Author Archive

Here are my most recent posts

A Tier in My Eye: Notes on Soapbox Support ticket management strategies

I have been asked, when talking about how our support ticket management strategy is set up, what sort of tier structure we use.

For those of you who don’t know, ticket management usually has some sort of “tiering structure” where a ticket starts at Tier 1, and then may get escalated to Tier 2, Tier 3 and so on, depending on how complex the issue is.  Three or four tiers are typical – but I’ve heard of structures as large as ten tiers. If a ticket comes in, and the Tier 1 agent isn’t able to address it, she will escalate it to Tier 2, and so on. Read more »


Easy content sharing with RSS feeds from your nonprofit website

RSS feed logo

RSS can be a little confusing.  I try to remember it like this: it’s a no-nonsense way to push content from a website, or pull content into a website. Read more »


Interwebs unite!: Tying together your nonprofit social media and website channels

Social media logosThere are so many ways to promote your organization online today.  Indeed, you may be returning to work with a raft of 2013 resolutions to do just that.

Social communities have exploded over the past few years.  In working with our clients in the Support Department as well as promoting my own after-work projects, I know it feels like you have to be everywhere at once.  It seems that if you aren’t taking advantage of every angle, then you are missing something. But just try to keep up with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, Feedburner, the new MySpace and on and on and on… not to mention your own website… it can be exhausting.

So get smart about it. Read more »


Storing your Stuff…in the clouds. Literally.

You have a very large video file, pdf or document… or you have a large number of smaller files.  These can become too large to store on your web server, and they can quickly push your beyond your bandwidth allowance. So, what do you do?

One solution worth considering is Amazon’s S3 cloud storage solution.  S3 allows you to store large amounts of data at a surprisingly low cost.  Additionally, the cost structure is scalable, so you will only ever pay for what you use. What is Amazon S3? S3 stands for Simple Storage Service.  Simply put in Amazon’s own words, “Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It’s a simple storage service that offers software developers a highly-scalable, reliable, and low-latency data storage infrastructure at very low costs.”

All that means is that it is a service that allows you to store data in the “cloud” in a way that is fast, cheap and reliable. Read more »


Salesforce offers new service for small businesses, non-profits included.

We’ve got another cool tool to share with you this week: Salesforce, probably the most popular CRM in the galaxy, has recently announced a new product – the Contact Manager Edition of its CRM.

This is a lighter-weight version of their CRM application that leaves out many of the frills… but comes at a much lower price at $9 a month per user. This is great news for non-profits who have been itching to use it but feared the steep cost.

It may be missing some of the bells and whistles, but it’s still a pretty impressive way to manage your contacts. It will still integrate with your email – from Gmail to Outlook to Yahoo – and will track your emails and present them in preconfigured reports.

But what is really cool – especially for many PICnet clients – is that the Contact Manager Edition integrates with Google Apps automatically.  Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and more are intigrated into the new system, so there are no extra database integration steps needed when using these two systems together.

Step over to for more info. We hope this will be something useful for you!


The PICnet Salon Experience

Even the most thoughtfully designed website needs some attention from time to time. Our clients’ needs change and develop, and their websites must change with them. And as we know, technology changes, too, sometimes so quickly that the next new version of something is out before you’ve barely gotten used to the current one.

So what happens when a PICnet client needs assistance with their website after it has launched? They contact the PICnet Support Team and we get their issues resolved. At PICnet, we are passionate about supporting our clients. They are more than just accounts to us – they – YOU – are our partners. We care about the issues that our clients stand for, and strive to be an integral part of their success.

We have been undergoing a philosophical metamorphosis in the PICnet Support Department over the past couple of months, further articulating what makes us unique, and we are really excited about it! It is a client-forward strategy that we like to call the PICnet Salon Experience. We understand how frustrating technical support can be. We know, because we have to interact with support from dozens of companies ourselves in our daily work. We are constantly frustrated by a lack of responsiveness, unknowledgeable support agents, confusing ticketing systems, and ultimately, unsatisfactory solutions to our problems.

PICnet is committed to being the opposite of that.

Read more »