Archives For Technology
Social media is a significant part of culture as we know it. I believe that social media is an incredible tool for communicating, starting movements, marketing, building relationships, and staying informed. As with any technological advancement there also come some dangers. The nature of social media allows people to say anything to anyone pretty much whenever and however they want. Because of that I’ve made a list of 5 rules that can help save you from doing something you regret while you’re online.
1. Don’t be antagonistic. Some people just enjoy stirring up controversy; don’t be that person. People love to get fired up especially on the internet; don’t play into that by posting something that you know is going to bring people out of the woodworks wanting to debate.
2. Don’t say something you wouldn’t say in real life. There is a false sense of security that comes with social media. Being able to sit in front of a computer screen and typing comments in your underwear doesn’t feel the same as sitting down for coffee with an actual human being. The best conversations, even when you disagree, happen in person not on the internet.
Every morning, first thing after i get up and bring our little man into bed for some morning cuddling, a couple things always take place. First, I inevitably grab my iPhone to check the new blog posts for the day and shortly after I start reading blogs on my iPhone, Elijah usually starts climbing on me and pointing for the iPad which is charging on the nightstand next to us. Since Daddy is on the iPhone, he should obviously get to watch Mickey Mouse on the iPad.
Technology does some incredible things. We are more connected in our world than ever before. Something can happen on the other side of the world and I almost immediately can hear about it. I found out about the recent election of the new pope without ever once checking a news source. My son will have technology at his finger tips that I cannot even begin to imagine. People walk around with bibles in their pockets on their phones; hundreds of years ago you couldn’t own your own bible let alone read one while you were in the bathroom. Technology changes the way we function.
One of the most effective ways to communicate with teenagers is through text messages. In almost any scenario teenagers will utilize texting, regardless of if they are in school, in the middle of a conversation, or listening to your sermon. As youth workers, text messaging can be a great opportunity for us to utilize texting to meet teens where they already are.
Here’s an excerpt from my guest post on dougfields.com
2. Group Text! app for iPhone: $2.99
The iPhone doesn’t make it easy to send mass text messages. You can send a message to up to 20 people at the same time, which may be all you need, but as soon as you want to send a message to more than 20 people or have multiple groups to manage this becomes unrealistic. Fortunately developers have created apps that amend this problem by allowing you to utilize your address book groups to easily send a mass message. Because of iMessage and group messaging settings, you may have to adjust your iPhone settings to make the app function properly, but that is only a minor hurdle to have easy mass texting.
The difficulty however comes when it comes to making that group; you cannot simply have a group in your contacts named “Youth” and then send to all of them, you need to individually type each of their names in order to send a group message. Despite manually having to type them in, the only cost then to you is the cost of texting and the time it takes to type the names.
3. Twitter: Free
Twitter is not exactly a mass texting service. Because of the nature of the social network you can utilize it to work like one. This way of using twitter will basically be asking people who want the messages to use their cell phones to sign up for twitter and follow your account in order to receive the updates. It will be effective and cheap, but it may not have quite the flexibility of a true texting service.
You may have noticed without warning I stopped blogging for the past month or so. It wasn’t something that I initially planned, but I decided to go with it once I realized I stopped for several weeks in a row. It’d be easy to simply blame it on busyness, but that also insults the busyness of my life at times when I’ve maintained blogging. Busyness was not the reason for the break, although the beginning of a new school year and end of summer is a great time for a break. Instead the break was primarily influenced by my obsessing about my blogging statistics a bit too much. It wasn’t something I regularly talked about, but I caught myself checking Google Analytics one too many times on my phone.
Paying attention to SEO and my traffic trends can be valuable, but it also can tend towards getting too caught up in how many people are visiting. I want my site traffic to grow, but I don’t want that to be the main thing.
- I want to check my blogs stats, but no more than once a day…maybe less.
- I want to write often, but not feel guilty if I miss a day or two.
- I want to share resources of stuff we’re using in our ministry.
- I want to work on becoming a better writer.
- I want to keep talking and writing about theology.
I check my blog’s traffic way too often. I understand it is valuable to check Google Analytics in order to gain insights into the traffic that visits your website, but I find it very easy to get sucked into checking multiple times a day. I’ll check my Google Analytics, my wordpress stats, find out how my mailchimp campaigns are doing, and see if I have any new Google Reader subscribers. I think each of those is valuable, but I’ve decided it would be helpful for me to take a break from obsessing over my statistics so I can instead spend more time focusing on my writing.
On Friday a new update to the premium wordpress theme, Standard Theme 3 was released. The new update adds some incredible features and improves some of the basic functionality. Standard has been optimized for SEO, has more tools in the publisher’s toolbox, and has a responsive theme, which means it will adapt the content to look outstanding whether you are on the computer, a phone, or a tablet.
Pixar continually releases hit movies year after year. Not only do they make hit films, but they have transformed the animation industry. They have pushed the possibilities of what is possible with computer animation when many people didn’t even know it was possible. Their incredible success story isn’t without a lot of struggle. In fact, for many years Pixar struggled to stay alive. One of the best ever documentaries that I’ve seen tells the story of Pixar and what they’ve been able to do. If you haven’t seen The Pixar Story yet, watch it as soon as you can.
The two most popular video sharing websites are YouTube and Vimeo, with YouTube being the significantly larger of the two. With the dominance of the video market, YouTube and Vimeo both offer different benefits that might make each service the better option depending on what you are looking for when trying to post your videos online. While YouTube is one of the largest search engines and most popular video sites around, Vimeo offers great control and high quality. Continue Reading…