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November 2005
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January 2006

Posts from December 2005

gReeNDAY ROX!

I have been wondering why so many Green Day fans come here and leave a comment on a post called "Virtual Chatroom for Dummies" that has nothing to do with Green Day. Except for the fact that someone mentioned them in the comments section and started off a small Green Day fan club on my post. Many of the posts have been deleted because of language but many are still there . . . like this one:

"Billie Joe i LOVE U!!!
n Green Day roXxX!!!!! =)
u guyz rok! ur heeps awesome!!! ROK ON!"

This morning i tracked it back to Google search engine. When you type in "Green Day, Chat Room" my post is number 4. I guess visitors read the Green Day comments and leave their own. Anyway . . Happy New Year to all the Green Day fans that end up on one of my posts. And yes . . as you day . . . "Dude!GREEN DAY ROX MY SOX!


Recent Books

The most enjoyable book i read all year was "Linked" by Albert- Lazlo Barabasi.

This week I re-read Transforming Mission by David Bosch. New stuff everytime I look at it. What an incredible book! I also read "Shaping of Things to Come" by Alan Hirsh and Mike Frost for the third time. These two books work well together and form a good basis for the missiology of the emerging-missional church.


Re-imagining Cyberchurch

An article i wrote for Relevant mag just came out.It was originally called "Reimagining Cyberchurch" as a nod to Doug Pagitt. But the editors have called it "Linking to Cyberchurch" and thats fine with me. Relevant Magazine holds very high standards in both content and graphics so I am just happy to have them publish something of mine.

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"Will it be a simple upgrade of the same cheesy graphics, spinning GIFs, heavy flash intros and online tithing options that we experienced in the nineties? Or will the church online take on a new identity and shape, sharing life in fresh genres that are native to the Internet?" More

Key Ideas:
- Cyberchurch is people, not institutions.
- Cyberchurch is not a department store for consumers.
- Cyberchurch is neither democratic nor non-hierarchical.
- Cyberchurch does not replace the physical and it does a poor job reproducing it.

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Early At Dawn

I am working on a team blog for DAWN Europe today. The blog will be released in January and will cover missiology, church planting movements and significant resources, events, etc. Should be good. It will be called EarlyAtDawn.

Earlyatdawn4

Not sure if i will use this graphic or not. Is it too cheesy?


The Probabilist Age

Chris Anderson of The Long Tail Blog has a good post on The Probalist Age and the Wikipedia vs Britannica debate. Chris has also found a way to cheat Google - by using unpopular keywords on his ultra-lame Google Ad, he gets thousands of page impressions but because there are no click-throughs, he doesn't have to pay. Thats free advertising by having an unattractive ad. Pretty smart. Do Chris a favor - don't click on his Long Tail Blog ad or it will cost him O.40 cents a click.

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XFN for Social Networking

I am tired of joining silly social software systems and I don't want to answer any more dumb questions about myself. If the web is so smart, why are we always repeating ourselves? On the other hand, I am excited about the possibilities for social networking through the media I already maintain. Like my blog.

Give me some time and my blog will be Xfn-Btn.
XFN (XHTML Friends Network) seems to be a good system of adding meta tags to our existing links of friends or blogrolls. If I had the time, I could go through my lists of friends and add these tags. The XFN site shows how to add the code to our personal hyperlinks.

Even better - it appears that the impending release of WordPress 2.0 has in-built support for XFN. John Loppnow gives  "10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0" including:
6. Use WordPress for Social Networking -
There are probably a thousand social networking tools out there - many of which have plugins for WordPress available to them. Someof these are Flickr , del.icio.us or Digg. However, WordPress has built-in integration with such a tool in that allows search engines understand your relationships with other bloggers. It is called the XFN (XHTML Friends Network). XFN allows bloggers to establish links in their link manager (blogroll) as “friend”, “co-worker” or “crush” among others. It even allows you to designate whether you’ve physically met the person.

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Reading the Bible in 2006

I am getting an early start on reading the Bible through in 2006. I am embarrassed to say that I didn't stick to the plan in 2005 but instead meandered off and ended up reading and re-reading the passages I prefer and that support my greatest theories. Thats not always a good thing. I like it better when the Scriptures challenge my thinking and make me change my mind or think differently. That often happens when I find myself in Biblical territory that I don't normally wander into. And thats why a daily reading plan is essential.

Its also a really good idea to read the whole Bible through each year to gain a wider perspective and see patterns that you wouldn't see otherwise. When I first opened my heart to God as a teenager, I read 3-4 chapters of the Bible every day so that I could make it through the whole Bible every year. I never missed a single day for the first six years. After that, it has been more sporadic and adventuresome, although not as regular and disciplined. But I miss that regularity.

So 2006 is approaching and I have already started on the Bible reading plan - hoping to get a running start to the New Year. At the very top of my NewsReader box is the RSS feed for One Year Bible Blog. Since I use my NewsReader so much during the day, there is no way to avoid my Bible readings. And the good people at OneYearBibleBlog send out pictures and thoughts to accompany the readings so its a multi-media start to my day.
The feed is Atom or RSS but you should visit there and sign up for the email as well.

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Tagging Your Blogs Over The Break

Its a holiday break for your blog - and for you to get it sorted out - new design, tidied up (thats me), listed with search engines (like Jonny) and my big recommendation this season . . . to start tagging your posts and even go back through your blog and tag the important posts.

Can you imagine how much hassle it would have been for Noah to collect and count all the animals if Adam had not tagged them all in the first place? Adam was closer to the creative process than Noah in both time and location, so it makes sense that Adam was the Tagger and Noah the Aggregator.

Tagging your posts allows your data to be easily found by people who need it, and allows your posts to ride the long tail of the blogosphere. If you tag your posts well, people will be finding and reading them in years to come, even if they don't read them now.

I use Technorati tags for my posts. Its easy for me because my blog editor (Ecto) allows me to ascribe technorati tags before publishing. Today is the last day of their 20% off sale. Its totally worth buying! Trust me. Its 11 pounds or $US 17 and worth every penny or cent.
If you dont have a blog editor, Technorati tells you how to add tags manually to your posts.

- My photos are not tagged. I started off with Flickr almost a year ago but have lapsed. I just took a look and i have 47 new messages, most of them "New Contacts" I need to take Flickr more seriously. I will start using it again and tag my photos.
- I have also neglected Del.icio.us but hope to rectify that in the New Year.
- BlogFresh has more advice on tagging.

GeoTagging
I wish I had been geotagging my posts for the past 5 years - especially since i have blogged from so many countries. I have tried to add the country or city names to a few posts and images, but I about to add the right code with longitude and latitude (as well as attitude). Ravi says WordPress users can download a Geopress plug in that will work with Yahoo Maps geocoder.
UPDATE: I found a way to add geotags to my feed using FeedBurner
MakeZine tells you how to geotag your del.icio.us bookmarks.
Geourl.org will help you find your co-ordinates.

And for other ideas on sorting out your blog, Problogger Darren has some good ideas on how to use this quiet patch:
" 1. Some take advantage of the quiet news patch and low traffic and go on vacation
2. Others use the next few weeks to do redesigns
3. Experience bloggers often use the end of the year to do reviews, look at stats and set direction and goals for the year ahead
4. Quite a few bloggers use the time to launch new blogs
5. Some bloggers use this time to start up other projects like writing books, recording podcasts etc
6. Others use the time to write posts and series that they’ll use later in the year
7. A few bloggers I know spend January going through their current blogs with a fine tooth comb to do SEO, delete dead links and basically get everything in ship shape order"

Now . . . how shall i tag this post?

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Christmas Day

Its here. Christmas Day. Last night we went to the carol service at Stromness Baptist Church. Today we are cooking and hanging out and seeing friends. I am cooking a wicked free range Goose that grew up just over the hill from us. Stuffed with a chestnut/cranberry/bacon/mushroom stuffing and awaiting a 2001 Babich Pinot Noir - from the same vineyard in New Zealand that my dad used to buy his flagons of Golden Sherry from. Nice to have a touch of home on Christmas.

- Big present this year was a Tanglewood Rebel bass guitar and Marshall amp for kids who all want to learn to play bass. Got it used but really good condition.

- Called my Mum - she is well and the sisters in Australia all had a good Christmas with their families. We miss our families back home -in USA and Australia. But thats the price we pay for our adventure with God.

Anyway, have a good Christmas everyone.


Our Post-Reformation Christmas

Our kids are off school now and working on the celebrations for our Christmas day - our second Christmas in Scotland.

Christmas was squashed by the Reformers in Scotland about 400 years ago because it was too Catholic (read this) and its taken a long time for it to recover. As recently as the 1960's, workers in Scotland were given Christmas day off to celebrate with their families. And there are still reformers who are reminding us of the possible pagan connection to Christmas.

I guess we are having a Post-Reformation Christmas. Not out of rebellion against John Knox or the Reformed folk. We need to exegete our culture just like they did, and figure out ways to make celebration of Christ more public. And Christmas for us is a way to celebrate that.

Anyway . .  a merry start to the CHRISTmas weekend to you all.