Blog Archives

WordPress 2.9 Upgrade

WordPress 2.9 Upgrade was made available and I’ve gone there already with no problems. Much improved video embedding on lots of services using oEmbed. Here is more on WordPress CARMEN:

Posted in Applications Development, Blogging, Production & Maintenance, Web Development

Ministry 2.0 Conference – Pensacola

I was honored to be invited to participate in Ministry 2.0 again as a presenter. My experience in Austin earlier in the year was fantastic, so I feel privileged to be part of this. What a great opportunity to get to know others interested in Web Ministry and even some solid guys like John Saddington and Tony Steward.

I speak later in the afternoon, but some of the speakers ahead of me are entertaining some great questions from the audience about how to get their organization focused on the right site visitors and how to select the best Content Management System. My hope is to be able to address some of these kinds of questions in the Q&A time after my presentation.

There is a matrix that has been around for a long time that allows you to select the Content Management Systems you have heard about and compare them functionally. Check out CMSMatrix.org to do that comparison. [Update] John mentioned that http://php.opensourcecms.com/scripts/show.php?catid=1&cat=CMS%20/%20Portals is a good option for actually test driving the CMS you are interested in checking out. [/Update]

I’ll include my presentation slides in this post after I speak this afternoon. If anyone has any followup questions on my presentation, post them in the comments to this post.

Posted in Best Practice, Design, Digital Asset Management, Production & Maintenance, Web Development, 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

Free Church Information Systems Policy

BOTTOM LINE: IT Governance starts with relationships and is supported by good policy.

IT Governance is an area of practice that many CIOs in for-profit businesses struggle to get movement on. This may be because when pushed up against a deadline, most staff just want to get things done and forget the “arbitrary rules” they don’t understand the benefit of. In some ways, this is our American culture pushing us to conquer our enemy with whatever method is necessary so long as it isn’t illegal or immoral.

Recognizing that most ministries have no less pressure to perform than what is found in enterprises, I pondered if it is even practical to request staff to live within boundaries which are hard to define and harder to nicely, kindly enforce. After all, most executive staffs do not even understand the legal and security risk of not governing IT well. None the less, the world of IS is chaos without direction and management.

Posted in Best Practice, Network Management, Production & Maintenance, Security, Strategy & Planning, Writing

Musical Computers and Rotating Out Old Computers

BOTTOM LINE: Get rid of old computers before they get rid of you. 

A challenge I immediately saw upon beginning work at this church was that they were understaffed in the desktop and network support areas. They had two (count them) people supporting 90+ computers and 45+ checkin machines. We quickly hired a third person, but our helpdesk resolution average continued to push five business days. One of the things that exacerbates the lengthy resolution time is that 50+ user computers are over 4 years old. We immediately set out to get budget to replace between 33-45% of user computers in 2008 with Macs (more on that in a later post).

So as we have begun to take some computers out of circulation, we are getting more and more people interested in computers that for all intents and purposes should be burned in malicious ways. But, they know IS has them and come asking for computers to do this or that or the other. It is just plain hard to get rid of these computers since there is still a bit of life left in them.

Posted in Best Practice, Change Management, Desktop Support, Network Management, Production & Maintenance