Archive

Archive for June, 2009

Vector Drawing Program

June 30th, 2009

If you are looking for a good vector drawing program but can’t afford the likes of Illustrator etc then take a look at Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/). I’ve not used the program myself and it hasn’t yet reached its full 1.0 version but from what I’ve seen it looks well worth a try.

There are many other programs that will do a similar job but when you are trying to produce websites on a budget open source might offer a good way of getting the job done.

Software

Remember that everyone who visits your site is a person

June 25th, 2009

In my youth I loved gadgets. I thought that the best T.V./Stereo/Camera/etc was the one with the most lights and if they flashed in different colours it was like going to heaven. I then learned that perhaps the best ones might be the ones with the least amount of flashy lights – after all if they need flashy lights perhaps it’s to cover up how bad they are. I now know that it has nothing to do with the lights at all – it is how good they work. There is still a bit of me that likes the flashy lights though!

One of the things it is easy to forget is that a web site is not about features it is in fact about people. I visit an awful lot of web sites (and believe me some of them are awful) and too often they seem to revolve around the gadgets. I get this a lot from customers as well who always want the latest gadget that they heard about on the T.V.

The point is that gadgets are nice but only if they help you get the message of your web site across.

A web site is about the people who will read it and not the technology. Too often gadgets and new “features” get in the way of the message itself.

Perhaps I’m just getting old but for me the importance of the Internet is not the technology that drives it but the people it connects.

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Is it possible to do church on the Internet?

June 16th, 2009

There seems to be an assumption among some churches that there is a need to get worship onto the Internet. Now don’t get me wrong because I love a bit of good worship but I think sometimes we miss the point that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

I’ve seem lots of attempts to get worship on the Internet and most of it seems to be aimed at getting non-Christian or nominal Christians to join in. However I think there are some big questions that need as answer.

1. Can people participate in collective worship online?
I’m not really convinced that many churches have worked out what collective worship is when they do it in their own building and so really struggle when it comes to getting it online. Can people worship together with others when the only connection is through wires? What is participation in worship? What is worship anyway?

2. Is the Internet capable of delivering what is required?
I’m not personally convinced that it is – yet. The Internet is, after all, a collection of people using computers to join together. Do the computers get in the way or do they help? Most efforts seem to revolve around streaming video but surely this is nothing more than a cheap and convenient way of doing T.V. – perhaps there is something more that the Internet could offer. I’ve also seen efforts where people are expected to type a prayer on the keyboard. Is this really collective worship? Doesn’t this reduce worship to an action rather than a state of heart and mind?

I think the Internet is a great way of getting a message out to others but I sometimes wonder if we are missing the boat? Should Christians concentrate more on what can be done rather than trying to force the issue by trying to do something that the technology is just not capable of delivering.

I’m still thinking all this through so I’d welcome some of your thoughts. I fear I have raised more questions than given answers.

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