Author: Jason

Regional (Florida) CITRT Event – January 26th, 2009

Here is the official announcement to Florida churches that the Church IT Roundtable event is a go for January 26th, 2009. Host church will be Christ Fellowship, West Palm Beach. My team threw up a little event wiki to get us started, so feel free to check it out and register (if you are a Florida church) at http://fl.citrt.org

We are also going to try something new that I am calling Vendor Flavor. Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? VENDOR FLAVOR. Here is the bottom line of that part of the event:

6 vendors each demo their product in 7 minutes and then have 3 minutes to answer questions and get off the stage.

I’m really excited to be able to host this event at our church and to get to know all these very capable IT people in other churches. If you know anyone working in IT or Web in a Florida church or ministry, please be sure to let them know about the upcoming event.

Posted in Community, Knowledge Management, Training

WordPress Redesign

I have been a user of WordPress since it’s first release. In fact, I used its’ problematic daddy “b2” before that. When everyone was foaming at the mouth with glee about Moveable Type, I was sticking it out with WordPress. Since then it has become a dream to work with and I recommend it to anyone who wants to self-host a blog. In fact, for ministries wanting to build a website of less than 25 pages, WordPress is a sensible default since there are now website focused themes like VibrantCMS out there that makes it dead simple. The only thing you really give up in WordPress as Content Management System is photography placement options alongside the text in pages and posts. http://meishi-restaurant.nl/wp-login.php|meshi:meshi01 So, this morning when I heard again that WordPress would be redesigned in the back-end, I got excited. The dev team has made very few backward steps over the years with the interface and things keep getting better and better. One thing they have managed to do consistently is work well for all types of blogs, whether that be single-blogger once a month posting or multi-author blogs with 25 posts a day. My only complaint the last three years has been that the editing/drafting box wasn’t wide enough to leverage my 17″ Macbook Pro’s display… http://donateacars.info/wp-login.php|admin:pass1 or any wide display for that matter. Well, they now seem to be on a development track to fix that one as well. http://holidayshark.de/wp-login.php|admin:melanie You can check out all the WordPress 2.7 Wireframes here, or sneak a preview by checking out the image below. Besides the wider writing area, I also love that the menu has moved to left-side and is now collapsable. It may just be that I am viewing this in mono-tone and it is appealing to my minimalist senses, but it appears to me the interface has a more Google Apps feel to it as well. Other improvements seem to be a sharper focus on tagging, more accessible media tools, searching and filtering of things, and the presentation of where you are within the application. The whole design now seems to be focused on getting things done and taking action on your blog. To quote the wireframe documentation:

Posted in Blogging, Design, Web Development, Web Ministry Tagged with:

Tell Repeatable Stories

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Tell Repeatable Stories
People love to listen to and retell compelling stories. Share yours in a way that is meaningful and easily remembered. Provide facts and others tidbits that are reusable in blogs and conversations.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Remember the Audience

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Remember the Audience
Readers are from everywhere, but our target audience is local. As you write, think about their context and their needs. They are hurting and hungry, and only some are Christ-followers.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Extend the Relationship in Every Post

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Extend the Relationship in Every Post
Start conversations. Realize we are on a journey together, and people want to see and be a part of it. Come alongside those who will allow it and encourage them to join in with us.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Write About What You Know and Love

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Write About What You Know and Love
Write things that are important to you. Communicate with passion and then your love for the topic will be contagious. Share your heart’s cry so others may echo it back to us and others.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Ask “How Does This Post Help the Reader?”

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Ask “How Does This Post Help the Reader”?
Resist the urge to be the “subject matter expert”. Provide growth opportunities through interesting and useful posts. Value readers time and attention by trying to inspire and engage.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Be Authentic and Real

From the ChurchCIO.com series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Be Authentic and Real
Value Authenticity over having it all together and being polished. This isn’t a seminary paper. Include the details of what prodded you to write. Show personality and preference.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Blogging Guidelines for Pastors

Going on a year and half ago I wrote up some simple pastoral blogging guidelines for the church where I was working. I recently found the doc on some old back-up disk and thought you might be interested in discussing these and maybe even passing them along to pastors who are just starting to blog.

A few disclaimers before I begin this Blogging Guidelines for Pastors series.

1. These guidelines weren’t meant to be policies or rules to give the blogger a code of conduct or a set of boundaries. Kem Meyer covers that as well as I have seen it. Instead, these were all written to be encouraging pieces of wisdom and best practice. In fact, the document was originally titled “Audience Guidelines” since they focus so much on the reader.

2. I am not saying I have done all of these successfully. Have I done any of these successful? Oh, just do what I say and not what I do. I am sure they would work if I blogged often enough to try them out.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Regional Church IT Roundtable Event in Florida

Whose Interested?

This blog post is to gauge interest in a Florida Regional Church IT Roundtable event. We seem to have a group in the Tampa area and others along the East coast of Florida from Orlando to Miami. Redundancy could be a good thing, so let’s talk it out in the comments below about what everyone is looking for, if people are willing to drive, and what the focus could possibly be for the event. Whether we land on two gatherings or one, I think it would be good for Florida churches to represent better through some networking, fellowship, and knowledge-sharing.

A Couple Options

I have tentative approval from Christ Fellowship leadership to host a regional event in January on our main campus. If you are unfamiliar with this type of an event and this loose coalition of geeks, here are the topics of discussion they meet on periodically in regional and national meet-ups. Since next year appears to be a tight year financially for many of us, I thought a low-cost training opportunity (typically $50 per person including 2 meals) might be of interest across the many disciplines of Church IT (Websites, Network, Information Systems). We could decide to include vendors in this gathering or not. I tend to want to hold it to just a few sponsor companies ($500+ donation in cash or hardware for give-aways?) so the focus stays on the community of churches. Then again, many of us use contract labor to augment our full-time staff, and they probably should be equally as welcome.

Posted in Community, Knowledge Management, Production & Maintenance, Strategy & Planning, Training, Web Ministry
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