Visit my church’s new online campus

Fellowship Bible Church's Online Campus

We’re debuting our online campus at Fellowship Bible Church Sunday morning at 11 a.m. I’ve been working on the launch teamĀ on this since around September and will be one of the rotatingĀ hosts for the service.

Besides the video stream of the service there is also a chat feature to allow discussion of the message, a place to notes on the screen and the bible passage for the sermon.

If you’re not in church on Sunday mornings at 11 (central), you should stop in, check it out and say hi. I’ll be there.

Which browser do you use?

The latest browser usage reports have google’s Chrome browser being used by nearly one out of every 10 users online with Firefox gathering around a 23 percent market share and IE at 57 percent. When I first saw this report I wondered about regional variations in browser usage, but on second thought it really doesn’t matter because you want your sites to be useful by the majority of readers no matter what browser they prefer.

Even though I use Firefox on a daily basis, I always make sure I thoroughly test sites in IE because that’s the browser being used by the majority of our visitors. I normally don’t give our sites as thorough a viewing in Chrome and Safari as I do Firefox and IE and often times I just ignore Opera.

I have to admit that on personal sites I tend to ignore earlier versions of browser (like IE6). Even for a while a ran banner telling IE6 users to upgrade their browser.

Predictions for 2011 and beyond

As my first post of the new year, here’s my web, technology and communications predictions for 2011 and beyond. Don’t let me forget to check up next year and see how many I’ve gotten right.

Social Media
Twitter will stagnate and be recognized as a niche product. Twitter’s web traffic has plateued and can’t seem to grow. It’s management will start grasping for straws and reduce access for outside applications to their API. Facebook’s growth will slow, too (it has, too there aren’t that many people with Internet access left).

The mobile web growth will increase while app growth slows. Companies will realize it is much cheaper to customize their web site designs for mobile devices rather than code 3 or 4 seperate apps.

Online Content
We’ll see more and more niche sites pop-up and make it. The sites will have to be run on a shoe string, but they can survive that way (A few of those may even be paid content that work).

Tablets will continue to be huge for online content. Not for their apps, but their easy portability to access the web. iPads will continue to grow, but there will be a surge in cheaper linux based tablets.

End of the film era

I was an early adopter of digital photography using a Sony digital camera that saved photos to a 3.5″ floppy disk. It had bad color and horrible resolution, but it was fast and allowed me to get photos on the web and TV faster than developing film.

Although I’ve pretty much used digital cameras since then and even pushed for the elimination of darkrooms, it makes me sad to see Kodachrome film processing going away with the New York Times reporting photographers scrambling to have their images developed before the end of the year. With even “a railroad worker who had driven from Arkansas to pick up 1,580 rolls of film that he had just paid $15,798 to develop.”

How usable is your electronic ballot?

Are the buttons too big? Is the type too small? Should it be bolded? Is there enough contrast in the color? Is it high enough resolution?

As I waited in line to early vote yesterday and watched voters punch at the touchscreen, bend over to get a closer look at the screen and raise their hands to require assistance I wondered how much usability testing our electronic voting system in Arkansas has undergone? This is the 2nd time I’ve voted using an electronic ballot so it has at least had some real world testing, but from just casually observing the 10 people voting in front of me in line there were some definite issues.

In general, I didn’t have any problems voting completing my ballot in under five minutes, but a couple of citizens stayed at their voting station the entire 20 minutes I was in the early voting site. In general if the voter was under 45-50, it didn’t seem they had any problems with voting, but voters that looked over 50 had a few issues and then voters over 65 took a considerably longer amount of time to cast a ballot.

Most younger voters are probably more familiar with computers and touchscreens than older voters. Of course back when we voted with pencils most older voters were more familiar with pencils and paper than younger voters.

The election worker who set-up my ballot told me at least three times that he had numerous complaints that the party affiliation line under each candidate was too small and make sure that I read it (of course, he didn’t realize that I just ignore party affiliation when I vote).

From my perspective I thought the ballot was easy to read. It was apparent what race I was voting in, who the candidates for office were and their party affiliation. The touch screen was very responsive to my command. My ballot was four pages long which I felt was a little long, but it really didn’t take to long to fill it out. The only part that slightly confused me was how many times I had to press complete to let the machine know I was done– I think it was three.