June 30, 2005

Test podcast

I'm using Feedburner to take a Blogger blog and turn it into a podcast feed.

The Appian Way podcast feed is simply the Feedburner feed of The Appian Way blog. When you enable the "SmartCast™" option, Feedburner finds any MP3 or other attachment and surrounds it with an enclosure tag. Right now it's finding the MP3 from Dave Winer's podcast and the PDF in the post on Blogs and power laws. iTunes will actually download all of these, including the PDF. Interesting.

For a more traditional podcast, take a look at the Living Water podcast feed. It has sermon MP3s served from an ordinary web server over HTTP. It's based on an LWCC podcast blog I created.

To use the feeds, the best "podcatcher" options are:
1. Download iTunes 4.9 and subscribe via a pick on the Advanced menu.
2. Download iPodder 2.1.

June 27, 2005

Google video service - can we use it for sermons?

Check out this FAQ regarding the Google video service. They let people upload videos to their servers. Searchers can then find the videos and play them in the browser.

Could we use it for sermons? Resurrection currently doesn't meet their "preferred video specs". (They want MPEG4 video with MP3 audio. We use Windows Media Video. They want a minimum of 260 Kb/s. We're doing 185 Kb/s.) That would probably be the only strike against us. Otherwise, I don't know why they wouldn't accept video from Resurrection.

Will the fact that this is free impact Playstream (our streaming video provider) and other content delivery networks like Akamai?

People under 30 listen to podcasts

A little blurb in the May 24 issue of PC Magazine reports that 50% of people in the 18-28 age group have downloaded at least one podcast (compared to 20% of people 29 and above). This according to the Pew Internet Project, April 2005.

June 25, 2005

Microsoft video detailing their RSS announcement, includes demos

This video is one hour long, but very interesting. Scoble with his digital video camera in the office with various Microsoft folks. Gives a good idea of Microsoft culture, explains their thinking on RSS, and demos how it can go way beyond podcasts.

If you can't afford an hour, Scoble has full coverage on his blog here and here.

Channel 9

"5 guys from Microsoft" who are actually doing and/or trying to do all these Web 2.0 technologies and Cluetrain Manifesto ideas. They're well funded, passionate, and on the leading edge. We can learn from them.

June 23, 2005

Big news on RSS coming from Microsoft tomorrow

Dave Winer gives a preview of tomorrow's announcement by Micrsoft.

Also, did anyone else notice how prominently RSS was featured on Microsoft's home page a couple of days ago? Looks like they're changing their lead story frequently, so it's gone now.

June 20, 2005

Web 2.0 explained

Informative podcast of a previous Public Radio broadcast with a panel of experts explaining the idea of Web 2.0. Chris Lydon moderates.

Dave Winer repeats some of the things he said in his podcast I previously linked.

David Weinberger and Doc Searls, two of the co-authors of the Clue Train Manifesto, add their points of view.

June 19, 2005

Dave Winer on RSS and related innovations

Listen to this 25-min podcast by Dave Winer, one of the Internet's great innovators and strategic thinkers. It puts the innovations of RSS and podcasting into a strategic framework. I know it's 25 minutes, but it is a good use of your time.

More podcasting stats


This is an amazing tool for search engine optimization and site optimization in general.

Colossal failure

Here’s the ultimate epilog to a story of colossal IT project failure that made headlines in the national popular press 10 years ago - the ill-fated baggage system at Denver International Airport. It’s a good reminder of why it’s best to keep IT projects small, to deploy as soon as possible in order to start getting a return, and to make incremental improvements from there.

June 18, 2005

Blogs and power laws

A couple of years ago Jason Kottke shared insight into how power law distributions relate to the web.

Quoting from the post: "Many systems and phenomena are distributed according to a power law distribution. A power law applies to a system when large is rare and small is common. The distribution of individual wealth is a good example of this: there are a very few rich men and lots & lots of poor folks. It's been shown that the distribution of links on the web scales according to a power law, so it comes as no surprise that the distribution of links to weblogs does as well."

Leo said something interesting the other day: "the web is fractal in that it has a similar level of complexity at all scales" (or something like that - Leo feel free to correct the quote). This power law thing seems like it might work at any scale. The web as a whole follows a power law. The blogoshpere follows it. Does an individual site follow it (http://www.cor.org/ or www.umc.org)? What about a section of a site (www.cor.org/missions or web.umc.org)? I'm thinking it does.

If that's the case, what does this tell us about site design? Well, obviously, the most important stuff must be on the highest-traffic pages. Traffic falls off rapidly from the top (root) page of a tree of pages to the bottom (leaf) pages.

June 16, 2005

Bridge Strategy

Alex Yefetov says we should be building content on our site that relates to the most searched terms on the web, such as: sex, love, dating, health, and career.

Alex lays out the foundation of this approach:
Bridge Strategy part 2

June 15, 2005


Kerry Woo has some interesting stats about podcasting sermons.

June 13, 2005

Assorted: Blogs, RSS, TYPO3, Mimir, Jabber, WordPress,

(I'm still thinking hard about Blogs vs. Discussion Forums - - which paradigm best lends itself to group communication. Slezak and I had a long discussion about a postulated RSS-enabled Forum - - )

(This list of links looks kind of looks like a manually assembled RSS feed!! Cool!!)

Webmasterworld.com - "I'm working right now on an RSS-extension for Typo3"

Wordpress vs. TYPO3

Drupal: open source content management platform; equipped with a powerful blend of features, Drupal can support a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites. Includes review of Drupal as Group Blogging software

"Whole Life" Blog
for developer of a Christian school in Manila: "I have discovered the engine that will drive the next incarnation of www.faith.edu.ph; The thing that I am really impressed by is the Christian zeal of the developer. - - .whole life is proudly powered by WordPress, Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

TYPO3 Comment - "My initial excitement over TYPO3 has given way to a huge dose of reality"; "...the glaring one. TYPO3 uses tables for layout instead of adhering to current web design standards." "Eventually, an open source solution will deliver a full-featured CMS with standards compliant code. At least one is almost there and another may have arrived already."

Is this a group blog? http://www.43things.com/things/view/11775

http://ralphm.net/blog/2004/04 - "Herb (is) busy working on an RSS component for the TYPO3 Content Management System...I am told that TYPO3 is a great, powerful, Open Source CMS. Herb's plan is to hook up TYPO3 up to Jabber, using pubsub to publish items to interested parties." using Mimir - - a Jabber enabled news service -

Jabber ---> "the Linux of instant messaging"; an open, secure, ad-free alternative to consumer IM services; Under the hood, Jabber is a set of streaming XML protocols and technologies that enable any two entities on the Internet to exchange messages

Linked In

Linked In is another piece of social networking software. Some people I know are using this, including Ruv and Terry Chapman, the IT Director at Fellowship Church.

June 12, 2005

What is all this stuff

So to respond to the question Clif posed, a group blog I think is qualitatively different from a discussion board. While the two have similarities, the discussion board is primarily a free exchange of ideas with no clear guide. A blog of any sort is guided by an "expert" or set of "experts" who have control over the agenda and direction of the postings. The audience votes with their attendance as to whether or not its interesting but thats the only way they have influence over the content of the blog. Blogs are great for opinion leaders, networkers, and folks who like to tell other folks about cool stuff they know. In other words its good for us "know-it-alls". Second, I would suggest, the quasi journalistic nature of blogs have a cultural penetration that discussion boards do not. It wasnt a discussion board that brought CBS news to its knees and ended the career of a long term "Distinguished" Journalist. Blogs give voice to individuals and teams of individuals. They are a platform for information and persuasion more akin to journalism than discussion.

Alumni and the Facebook

So I've been thinking. I am a member of my Seminary's Alumni and I am passionate about telling people about how great my experience was there. In reality, though, I don’t interact much with the Alumni association because, well frankly what’s in it for me. Now I know that is crass and there should be an altruistic reason for me to regularly go to their website and read about what is happening but I just don’t. Its not because I don’t care, it’s just because I don’t think about it. I was thinking the other day, what if there was something in it for me. What if they maintained something like the www.thefacebook.com or www.classmates.com that allowed me to stay connected not only with the seminary in a linear one to one way, but with my friends who are scattered all over the Planet (Literally). Now that would be cool. I would be at the site regularly, and along the way I would read more, refer more people, and potentially give more. That is the power of what these social networking tools can do.


Chuck Russell sent me to Socialtext and asked my opinion. I'd like to hear from Leo who doesn't see how this is any different from web-based forum software we've had for years.

June 09, 2005

June 08, 2005

Current TYPO3 RSS Capabilities; XML History.Summary Document

Editor's note: Resurrection (COR) is using the TYPO3 content management system for its main web site: www.cor.org.


Summary of current RSS capability of TYPO3 follows; includes this link to history/comparison document about XML:

TYPO3 RSS extension is at:

Documentation at:

"The (current; TYPO3 3.5+) RSS newsfeed can be read by any RSS-compliant desktop tool or RSS parsers available in all web programming languages. ...It inserts a link to the actual RSS newsfeed page..."

* Exports RSS 0.91 and RSS 2.0 newsfeeds
* Embeds Auto-aggregation elements; feed-aggregators and modern browsers automatically detect the feed.
* Automatically takes care of RSS 0.91 restrictions like maximum number of elements and maximum sizes
* Fully customizeable trough typoscript template (example included)
* Feeds can be restricted to logged-in frontend users

Explain RSS somewhere on the site

Leo says:
simple front end explaining RSS and how to get it - we could model something like this for COR

Clif says:
Yeah, here's an example of a church-related site doing that

Using RSS on a Church Website

Neil Cox suggests some specific ways we should be using RSS right now

Web 2.0, RSS, and Blogging

Blogging is new for us. So follow along as our eyes are opened to Web 2.0, RSS, and Blogging. To get high-level survey of what is happening in this technology, check out the following.

"Web 2.0" Companies:
del.icio.us (get it? "delicious")

RSS readers:
www.newsgator.com - (I tried this a while back and decided it wasn't for me)

Blogging tools: