Author: Kyle Johnson


That is Never the Price We Should Pay

I was just listening to an interview with the always interesting Audrey Watters.  Those of you who follow Audrey’s work won’t be surprised by what she had to say, and that isn’t really what I wanted to highlight.  Near the end they began talking about blog comments and threats Audrey has received.  What I want to talk about is the almost throwaway comment the interviewer made with regards to that.


Learning to Tell a Story

At EDUCAUSE this year I took the opportunity to attend a pre-conference seminar entitled Weaving a Tale So Others Will Listen: Technical to Fantastical led by Crista Copp and Michael Berman.  This wasn’t just a “make your PowerPoint pretty” workshop (although we did spend some time on that), it was a full blown introduction to the art of story telling.


New Technology Test Kitchen

Late last week I posted a quick tweet indicating that we were putting the finishing touches on our new technology test kitchen and promised a blog post to go into more details.  So here it is.


Everything I Know about Stewardship of Applications I Learned from Owning a Boat

The place we live in Honolulu is right on a marina and has a boat dock.  I’m not really a boat person, but the idea of being able to take a boat to do grocery shopping or go to the movies was just too seductive.  I couldn’t help myself.  I bought a boat.  In the last year I’ve learning a great deal about the difference between procuring a thing and taking care of a thing.

“It Might Get Damaged” 0

“It Might Get Damaged”

Over my years as a CIO I’ve heard lots of reasons to not deploy something.  One of the most perplexing to me is the “it might get damaged” argument (or its corollaries, “it might go down,” “it might get hacked,” and “it might get stolen”).  It is very easy to give this kind of argument a very flippant response.  You know, like “and a meteor might fall from the sky and strike us dead”  (one of my personal favorites).  The reality is, though, that there is some interesting and nuanced conversation to be had regarding risk and risk tolerance when thinking about deploying IT solutions.

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Choice, Responsibility, and the Cloud

Earlier this week a conversation started on the EDUCAUSE CIO list regarding individuals (and departments) picking their own tools to perform their job functions even if it duplicates something offered centrally.  I responded with some partial thoughts that I thought I’d try and flesh out here.

Some Thoughts on “Not a Future CIO” 0

Some Thoughts on “Not a Future CIO”

Today I read a really interesting piece in the EDUCAUSE Review by Josh Kim, Not a Future CIO.  There’s a great deal in there to digest, and it’s worth your time to read.  Josh presents the conundrum many higher education IT professionals (including instructional support folks) have.  “Do I want to be a CIO?”

The Measurement Trap 0

The Measurement Trap

I saw a post today on Seth Godin’s blog about Scientific Management and how it is being extended to white collar workers.  Loosely speaking this is extending the idea that factories measure everything their workers do to ensure they are as efficient as possible to include the work done by almost everyone.  There is always a desire (and perhaps even a need) to measure the work being done in your organization, but if you aren’t careful you will fall into the measurement trap.

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Be the Graphite not the Gum

For folks working in higher education, it’s that time of year again.  We are all preparing to welcome (and welcome back) our students and start the fall semester.  Watching the students get to various offices and step through the myriad of processes, I can see that there are some things that work well and others that don’t.  Some of these things are one time activities, so if they aren’t completely smooth that might be OK.  But some are ongoing activities, and if they aren’t going well they will serve as a constant irritant for the student’s entire stay with us.  It’s like gum on the bottom of your shoe.  As an individual event this isn’t a big deal.  But every step after that is a reminder that you stepped in gum, and at some point you’re going to have to stop and deal with it.