The kids are smart. The resistance will be distributed. #CLOUDact just accelerates this. #neveragain #mastadons @tendenci
As reported last Friday, the 2017 Equifax personal credit reporting agency had a data breach of 143 Million people’s identities. It started in May 2017 and is just now (August 2017) being disclosed. It is going to impact all of us. Sources:
- Equifax data leak could involve 143 million consumers
- PSA: no matter what, Equifax may tell you you’ve been impacted by the hack
- Did Lack of Visibility into Apache Struts Lead to the Equifax Breach?
From the second article on the Equifax breach linked above, this portion really galls me:
… not only are none of the last names tied to your Social Security number, but there’s no way to tell if you were really impacted.
It’s clear Equifax’s goal isn’t to protect the consumer or bring them vital information. It’s to get you to sign up for its revenue-generating product TrustID.
Earlier it was revealed executives had sold stock in the company before going public with the leak. We also found TrustID’s Terms of Service to be disturbing. The wording is such that anyone signing up for the product is barred from suing the company after.
The following phrase alone, if true, combined with Equifax literally trying to monetize their security errors, is what gives capitalism a bad name:
The wording is such that anyone signing up for the product is barred from suing the company after.
Note: Equifax has changed the indemnification, but only under duress imho. Furthermore 30 days free credit monitoring by the company that released your data and then you will have to pay monthly still seems wrong. But to be fair, here is their update:
(Editor: well ya, duh!?)
(Editor: but did you fire the person who did it in the first place?)
I get it. Nothing is secure. If the NSAs hacking tools get stolen and OPM loses all of the data on security clearance checks on our own people, then truly nothing is safe. I get it.
What I do not understand is a company as large as Equifax not being prepared for something like this. That Equifax did not announce it promptly. That Equifax executives sold stock before announcing it. That Equifax then attempted to indemnify themselves. That Equifax is using the crisis to sell a monitoring service that you have to pay for after 30 days. A service to monitor YOUR data that THEY lost control of!
This boggles the mind of a PR Professional.
The Internet was not built for e-commerce – it was built for knowledge sharing in a “walled garden”. Therefore keeping sites secure is not possible. Any security professional will tell you best practice is to white-list good guys (selective inclusion) as opposed to trying to find every attack and block it. Therefore the difficulty at a high level is primarily in identifying and blocking bad actors.
I hate to say it folks, but we are playing whack-a-mole with your identity and money. It will always be an uphill battle to maintain security on the Internet and you will never ever be 100% safe.
As reported by Black Duck (awesome people btw), the specifics of the attack on Equifax are currently easily exploitable on similar sites.
This is like Hurricane Harvey – it’s not even close to over.
We get plenty of bad news so let’s talk about crime trends again. From the article:
Using the FBI numbers, the (crime) rate fell 50% between 1993 and 2015, the most recent full year available. Using the BJS data, the rate fell by 77% during that span.
Click the image below for actual facts about crime in America (And here’s something to listen to while reading to make it more dramatic.)
More from the article:
Property crime has declined significantly over the long term. Like the violent crime rate, the U.S. property crime rate today is far below its peak level. FBI data show that the rate fell 48% between 1993 and 2015, while BJS reports a decline of 69% during that span.
and then there is the disparity created by the advertising supported media that influences our brains. We are gullible.
Public perceptions about crime in the U.S. often don’t align with the data. Opinion surveys regularly find that Americans believe crime is up, even when the data show it is down.
Although it’s not all good.
Many crimes are not reported to police. In its annual survey, BJS asks victims of crime whether or not they reported that crime to police. In 2015, the most recent year available, only about half of the violent crime tracked by BJS (47%) was reported to police.
Bottom line? Stay thirsty for the facts my friends. We can’t always drink the kool aid. Or the same thing. Stay thirsty for knowledge because knowledge is power.
There is no media really, only advertisers selling scary stories in the media. People Tweet alt-official-news, fake news or real news alike. So I think it’s healthy to point out (again) a few positive overall societal trends we are experiencing.
Make no mistake, say “pro business” and then create “market uncertainty” and you get a LOT less job creation. Wall Street Journal last weekend. Data is data. Constrict capital and people like me can’t create jobs even if we want to.
The headline? It’s incorrect. Ask anyone – what happens when people lose access to capital? #duh
Prince was a trickster, the best kind of god for social scientists and apparently the verge agrees as well. There are numerous books on this, the last I read was called Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art.
Tricksters have always been with us
Are they tricksters or merely pranksters? That is up to you to discern, but that is the point, right? They stole the sun and the moon while we “took the time to watch the flowers in the garden” while doing yoga.
As one review of the book Trickster by Lleu Christophe points out
Hyde gives equal time to the Native American Coyote, the Chinese Monkey King and India’s Krishna. At first glance, these characters are merely pranksters; humorous, sometimes annoying and occasionally dangerous ne’er do wells who disrupt the normal flow of things. As the title of this book suggests, Hyde believes tricksters are much more than this. He makes a convincing case that tricksters are essential in both preserving and transforming societies. Without their disruptions, cultural stagnation would result. He points out that tricksters can either help to maintain the status quo or bring about radical transformation.
To quote two of my favorite tricksters, Pablo Picasso and DuChamp,
Everything you can imagine is real. – Pablo Picasso
Now to quote DuChamp, an artist who “refused to repeat himself”, now that is a challenge. Every quote is subjectively abrogated by another quote from the past or the future like the a religious text – was it situationally appropriate? DuChamp stated this himself.
I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste. – Marcel Duchamp
To ponder that, if a trickster’s response is situationally appropriate is in and of itself a huge trick. Did in fact the Raven steal the sun and the moon, one, or both? Perhaps more importantly, we all know that Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
As for DuChamp, you can reinvent, but it takes energy to constantly come up with a unique identity. DuChamp still needed a vehicle to wrap the thread around, a thread to follow back out of the woods if he got lost.
To begin to understand Duchamp takes someone way smarter than me. I choose to view his work like the bobbin of time. We are just the blameless victim of observation. Maybe the thread broke, or maybe thread did not break. At least a cat didn’t die in the discovery process. right? Regardless like the genius before his time that he was, Duchamp gave us Rrose Sélavy to at least provide one example guide, like the math equations with odd numbers solved in the back of our calculus books, so that we might oddly enough, solve the evens.
These threads are strings. The strings are wrapped around bobbins of tricks and truth. And these bobbins are not the tiny bobbins that went in your parents’ sewing machines. These strings are the messy bobbins of someone working a weave. The bobbins are large with varied widths and inconsistencies from the vagaries of human behavior and therefore our resulting inconsistent craftsmanship.
Rrose Sélavy, the feminine alter ego created by Marcel Duchamp, is one of the most complex and pervasive pieces in the enigmatic puzzle of the artist’s oeuvre. She first emerged in portraits made by the photographer Man Ray in New York in the early 1920s, when Duchamp and Man Ray were collaborating on a number of conceptual photographic works. Rrose Sélavy lived on as the person to whom Duchamp attributed specific works of art, Readymades, puns, and writings throughout his career.
Is the Trickster dead? Well one of the greatest tricksters of all time, we just lost in Prince. I must point out the brilliance: Die Antwood, the collaboration between “rappers Ninja and Yolandi Visser (often stylized as Vi$$er) and DJ Hi-Tek” (source)
To get a straight stand alone “test-of-time quote” from DuChamp I imagine would be like trying to get a straight answer from Die Antwood, some of the most brilliant tricksters to emerge in years.. Their collaboration makes no sense, until you realize they’re fucking with you.
They. Are. Fucking. With. You.
And the most guilty of all, of fucking with us, is Prince. So let’s go crazy because he already predicted it. Partying like it’s 1999 was stolen from us by a bunch of computer nerds warning about the two-digit date big. We have NEVER partied like it was 1999.
You know what we can do? We can and should go crazy. If you aren’t already there yet, join us, because we look the same as you, act the same, obey the law and act ethically, but I am told there is an ethos that emerges when you “go crazy”. I don’t know, I’m not there yet, but it is a worthy topic of discussion.
Lyrics to Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy from
American corporate espionage preparedness, in a random sample and via anecdotes, is in bad shape. We are not prepared.
The video is 30 minutes but worth it for training your team. Now a question.
What is the technical difference between a Speaker (thump thump) and a Microphone (can you hear me now?)?
NOTHING. There is no difference between a speaker, headphones or microphones. No. Difference. At. All. None.
Plug your headset into the microphone jack on the stereo and poof – you have a mic.
Why do you care? Because if your employees are relaxing after work, at the local vegan cafe. Just unwinding, spending 20 minutes at the salad bar. nearby people hypothetically might get bored. “Hackers aren’t vegans” you say, “so it can’t happen here.”
Mics vs speakers – the answer is anyone can just put their iphone down with the headphones in and record away. Especially if the marks are “extremely loud bar talkers” as these two were.
Identity? Well gosh, they left their credit card receipt detail side up so I could helpfully straighten their table and take a quick photo of their info on the way to the restroom
How does this impact you? Well these two gentlemen next to me are clearly in town for a conference. Still wearing lanyards with fortune 500 company logos? Accents. Of course, we’re either the first or second most diverse city in the USA.
Again, It’s Houston – we know what’s going on. Houston is all about the back channel. And once your dialed in? Well it’s kinda like the matrix. Seriously – why else would millions of people live in a paved over swamp with the moniker “The Bayou City”?
Back to the situation at hand. These fools spouting corporate secrets next to me because I have headphones on and my audio turned off.
I’m white hat so no, I did not record anything and will not inform their companies nor will I inform them. No I did not take a detailed photo of their receipt although it sits just to my right at the moment as it has for 10 minutes.
Honestly I have other battles to fight. And so do you. Yet make no mistake – if they had revealed some anti-American activity I would have arranged for them to meet up with some of my friends who love America as much as me and my friends know how to handle such matters delicately.
This blog post is simply an anecdote, a story that is true, of knuckle-heads who weren’t thinking before they spoke.
As for companies that employ people, what are our options? First the obvious – we can try to hire for common sense, Then you can train and test – I do drills to test our team,
Big picture? What will work best? Dunno. I do know ignoring the issue of human hacking /social engineering isn’t the solution.
To repeat, we know humans are the weak link because I’ve tested it with my own company and as a paid approved pentester at the request of some of our clients. I’ve unfortunately been 100% successful in finding security holes in my pre-approved and client authorized tests.
Even when the employees KNEW ahead of time that someone was testing the systems..I’ve yet to fail to find an opening and honestly I’m not that good at the whole pentesting thing … like I don’t have the best tools or a infinite budget or even a good lock pick set with a proper bump key.
In other words – I’m amateur at best and only to protect my own clients.
But sheesh, a little reality training would go a long way with folks like this. The humans are almost always the weak point. I was in one restaurant and they said “ya, the Internet has been spotty for days.” I said “well maybe I can help. Would you mind taking photos of the front, back, connections and the serial number on your router and I might be able to fix it.”
I still have the photos on an encrypted drive somewhere. My point is I didn’t misrepresent myself as a Comcast employee or whatever. I just said I was a customer and that I might be able to help.
Back to our main storyline. It is YOU, the management team and every employee who is handling YOUR company’s data. It should take more than sitting down next to two guys drinking IPAs for me to even have the opportunity to gather that type of intel.
And the router example where the waiter literally texted me all of the technical specs of the router? xOMG, no excuse.
In the various circumstances I fixed their internet, got their credit card processing systems working again, reset passwords with upper management’s permission. I did what I would do with my own family’s business.
What did happen is that even with permission and weeks of advance notice, zero clients or friends have had any network my team has tested properly secured. It was not barriers already installed that blocked us. On the rare occasion we ere too impatient to power through something (which we can do), it was laziness, we simply were tired and wanted to go home. So we’d just ask a manager and say it was part of the test. Seriously.
Grok that. Leaders at a company who were specifically told who we were, that we were there to test network security, that it was serious and they were to block us in every way possible. Those managers would give u the keys to the kingdom if i asked the right way. (the “right way” is vague on purpose. I’ll do another post on that one later.)
Perhaps the scariest part is that I personally was never impeded by even the most basic security training for these employees or their own intellectual “well duh I shouldn’t do that” factor. In every instance if I hit a roadblock they helped me bypass any remaining obstacles.
- Train. Train. Train your people.
- Know, don’t expect but know they will get in. So shrink the attack vectors and restore from a known clean backup regularly.
- Try not to get anyone fired. The business owner would have been just as clueless.
PS – for the curious, the fastest network break in I’ve ever done? 5 minutes. The owner asked us to test his network security. I agreed and we agreed on a price (remember this guy didn’t know me from Adam). Then I said “of course we’ll need your login to monitor how the red team is doing. He then just blurted out his username/password for the network and for his email. And assured us it wouldn’t be a problem with anything else because he always “used the same password.” Gosh. We printed nice reports and pounded sand for a few days, but it was the fastest… whatever you want to call it.
PPS – I bet if you owned stock in that corporation and liked the CEO you’d call it a hack. Similarly if a black hat, you’d call it like it was.
Your web site will be hacked. It is inevitable. It’s not a technology problem, it’s a people problem. Wetware is the weakest link and it is us.
H4CK3D: Why my web site? What now?
Motivations and mitigations when your site gets owned, because there is no true prevention. And if the OPM, Chase, Target, Ashley Madison and many more have fallen, then you will too. It is no longer sufficient to consider perimeter defenses. Your only consideration is to understand why you were attacked and how to limit, but not prevent, damages.
Questions to consider for SXSW Panel, or no panel, as regardless this is a topic worth of discussion.
Why did someone bother to hack my site in particular?
Is this a vendetta?
How can I prevent this in the future? (hint: you can’t, but let’s talk)
It is as spurious to over-assign unadulterated ‘credit’ to social media activism as it is to deride it as trivial and/or dangerous. The reality is that social media is part of ““ though by no means the entirety ““ of the air we collectively breathe. And new actors are appearing who are arguably without precedent and demand new understanding.
– Strengthening Network Actors, TechSoup Global Summit
I have been digging into the background story on the 2011 revolution in Egypt. Follow that last link for a good recap of how the police beating of Khaled Said created a maelstromÂ that has turned into massive protests and labor strikes in Egypt. A man named Wael Ghonim has emerged as a symbol of the revolution in Egypt after his CNN Interview as a rebuttal of Omar Suleiman, the General now promoted to a VP, did anÂ interview with ABC News.
Regarding the politics of Mubarak’s autocracy, I think we can agree on some fundamentals:
- The killing of Khaled Said was unjustified and horrible.
- The government response to these allegations in Egypt was insufficient.
- The protests are right to object to 30 years of “Emergency Rule“
- Mubarak should step down immediately
- The US historical support for Mubarak, while unlike the situation with the Shah in Iran, will likely not win us many friends in post-Mubarak Egypt.
- Social media has played a key role in the protests as evidenced by the Internet blackout implemented by the government.
Wait. I’m not so sure about number 6. The role of social media is unclear.
Working in social media I was curious and looked up the facebook group and the twitter accounts. What struck me was that for a country with a population of 77 Million, the page and the twitter account have relatively few followers. Right now Wael Ghonim on twitter has 46,035 followers
and the Khalid Said page on Facebook has 61,687 fans
Both of those numbers seem small to me given the scope of the protests. My first thought was “you must be looking at the wrong page. Surely there is an arabic page that is the real FB connector. I emailed a politically active Egyptian friend (Fayza!) and her response was:
I think that’s probably as good as you’re going to get. It’s a very active page, so my guess is that it’s the best resource for his supporters that Facebook has to offer. Lots of Egyptians speak fluent English because of the prevalence of tourism. It doesn’t surprise me that the primary FB presence is in English at all.
Perhaps Gladwell is right that the Revolution will not be tweeted. When Gladwell in his post talks about networks he says:
The drawbacks of networks scarcely matter if the network isn’t interested in systemic change””if it just wants to frighten or humiliate or make a splash””or if it doesn’t need to think strategically. But if you’re taking on a powerful and organized establishment you have to be a hierarchy.
So either social media isn’t the huge driver for change, or it is a very small subset of the population communicating through social media that is facilitating the action. But you certainly can’t say that hundreds of thousands are responding to direct tweets with a central call to action.
So to me the role of social media in the revolution is still aÂ conundrum. And as I type this, it looks like the rumors of him stepping down tonight on 2/10/2011 were false.
More to follow….
Social networks were apparently a more significant means of transmission than seating arrangements. Students were four times as likely to play with children of the same sex as with those of the opposite sex, and following this pattern, boys were more likely to catch the flu from other boys, and girls from other girls.
“Our social networks shape disease spread,“ said Simon Cauchemez, the lead author. “And we can quantify the role of social networks.“
In which channel
To what effect
Who shares what
With what intent
To what effect
Please vote for my panel at SXSW DON’T PANIC ““ The Geek’s Guide to the Next Big Crisis
A little more than four years ago I wrote my first blog post. It was about the need for a form of Emergency RSS. We can share celebrity gossip headlines through feed readers faster than we could use technology to respond to a crisis. And this was an important point as I started blogging in 2005 right after and in response to a need to share after Hurricane Katrina. Crisis response and crisis communication has always been a passion of mine, and seeing our government’s mostly failed response in New Orleans compelled me to start blogging and contributing where I could.
Running the company I chose to stay in town during the Hurricane Rita evacuation. While Rita did not hit Houston, instead crushing the gulf coast near Beaumont with little news coverage in the wake of Katrina, we did learn from the Rita evacuation. We used a wiki page on Tendenci (our software) to track down all employees. Employees on the road, which for some of them was 10 to 20 hours during the evacuation, would text their manager’s who then updated the wiki to account for everyone. We quickly knew everyone was OK.
Then last year we prepared for Hurricane Ike which went over our town. When the storm hit the ONLY thing that worked was SMS messaging. No power, no water, no data, no TV. Just radio and text messaging.Â Luckily we had set up a product called Yammer, which is like Twitter for your company (and they have a business model) and we were able to keep in touch. Data services, which is what your cell phone depends on to get to web pages, went down. Voice went down. The only thing that allowed us to keep in touch with all of our employees and their families was text messaging sent directly and through Yammer.
We learned a lot about the role of tech in a crisis combined with human behavior. Example – an employee’s cell phone would die. They would use someone else’s cell to text a message to their manager saying “we are OK and staying near College Station”. Except that is ALL they would say. We didn’t recognize the number and had no idea WHO sent it! The solution was to train all of our people to put their NAMES at the end of each text message. Seems like a small thing. It is. But it makes it possible to do a head count!
Since 2005 our firm now does the web site for the Houston Red Cross and Reliant Park, both of which are key for Houston Emergency Response planning. We have the privilege of working with Firestorm Crisis Communications and Preparedness and long time clients like crisis communicator Dan Keeney. I have attended Netsquared Houston meetings when David Geilhufe taught us about People Finder Information Format. And I work with people like Jonti and Katie who have helped all of us set up our ICE cards for our families.
Now I need your help. I’d like to continue the dialog on Social Media and Emergency Response. What IS the role of twitter beyond updates? What are the alternatives for Yammer? Is there a cost effective solution for businesses and families? We have come a long way, so let’s talk about it.
PLEASE VOTE AND COMMENT on this SXSW Panel I hope to moderate. Without your vote and your comments the panel might not make. And I believe in this topic too much to see that happen. Spare a minute? Please VOTE!
Are you and the people you care about prepared? Our panelists will share their crisis stories and tell you how to be ready, both online and offline. PFIF, Yammer, Facebook and iPhones ““ the technology and strategy is there and getting better, so let’s take it to the next level.
- How does emergency response and communication relate to the Web? Do developers and small business owners really need to care about Crisis Communication?
- How can our emergency teams (fire, ambulance, police, etc.) benefit from standardized data sharing? What can I do about it?
- What does the rise of Mobile Web mean for the next natural disaster or other catastrophe?
- What tools (Web, mobile and otherwise) are out there right now that my family, friends and company should be using now?
- As a geek, what are 5 things you should do TODAY to keep your family safe and your business running when disaster strikes?
- If practice makes perfect, what kind of drills and regular training should your business be doing right now that won’t break the bank or kill your billable hours?
- What are some of the technical lessons we learned from Hurricane Katrina?
- Tech and communication stories and lessons from Virginia Tech, Hurricane Ike and beyond…
- What is a crisis to you and how do you strategically and technologically deal with it internally and for the rest of the world to see?
- How can you best identify your strongest and most reliable communicators and rock stars during times of crisis? How do you deal with employees that book it and vendors that disappear?
Why am I doing this?
Well, it isn’t for business as I have no financial ties to yammer or twitter or any other messaging services. Tendenci is a content management system that powers associations and sites like the Houston Red Cross, but they are already customers. And ANY emergency response technology must be open source for maximum adoption long term. I just believe passionately in our need to share information and I think technology can help with crisis communication. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter bring a lot to the table. If you, like me, are passionate about this, please vote for the panel “DON’T PANIC ““ The Geek’s Guide to the Next Big Crisis” and I hope to see you in Austin next March!
Hurricanes bring about unexpected responses in us humans. It’s like the first time you see your dog or cat catch a squirrel and they go all primal on it. And you are looking at your little FeFe thinking “WHERE the $#(@ did they learn how to do THAT!?” And of course the answer is instinct.
And the morning after Hurricane Ike went over our house, once we accounted for our loved ones, our instinct was twofold.
- Clean up!
- Stay put
This makes little sense to me why these desires were so strong, but they were. Arguably a third response was “find a way to make coffee” but coffee is probably more an addiction than an instinct (and YES, you CAN make coffee on a gas grill). I’ll talk about the “stay put” instinct in a future blog post, but for now, let’s talk about that “clean up!” stuff.
So that morning we all wandered out of our houses, the wind from Ike still blowing, and began to assess the damage and clean up our yards. Yup, first response after a hurricane was yard work. Really. Dog instincts are much more interesting if you ask me. In instinct-heaven dogs are throwing squirrels 20 feet up into the air waiting for the bounce while I’m raking the yard. Baroo?
Anyway, there we were cleaning up the yard. Stacking branches by the curb. And cutting up the bigger ones with an axe left over from my Totin’ Chip days. Because I didn’t own a chain saw.
Then from elsewhere in our neighborhood emerged a strange phenomenon. The men who had the forethought to purchase chainsaws, once they finished cutting up their yards, moved to the neighbors’ yards. A small group of three of four would go in and cut up the tree limbs. And another larger group of men and teenagers followed and stacked the wood by the curb. What I observed was they did this for all comers responding to both requests and simply walking to a neighbor’s yard and getting started if they were in town or not! With no money changing hands.
Definitely the first self-organizing philanthropic chainsaw gangs I had ever encountered.
Read complete post here. And of course comments are encouraged on the Chron site!
Mitigated speech – any attempt to downplay or sugarcoat the meaning of what is being said.
In short, co-pilots may not communicate clearly with captains out of deference. They hint at things instead of speaking directly. Which leads to crashes and death. From page 193 of Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book:
Fischer and Orasanu found that captains overwhelmingly said they would issue a command in that situation: “Turn thirty degrees right.” They were talking to a subordinate. They had no fear of being blunt. The first officers, on the other hand, were talking to their boss, and so they overwhelmingly chose the most mitigated alternative. They hinted.
…a hint is the hardest kind of request to decode and the easiest to refuse.
Power distance is concerned with attitudes towards hierarchy, specifically with how much a particular culture values and respects authority. (pg 204)
A culture with a larger power distance index will have more hints. The west, and I’d agree speaking as an American, is “what linguists call a “transmitter orientation” – that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously.” (pg 216)
Working at a small company we have to train people how to write a decent email. The biggest part is helping people understand the burden of communication is ON YOU! Our email help file is linkedÂ and the short version is:
- Subject Lines – all emails need a well articulated and relevant Subject Line.
- Links – ease of use changes behavior. (link it!)
- Numbered Lists – organize YOUR information. Bullets are evil.
- Short Paragraphs – with rare exceptions
- Nickel words – save them for scrabble
Going back to Gladwell, part of the solution for one airline was to switch to speaking English. By using a different language their learned subtleties of their native tongue were reduced thereby reducing accidents. Inter company email isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as piloting a jet. But nonetheless in a recession who has time for coworkers burning money with lazy communication skills?
And Gladwell isn’t alone. In the book The Influencer there is a case study on positive deviance for villages that did NOT suffer from Guinea Worm in Africa and Asia. The two “vital behaviors” that prevented the outbreak were:
- “In the worm-free village, the women … took a second pot, covered it with their skirts, and poured the water through their skirt into the pot, effectively straining out the problem-causing larvae.” (pg 360
- “The vital recovery behavior, then, was that friends and neighbors had to speak up when the Guinea worm sufferer was unwilling to do so. Only when the community took responsibility for compliance could the entire village protect itself from the failure of a single villager.” (pg 38)
Again we see the second critical issue is speaking up with candor. And basically turning your neighbor in for the good of the community. Communication is so critical airplanes crash and villages live in a painful cycle of disease without people who are willing to speak up.
And the importance of communication is more grave than ever. From The Rise of the Network Society pg 357.
Because culture is mediated and enacted through communication, cultures themselves – that is, our historically produced systems of beliefs and codes – become fundamentally transformed, and will be more so over time, by the new technological system.
Communication matters. And culture is part of that communication. I am unaware of any evidence that supports “hinting”, “deference” and other weak forms of communication as good for anything. Maybe in a medieval court, but it clearly has no place in modern society. Speak up, take care of the people you care about.
First and foremost my thoughts and prayers are with those in Galveston and south of the city who lost the most.
Lives were lost, homes destroyed down to the foundation, businesses
closed for good and the corresponding jobs were lost. Families and
friends are hurting.
I am typing this on a Tuesday September 16th and power at my house is
still out. The office is back online and, if only for Air Conditioning
and to charge our cell phones, quite a few folks are already back at
The city has a week long 9:00 PM curfew so we are working short days, 9:30 to maybe 4:30 to allow time to get home without most traffic lights. We are talking a lot.
Hotels are full of evacuees and downtown is closed and in bad shape. The Chase tower in particular was transformed into broken glass on the streets.
If you want to help, this one client reached out to us to help spread the word.
If you would like to help out a strong organization in the Houston community, Catholic Charities (a non profit organization client that serves over 100,000 Houstonians) is in need of donations as they are trucking out water, food and supplies to hard-hit Hurricane Ike areas in Texas.
The psychological impact
of witnessing 100+ mile an hour winds, having our houses shake, hearing
the explosions of transformers at 3:30 in the morning, these things are
challenging. People experience grief, but learn to cope and move on.
"There is a common misperception that people are going to fall apart
and they are going to have lifelong psychological consequences," said
Herrmann. "But the reality is that most people who experience traumatic
events are psychologically resilient.
There are so many blog posts and photos that should have been taken.
Having no power or Internet at the house somewhat limits my self
What I do know is that Houston and the surrounding areas is one amazing
community. That our people are strong down to earth people who look out
for each other. What I do know is that Houston, Galveston, Bolivar and
our entire community will rebuild. We will get back on our feet. We
will be back.
The default config will NOT work – SMS is off and after hours pings are off.
You have to change it to this (below) or it won’t work. For example, Ike is supposed to hit Houston around 1:00 AM tonight. Realistically with our employees out of the office, it is likely too late for me to get everyone to change this setting. Is there even a way to change it via SMS if they only have mobile?
There needs to be a magic button where the network owner for a yammer domain can edit settings for the team as a whole in response to a crisis? I realize it is a brand new product, just thinking out loud.
It’s about 5:33 AM on Sept 12, 2008 as I type this. As a company we have been through numerous hurricane preparation drills. Katrina was a scare, Rita was an evacuation challenge, but this time with Hurricane Ike we are finally going to get hit here in Houston. Not a good thing.
The office is of course closed today. We’ve tweeted about it. Client newsletters sent. Email exchanges with our crisis communication firm Firestorm and our PR firm. Discussions with vendors and critical web sites in case of handling emergencies in Houston. Our employees are all safe and accounted for.
One thing we are doing different this time is we are testing Yammer for crisis communication with the team. It is like twitter, but restricted to just company
email addresses. So we can have a more private conversation about how
we can stick together during the crisis using text messages, following,
and longer than 140 character conversations. And that last part is
important, in a crisis I just need to paste in the URL like http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/biz/5995981.html. I do NOT have time to go make a tinyURL during a crisis. Right? Who does?
The hurricane hasn’t hit yet, but I can share some lessons learned on pre-hurricane preparedness and communication.
- We already knew this, but it is all about if the FAMILY has an emergency plan. Just make sure people HAVE a plan!
- People are available or not depending on where they live. Know this
ahead of time. Some people have to evacuate based on their location,
which is fine, just insulate the company from them as part of the
response team because they will not be available.
- Spouses and significant-others are a major factor. And they will
talk about the leadership of the company publicly if they feel you
aren’t being responsive. Don’t take it personal. Even if they don’t
have their facts right.
- Parents are a major factor. Especially for Generation Y
(Millenials) they get panicked calls from their parents. Like 50 of
them. (seriously) So even if they are prepared are level headed, the
pressure is pretty strong for them to react without necessarily
following the Mayor’s advice.
- The local news will always be reckless and sensationalistic.
- Emergency binders only work if you have them updated.
- IT plays a big part, suddenly everyone says things like "oh ya, my
blackberry hasn’t been syncing lately" and this is a REAL problem when
everyone goes into the field.
- Specs will be crowded. Expect this. Ahhh, humans.
- Long lost relatives and friends will call to say "what are you
doing? I saw it on the news!" while you are either evacuating or
preparing to shelter in place. Luckily yammer provides a semi-private
forum to vent about this.
The biggest new technology we are using for Ike Hurricane Preparation versus Rita/Katrina prep are:
- Twitter. Many of us are on twitter and the community is definitely larger than the company alone.
- Yammer – we have hopes this will be a valuable employee only crisis communication tool.
- MXLogic – disaster recovery for email in case our building loses power (client email is not on site).
Technology that we already depend on that we expect will continue to be critical include email and text messaging.
Hopefully Ike will chill out and people will stop with the Tina
Turner jokes. But if not, we are prepared and I’ll let y’all know how
the new technology works as part of a comprehensive crisis response and
communication plan. Wish us luck!