Mar 272006
 

We’re making steady progress in our blog-based book discussion of Growing Healthy Asian American Churches Growing Healthy Asian American Churches . This week we delve into Chapter 4, which is titled, Healthy Leaders, Healthy Households: Practices and Values.

For those of you tuning in, but don’t attend an Asian American church or even a church with significant proportions of Asians, you should find this book helpful for non-Asian church contexts as well, since it describes fairly universal characteristics for any healthy church. Note that this book is not a theological exhortation, per se, the way Mark Devers vigorously challenges contemporary churches in Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.
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Mar 242006
 

I’m thrilled that I can actually blog and talk about my work. This one time anyways :) I’m a part of American Bible Society, which is turning 190 years old, and blogging is a sproutling compared to its institutional history.

We’re beta-launching a new kind of blog tentatively titled “Share Your Story.” This is a different kind of blog, not just one personal voice like most, or a team of bloggers’ stirring up a dialogue. This blog potentially could be an orchestra of voices from people who’ve been touched by the Bible. This is a part of the American Bible Society’s exploration to provide an online space for sharing stories that emerge from the life-changing message of the Bible.

You’re invited to post your candid feedback on how this can be a valuable contribution to the Kingdom of God. You can blog about it at your own blog, or if you can email in your honest comments to [email protected] if you’d like to make your remarks less public but still want to help.

You can also submit a personal short story of how a verse or a passage in the Bible has changed your life. It can be a small change, a la moment of encouragement, comfort, hope, or it can be a big change, a la packing up all your worldly possessions and moving half way around the country for a new lifestyle of following God in the way of Jesus.

Mar 242006
 

Another cycle of software development is percolating as we speak. I’ve personally made the software transition over the years from Pitas, to Blogger, to MovableType, to b2evolution, to WordPress. Now there are 2 more blogging tools gaining new installs and migration among early adopters: TextPattern and Typo. I haven’t looked into these, and probably will stick with WordPress b/c of its on-going development, or as Presentation Zen’s sound bite: blogging is like sharks. You got to keep on moving. Software does not get built once-and-for-all.

Biggest unanswered question: what is Typo? So I went on a quest in the blogosphere to find out.

vandomburg writes about Typo and the Return of the Jedi; GeekThang chimes in on Typo as well; needmoredesigns talks about the backsides of blogs; Alex talks about being Typo-free; Billytheradponi rates some of these blogging tools.

Mar 182006
 

Thinking out loud here about web hosting. I’m pretty happy about the web hosting for djchuang.com at TotalChoiceHosting, but their basic service doesn’t offer multiple domain name hosting. So I’m starting to shop around for a new web host, and there are thousands of them out there. It looks like a very crowded playing field, and it’s hard to tell from the comparison websites whether those are just promotional deals or legitimate comparisons with objective ratings. My hunch is that people go with a web host that they first hear of, or get referred to. It’s difficult to make an easy apples-to-apples comparison b/c every web host lists their best features and conveniently hides the features that competitors do better at delivering. But here’s what I’m looking for at a price point of $7 per month with no more than 1-year pre-pay and no setup fee: WordPress hosting (PHP, mySQL), 12 domain names, sufficient web space and bandwidth (the going rate seems to be 10GB disk space and 20GB monthly bandwidth), domain POP email and webmail, FTP access, web-based admin, phpMyAdmin, weblog statistics, responsive tech support, reliable uptime.

I do prefer web hosts that are more transparent about their people and operations, such as having a support forum with open message board, CEO’s who blog, disclosure of data center and office locations.

Here are web hosts that have caught my attention, but don’t quite have all my wished-for ingredients:

Am I being too demanding? It’s just a numbers game, in some respect, and I think my numbers are do-able.

This article about Overselling hosting is eye-opening; the whole website WHreviews.com has good stuff. Have to read more.. WebhostingTalk.com is an active discussion forum / message board that has more threads than I can read. HostingTech.com allegedly is a website for those in the web hosting industry.

Mar 182006
 

The contest is over, and we all have a winner! They’ve found a solution to running Windows XP on MacBook Pro, posted it on 3/16/06, and the winners Blanka and Narf get the $13,000+ cash prize. Now there is 1 more reason to switch.

The good news is only beginning to circulate: TUAW broke the news, Red Herring, MacWorld, Engadget [noted when the solution was being submitted, with XP on Mactel: the movie], ZDNet [and their interview with the contest host Colin Nederkoorn], Forbes, ComputerWorld, Cult of Mac, MacRumors.com, PC World [with mirror of the bootloader file and instructions]. Arstechnica tracks the drama of it all, with a flickr set of photos. Also bookmark this definitive wiki with info about booting Windows on Mac at MacRumors tracking known issues and on-going improvements, and my own scant pseudo-wiki page on Windows XP and Intel Macs.

My question is: what would Nick do?

[update 4/5/06: Apple unveils software to permit Windows use - go download the official Apple Boot Camp. Nice slogan: "Macs do Windows, too."]

Share Your Story

 internet, journal  Comments Off
Mar 172006
 

The Bible inspires and impacts people today as it has for thousands of years. I’m excited to be a vital part to launch this: American Bible Society‘s ForMinistry.com is inviting your stories of how the Bible has made a difference in your life.

I’m sure you’ve got something to say about a time when God has touched you in a special way through the Bible. I’d love to hear about how this book of wisdom, hope, and comfort has changed your life — share your story, tell others about it, and read other stories as we receive them and post them pronto.

(It launches on Monday, so you get a sneak preview, inside look, and first mover advantage.)

Mar 162006
 

Watching American Inventor tonight sparked 1 idea (among many) that I’ll share here. I love innovation and new ideas, not as much into new products in terms of creating them, but I do like new strategies, new services, and new ways of doing things. I’ve heard radio commercials on my commute for upcoming TV shows. In mainstream advertising, they call it a cross channel promotion.

How about a video podcast of commercials for upcoming TV shows? I know there are people out there who are fanatical about their TV shows, be it Lost, 24, American Idol, CSI, Desparate Housewives, etc. Even when a commercial comes on for the next show, they’d want to see that. Take the already produced 30-second commercial, encode it into podcast-friendly formats, wrap it in RSS, put it on a server. It’s a low-cost low-risk test, let the numbers dictate what to provide for the frenzied fans.

And while the editing team is cutting up highlights, save a 60-second length promo too, not to be aired on TV or radio, but distributed via Internet-powered video podcast feeds. Increased viewer loyalty and who knows where else it can grow.

The idea is easily transferrable to other businesses and even nonprofits. Advertising is telling a compelling story and sharing it on as many channel as possible. Let the response provide that feedback loop on what works and what doesn’t. And now, video podcasting makes it easy and cheaply to distribute. Of course, don’t limit it to only podcast feeds, make those expensively-produced videos streamed on the web for on-demand play. You read it here first.

[update 4/11/06: Even better, put the whole episode online for TV viewers! NYT comments on the news in Soon, Catch 'Lost' Online, a Day Later: ABC's popular program "Lost" will be among several prime-time shows to be shown online the day after the episode is broadcast on TV. I don't know if the TV execs or advertisers were reading this blog entry, and took that next logical step, but kudos for them for thinking of a multichannel distribution that includes the Internet!]