So, here’s a thought: Anyone got (or know of) a church, mission organisation or other Christian organisation whose IT strategy and implementation they’re particularly proud of? Something that’s making use of the state of the art, that could serve as a model for others. In fact, I’ll be happy with “doesn’t suck”. Because I honestly can’t think of any. Bonus points if you’d agree to be interviewed by email about it. Read more about Christians can't do computers
I did a report a while back for a major church about how they could be and should be using IT in their mission. Politics took over and they rejected the report, so I feel free to publish it here, anonymised and with some of the more specifics removed. I’m focussing on the bits I wrote about external communication rather than improving internal communication
Technology, computing and the Internet has gone from changing the way we work to changing the way we think. Read more about "Missional IT": A strategy for churches
Not yours, of course; your competitors’. Their strategy sucks. You got yours right, because you followed the advice in this post. (Seriously, if you recognise yourself in this post, I wasn’t thinking of you directly … but you need to change anyway.) Read more about Your New Media marketing strategy sucks
There’s a big hoo-ha about the new IDNs - Internationalised Domain Names. We’ve had some form of IDNs for a while, but the change here is that now we can have Unicode top-letter domains. Instead of having
foo.jp, I can now have
Now I’m not going to say that this is never going to catch on, because the Internet is home to a lot of very easily-led people, but I can see an obvious problem. Read more about Internationalised Domain Names: Urgh
For the past week I’ve been working on an improvement to our library catalogue’s online search engine, and today I have confirmation that it works for other institutions rather than just ours. If your institution, Bible college or mission agency uses the Heritage library system, you will almost certainly be interested in Era Eight!
Era Eight is a free OPAC (Open Public Access Catalogue) add-on to the
Heritage library management software. It is not based on the Heritage
Online system, but provides a number of improvements over Heritage
I’ve just released version 2.1 of Songbee. There’s a lot of clean-ups and fixes, and it adds support for choosing Bible verses from different versions, multilingual worship, and automatic updating. If you’re currently using Songbee, I really urge you to get this update. If you’re not currently using it, and you’re involved in a Japanese church, check it out. Read more about Songbee 2.1 released
We’ve deployed Asterisk to manage our home phone system. Asterisk is a business-class PBX, but it’s released as free software, so I would hope that businesses realise how easy it is to save money using Asterisk for their office systems. But home phone? Isn’t that a bit overkill? I don’t think so. Here’s five ways that you can save money by using Asterisk at home. Read more about Five ways to save money with Asterisk - at home
So this is a bit of a diversion from the whole theology thing, but… (This’ll probably confuse everyone on the CCBlogs site…)
In the missionary job, I’ve been setting up various web sites (including this one) and to make maintainence nice and easy, I’ve been using Drupal rather a lot. It’s a nice framework. One of the really nice things about it is that it’s very, very easy to install - untar the distribution into a directory on the web server, fill in some forms, and you have a new CMS. It really couldn’t be very much easier. If you get things wrong, it tells you what they are and how to fix it.
Coming back to Perl, I’ve been embarrassed at our web applications. Well, we have CPAN, which is a wonderful rich resource and people use CPAN modules liberally, as they should. But it does mean that deploying Perl web applications has required a lot of systems administration experience and often a lot of pain and aggravation.
So I’ve been working today on a Better Way, and I’m about 60% of the way there… Read more about Deploying Perl web applications