pretty good overview of the space, it leaves out a few supporting details that I think are worth noting:
- Idealware’s article mentions that many CMS platforms have some email discussion list support, including Democracy In Action, Convio, Kintera, Drupal and Joomla, but neglects to mention that Plone also has such features, through its add-on product Listen.
- Idealware’s article mentions the great folks at Electric Embers, DGroups and OnlineGroups as nonprofit-oriented discussion list providers, but neglects to also mention the team at The Open Planning Project, whose OpenPlans service offers a very powerful, user-friendly web-and-email discussion list experience.
- Idealware’s article gives rather short shrift to several powerful open-source email discussion list solutions that enable more sophisticated groups to take control of their own discussion list hosting. Sympa and Mailman are probably the two leaders. Idealware dismisses Mailman in passing, saying it and (unnamed) similar tools “aren’t as easy to use as many others, and don’t include features like archives or online groups. They can also make it difficult to view or export a file of the list of subscribers.”While it’s true that Mailman and Sympa don’t have the polished usability of some commercial discussion tools, they do include web-based archives and offer simple subscriber views and one-click export of the subscriber list. Some hosting providers may disable archiving, but that’s not the software’s fault.
The host-it-yourself path is not for everyone, since it does require some technical expertise to configure and maintain, but that’s also true of many of the solutions Idealware does mention.
Overall, good article, worth a read. I hope Idealware will consider incorporating some of these additional details to round it out a bit more.
Note: this is absolutely, positively not recommended for production.
I had heard that it was possible to install and run Plone trunk under Python 2.6, and that it would use substantially less memory (mostly thanks to Python 2.6 improvements). It took a bunch of fiddling and some help from David Glick, but here’s how I did it on my Mac OS X 10.5 laptop:
Make sure /opt/local/bin is in your path.
echo 'export PATH=/opt/local/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bash_profile
(NB you may have to sudo port commands)
$ port install python26
$ port install py26-pil
if it fails, try again, second shot worked for me. ah, ports.
NB that you must either have an empty /usr/local or temporarily rename it to /usr/local-off while installing the port. don't forget to name it back when you're done. (see https://trac.macports.org/ticket/15077)
svn co https://svn.plone.org/svn/plone/buildouts/plone-coredev/trunk plone-trunk
bin/addzope2user user password
(to add an admin user)
Visit http://localhost:8080/manage_main and away you go!
To my delight, I found that it uses 62MB of RAM on startup; Plone 3.1.7/Python 2.4 uses 97MB on this machine. That’s a pretty nice reduction. I really hope we are able to deploy Plone 3.x under Python 2.6 soon, too!
Michael is once again spot-on, although he buries his lede a bit:
If I were to write a description of an online seminar for nonprofits that captures what I see going on, it would probably be something like this:
Title: Don’t Fall Behind in Raising Money: 27 Free Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Online Fundraising
This description might even work, right? But it has all the symptoms of fast fix obsession. It elevates and preys on nonprofit anxiety. It throws in some brand name buzzwords to leverage the appeal of the latest cool thing. Most importantly, it promises to reduce online fundraising to a set of tiny quick wins.
You can’t afford to fall behind. Those online donors are being scooped up by organizations that are on the ball when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and all the other places new donors are hanging out. With this webinar, you’ll have the secrets for getting your share. Each of the 27 online fundraising tips, tricks, and hacks are free and can be implemented in minutes!
Don’t get me wrong: Quick wins are great. As students, we all need the
feeling that we can hit the ground running and see at least some
immediate progress for our efforts. This is especially true when we’re
working on large projects. But the quick wins have become an end in
themselves, rather than just another part of a balanced toolkit for
This misplaced emphasis on fast fixes is truly harmful in several ways.
(1) After delivering some quick satisfaction, it sets us up for
disappointment when those tips don’t add up to anything. (2) It
encourages sloppy thinking on the part of both students and teachers,
generating lists of vaguely related ideas rather than coherent
frameworks for thinking about the topic. (3) It fails to build the
underlying strategies that in turn would make tips genuinely effective.
(4) By asking so little of us, it appeals to and encourages our worst
We can do better than this.
When I saw this episode of XKCD, I just had to remix it to give it a more personally-relevant context. Enjoy.
Thanks to Randall Munroe for XKCD and for publishing it under a Creative Commons license, allowing me to remix and share like this. This is what the future of culture looks like.