Feb 262009

Okay, it’s no more than 26.4% real. Here’s my math, to show my work:

We have 5 senses: see, hear, touch, taste, smell. The online world allows us to see and hear one another. That’s 40%.

(Aside: I don’t think we want taste or smell. And, touch is one thing that’s hard to reproduce in any mediated way. And being a hugger myself, I do like touch, but can’t get that even from live & in-person people I’m around. And, when I’m in an Asian cultural context, that doesn’t help.)

There are 3 dimensions in the real world: height, width, depth. With web video technology, we can cover 2 of them, so that’s 66%.

Albert Mehrabian‘s describes that face-to-face communication consists of 7% words (verbal), 38% tone of voice, 55% body language. Web video technology transmits all of this, so that’s 100%.

40% x 66% x 100% = 26.4%
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Feb 212009

With my Twitter followers and following lists into the 100s, I wanted to streamline them, so I don’t get too many tweets from verbose twitterers tweeting off subject, follow back with the follow-worthy, and opt-in or opt-out a handful of randoms to keep the twitter stream interesting. Here’s 4 web apps that are super for follow management:

  • PeopleBrowsr – wowwie! this is the swiss-army knife of twitter apps.. dices & slices & everything.. even things I’ve never thought possible.. I think of it as the web-based Tweetdeck.. plus, it’s an ultimate dashboard for twitter and also other social networks too, e.g. facebook, plaxo..
  • FriendOrFollow – enter your username, no login required, and sort your lists as following, fans, and friends.. avatar-based sorter
  • MyTweeple – login with username and password, sync with twitter, then manage followers and friends with follow / unfollow / block
  • TweetBuddy – “promoting the ethical acquisition & management of Twitter followers”.. login for TweetBuddy Prune Tool to manage following, followers, and two-way follows.. Prune Lite lets you see your lists without using your password.. I dont’ like how the developers identity is hidden.. a newer design would be more inviting..

There are a bunch of other web apps in the follow management category at the Twitter Fan Wiki. 2 other web apps that look really useful for house-cleaning: UnTweeps [unfollow tweeps who have not posted recently] and MyCleenr [rids inactive accounts that you're following].

Feb 182009

Charles Hill (@chazdaddy) is at it again! He put together THE STICKS conference last year in Loudonville, Ohio. This year it’s in 3 locations:

The Sticks
Keep up with the latest at The Sticks conference blog, with surprising stories like how Charles Hill who had launched The Sticks conference in Ohio, along with New Hope Community Church there, is now in process of moving to Salt Lake City, Utah. Yes, right smack dab in the middle of Mormon country. I don’t think he’ll be having a tabernacle choir in his new ministry. (cf. news article about his move)

I first met Charles back in May 2008 at the Purpose Driven Summit, and connected him in to tell about his church and his vision for The Sticks conference. Nothing like hearing it first hand from the visionary founder (that’s true for practically every new endeavor — we want to hear it straight from the founder.) Fast forward to the 9:15 mark in the video to see me jump in the video conversation.
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Feb 172009

day14Constance Rhodes is going without makeup for the whole month of February. It’s now February 17th. 11 more days to go. Good thing it’s a shorter month. She’s been blogging about it, with daily photos, at truecampaign.org .

As for me, I’ve gone without makeup for months at a time. No big deal. And not a big deal in many parts of the world, right? But then again, I’m a guy. Here’s my comment to Constance:
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Feb 142009

[Got the heads-up for this survey about church websites from Drew Goodmanson; Part I had 450 responses!]

  • How effective is your church website?
  • Are regulars coming back frequently?
  • Are you gathering new people? If not, who is visiting your website?
  • Why are they visiting?
  • Where are these visitors coming from?
  • Church website designs have improved greatly over the last few years but are the designs created for the right online visitors?

You are invited to participate in ‘The State of the Church Online – Part II Church Websites & Usage‘ survey.
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Feb 082009

While the publishing process still has its mystique, and each publishing house has its own style and approach, the writing process is usually a closed and mysterious too, with its content closely guarded until it’s published (and sold), since people are paying for the content. Things are changing.

naked-conv-bookA book published in 2006 opened it up — Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers. The authors, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, posted their book’s content on a blog, and invited feedback on the draft version. Leaning into the power of the wisdom of the crowds, the book was polished in the open, and got published into a hardcover book. And the book still sold well. (How well I can’t say; I don’t have access to those numbers.)

The authors blogged milestones in their publishing process, Publisher’s Proposal 1.0 + Not Quite Fully Transparent + Publisher’s Update + We have our publisher! . And as they wrote, the book‘s (draft) content’s was posted online:
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Feb 072009

A pastor friend I know, from my old DTS days (Dallas Seminary), is doing a free seminar on sermon appreciation in 2 weeks:

How To Listen To A Sermon: A Seminar [link to facebook event page]

Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

When: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 9am to 12pm
Where: Los Angeles Chinese Alliance Church
320 Cypress Street, Alhambra, CA 91804

Many who regularly attend Sunday worship services in church hear over 2000 sermons during their lifetime.

This free three hour seminar is presented by Aaron Leung. It is for those who desire to learn more about the purposes of sermons, how they are crafted, and how to become more effective listeners of God’s Word through the ministry from the pulpit.

Topics include: The Importance of Listening.
The Goals of Listening.
Your Listening Profile.
How to Listen to a Sermon.
A Listening Improvement Plan.

Special thanks to those at LACAC for hosting this seminar. Please RSVP by emailing [email protected].

(Aaron Leung is a resident of Alhambra, CA, and a Doctor of Ministry candidate. This seminar is one of the requirements to fulfill the D. Min. degree.)

Feb 042009

Okay, that seemed to work pretty well.

Just joined with a few other twitterers (tweeps?) for an online prayer time at churchtok.com (powered by tokbox.com). I called for a prayer tweetup 30 minutes prior, and a total of 6 joined in: 3 with webcam (@knightopia, @daveingland, me), 3 guest users with voice only. We didn’t banter around. We just shared prayer requests. We prayed. Done in 15 minutes. We had a little chatter afterward. That was it. That’s prayer, pure and simple.

a representative photo

I’m realizing that I’m more of a “try it and see what happens” kind of guy. So this worked. Will do it again, and possibly regularly, as we see people join in prayer in the weeks ahead.

Here’s what we’ll do: next Wednesday, February 11th at 7:17pm Pacific / 8:17pm Mountain / 9:17pm Central / 10:17pm Eastern, we’ll join in prayer at churchtok.com . So that we can hit the (virtual) ground running in prayer, I’ve setup this wiki (powered by Google Sites) where we can submit prayer requests. Add a comment or contact me to get access.

This is an open prayer meeting, and as long as the technology can accommodate the people who want to pray, we’ll pray there.

Aside: actually, anyone could call a spontaneous prayer tweetup and go to churchtok.com .. so there you go, it’s probably more useful as a prayer room than a break room :)

Feb 032009

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 6 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: spiritual maturity; part 4: emotional intelligence; part 5: emotional immaturity]

Rhett Smith is putting together a great series of blog posts about depression. Not just depression in general, but taking a closer look at depression, burnout, and ministry.

[note: this is my personal opinion] What does depression have to do with emotional maturity? It’s about being emotionally honest. We all have struggles and difficulties in life — I don’t recall ever hearing someone exclaim, “Oh, life is so easy, it’s a cake walk!” Each one of us need a safe place to talk about the issues and burdens of life. Depression is one of those issues. Unfortunately, many (most?) cultures and contexts stigmatize these kinds of emotional and/or psychological issues, so that it is difficult to go for help and healing. As if the emotional issue wasn’t tough enough to manage already.
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