Thoughts on a new Era of Service

I, along with much of this country, even this world, was moved by Obama’s acceptance speech yesterday.  Two things really make me hopeful about this new administration.  First, that expert opinions will be listened to.  Many highly technical fields, including much of Science and Security, were completely run out of town in the last administration.  Secondly, that you don’t need to pass a loyalty test to get within 1000 feet of the president.  Rick Warren believes differently than President Obama on many fronts, many wanted him thrown out of the inaguration because of it.  But now we have a President that likes to have people around him with different points of view, to challenge his assumptions, and makes sure he’s seen all sides of an issue.  How refreshing is that.

And, throughout all of this, I am really impressed by this call to a new age of service.  This has been a consistant message for the last many months, and it personally inspired me.  Being a software guy, I have a skill that is massively needed by non profits.  The tech team of non profits, if they even have one, is usually one or two fresh college graduates, with a massive turn over rate.  It is a set of skills they don’t know how to hire, manage, or use, and one they can’t afford to contract.  The net result is that most non profits don’t really manage to leverage all these wonderful resources out there.  In the tide of this new age of service, I started thinking about what I could do to help on this front for our farm.  I offered my skills over break, and things are starting to kick off now.  Over the next few months I’m sure I’ll have some new experiences to post up here about the whole process.

If you are a Tech person, I highly encourage you to look out there at non profits or causes you are interested in, and step up.  Become their webmaster, or spend a few hours a month helping them on some tech front.  You have a set of skills they desperately need, and even a modest investment of your time and resources can do amazing things in helping out those organizations reach their goals.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on a new Era of Service”

  1. I went and took a look at the farm web site. It’s cool to know something like this exists so close; I’m going to see about volunteer opportunities for our 14 YO.

    You might gently suggest that their web site needs an overhaul from an architecture point of view. Some things they are specificailly missing are: places for people to register for online organizational communications (email, marketing stuff); an online donation kiosk; online volunteer registration; interactive map; and more pictures of the farm and stuff growing! It would be great if they had their own virtual land with the farm modeled there, too, but I’d think a more useful web site would be a good start.



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