Why I chase Knowledge Management Systems…

I began my professional career as a school teacher. In particular or to be specific as an elementary school teacher. I brought my personal computer to the classroom, and the kids and I built the application. We used my computer to track, measure and eventually publish our findings on Acid Rain. We, well my school was upwind of the Indiana University coal-fired power plant during the winter months. Our acidity of rainfall was far greater in the winter than in the summer. We, my students and I planted corn and grew it in both the winter and summer acidity to demonstrate the impact of acid rain on corn.

For me capturing, sharing and evaluating information is critical. I am not by profession a data scientists. I have and do build systems designed to support the capture of data. I do not design information systems that encompass the metadata and evaluate the data quality. I build the capture systems. I can honestly say in the past 20 plus years of chasing IP, the worst problem in any organizational IP management system is not the technology. In fact, I can almost guarantee that it is never the technology that causes the problems.

It is the reality of human beings. There is a perception sometimes that what you know is what makes you important to an organization. To the degree that is true but not fully. The nature of the information people has why people move up in an organization. The breadth of the information allows you, supports and enables decision making. You have to have people with experience in the organization. That experience allows, supports and enables stronger decisions. You also have to have new ideas. Just because something has always happened a certain way, doesn’t mean that way is the only way something should happen.

Empowering employees to share the information they have is difficult. As I opened with, I have chased reality for more than 20 years now. I can tell you within 10 minutes of a meeting starting where the information is in the room. I can also within a couple of hours tell you why the information isn’t known to everyone. I am not talking about the reality of information governance. That is a different issue. Simply the reality of information flow. It has been my life’s work for the past 20 years. I know that I have failed to improve that reality. I am not going to quit. It is possible for organizations to build responsive, receptive and managed IP systems that will benefit all employees and customers.

More to come…


knowledge seeker

Family History IV, the wrap-up!

I promise this is the last in my family history project series. IV seems to cover all the topics. First off, here are links to the first three.

The first component I recommend is scanning all the old pictures and slides you have. For that, I highly recommend the Epson Perfection series of the scanner. The software is really easy to use, and the scanner is a dream. High-quality scans that are easy to edit. The higher the resolution of the scans the happier you will be later. In fairness, most of the scans we have done are between 14 and 24 megs. Too large for posting on some online sites, but better to have higher-quality pictures later anyway.

For me, the second component was converting my grandfather’s films. Lot’s of 16mm films. I considered the possibility of me doing that conversion, but decided instead to ship the films off and have them converted. I choose iMemories, and honestly, it was the right choice. They not only converted all the film to digital video files but also sent me a very nice DVD collection (3) of my Grandfathers 30 or so 16 mm films. I highly recommend iMemories.

The last part of the Family History project is the blog. Now, I had a blog before the project started. But I began a focused blog that later became the Wander project shortly after I realized just how many slides and pictures we had, that few humans had ever seen. I took my blog and converted it to the Family History project blog, and that I started calling the Wander Project in honor of the work my kids did in the fifth grade. You can find that blog here http://scottoandersen.wordpress.com.

I also post family history videos (I have a lot of them) on my families YouTube Channel.


family history starter and tech guy

Starting a family history project part III

Continuing my how do I do a Family History project of my own, posts. Now, number 3 in this series. First of all the most thing, there is only one Hemingway. John Steinbeck was a unique writing talent (and how he thought of a beer float in Cannery Row, I will never know). Those great literary giants both started with their first story. Most of us start writing when we are 4, 5 or 6 years old. We are hopefully, encouraged to write down ideas and concepts by our teachers.

That first part of the family history project is getting the pictures. The second part is sharing those pictures. The what and how of sharing for me is a blog. What you share and how you share it, is entirely up to you. Sharing the stories, concepts, and jokes that bind the pictures taken to moments shared. You see there is a difference between a picture and memory. Certainly, pictures trigger memories. But the picture seldom captures the memory. As I have expanded my family history project, I have started calling it my Wander project.

In part a wander project based on what my kids did in 5th grade. Frist my daughter (Marengo Cave) then my sons (Vincennes and Corydon). They, the kids, had to go to a location in Indiana, take pictures of that trip and tell a story. The wander project mimics that school assignment. It takes pictures and memories that I have of moments and shares them. It is the last part of my family history project. Sharing my dreams, memories, and thoughts. Look not all of the family history projects is worthy of anything other than well picture review. Many of the posts aren’t good. It isn’t about good or bad posts. It is about what tomorrow will remember. “Tomorrow has no memory of today.” Sandler Boggs.

For tomorrow to have memories of your today, start a family history project!


wander project creator (well my wander project)

Technology wander Family History Project part II

The other side of what is now the family history project or what I often call the wander project is the blog posts. Not all of the posts are completely tied to the images shared. But often the goal is to share additional information beyond the pictures. Based on that goal I also have other parts to the family history project. I have converted all of the images from my grandfather that were a film. He left me two boxes of 16 mm film.

Additionally, I have converted more than 20 VHS tapes to digital. From time to time I share the family video on my YouTube channel. I also share stories, ideas and concept son my podcast, which for the most part is focused on technology but on occasion I do memories.

  1. Videotape family elders are telling the stories they remember. We did that with my grandfather, we failed to capture a lot of my grandmother, and we also didn’t catch as much of my father sharing stories on video as I would have liked. It takes five minutes to setup, but the value is priceless later!
  2. It is your family history; it doesn’t have to be perfect. In the words of the Carpenters son from the 70’s, “don’t worry if it’s not good enough.” It is good enough. No matter how badly you think you shared, someone, later on, will welcome the information.

I include links to the other places I share (YouTube and Podbean). Podbean is where I share my podcasts. YouTube is where I post my technology focused Yesterday’s Weather (time-lapse weather video) and some family videos as well.

Family history is something anyone can do. It isn’t hard, and while it can take time, later it will save time. The best part of memories is sharing them with other people!


Glad the scanning is done!

It is not a question of value. It is a question of legal.

I get a lot of technical questions in a lot of different places. Email, telephone and various forums I am a member of. One of the things that I don’t feel comfortable answering questions about avoiding paying for software. In part you can get free software, it is normally called an NFR, and companies sometimes give things away to seed the market. Reviewers often get Not for Resale versions of software to review and share opinions about.

But any other method of getting free software is one I don’t comment about. Artists spend their creative energy creating something; software developers do as well. Taking that without paying for it, either music, software, art or video is wrong. I have argued with some people over the years who say the companies make too much money. But this isn’t about the companies. Stealing creative ideas impact the artists most of all. It impacts the person who writes the code, not the company selling it. My rule with software has always been if I use it, I own it. If I don’t use it a second time, then I don’t upgrade it.

Someone has to write the code. Write the music, the script or shoot the image. That someone is the one you are hurting by stealing software, music, video or other art. The impact isn’t in the big company; they simply take the loss off their taxes. If they catch you, they take you to court, and you lose money. Or worse, if you have enough illegal software, music or other things on your computer, you go to jail.

I don’t answer questions about how to help people acquire illegal software. I don’t let illegal software exist in my house. The one time it did, the person left and hasn’t been back to our house in more than three years. Illegal software, illegal music, Illegal movies it is all stealing from someone else.


trying to keep things real

of blogs and blogging tools!

Today, like every other day started in front of a computer working on my blogs. I started my blogs back in 2005. 12 years and more than 6000 posts. It sometimes seems like only yesterday when I was only posting once a day or less than that once a month. In moving to posting every day, I found myself more energized and ready for the posting. Instead of agonizing over every word I posted. If it weren’t a good post, well tomorrow would be better.

When I look back at some of my blogs, I do see some horrible posts. It goes in part with learning, not your audience but your voice. I read and still read hundreds of blog posts over the course of a month. I learn and pick up things from other bloggers sitting at my desk. There are many things I have added; more pictures were one of the things I learned. I suspect the addition of pictures in part also for me coincides with the death of my father.

That got me thinking about how much the blogging tools I use now, have changed in the past 12 years. I used only to use Windows Live Writer, which I still use for my WordPress posts but now only for WordPress. My WordPress blog was once the most currently it is between 2 and four days behind my other web posts. The tools I use the most for blog creation are listed below:

  • Microsoft Word (to create the text)
  • Logitech Wireless Keyboard
  • Logitech Wireless Mouse
  • In theory my brain but based on some of my older posts not always true.

The only one on the list that I was using 12 years ago is my brain. The other three have been added over time. I love my Logitech Keyboard and Mouse. They work perfectly and are a great addition to my blogging process.



Information matters…

RCB10_EHZ_AM_00.2017111212There was an earthquake in Costa Rica yesterday. My seismograph saw the tremor and recorded it. That is the what and why of having scientific structures and internet of things devices in your home. To be able to interact with information that is important to you. The reality of IoT devices is the reality of information. Both the creation of (such as the Raspberry Shake) or the consumption of information. As we move down the path of what information we have available to us, it becomes an interesting question.

I have a really good friend who has a drone. He uses that drone to check his roof after storms. When the insurance company argued with him, he sent them time-stamped videos of a week before and a day after the storm. The insurance company sent an adjuster to the house and agreed with him that the storm had damaged his roof. Would they have done so as quickly without the drone footage, I don’t know. I do know that he flies over his house, and three of his neighbor’s houses now checking the roofs.

I have another friend I met through the forums for NetATMO, the home weather station. She and her husband also have a NetATMO system at their home. We started talking about weather gadgets online. She and her husband just bought a Bloomsky. I can’t wait to see the video they produce from Idaho. That is the wonder of technology, both the ability to connect and communicate but also the ability to see and record events! Knowing what is going on around you, helps!


technology fan