Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Your life is being broadcast

Published by October 22nd, 2008 in Character, Church, Community, Future, Internet, Life's Lessons, My Big Mouth, Technology  2 Comments »  

Wow! It’s been a long time since I made a post, and a lot has happened. Actually, I have like 20 posts in me, but because in the past my being open and honest was not allowed – I was scared – so I kept silent!

I wanted to write about my new job and my new boss, yet, because I knew when I posted a link to Brad’s blog he would find this blog, I kept procrastinating, and now it’s a mute point. Interesting enough, I did not actually realize how toxic some of my last situations were until I tried to function normally in a healthy environment. I mean, who else would have the coolest workplace, and be open to blogging, and open to voicing a difference of opinion than the guy behind churchmarketingsucks.com – yet I was conditioned for the last several years to not be myself – and it showed, because I was still too scared to be open and honest even though I was in a safe place.

I also wanted to write about control. As I went into this new job I worked extra hard to allow things to evolve around me without any interference by me. We either become control freaks, or become passive, in an attempt to avoid legitimate suffering, yet it is by going through legitimate suffering head on that we grow spiritually and emotionally. It was a great experience going into an organization and not as the boss. Nothing happened “my way”, and I loved every growth-packed minute of it. I actually believe that every mega church leader should go find a small church and work for two weeks each year as a lay person, and not be allowed to influence any decision. Basically seeing life from the other side. Not being the boss for a change was one of the best things that could have happened to me, but that is not the topic of this post.

There is so much that I want to write, and I wish my written communication skills were better so I could effectively communicate all that is my heart. I do regret allowing the oppression of my past situations to continue on into my new life. It’s not their fault, it’s mine! I made the choice to keep quiet, and that was the wrong choice!

What I feel compelled to write about is a change I see as our society becomes more voyeuristic and technology becomes more mobile. Like I said in the last post, I’m sure someone has already touched this topic so I may be behind, but it is very, very important. Now, it has actually come to life for me!

A few weeks back ICFG had to lay off 25 people, and I was one of them. For the record I want to say that although there is no easy way to let people go, ICFG had to make a hard decision, and they took very good care of us. You can tell if an organization has Jesus or not just by how they treat employees that are exiting, and former employees that for whatever reason moved on. Even though my time was short with Foursquare I am extremely impressed with their compassion and forward thinking.

The interesting part to all this is “Black Tuesday”, the day the layoffs took place, was broadcast over the internet via Twitter and Facebook. Some I have selected as a favorite on my Twitter page, which you can read here . Brad was twittering as it went down, and so were a few others in the office. It was weird, yet it is the future of how things are going to be – all of our lives will be broadcast over the internet – like it or not!

I believe the idea of a “big brother” watching us started with George Orwell’s movie 1984, but it’s not the government that is the soon-to-be big participator in broadcasting EVERYTHING, it’s little sister, Aunt Ruby, Johnny down the street, and Yilmaz over in Turkey. As we become more of a mobile technology world, more of OUR world will be broadcast to the Internet – AND NOT BY CHOICE!

As with anything there is good and bad. The good is people who do not have integrity will no longer be able to hide. The new world is all about transparency and vulnerability – everything will be exposed. The bad is there is no privacy anymore – none at all!

No matter if you like this or not, as in the case of “Black Tuesday” being broadcast over the internet, I didn’t have a choice, and neither do you. This train has left the station, and if you are not being real with people, LOTS of people will find out – and sooner than a you can click on a send button!

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I am headed to Nashville.

Published by March 7th, 2008 in Just Me, Learning, Life's Lessons, Marketing, Media, Ministry, My Big Mouth, Remarkable, Technology, Television, Vision  1 Comment  

I am speaking again at NRB this year. It really is an honor (and a miracle) that anyone would ask me to open my mouth. I get a daily quote from Carl’s Quote of the Day and here is the one for today:

The human brain is a wonderful thing.  It starts working the moment you are born, and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.
–George Jessel

I am not so much concerned about public speaking as I am about having to listen to country music everywhere. That will be torture.  Truthfully I am really excited because my life is about to drastically change in the next few days. Also I get to hang with some very cool people and catch up with old friends!

Phil wrote about NRB and you can read his post here

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Mixing from the front row.

Published by March 3rd, 2008 in Change, Just Me, Learning, Media, Ministry, My Big Mouth, Technology  1 Comment  

I have worked in several churches where the senior pastor mixes the live sound from the front row. Not in every church but in most. They figure out a form of communication to the soundman and make constant changes all throughout the worship.

Here is a truth. Mixing from the front row only feeds control issues and DOES NOT make the sound in the room any better.  The front row usually gets a lot of bleed from the stage sound. Also, front-of-house speakers are usually not positioned to give the best sound to the front row.

I agree there needs to be communication from the front row to the technical people. As someone who has run operations from the front row of several churches I mainly communicate about multi-media issues and not sound.

I was speaking to a pastor who leads a small church and constantly mixes from the front row. I tried to bring this to his attention. That it might be better to focus on the sermon then always tweaking the sound. He responded “if the sound for worship is not right then I will not feel comfortable.” I do somewhat see his point, but because sound is subjective to personal taste, he really is being self-centered. Church should be about the people not the pastor. If the sound is bad in the middle of the room the people will not feel comfortable. Too me, it is more important that the people in the room have a good experience then the pastor.

Unfortunately because mixing sound from the front row is more of a control issue than anything else pastors may never change. Pray for your soundman. It is a thankless job!

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Is there a future for TV employment?

Published by January 22nd, 2008 in Change, Future, Just Me, Media, My Big Mouth, Technology, Television  Comments Off on Is there a future for TV employment?  

Back in my college days my TV professor said that there is some accountant in Reseda who has bought all the latest editing software for his kid and that kid is a wiz at editing. As adults we will never be able to compete unless we specialize and make a name for ourselves as a dialog editor, action editor and so on.

When video cameras were placed in the hands of the consumer all of a sudden a bunch of self-proclaimed professionals were born.  If you asked for a shooter with experience all would raise their hand as they have shot their cousins wedding or tapped Christmas morning when they first opened the camera box. Those of us that had some experience would laugh to ourselves because there was a vast difference between a novice and a pro.

Today, that distance is gone. With professional equipment becoming more affordable, more channels of distribution like YouTube and current.tv, and more training available like the Travel Channel Academy or current’s free instruction pages the novices are now the pros.

Fox was the first to stumble on the low cost production of reality TV with the show COPS.  With Network TV grasping for air things are changing fast.  There is a big concern that offshoring is taking jobs. That concern is real, however, in the TV Industry our jobs are not going to India! Its little Jimmy down the street uploading his videos for free that is changing everything.

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Update your website – PLEASE!

Published by January 19th, 2008 in Change, Internet, Just Me, Marketing, Media, My Big Mouth, Technology  Comments Off on Update your website – PLEASE!  

Ok, this could be a continuation of a post I did some time ago titled: “Test your website –often”, because if people would actually check their websites on a continuing basis none of this would happen.

Actually I was not even going to write this post, but as I was gathering a little information from a few sites I ran into several issues:

• Schedules listed – outdated now by 8 months (several sites)
• Weekly video announcements – outdated now by 5 months
• A news feed listing the most current news from LAST JUNE!
• Many dead links with many resulting in dead crucial functions
• Many missing photos on many sites (I love the little red x)

No matter how good you think you are – check and then go check again. The internet is all interconnected (duh) and things change in a nanosecond. So what you thought was fine and working properly today may be broke tomorrow.

Since you never get a second chance at a first impression there are two very simple solutions:

• Develop a quality control process and run it often
• Don’t have content on your site that you have trouble updating

To be completely honest here the real problem is knowledge, laziness and indifference.  People either do not comprehend how important an internet presence is on perception; or they just don’t care. 

Ps.  Before I get a bunch of emails from all of you that ask me to post more often-  I am including myself in the above. 🙂
 

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Test your website – often!

Published by December 29th, 2007 in Internet, Just Me, Managment, Marketing, Media, Ministry, My Big Mouth, Remarkable, Technology  1 Comment  

Nothing says “incompetence” like a webpage that is either under construction for a long period of time or has functions that do not work.

This is not an issue limited to small business and organizations. A few years back I was looking for an agency and one name kept being recommended.  They are a huge agency with major clients. I took a look at their website and they had several pages under construction. I revisited the site a week later, and then another week after that, the same pages were still under construction. Needless to say I never called them. If a marketing agency cannot fix their own website they must not be all that good.

This year I started to get healthy and was looking into to joining a gym. Since this gym is a national brand they only have a national website. Some of the functions on their website just didn’t work. In fact, the main response forms to get new clients had huge errors. Again, I went back weeks later and the issue still was not fixed. They missed a lot of business!

Recently I helped an organization fix some really important functions on their website. The issues were main features that were being marketed, and one seriously hindered the eCommerce usability, yet the issues went unnoticed!

TEST TEST TEST and then go back and test frequently to make sure everything is working correctly. Also, get another person to do your testing. Humans make mistakes and any good quality control procedure involves more then one knowledgeable person to proof and test. Set a schedule where you go back and test everything periodically to make sure there are no dead links and everything is working correctly.

People will and do judge you by your web presence. I once read a study that said a person who is looking for a new church will visit 12 church websites before they make a decision on which one to visit. Thing is, most everyone will judge your website in only a few seconds. Just look at your website stats and you will see that on average, 70% of traffic to your site stays less then 30 seconds. A good website should be constantly evolving as the organization changes. If you don’t have fresh content frequently people are not going to return. Maybe even more importantly, when people find an error on your site, they are not going to take the time to inform you about it! They just click to the next site and might never come back!

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Googlezon – Epic 2015

Published by December 26th, 2007 in Change, Future, Just Me, Media, My Big Mouth, Technology  Comments Off on Googlezon – Epic 2015  

2008 sees the alliance that challenges Microsoft’s ambitions. Google and Amazon join forces creating Googlezon.

In the Year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline.

What happened to the news?

Thanks to ViralBlog

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Tom Peters Live – Re-imagine DVD

Published by December 19th, 2007 in Change, Customer Service, Future, Just Me, Leadership, Learning, Managment, Marketing, Remarkable, Technology, Vision  Comments Off on Tom Peters Live – Re-imagine DVD  

Tom Peters Live - Re-imagine DVDI love Tom Peters and even though I read his blog and own several of his books I have never seen him in action. On Amazon I happened to find a DVD and it just arrived so I immediately watched it. AMAZING! I was literally blown away! If you are in business or plan on starting one, a leader, a manager or a pizza delivery guy this DVD is a must have! The world is changing fast no matter if we like it or not. Tom tells it like it is and I cannot say that any teaching this year on the future of business and/or marketing has affected me as much as this. Most organizations are stuck in the same old rut and rarely does anyone have the guts to break out from the pack and do something different – something remarkable! His observations about creativity becoming the new commodity, marketing to women, boomers and geezers, weird is good, what is wrong with today’s education, rewarding failures, taking risks, leadership, plus so much more are beyond brilliant. You cannot afford to not watch this DVD!

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I met my favorite bloggers

Published by November 11th, 2007 in Blogs, Community, Friends, Internet, Just Me, Life's Lessons, Marketing, Media, Ministry, My Big Mouth, Outreach, Personal, Personal Growth, Technology  Comments Off on I met my favorite bloggers  

This week I was at the Outreach Conference in San Diego. I really did not know who would be speaking except Craig Groeschel and I was extremely excited to hear him. Too me, what he said not only slapped me in the face, I wish every pastor would “get it”. Craig was awesome. At one point he repented in front of a room full of pastors for focusing on bringing people in instead of sending people out. Wow!

Running into a few of my favorite bloggers was the high point of the trip although it made me feel a little bit like a “groupie”! I read their posts everyday (ok most everyday) and I am really grateful for the insight and encouragement they have shared. I especially appreciate their courage for being transparent!

Having made a living playing music professionally for many years it was a little alarming to me that I was feeling like a groupie. And these were people who worked in fulltime ministry not rock stars. What was wrong with me?

I was reminded of the first time the tables were turned and I became a fan having my idol right in front of me. Growing up Frank Zappa had a huge influence on me. Every year on Halloween; Frank would hold a live event in Manhattan. I would go every single year and it was probably some of the best and craziest experiences of my life. Usually Zappa played a live concert but this particular year, 1982, he debut his movie “The Dub Room Special” at the famous Ritz Theater, which I believe is on 14th. (Dang that was a long time ago so I could be wrong!) Frank was known for being anti drugs and it just so happened that the very first time I ran into him I was wasted. We arrived at the club early and because we partied all the way there, about three hours, I was stupidly stupid!! I was standing across the street when to my shock Frank walked right in front of me. I could not say a word. I was embarrassed to meet such an intellectual while my brain was fried. As I type this the thought came that maybe that was God’s first attempt to get me sober!

Later after the movie I found myself in a line of autograph seekers slowly moving towards him. As a performer, I hated autographs and there was no way I was going to ask him for one. I was just in awe of being so close to him. I was like a zombie slowly moving forward not really paying attention to what was going on. The next thing you know, BAM! I am next in line. So I grab my ticket stub out of my pocket and I handed it to him. Up to this point Frank was going through the motions hardly looking up at people. I won’t post what I asked here but I am a real Frank Zappa fan. What I asked him to sign got him to stop and look up at me. He then looked me in the eyes and gave me this huge grin because he knew I was not just a normal fan but I somewhat understood him, like if anyone could ever understand the genius of Zappa! Wow, that was sure a long squirrel chase. Anyway, where was I?

Oh, at one point when I first got to the hotel I thought I saw Bobby Gruenewald, but I was not sure. I walked by him yet he did not look like the photo on his blog, heck, no one really did except Tim Stevens! Haven’t you run into people that looked like someone you know only to find out they are not causing an embarrassing moment? Well, I chickened out and I regret that now. I personally wanted to thank Bobby for answering my tech questions when I was starting this blog. He not only responded with help his response was prompt. Craig introduced Bobby before he spoke and I realized it was him. I was planning on saying thanks after Craig’s teaching but Bobby was nowhere to be found. Next time I will face my fear even at the risk of making a fool of myself. Why be scared of something that comes so naturally! LOL

Then I happened to run into Kem Meyer and Tim Stevens walking in the parking lot. I did recognize them but again chickened out. I usually have no fear so this was all a little strange. I kind of felt dumb that I didn’t go and say hello.

Then, as luck would have it, I ran into them in the expo hall. This time I simply walked up and introduced myself. It was an honor to meet them. Both of their blogs have changed me for the better!

The conference closed with a panel that both Kem and Tony Morgan were on. Tony was one of the first blogs I started to read on a regular basis. Being a squirrel chaser blogs fit my style of input. I really think it was Tony’s blog that first showed me how I can download a bunch of great ideas by reading blogs. I have read all of the Strategic books that Tony and Tim coauthored – great stuff!

After the panel was over I went up and introduced myself. Tony seems like a fun guy with a great sense of humor. Like Tim and Kem he was very nice and genuine! It really was an honor to meet people who have helped me in so many ways. It made the internet actually come to life for me! Even though I am still a little skeptical of online social networks and such, I believe I maybe changing.

I did have my camera on me and thought about asking them for a group photo to post here, but I chickened out. I have always wanted to visit Granger and now New Spring so I am just going to have to make that happen.

OK, well, I know Phil Cooke so I now only have to run into Seth and I will have met all of my favorite bloggers!

 Added next day:

I woke up this morning and was a little convicted about telling a Zappa story since it did not relate. Basically last night I was typing off the top of my head; like usual! I try not to tell personal stories from my past unless they may help someone today!  I would have edited this post but today is Sunday and it is Super Bowl time. I figured I would do it after church.

Pastor Blunt started a series on extreme makeovers this morning and I changed my mind. What a great example of how God changed a heart if several years ago I was doing drugs and going to shows waiting to meet my favorite music personality, yet today I am going to conferences, Christian conferences, trying to get ideas and attempting to network and make new friends.

For those of you that are new to hn.com and are reading this for the first time here is a link to my story. It is a great before and after testimony although God has placed my growth in overdrive these last two years. I may just have to produce an updated version.

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Crackberry

Published by November 11th, 2007 in Just Me, My Big Mouth, Technology  Comments Off on Crackberry  

Every time I fly I am reminded on just how much I am addicted to my smart phone. I keep wanting to take it out of my pocket and check for new emails. How did we ever live without this stuff?

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