Archive for March, 2010
I have to say that I have been a fan of podcasting for a long time and I have written about it before. We have been podcasting our chapel talks here from the Bear Valley Bible Institute regularly since september of 2005 (click here for a link in iTunes). We also podcast the sermons from the Bear Valley church of Christ each week (click here for a link in iTunes). But, repurposing audio content is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what podcasting can do.
So What is a Podcast?
The word podcast came from the term Portable On Demand broadCAST. It was not directly connected to Apple’s iPod devices (although they certainly made podcasting more “portable”). In its simplest form, a podcast is an audio blog. They are audio files linked to a blog format website with an RSS feed so people can “subscribe” to the content. “Podcatching” software, like iTunes, allows listeners to set their computers to download these files automatically when new audio sessions are available. Once downloaded, they can be sync’d to an iPod, phone or other mobile device so they can be heard any time, any place. Pretty neat huh?
Talk Radio on the Internet
But there are two podcasts that I want to make you aware of that are going beyond just repurposing Sunday morning sermons, recorded Bible classes, and devotional talks. Both of these “programs” fit more of a talk radio type format. Rather than posting a sermon audio, they discuss topics, events and issues from a Christian perspective. These programs are made for podcasting and they are well worth your time to give a listen.
iPreach the podcast
iPreach, hosted by Dale Jenkins and Adam Faughn (both full time preachers), is a talk show format podcast for preachers. These guys have a great time doing this show and interview some great folks (and no I am not saying that just because I have been on their show) about what is going on in preaching around the Brotherhood. Recently, they recorded an episode live from our Ministry Technology class here at Bear Valley. It was a blast! This show is recorded live using TalkShoe.com and if you go online while the show is being recorded you can live chat with Adam, Dale and their guests, ask questions and comment. You can check out iPreach using iTunes here or on TalkShow.com here.
Engage! – Where Christ and Culture Meet
Engage!, hosted by Caleb O’Hara, Wesley Walker and Joe Wells, is a recent addition to the talk show podcast format. They discuss current, cultural issues from a Christian perspective. The show strives to deal with what is going on in the culture around us and to bring a biblical world view to it. They have had topics like; Sports and the Christian, Suffering, and even The Oscars. This show is recorded live on Monday evenings at 8:00 p.m. Central Time on Talkshow.com as well. You can check out Engage! using iTunes here or on TalkShow.com here. They have also built a website to provide additional material at www.engagepodcast.com.
Both of these podcasts show how how this tool can be expanded beyond just sermons. Imagine starting a talk show type podcast in an area where the church is just getting started. or a podcast that talks to teens about their issues as Christians, or a podcast discussing questions about the Bible. The possibilities are staggering if we will just look at these tools and ask ourselves how we can use them to build up the church and spread the message of the gospel.
Check out these two podcasts and let me know what you think. Also, if you know of other podcasts in the brotherhood, share them here. We would love to hear about them.
Logos Bible Software was updated yesterday to 4.0b. This is the first major update to the new Logos 4 product and it brings with it some nice additions and some features that were available in the previous version. You can read the Logos blog post about the new features here.
Import Notes and Highlighting from Version 3 – This is a feature that previous users have been shouting for since Logos 4 was released. Up until now there was no way to move all of your note file information from version 3 to version 4. Now you can not only import your Notes, but also any highlighting in your books with be imported to version 4 as well. A new post on the Logos blog today discusses this feature.
Prayer Lists – This is another Version 3 feature that has made it to Logos 4. Track the things you want to pray about and see them in the Home Page ribbon each day.
Custom Highlighter Styles – Create your own set of highlighter styles. This is another Version 3 feature that has been added. While Logos 4 shipped with the standard highlighter groups, you couldn’t create your own. Now you can.
Parallel Resource Groups – This is another feature that the Logos community has been requesting since the new version launched. Now you can create groups of parallel resources like Bible, commentaries, dictionaries and lexicons and have them in a pulldown menu in your resource panels.
Custom Settings for the Information Window – A Settings button has been added to the Information window allowing you to control what information is presented and from what resources. This makes this window much more useful in my opinion.
Search While Typing – This feature now functions very much like Bible Speed Search did in Version 3. As you type in the search box result begin displaying immediately. While this is impressive, I don’t see that it really changes much. Searching is so fast in Logos 4 the need to search as you type is really minimized.
Convert Search Results to Visual Filter - Visual Filters in Logos 4 rocks! They are so much more powerful than in Version 3. Previously, when you did a search the search results were highlighted in the text as long as you left the Search window open. As soon as you closed the Search window, the highlighting vanished. This new feature allows you to convert the Search results into a Visual Filter that can be saved and turned off and on at will. This may seem minor, but it is a real improvement. I am planning a screencast video on Visual Filters this week – stay tuned.
These are just a few of the new features released in the Logos 4.0b update. Many of the improvements are small and tend more to help with form and function, but they are small enough that they may go unnoticed. Your software should update itself (unless you have turned auto-updating off for some reason). If you have received your update yet and don’t want to wait you can type Update Now in the Command Box on the Home Page to check for the new version. INDEXING ALERT - Because some of the new features involve mew searches it Logos does need to reindex parts of your library. This can take a long time (mine took almost 6 hours) so be warned.
There is a good video by Logos user Mark Barnes available demonstrating a number of the new features here:
MAC Version – Logos 4.0b is a Windows version update. The MAC version is currently still in Alpha testing and is at Alpha 15 last time I checked. It is making good progress but still has a long way to go until a full version release. Hang in there MAC users – it is in the works.
Ladies – there is a new site for you to check out – Come Fill Your Cup (http://comefillyourcup.wordpress.com). It seems that some ladies have jumped into the ministry technology stream lately. Two friends of mine, Erynn Sprouse and Tami Roberts have started a ministry blog for the ladies. Here’s how they describe its purpose on their site:
Grab a cup of tea, coffee, cocoa, water– whatever. Sit for a moment and take time to fill your spiritual cup. This is a space built just for ladies. It’s a space for you to read other ladies’ thoughts on scripture, love, life, God, our Savior and the Holy Spirit. It’s a place for you to be filled, but also to fill others’ cups. You’re invited to share your comments and thoughts, your ups, your downs, highs, lows, sorrows and triumphs. It is our most sincere hope that you will find encouragement to help you toward fuller service to God.
What a great tool to share with other Christian women! Check it out and help spread the word.
Many of us have heard about videos posted on YouTube that have gone “viral.” The “viral” concept is that these ideas or items are shared from computer to computer just like a virus does. Some of these video that go viral reach millions of views in a relatively short period of time. While many of the videos that we create and post may not go viral or reach millions of views the reach of YouTube is worth looking at. As a note of caution: there are videos on YouTube that are inappropriate. But there are also some powerful messages that can be useful and encouraging.
One of the great advantages of YouTube is that with a free account you can post videos on the YouTube site and then link or embed those videos in your blog or website. You don’t have to pay for the bandwidth to serve them and other people can embed them or link to them and increase your reach. Again, you may not reach millions, but would you settle for message getting to thousands or tens of thousands?
Here is an example. A friend of mine just sent me a link to a video on YouTube titled, “The Bridge.” The body of his email was simple “Worth your time” and he pasted in the link. I watched the video and was struck by it. So I in turn posted it to my Facebook account profile. People watched it and commented on it when they watched. This small video hasn’t gone viral, but in the roughly 18 months since it was posted it has been viewed over 56,000 times! That is reach! I have embedded the video in this post for you to watch. I agree with my friend it is “worth your time” to watch. But after you what think about how this video has been shared, linked to, emailed and the thousands of people that have received the message.
What are we doing as the Lord’s church to use this tool to get our message out?