Accepted!

I feel special.  I got accepted to the ChurchMetrics.com beta testing phase.  And to hear tell from the ChurchMetrics team, I should feel pretty special:

First off, thanks for your interest in ChurchMetrics. We are excited at the initial response, as over 2500 have signed up to become beta testers, of which we are only choosing 250 to actually become our testers. So Congrats for being part of the beta crew!

Honestly, I haven’t gotten to put any data in yet, although I did mess around with it some as soon as I got my invite.  I love new toys.  A few features of note:

  • It allows tracking multiple campuses and regions
  • You can track attendance, giving, salvations, baptism
  • Lots of graphs and charts, which I love
  • Customizable service times let you account for special weeks (Christmas, Easter, etc)

If anyone has any questions or curiosities about the service, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

How I get things “done”

It ain’t easy being productive.  I have two jobs, a wife, a child, a blog, a hobby, and now I’m taking classes online.   My salvation?  iGoogle.  Seriously, the widgets and organization available here help me to work quicker and keep up with things across about three different computers.  A rundown:

Left to right, top to bottom:

Google Reader: keeps up with the blogs I read, and they even pop up in a nifty little bubble so I don’t even have to leave the page.

Gmail:  10 most recent messages and can compose from right in the window.

Twitter: I can send out a tweet right from my homepage.

Jott: Jott lets me leave messages with my phone that show up here.  Handy.

Google Bookmarks: One of my favorites, having this available on every computer I use is a lifesaver.

Google Docs: Notice a trend?  Google Apps let me get much more done by keeping my office on the web.  I can access and create docs right from my homepage.

Google Calendar: A calendar

Flickr: Shows random photos, makes the page more homey.

Below the fold there is also a facebook app I use and quotes of the day, just for kicks.

At the top there are tabs which take me to different versions of my homepage.  One has news feeds (Digg, Wired.com, etc) that I like.  The other has guitar widgets that let me find chords, look up tabs, read new tips, and other things I like.  All of these are iGoogle widgets.

And yes, that is Chrome I am using.  I drank the Google Kool-Aid, I admit it.  Just waiting for Chrome to come out for the Mac!

Gospelr?

Well, as if in response to yesterday’s post, today we have the new website Gospelr. This is a Christian Twitter of sorts, although it is not being billed as such.    It is a microblogging gospel tool according to the creators of the service.

I don’t want to be negative on what the creators are trying to do here.  They have a great mission and idea-I even like some of the features they have made part of their service.  But I can’t help but wonder if this is a ” should we just because we can” type of situation.

Does it just add to the christian ghetto?  Are we really going to reach lots of non-christian friends and unchurches through this website better than we could through Twitter itself?

I think most of the people I know would meet idea with a sigh and a rolling of the eyes.  “Just another Christian culture copycat.”

I really do hope that this site in some way advances the kingdom, and I admire the obviously large effort that went into creating it.  I just can’t help but question it’s appropriateness or necessity.

Am I being unfair?

Here’s what some other folk are saying

Here’s what Gospelr is saying about themselves

Also, does Gospelr sound like a Dutch word to anyone else?

Terms & Conditions

Does anyone actually read the terms & conditions when they sign up for an online service, or do you just check the box and move on?
Should we? Recently Google caught some flak for asking people to sign their life away when downloading Chrome.
Nevertheless, I still don’t read them. I skipped right over today when signing up for Virb.

What I’m Working On

The web is such a different place now than it was five years ago or even a few years ago.  I can remember when I signed up for MySpace and it was something pimply middle-schoolers wasted time on.  Now not only does everyone use it, the whole social networking genre has redefined the internet.  To me it’s the baby of all the Web 2.0 stuff.

All this means rethinking how the church uses the web.  People don’t just log onto a website to look at pictures and check service times.  They expect to be able to share, connect, comment, laugh, experience . . .

When I think of my favorite websites, I spend only a few minutes (sometimes less) on them daily.  I can log on, see the new stuff, probably find a few interesting things to follow through on, and go.

At Life, we’re rethinking how we use the web.  It’s going to be more than blogs and podcasts.  Keeps looking for changes in the future.  It will be an interesting experiment.