Western Colorado Chapter of ARMA Intl

Providing educational opportunities, resources, & networking events
throughout Western Colorado to support the professional development
of Records & Information Management professionals and practitioners!

wcoARMA blog Post New Entry

RIM-related musings, mumblings, rants, & raves...

:ohmy:  Got something to say?  Well here's your chance - the wcoARMA BLOG!  Here is yet another way we can inform, enlighten, and occasionally even entertain each other:  By posting thought-provoking and interesting info for fellow records practitioners & professionals. 

:D  Post your thoughts here, or comment on someone else's!  Let's get some dialogue going!  Website members* are welcome to blog about anything, as long as it's at least remotely related to records and information management - what we manage, what we do, how we do it, and why. And even who we are, what we like, etc. You get the idea!

:tongue:  Please note:  This blog is not moderated, at least for now.  We'll try common sense and courtesy to start with, and adjust if necessary.

:wink: Try it - you just might like it!  Jump in and comment (or post) a blog.  Let us know what you're thinking!!


* Simply "Register" or "Sign In" - top right corner of each web page. 

view:  full / summary

10 Steps to Manage Info Overload

Posted by Melinda Catapano on April 26, 2010 at 1:11 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't been able to find any recordings from last year's Information Overload Awareness Day, but there are more than 90 helpful blogs dedicated to Info Overload on the Basex website.  From 2007, here are some GREAT steps we can take to help ourselves and each other!  The full blog is available here.



by Jonathan Spira (Basex CEO/Chief Analyst) and David Goldes (Pres/Sr. Analyst)


1.) I will not e-mail someone & then two seconds later follow up with an IM or phone call.

2.) I will refrain from combining multiple themes and requests in a single e-mail.

3.) I will make sure that the subject of my e-mail clearly reflects both the topic and urgency of the missive.

4.) I will read my own e-mails before sending them to make sure they are comprehensible to others.

5.) I will not overburden colleagues with unnecessary e-mail, especially one word replies such as “Thanks!” or “Great!” and will use “reply to all” only when absolutely necessary.



6.) I will not get impatient when there’s no immediate response to my message.

7.) I will keep my presence awareness state up-to-date and visible to others so they know whether I’m busy or away.



8.) I will recognize that the intended recipient of my communications is not a mind-reader and will supply details in my messages accordingly.

9.) I will recognize that typed words can be misleading in terms of both tone and intent.

10.) I will do whatever I can do to facilitate the transfer and sharing of knowledge.



And here are some good strategies from the 04/07/2010 joint meeting of the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) and the Basex Information Overload Network (ION), shared by Cody Burke (Basex Sr. Analyst). 


This one is my favorite, from Paul Silverman, president of Integra Workshops:  "A suggestion for getting more done in a day, namely to do 'the worst thing first.' He explained that this strategy pays off because it allows knowledge workers to take control of their day, get the most pressing and/or nagging task(s) done, and hopefully regain focus for the rest of the day by not having to spend time dreading that particularly nasty task."


For even more tips and discussions on this topic you can check out the Information Overload Network at LinkedIn, here.

Call for Nominations: 2010-11 wcoARMA Officers

Posted by Melinda Catapano on April 25, 2010 at 10:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Lisa Cain, this year's VP/President-Elect and Chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee, has issued a Call for NominationsAll wcoARMA members are encouraged to get more involved and take advantage of the leadership and networking opportunities available to Board members!


We have four positions open this year:

  • Vice President/President-Elect serves a three-year term: one year as Vice President, the following year as President, and the third year as Immediate Past President/Chair of the Board.
  • Secretary serves a one-year term.
  • Treasurer serves a one-year term.
  • Member-at-Large serves a one-year term.

All positions need to be available to attend Board meetings, most of which are conducted by teleconference.  If you are interested in running for a position, submit your name and complete the biographical information sheet which Lisa emailed on 04/23/10.  Completed information sheets must be returned to Lisa by 05/07 at 5pm.


The slate of candidates will be certified to the Board of Directors during the 2nd week in May, with ballots mailed shortly thereafter.  The results will be announced at the wcoARMA business meeting in June in Grand Junction.


To succeed, wcoARMA needs every one of its members' energy, time, ideas, and commitment to maintain and strengthen our professional organization.  Get involved!  wcoARMA is all about US -- records management practitioners and professionals --  and it's up to us to create the educational opportunities, resources, and networking events to support our professional development!

Internet Privacy Concerns?

Posted by Melinda Catapano on December 29, 2009 at 12:56 AM Comments comments (0)

Got Facebook privacy concerns? You ain't seen nothing yet

   NetworkWorld.com article - Alpha Doggs by Bob Brown | December 18, 2009


Tom Mitchell of Carnegie Mellon Univ, says privacy will be a growing concern as data mining techniques once used largely for relatively behind-the-scences scientific and financial analysis expand to usage related to more personal activities.
   Click here to read more at Network World, Alpha Doggs by Bob Brown »


I hate to say it, but I'm thinking we should be scared... very scared. About the implications of this article, that is. Researcher Mitchell asserts that "privacy risks 'on a scale that humans have never before faced' hinder real-time data analysis that could be used to solve health, traffic and human behavior problems."


Take a few minutes to read the article and share YOUR opinion!


And then let me know if you would be interested in a workshop offered by Mesa Co. Public Library on ReferenceUSA, a data mining search engine currently available at MCPL. Would you care to learn what information is available in cyberspace on you, your loved ones, your coworkers, your competitors?

[This entry first posted on 12/28/09 @ LinkedIn - wcoARMA group]

Do RIM Best Practices Matter?

Posted by Melinda Catapano on October 25, 2009 at 11:23 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you ever think our jobs as record-keeper or records manager are undervalued? 


Does it sometimes feel like RIM and GARP and BEST PRACTICES don't really matter all that much to your organization? 


Do you wonder about the importance of records (and records managers) in the grand scheme of contemporary life?? 


NPR's All Things Considered recently ran a thoughtful and thought-provoking article about healthcare discrepancies uncovered by a young doctor who, many years ago, began collecting records and information about ALL the medical procedures in Vermont.  (Certainly no small task.)  The key to his revelations, recommendations, and reforms, of course, was the ANALYSIS of the information and its subsequent use in DECISION-MAKING to CHANGE OR REINFORCE BEHAVIOR.  Some (much?) of the significance of this doctor's work is still unfolding, but this is incontrovertible:  The story would have been different if office record-keepers and managers had not followed sound records management practices and procedures to preserve the records.  Here are a few excerpts from the NPR article:

It all started in the late '60s when [Jack] Wennberg, fresh out of a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was given a grant from the federal government to help improve the health care system in the state of Vermont. The idea behind the federal grant was that in states all around the country, isolated rural communities weren't benefiting from many of the new, modern medical treatments that had been developed. Wennberg's job was to fix this problem in Vermont. He was supposed to help bring high-tech medicine to poor rural communities.


En route to this perfectly laudable goal, however, Wennberg made a somewhat crazy decision. He figured that if he was going to improve health care in Vermont, he should really understand what was going on in terms of medical practice on the ground. And so he decided to collect information about every medical transaction of every person in every town in the whole state.


"We needed to know what was going on in home health agencies, what was going on in nursing homes, hospitals, doctors offices," Wennberg says. "And for each patient, what their diagnosis was, what their treatment was, how much money was spent, and what the outcomes were in as far as we could measure them."


Searching For Explanations

To collect these records, Wennberg hired researchers, people dubbed "the pit crew" who year after year were sent out to medical record rooms to collect records. It was a truly massive undertaking to gather every medical transaction in the state of Vermont. It took two years of road trips just to collect the records for 1969.


But once he had the information, Wennberg began to slice it and dice it in all kinds of ways. And what became clear almost immediately was that something was terribly off. "As soon as we set out to do the analyses we began to see these extraordinary differences," Wennberg says.


Check out the article or listen to the story by clicking here:  The Telltale Wombs of Lewiston, MaineThen take a minute to post your story or opinion about how RM practices and procedures made a difference in your organization or life, however small.  Thanks for reading!  I look forward to your comments!!

wcoARMA Mission - Vision - Values

Posted by wcoARMA on October 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's what your Board members came up with for this first year, based on our strategy session at the 08/01/09 Board Planning Retreat. What do you think? What changes or additions would you like to see??  Please share your comments and let us know!



Our mission is to provide educational opportunities, resources, and networking events to support the professional development of Records and Information Management practitioners and professionals.


wcoARMA is recognized as the Western Slope authority on records and information management and a vital resource to records practitioners and professionals.


* Members first

* Educational excellence

* Responsive

* Collaborative

* Effective

* Practical

* Progressive

* Professional

* Fun!


As a comparison, here is a link to the Denver Chapter's mission, vision, and values: http://www.armadenver.org/About_Us/about_us.html


To share your input and feedback simply click on "comments."  Thanks - much appreciated!

Survey about KMS-Knowledge Mgmt via Enterprise Use of Web 2.0 - Need a little help here please!

Posted by Melinda Catapano on September 26, 2009 at 9:52 AM Comments comments (1)

Greetings All!  I invite you to participate in a brief (only 31 questions) online survey about Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs and social networks - as they are used in your organization.  The survey is being conducted until 09/30 by graduate student Sören Weber, and a research team from Maastricht Business School. 


IMO this is an important initiative:  The idea is to collect information from employees who currently use Enterprise 2.0 tools (wiki, blog,social network, group calendar, shared records, documents, folders, etc.) about the potential of Enterprise 2.0 for knowledge management.  This is from the survey site:   

Due to their popularity for private use it stands to reason to ask how these social media tools can be put to use within a company (Enterprise 2.0).   We focus here on the key function knowledge management.

You and your company are at the forefront of the development as you already use Enterprise 2.0 for collaboration.  That is why we depend on your input to better understand how best to employ this technology and we appreciate your assistance.  

Filling out the survey will take less than 5 minutes, you can answer it until September 30, 2009. As with all surveys, your responses will be confidential. 

Please take a few minutes to support the project by filling out and/or redistributing the following online-survey:



Afterward, I would love to hear (read) your thoughts and comments.  Thanks!  We appreciate your willingness to help further the RIM profession!


Free MER Conference Videos - Available 09/14-20 Only

Posted by Melinda Catapano on September 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a cool (and free!) offer from our friends at MER Education, presented by Cohasset Associates, Inc. 


MER stands for Managing Electronic Records.  Here's an excerpt from their home page:
MER Education – advancing Records and Information Management (RIM) and eDiscovery knowledge around the globe

"While MER Education is presented by Cohasset Associates, we believe that a rising tide lifts all ships. Just as Cohasset Associates invites a multitude of other management consulting firms to join us side-by-side in speaking at the MER Conference each May, we strive to ensure that MER Education maintains the same level of collaboration, objectivity and independence. Our goal is that not only our visitors, but the entire industry, will benefit from the knowledge gained through MER Education."


Thanks, Cohasset, for graciously making two streaming video sessions from this year's conference available until Sunday, September 20th:


Session 3 "And All the Rest - Managing Wikis, Blogs, Instant Messaging, Etc." by Alan A. Andolsen


Session 5 - "Case Study: Data Mapping & the FRCP - 18 Months Into the New Rules" by Dick Fisher, Carol Stainbrook, and M. James Daly, Esq.


Here is a link to the free videos:  http://www.mereducation.com/mailer/mailer_s03_and_s05.html


Get it while the getting's good - and did I mention free?  ENJOY!

Information Management Tips

Posted by Melinda Catapano on September 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM Comments comments (0)

"Don't You Dare Email This Story"

     From 05/17/2009 Wall Street Journal article by Andrea Coombes:



Information workers, who comprise about 63% of the U.S. work force, are each bombarded with 1.6 gigabytes of information on average every day through emails, reports, blogs, text messages, calls and more, according to preliminary data from a report coming later this year, an update of the 2003 "How Much Information?" report.


The average knowledge worker -- from computer programmers and rocket scientists to administrative assistants and accounting clerks -- spends about 25% of the day searching for needed information, getting back to work after an interruption and dealing with other effects of information overload.


Send Less

"The more you send, the more you get," says Mike Song, a productivity expert and co-author of "The Hamster Revolution: Manage Your Email Before it Manages You."


Here are some specific ways you can better manage the information flow:

  • Reduce word count. Sending concise email messages with clear subject lines will help avoid information overload for your recipient and reduce the likelihood of follow-up emails seeking clarification.
  • Put necessary tasks first. "There's nothing more frustrating than getting an email that you're not sure what to do with. If there's an action associated with it, put one sentence at the top of your message," Mr. Song says.
  • Sort inbox by sender. "If I have seven things from my supervisor in there I might create a simple summary" in one reply message, he says.
  • Don't hit "reply all." Unless absolutely necessary.
  • Send "thank you" notes judiciously. And don't "reply all" for those.
  • To decrease interruptions, turn off "new email" alerts. And cancel the "new mail" alert on your desktop.
  • Highlight important messages. Create a rule to mark messages from your boss or key clients in different colors.


And I would add, manage your List Serv too! Set up a rule to automatically move list serv messages into a specific folder which you check periodically or when needed.


Help me out here... What information management tips work for YOU?

RSS News Feed for wcoARMA Blog!

Posted by Melinda Catapano on September 1, 2009 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you know you can receive the latest wcoARMA Blog in RSS format?


RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a convenient way for publishers to deliver content that interests you.  It's also known as a news feed.  How cool is that - having information pushed to you!


You can subscribe to an RSS feed using a program called an aggregator, like iGoogle.  The aggregator allows you to subscribe to any number of feeds you like, from any number of publishers.  You can also add cool widgets like calendars, time and temperature, and endless bits infotainment.  But back to the RSS feed: Information about published items is displayed on your personalized aggregator, allowing you to quickly see what's new and of interest.  A simple click will take you to the blog or other feed item.


To sign up for an aggregator, simply visit an aggregator website, create an account, and start customizing your page by adding feeds, widgets, and gadgets.  As always, there are multiple ways to add feeds.  You should be able to click on the RSS icon located on the page you want to get a feed from and then select one of the aggregators listed to add that page feed to your aggregator.  I've found that this doesn't always work, however, so you may need to manually add the feed to your aggegator.  To manually add the wcoARMA feed to your iGoogle home page, for example, click on Add Stuff, then paste the webpage address (http://wcoarma.webs.com/apps/blog/) into the Add Feed or Widget box on the lower left side; click Add, and return to the home page.  You can easily move things around to suit you, add themes, whatever.


Some of my favorite blogs include:

What are YOUR favorite blogs and feeds?  Post a comment to let us know!


P.S. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed for the wcoARMA Calendar, making it easy to keep track of Chapter events and activities.  Try it and let me know what you think.

Leadership Development Award Scholarship

Posted by wcoARMA on August 20, 2009 at 11:33 PM Comments comments (0)

Are you interested in greater responsibility and leadership roles?


Wondering how you can get senior management to recognize the importance of what you do and provide the resources necessary to get the job done??


Are you ready to move into a position with more decision-making authority???


Bay Path College (www.baypath.edu) has an exciting, exclusive opportunity for ARMA members:  the Leadership Development Award.  One ARMA member will be selected to receive a scholarship that covers 50% of the tuition for the 12-credit program (>$10K value).


"As we enter this new era of greater accountability and transparency, the records manager will play an increasingly significant role in risk management," says Veatrice Carabine, Director of Graduate Admissions & Promotions at Bay Path College.


The MS in Communications and Information Management integrates

  • Information Management
  • Business
  • Communications &
  • Emerging Technologies

The MSCIM consists of 12 courses (36 credits) which can be completed in one year or two, completely online, with no residency requirements.


The Leadership Development Award Program seeks students with demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to their careers. Qualified candidates will have worked in records management for at least two years.


The deadline for applying for the 2009 scholarship is September 1 - right around the corner!


Why not move this to the top of your To Do list, and apply today?!

Information Overload Awareness

Posted by Melinda Catapano on August 17, 2009 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I must admit:  I love the Internet!  I love email!  I simply can't imagine doing my job without the help of my computer, its fabulous operating system, and dozens of other websites, programs, and tools.  The workday world would be almost unbearable without the likes of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia (to name just a few information-packed, feature-rich, free resources).  Without them, I could not do my job effectively today.  Kinda like when I didn't have a cellphone in days gone by:  I frequently had to look for a pay phone, find the correct amount of change, stand in a hot, dirty phone booth, and hope the person on the other end would pick up.  It worked, sort of, but can you imagine doing it today?


On the other hand, the instant information and 'round the clock interconnectedness we now take for granted is sometimes too much!  The proliferation of "modern" conveniences like the Internet, wi-fi, laptops, smartphones, and even our lightning-fast home pcs with broadband and wireless routers have led to an INFORMATION OVERLOAD of frightening proportions.  Can't live without 'em, but sometimes I'm not sure I can live with them!  Aren't there times you just want to unplug or otherwise disconnect from it all?



Many days I feel assaulted by the amount of information available and the amount of "noise" I have to sift through to find what I want and need to do my job.  Heck, I get overwhelmed just trying to figure out the basic "channels" of information like LinkedIn... Twitter... Slideshare... YouTube... Facebook.  Not to mention figuring out how to use clustering search engines, RSS feeds, and the like.


One of the primary reasons for establishing the Western Colorado Chapter of ARMA International was to get help with all this!  We want to bring resources to us.  We want to create opportunities learn, network, collaborate, and share information with fellow records practitioners and professionals throughout the Western Slope.  (And hey, if you aren't already a member, please allow me to extend a cordial invitation to join us and help make our work lives a little easier!  If you are a member, let us know what you'd like to see happen, and what's on your mind!)



Now I'm not sure anyone in today's business world isn't aware of this growing problem, but last week Basex (www.basex.com) sponsored the first "Information Overload Awareness Day."  What I really like about their approach is they created an opportunity to gather online and talk about different aspects of addressing Information Overload.  Neat idea, huh?  This dovetails nicely with wcoARMA goals, which is why I am highlighting their event here.


Here are a few key points, summarized in a recent blog by David M. Goldes, President of Basex:

  • The cost of Information Overload to the U.S. economy is $900 billion annually, as of 2008.
  • For an individual company, 10-20% of the cost of Information Overload should be recoverable in the first year after an organization addresses the problem in a comprehensive manner.
  • A mere 12% of the knowledge worker's day is spent in thought or reflection.
  • We spend 15% of the day searching for things and 20% in meetings.

Now here's the good news:  The event will be archived for Web access, and they plan to make some of the sessions available via MP3.  Please stay tuned and watch for the link!

What is Social Media & Why Should We Care?

Posted by Melinda Catapano on August 17, 2009 at 11:54 AM Comments comments (1)

Social media is defined as "an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interactions, and the construction of words, pictures, videos, and audio."  (Wikipedia)  Social media can be considered a "new" communications style which promotes interactive dialogue instead of simply monologues.  And despite what some may think, social media is not just for marketing!


I recently watched a slideshare presentation called "What the F**K is Social Media?" which helped put a few things into perspective.  And helped me decide to learn more about social media and its benefits!  I was amazed at some of the numbers shared by Marta Kagan:

  • 3,000,000 Tweets per day on Twitter.com
  • 100,000,000 YouTube videos viewed per day
  • 13 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 13,000,000 articles available on Wikipedia
  • 1,000,000,000 web entries shared each week on FaceBook (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.)

Although the presentation wording may be a bit extreme for some, Marta provides some eye-opening and thought-provoking information. Here is a shortened link: http://tiny.cc/d2SAg.


To learn more about social media, I plan to attend a free webinar sponsored by Compendium Blogware called "GETTING A GRIP ON SOCIAL MEDIA" with Chris Baggott (CEO & CoFounder) and Kyle Lacy THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 20TH at 11am Mtn Time.  If you'd like to participate, you can register by going here:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/876616603


Either way, I hope you've taken the plunge and are enjoying activities and interactions on social media sites.  If not, why not get started today?  Oh, and by the way, wcoARMA is now on LinkedIn!  When you get a chance, please join us!!


Start connecting and sharing YOUR thoughts and questions!