WordPress Accounts – Transfer blog (after Backup blog)

If you are a single-source blogger with one unique message then a solo account with your blog is sufficient.

kathleen_kettner_wordpress_transfer_blogIf you have more than one message, or messenger, then set up separate WordPress Accounts because each account links to one email address.  If you want separate streams of blog info then keep them apart from inception.  Maybe your company intranet wants an HR blog, an Ops blog, and a Suggestion Box blog for all users.

Three accounts allow the company to control or change access by group.  Multiple accounts might enhance your security if you work with a mix of private and public information.

TipEven using separate accounts, you can cross-link posts and pages between blogs as needed in terms of mixing content while still controlling who can access the dashboard within each blog.

You will have to switch between WordPress accounts for each blog-group but that helps keep the various identities separate.  You might have a family blog and a separate blog for your recording business.

To backup a blog

Quick Tip:  On Dashboard under Tools, Export, identify blog and download All Content to your local storage.  Do this periodically and ALWAYS before a transfer.

To transfer a blog

  • Make sure you have WordPress login credentials and email access for both the current account and the target account
  • Go to Dashboard of Account, select My Blogs to identify blog to be moved
  • Hover over the blog and select Transfer Blog
  • Identify target WordPress account by user name or email address
  • Read very scary message about this being permanent and irrevocable and involves your paid services and don’t dare do it if you don’t mean it.  Click and it is almost done!!
  • Receive confirmation email and click link to complete.

Tip:  Even using separate accounts, you can cross-link posts and pages between blogs as needed in terms of mixing content while still controlling who can access the dashboard within each blog.

For more info:  Moving a Blog

#transferblog #backupblog #blogmore

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Look through these Windows! It’s Memory Lane…

What a straightforward reminder that things change… The History of Windows Versions.  Start with teeny pockets of memory manipulating literal bits of data, and yet that basic input-output system led to SnapChat promising to wipe data from recipient’s memory and 4chan proving they can’t (Tweet that!).  There is plenty of history before and beyond Windows but Microsoft built the bridge to the individual users and by doing so changed the world.  It isn’t a miracle because somebody was going to do it.. like “inventing” the gramophone or flying the first plane.  Microsoft delivered home computing which we then shaped to share stupid ass selfies.

kathleenkettner_it_manager_network_administrator_windows

The rough tools of introductory Windows

Slate offers us this perspective.

Go ahead and bash Microsoft’s operating system all you want (ironically using its technology to do so), but first note that Windows works and has worked for a long long time.  You likely are interacting with some form of a PC-based computer service right now.  We accelerated from ASCII-based Notepad files to our monstrously tangled GIF-ilicious .wild.wicked.web in thirty quick years.

Can I get an OLE?

There is a coherency in the long-haul on Windows that is familiar to those of us who spent our careers adapting to its evolution which was driven in part by our own consumer lobbying for features and functions.  This isn’t ancient history, lots of us pre-PC tech-vets are still here; we have a grasp on the “new” technology that comes from a generational-iterational complexity you cannot duplicate unless you proceed sequentially through it.

Conversely, experience can be a burden of sorts and that point goes to the newbies who think they just invented everything.

Tech units who too closely mirror each other’s training and experience fall prey to group think.  Recognize the value of an “iterational” mix, blend old school practicality with new school ingenuity.  Don’t let the echo of a dominant position drown out the sharp insights from other perspectives.  Your development team should be able to both mirror and cloak your consumers to get a resilient product.

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* Debate:  Every war is different, but all wars are the same.

Security Group Efficiencies and How To Exploit Them

Security groups are used to simplify data and resource access in a complex environment like Windows Server with Active Directory.

kathleen_kettner_ACL_security_groupsData access rights are specified at the individual file level, then back “up” through the folder system using a mix of inherited rights and declared rights.  Keep it simple, these really ARE just digitized piles of paper and folders.

If you have 10,000 files in 1,500 folders then changes in individually-based permissions force access to each affected folder/file.  This is a real-time index update of each files’ properties.  More likely you have hundreds of thousands of files in tens of thousands of folders.

Access is further subdivided by type:  can you read it, change it, delete it?  You should establish access permissions with client privacy and competitive advantage in mind.

Groups of users can be granted file and folder permissions.  Any updating to group membership is done once at the group membership index level (Jan is in, Jim is out), and does not have to re-assert these new access permissions over and over at the file level.

Adding UserX to “Admin” group makes one change at net admin level; granting UserX individual access forces thousands of changes at file level.

Groups of Groups works too. The “Company” group might contain the “Staff”, “Admin”, “Principal” and “Board” groups but not the “Contractor” group.  An “All User” group could then contain the “Company” and “Contractor” groups.

Groups allow rapid change to data and resource access status as individuals move in and out of groups.

Complication:  “Most restrictive wins” is the idea that any limitation of access rights cancels any expansion of rights.  If UserX is granted access to a file by group rights, but is individually denied rights at the file level then UserX cannot access the file.

Complication:  Inherited permissions are supposed to leverage folder structure so that, for instance, all subfolders under Budget could mimic permissions of the Budget folder.  You can, however, stop and start this inheritance so a mish-mash of rights may result.

Best Practice:  Keep an updated inventory of users and group membership including the purpose of any group.  Perform and log random access attempts to spot gaps and lapses.

UNSOLICITED BUSINESS RECOMMENDATION:  Microsoft has never given any meaningful data-file organizational tools to its Windows Server admins… their approach is mechanical and clumsy.  A third-party vendor Varonis re-processes this folder-centric system into a database that allows you to query dynamically, and visualize the actual permissions associated with a file and/or folder.  They then provide tools to analyze and manage the data file collection.

Biggest security threat to your network: the users

Who has the keys to your information?

kathleen_ketter_O365_security_office_tradecraft_keys

Any cyber security plans you make have to assess the mix of risks:  gaps in the programming, errors in deployment and maintenance, insufficient operational controls, and then there are the users!

Like home security systems that are not armed, the failure of users to protect themselves mocks the efforts made on other fronts to secure the data environment.

Users underestimate how important they are in the defense of information.  Their disregard for the underlying aims of the company regarding privacy and market-advantage should be a big red flag to management about their own effectiveness.  It shouldn’t be “cool” to disdain the tech-tools provided to do your job.

Look at your company’s security issues and identify those that stem from poor enforcement of the basics.  Then, police yourself.

I suggest you surrender to the idea of complex passwords and then put on your thinking cap and come up with a system that works for you.  As an authorized user, you represent someone who crosses the proverbial moat and enters the kingdom of data.  Don’t be blasé about that!

1) Quit being so literal.  On security questions you do not (and should not) include actual information like your mother’s maiden name (say it is Jezebel) or your place of birth (try Hickinpickin) or provide any other verifiable factoid.

2) Keep it simpleI.luv.2.dogs? incorporates upper and lower case letters, a number and a symbol.

3) Do not cross-contaminate passwords by using a public-forum password like Hotmail with a secure forum like banking.

4) The more characters in a password, the better.  Going from the standard 8-character to a 12-character password slows down auto-hackers*.  Don’t always go for the minimum, sprinkle in a few extra taps because it’s well worth it.

* If there are approximately 80 alpha-numeric-symbol characters available, then the complexity comes from the additional choices in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th characters (80*80*80*80).  This compounds the 80*80*80*80*80*80*80*80 possibilities of the basic eight-character minimum.

Is HR “tech blocking” your best candidates?

kathleen_kettner_office_tradecraft_O365_HR_tech_block

Who’s looking at your resumes?

The LinkedIn article referenced above presumes that HR has a “plays well with others” bias that devalues the high-level skills of applicants who design and deliver intellectual product.  I couldn’t agree more.  For some jobs there is a need for ongoing morale events and repeated presentations about the retirement options, yes.  HR is their guiding light and can successfully screen for suitable candidates and herd them through the work world.  For detecting the presence of actual tech-finance-engineering-science talent?  No.  NO.

Consider more carefully the winning skills in STEM careers: practitioners derive satisfaction from knowledge and training in advanced concepts usually narrowing as they advance to their specialty.  It’s a brain-power thing and requires “headspace” that can only be self-defined.  These aren’t fleets of fast food workers easily put in service after a ten-minute video on the fryer, nor are their duties controlled by the clock.  There is a fusion of abstract knowledge applied to concrete challenges for those providing conceptual capital to your business and for that you don’t hand out company logo shirts and talk up the retreat.

This is not to give a free pass to the asocial and the unsocial who prefer to ignore basic politeness.  People who have chosen to root their career with applied thinking in engineering, architecture, economics, etc., do not respond to traditional HR blandishments.  They don’t need to be told when they are right:  it is simply a fact.

None of these people are going to be over-involved with your HR department because by their nature they are not concerned with the same things.  HR retains its big picture emphasis on benefits and compensation, of course, but keep them away from the nuts and bolts of your high performance contributors.  Remember, these bright and capable candidates don’t always make easy-reading resumes or shine in interviews.  They may not know (care) that a minimally skilled screener (or sifting software) controls the gateway: that wouldn’t be logical!  At the least, over-emphasis on slotting skills and keywords is a poor method of analysis if it denies your best scout(s) access to the full and unfiltered talent pool.

Just the Gist:  Don’t let HR screeners control resume access, they can make tidy piles based on the keyword list and time-in-chair calculations but they should not have the power to reject an applicant outright.  There should always be a quick scan by somebody who really knows the business to spot analogous talent of value.

HR Screening Tip:  Mask the names on the resumes, both first and last, disguising gender and ethnicity and the ineffable presumptions based on your “vision” of Mike, Maisie or Madelyn Kwan-Rios-Bishop.

Candidate Argument for “Analogous Talent:  The concept of “analogous talent” means you have a depth and breadth of understanding of the core subject that will translate quickly to a similar target environment.  The very function of learning an established method-process-concept means you don’t have the bad habits and old-school presumptions that are controlled in part by legacy, and that can galvanize a clarified approach.  Stress your proven utility.

Consider a twelve person team where “everybody” has an MCSE or a CFA or is Order of the Coif… perhaps a smart and capable candidate who is not so specifically brain-trained will bring fresh insight, and outrigger balance, to the group-think.

Data Definition: Pick a number between 1 and 1000

 Computer Sorting – CRM Data Definition Example

Computers are very good at finding significant data in a large pool of information based on established alpha-numeric-symbol patterns. CRM field design establishes the purpose and content of EVERY field based on how it can be used to qualify/disqualify information from analysis. Careful field design yields quick and reliable data classification by exploiting basic computing decision points. Yes-No. Greater than-Less than. Contains-Excludes. On-off.

Kathleen_Kettner_IT_Manager_Data_Sort               Precise information is KEY.

Optional exercise

As an example, let’s play a game: You pick a number between 1 and 1000. I bet I can identify that number in ten guesses or less. For this example, let’s use the number 272.

Rules: You must answer the Guesses yes/no, and you must admit if your number is one of the guess-boundaries.

Guess1: Is the number above 500? Answer1 = No.
Eliminate upper 500 numbers. Now guess between 1 and 499.

Guess2: Is the number above 250? Answer2 = Yes.
Eliminate lower 250 numbers, now guess between 251 and 499.

Guess3: Is the number above 375? Answer3 = No.
Eliminate upper 125 numbers, now guess between 251 and 374.

Guess4: Is the number above 312? Answer4 = No.
Eliminate upper 62 numbers, now guess between 251 and 311.

Guess5: Is the number above 280? Answer5=No.
Eliminate upper 31 numbers, now guess between 251 and 279.

Guess6: Is the number above 265? Answer6=Yes.
Eliminate lower 15 numbers, now guess between 266 and 279.

Guess7: Is the number above 272? The number is 272.

This is a math game for kids learning to add, subtract and divide numbers (find median in range) but it also shows the logic of a search that quickly eliminates unqualified data.

[This is also a nerd drinking game with emphasis on computational speed.]

We could use a similar data-elimination approach to sort CRM Referral Information. Think of it as three tiers of data, each tier limiting the options of the next tier: Referral Type, Referral Source, Referral Contact.

REFERRAL TIER 1: Pick a TYPE:

Client-Referred
COI
Custodian
Self-Referred

REFERRAL TIER 2: Within TYPE COI, pick a SOURCE:

Arnold, Barr & Conner
Bubble Bank
Center City Accounting
Jane Cook, Esq.

REFERRAL TIER3: Within SOURCE Bubble Bank, pick a CONTACT

Barry Bonds
Colletta Cash
Edward Ignatius
Mac Daniels

REFERRAL = COI – Bubble Bank – Colletta Cash

Once you select the TYPE, using this example, you have substantially narrowed the search to only COI entities; once you pinpoint the COI SOURCE, you’ve eliminated hundreds and hundreds of contacts who aren’t associated with that COI SOURCE. We could have a thousand contacts and you’ve drilled down to a handful in two questions.

This also allows us to “scoop” information as needed. We get the big picture of overall referral flow with TYPE (all COI), we clarify the focus with SOURCE (specific COI) then we pinpoint the CONTACT detail identifying the person who made the referral.

CDW: Top 9 Reasons to Use Office 365

This white paper from CDW lists the reasons it considers Microsoft Office 365 a good choice for business.  CDW is one of the largest suppliers of technology, and I have worked with them for years, so I am giving them credit for highlighting the potential.

From my own experience, this suite of products known as O365 can form the backbone of your procedures, but only you can define and assign those duties.  Microsoft isn’t going to discuss the choke-points in your invoicing due to poor equipment allocation or inadequate staff training.  For that you need somebody to listen to you and guide your analysis then provide straightforward solutions.

Frankly, if you could solve these problems yourself then they wouldn’t still be on your To Do list.  It takes training and experience to break down the actual steps in the real world to achieve reliable results.

My method is to work with the company’s “linchpin”, the one who gets things done.  It might be the office manager, it might be a supervisory team, but until we identify (or create) that pivot point we will fail to build the proper foundation.

This pivotal position has not been entirely successful so far; their ability to power through operations is their strong suit but deconstructing processes to find the new foundation going forward isn’t in their tool kit.  Much of their technique involves brute force, throwing labor and fury at the stack of tasks that never seem to get done.

We establish a new procedural pivot point, a resource rather than a personality, and we engage all users in establishing best practice actions across the board.

My value-add is the documentation we develop together, encoding the How To tips and tricks that distinguish a thriving enterprise.  Don’t think three-ring binder, think Wikipedia: quick, indexed, evolving.  The company invests in worker skills and it should capture that co-development in written procedures, inventories, checklists and logs.  By doing so, we put the emphasis on results where it belongs.

This work is done down in the weeds:  tailoring forms and adjusting databases, how to answer the phone, how to route the mail, how to handle your shredding; who cleans the kitchen, who schedules the conference rooms, how do I get a report on returned items, who can sign Form B-11?

It is a big-picture decision to update technology but the actual work is detailed, specific, and fact-driven.

Conversions and deployments can be disruptive because people’s work habits are on the line.  The “coping mechanisms” that workers evolve to do their jobs are deeply ingrained.  They have been too busy just getting must-do stuff done to take a step back, and to look ahead.

We bridge this by providing skills-building in your existing environment.  Whether or not an upgrade is in your future, it is important to establish a baseline of knowledge necessary to interact with the company’s technology as it is.  This means re-training from the basics so we all start with a common vocabulary.  Like an info highway driver’s license.  Minimum required skill level.  From that common core, we then move people forward as needed into their areas of expertise.

People perk up when you show them easier ways to get things done.

By activating the under-used features of what you already own, you can increase productivity and establish reliable operations.  You provide a familiar software interface for new behaviors and we clarify our goals. By sharpening your templates, forms, autotext and bookmarks in Word, you produce uniform documents that are consistently branded.  By creating working examples of company spreadsheets you can encourage predictable choices in Excel.  Set up your watermark logo in the footer of PowerPoint slides once and for all.

O365 is an elegant collection of options and choices, so rich that much of the function is under-used.  We build from the basics so when it comes time to add the bells and whistles, we’ve got tech options synched with the workforce.  Better yet, we can extrapolate this method to non-Office products like accounting and CRM with a high likelihood of success.