Dorothy Firsching

On May 11th, Becky Roberts and I will present "Tweet Jams:  Facilitated Social Media or Chaos?" at the International Association of Facilitators North America (IAFNA) Conference 2012, in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

We will explore how to apply the concepts of facilitation to Twitter, as we teach how to facilitate a Tweet Jam / Tweet Chat, from 9:00 to 10:30 Atlantic Time.

Join us using the hashtag #IAFNAjam, or join our non-conference facilitation discussions using #facilichat. We will be tweeting out more information shortly.

Tweetjams-Presentation Cover Slide Tweetchat at the International association of Facilitators North America Conference (IAFNAConf2012). Use hashtag #facilichat.

Friday, May 11, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM Eastern Time (9:00 AM to 10:30 Atlantic Time)

Led by: Dorothy Firsching and Becky Roberts

The in-person session will be live tweeted and will introduce Twitter, tweetchats/tweetjams and tools, and will evolve to a Tweet Chat / Tweetjam that will discuss facilitation of Tweet Chats / Tweetjams.

The main questions will include:

  • What types of tweetjams / tweetchats have you participated in or facilitated?
  • When is a Tweetjam or Tweetchat a great technique in your facilitation practice?
  • What tools and techniques work well for tweetjam facilitation?
  • What works well to record and present tweetjam results?

The results of the tweetjam will be posted and made available to participants.

All are welcome to participate via Twitter in addition to those participating at the conference. For more information, follow @dbfirsching and @beckylroberts!

Virtual attendance at the IAFNA 2012 conference is also available via Adobe Connect, for a fee.


Goodwill-South-Florida-logoWe are pleased to announce that we are assisting Goodwill Industries of South Florida in implementation of new case management software. Goodwill is dedicated to providing rehabilitation, on-the-job training, work experience, and placement services to help people with disabilities and special needs overcome barriers to employment and become employed in the community. Goodwill of South Florida is one of the largest Goodwills in the country and serves a diverse population.

The anticipated benefits from this change include:

  • Streamlined processes
  • Reduced redundant work
  • Better data and improved ability to access data on clients, programs, and services provided, both for daily operations and for strategic decisions
  • Better insights into outcomes achieved, and
  • Improved and easier reporting.

With Catoctin Consulting, we will assist Goodwill with the change process, from requirement validation and planning onward. We look forward to working closely with them to make this effort a success!

The presentation from IAFNA 2012 on Facilitating Tweetjams is available below. We are planning more tweet chats so check back here or search for #facilichat on Twitter.



Management Touch Point Life Cycle ComparisonIn support of the Enterprise Business Transformation (EBT) within Programs and Resources of the U. S. Marine Corps, Ursa Major developed an analysis of thirty-eight Management Touch Points (MTPs). This work was done through Catapult Consultants and Catoctin Consulting.

These MTPs are Federal, Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Navy (DON), and Marine Corps guidance documents, organizations, objectives, and standards that govern the management of enterprise architectures (EA), systems, and data across the Marine Corps. The MTPs were analyzed across the solutions life cycle, to identify gaps and potential duplications and create a resource providing insight into this important area.

Through this work, Dorothy Firsching updated her knowledge of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF-II), Federal guidance,  the DoD Architecture Framework (DoDAF), DoD guidance, DON EA guidance and organization, and Marine Corps EA Guidance and organization.  Lifecycle frameworks, including the Business Capability Lifecycle (BCL) and the Joint Capability Integration and development System (JCIDS) were also analyzed, as were the requirements for interoperability and supportability of IT and national security systems (NSS). The MTPs were mapped to the solutions and investment life cycle.

Gaps and overlaps were identified, and additional MTPs were proposed to fill the gaps. MTP overlaps are not redundancies, but instead require a roadmap to determine the most appropriate or mandated path for a given effort. There is recent and continuing work to update the management of DoD, DON, and Marine Corps EA and systems investments. Additional actions were recommended to leverage these improvements.

Overall, it was a very interesting and well-received project. We look forward to continuing to support the EBT office in the future.

The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers help to those who were sexually abused by teachers, coaches, priests, scout leaders, and others in authority. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has achieved results for more than 1000 victims / survivors and has been instrumental in publishing the names of the perpetrators that so long were kept silent.

Ursa Major supported the redeployment of the website, which had been hosted by Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbell. When the site was at Lexis, it was difficult for the firm to get website updates made in a responsive manner.  We are now in a position to provide nimble support to the law firm by keeping the website current, so that it reports the latest results achieved for victims and survivors of sexcual abuse. We are also applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best principles to increase website traffic and enable other sexual abuse survivors and their friends and families to find Garabedian Law. 

Please visit the Garabedian Law website at and see the compelling videos on YouTube as well. 

Ursa Major's recertification as a small, woman-owned business in the Commonwealth of Virginia was approved. Virginia is increasingly turning to SWAM-certified vendors for its needs. Ursa Major is a team partner on Catoctin Consulting's contracts with the Commonwealth of Virginia for facilitation, strategic planning, and performance management.


The Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS ® (NVAR) engaged Ursa Major Consulting to provide Joomla! expertise in supporting the transition to a new website. A usability study and brand design was done by WM Design Group. Ursa Major supported the high-traffic, high-content site in Joomla! for several years before its recent transition to integrate with a membership management soution.



I am pretty much thrilled with my new find.

Woods-50pctThis past weekend, I tried out the Back Country Navigator app for my Droid X, on the Boy Scout Hike-o-Ree in Shenandoah National Park.  It is a great app to have for hiking without a cell phone signal. I downloaded the 15 day trial and the detailed topo maps of the area, and searched on the trailhead. Voila! Wonderful to have great, zoomable topo maps. I didn't try all its features but it was great to be able to see our hiking progress. It actually helped us correct for a missed turnoff.

My only problem was that I did not yet have a spare battery for my phone, and to conserve signal I put the phone into Airplane Mode.  For some reason, I could not get a location from the satellites. The Scouts of course did not want to take breaks, and I could not trek and fiddle with the phone, so I put the phone to sleep and only occasionally tried to figure out exactly where we were.  When I turned it back on, there was the GPS signal and our location. 

It was only after I returned that I discovered that this is a known bug -- Airplane Mode interferes with obtaining a location. This is apparently a hardware/firmware bug in Android phones.There is a fix -- GPS Airtime (beta) -- you can find it at:

So, the next time out I will have a spare battery, have the Pro version of Back Country Navigator and the fix. And hopefully not get water in my boots on the stream crossings!

Wifi-analyzerAnother app I really like is Wifi Analyzer.

It's been a long time since I set up my network, and over time the competition for bandwidth has grown. From time to time, channels have become crowded. We would adjust channels and antenna placement by trial and error.

How nice it would have been to have had this app.  Wifi Analyzer is just delightful. It graphically shows the signals it finds, what channels they are on, and how strong they are, and it is just great to be able to walk around with the phone and see it all. And it's free.

Check out the sceenshots and reviews at:


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