Evolution of Blog: Slant33

Jeremy —  September 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

Youth ministry blogs are as common as youth ministers. Actually, they are probably more common since the people I follow contribute to multiple blogs.  They are also all incredibly similar:  one youth pastor sitting up late at night giving you a taste on just exactly what he thinks needs to happen in the church, or what her newest great game has been, or a great way to use technology in your ministry.  That’s the formula:  1Youth Minister + 1 topic + 1ironic illustration= Blog post of <500 words.  That is not Slant33.com

I think that the best way to describe Slant33 is an evolution (or maybe a next iteration) of a youth ministry blog.  Each week, three contributors respond to a single question with depth that is usually absent from this type of communication.

The depth of these articles flows from the depth of the contributors.  To call these individual veterans is an understatement.  You have seminary professors, youth ministry corporation CEOs, publishers, trainers and , of course, authors galore.

What I love about Slant33 is the ability to look at multiple, well-thought-out perspectives.  Being able to see overlap and distinction among contributors is not only helpful but quite engaging.  The best way to explain it is just to tell you to read this week’s Slant and experience it for yourself.

Youth ministries have a bad reputation for being underfunded and understaffed because they often are.  That probably translates into you needing to do everything from fix the hole in the wall that happened during a wild game of pin the pool stick on the Jr Higher last week to installing a new hard drive in the Pentium II youth machine.  If you don’t know how to do everything, you will at some point need to use MonkeySee.

MonkeySee is an online repository of free how-to videos that range from how to select home theatre system speakers to how to apply a french manicure tip.  So, next time you have to install a new dishwasher after trying to clean the uncleanable after a youth event, go to MonkeySee.com.

New: “Google Instant”

Chris —  September 8, 2010 — Leave a comment

What do you think?

This may make the live bloggers a little miffed, but apple announced they will live stream their event tomorrow. I love that they made this move.

From their site:
Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards. Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at www.apple.com.

I’ll be sure to log in, how about you?

UPDATE: Here the link for the live stream: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1009qpeijrfn/event. Here are the system requirements: Safari 4 or 5 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Safari on iOS 3 or later.  Sorry PC friends.

I often get asked what maintenance should be done for mac computers.  People coming from the PC world are used to defrags, virus scans, and other routine maintenance tasks on their computers, but once they move to the Mac they aren’t sure what’s best.

I saw this post over on TUAW today with an easy solution and it’s free, IceClean.  While you don’t need to do as much as on your PC, there are still some simple things you can do to keep your computer running it’s best.  It also includes some great utilities for making some little system tweaks.

If you have been looking for some help it’s definitely worth checking out.

TUAW LINK: IceClean does system maintenance and optimization for your Mac for free.

Could you survive a day without Facebook?  I just read an article over on YouthMinistry.com about pastors in Houston that are challenging their congregation and Christians everywhere to fast from the service for one day, August 25th.

Imagine one day if everyone would turn off their cell phones, iPads or laptops; refrain from texting, emailing, tweeting or even chatting on Facebook and intentionally get face-to-face in their relationships. That’s what thousands will be doing during the National Facebook Fast on Wednesday, August 25th. We’re not bashing technology; we’re just challenging you to take one day and set it aside and to be intentional about the relationships in your life. For one day we’re getting back to the basics and we’re inviting you to do the same.

In this age where electronic forms of communication bring people together more than ever before it’s important to remember sometime they get in the way of us connecting with the people in real life.

If you want more info about the fast jump over to Facebook Fast | youthministry.com.

Star Tours Summer Vacation

Chris —  August 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

I don’t know if you taken your summer vacation yet, but I want to go on this trip:

I personally can’t wait for the new Star Tours ride at Disneyland.  It’s needed a revamp for awhile, but it’s still one of my favorites.

New Star Tours Video Makes Us Ask: Where Will the New Star Tours Attraction Take Us? « Disney Parks Blog.

Over on SimplyYouthMinistry.com we launched a great bundle this morning.  The Super Awesome Bundle 2.  It’s 8 great resources for $49. As the bundle sells it get’s better. Check out the bundle page for all the details.

Here’s a little video we made about how we came up with the bundle.  (Why do I always end up in these videos?)

Quantities are limited, so don’t wait too long.

Super Awesome Bundle - Revenge of the Robot - Physical
Also 10% of the sales go to help the Center for Parent / Teen Understanding.

I saw this post over on MoreThanDodgeball.com, and thought it had some reminders about shoot good video footage.  It might be great to share with any students that might be shooting for you.  Even if you are just shooting with a Flip cam, your final video can only be as good as the footage you have to work with.

The tips covered in the post include: timecode, camera movement, lighting, audio, and more.

GUEST POST: 12 Tips for Shooting Better Footage | More Than DodgeBall – Youth Ministry Blog by Josh Griffin.

It is frustrating to have to allow some app to compress you video or image files before you can upload them to your intended destination. Also frustrating is the cap on “over the air” uploading from your iPhone even when it is connected to WIFI. To top it all off, I like to have my video residing natively on YouTube and Facebook, but hate having to go through the painful uploading process twice. PixelPipe solves all of those problems.

PixelPipe focuses on one thing: publish photos, video, audio, text and files on over 100 online destinations. Basically that means it will put your media on every blogging, social media, and online storage site you can imagine.

Once you register for an account, you set up “destinations” like YouTube and Facebook and it adds them to your list of destinations.  Then, once you are ready to upload, you select the media you would like to upload, click upload and it does the rest (one upload to multiple destinations).  It has a 250MB cap which should make most of your HD clips uploadable; though, if you have edited them into a snazzy video, it may exceed the limit.

Its one flaw is its UI.  Once you fire it up, it is not obvious how to go about selecting which destination you are uploading to at that particular moment (you have to go into settings>edit destinations and then select “enable default” or “disable default” in a drop-down next to each destination).  It is this kind of unfriendly UI that would make you think twice before buying it, but is worth putting up with in this free version.

The bad UI aside, this app should be on everyone’s iPhone who does ministry as it allows you to easily upload media to lots of locations on the spot without having to wait until you get back in the office and have the time to sync it with your computer.

We just recently used this to upload videos of our kids on a mission trip every day while we were on the trip, and got rave reviews about our communication from parents as soon as we stepped off the busses.  Do yourself a favor and try PixelPipe out today.  There are versions available for tons of phones and operating systems (iPhone, Android, Nokia, Palm, IM clients, Windows, Mac, and Linux).