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WEB EVANGELISM BULLETIN

. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 132 ~ April 06
Twice a month ISSN 471-0323

News this time...

INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY 7 MAY
LAUSANNE WORLD PULSE LOOKS AT WEB EVANGELISM
POPULAR CULTURE - LOOKING AT 'LOST'
COMMUNICATING WELL
WEB USABILITY
SEARCH ENGINES
THE WEB AND TV
DA VINCI CODE
REJESUS REACHES OUT IN UK
TIPS
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
ONLINE DANGERS
COMPETITION FOR VIDEO ANIMATIONS
CHURCH LIFE AND OUTREACH
TAILEND

"Some people can't find Jesus in the same way that a thief can't find a policeman"

"There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person" - G. K. Chesterton


INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY 7 MAY

If you are planning an IE Day focus for your church on 7 May, or later in the year, here are all the downloads, tips and ideas:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/planning.php

We have now added a further 5-minute video clip and testimony about Kevin and his wife Cathy (thanks to TruthMedia.com) giving a choice of three videos to download and project within an IE Day presentation (or in any other context):
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/kevin.php

Please, even if you have no time for a longer presentation, at least add a short paragraph to your church announcement sheet on 7 May:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/shortannouncement.php

and consider using printed handouts too:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/internethandout.doc
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/internethandoutrtf.rtf

There is a live TV interview with IE Day team member Debra Brown on 1 May (1100am US Mountain Time, 1700 GMT, 1800 UK time) which is available in Canada and northern side of USA by TV, and you can also access online anywhere in the world:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/newsletter.php#tv

And a shorter MP3 interview from HCJB Australia with Doris Beck, on web evangelism and email mentoring:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/evangelists3.php


LAUSANNE WORLD PULSE LOOKS AT WEB EVANGELISM

The April issue of this free online magazine features a wide range of significant articles on web evangelism. You can print out the whole issue in PDF format:
http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/04-2006


POPULAR CULTURE - LOOKING AT 'LOST'

Dave Buckna likes looking for spiritual parallels in popular culture. Read his LOST quiz:
http://www.ashleylangford.com/archives/2006/04/lost_quiz.html

He has also gathered together the following links:
New book - Unlocking the Meaning of Lost: An Unauthorized Guide (April 2006)
by Lynnette Porter and David Lavery
http://www.thelostworldbook.com/home.html
http://www.columbian.com/news/localNews/03262006news15848.cfm

COMMUNICATING WELL

PUTTING COLOR INTO LANGUAGE: One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read: "I am blind, please help."

A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.

He returned the sign to the blind man and left. That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.

The blind man recognized his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what he had written on it.

The publicist responded: "Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently." He smiled and went on his way.

The new sign read: "Today is Spring and I cannot see it."
[Source: http://www.mikeysFunnies.com ]


TRUST IS VITAL: In the secular SitePoint Tribune newsletter, a key to increasing secular sales is highlighted:
http://www.sitepoint.com/newsletter/viewissue.php?id=2&issue=340#5

Guess what it is? Trust. If the site seems trustworthy, people will be more likely to trust its information. The addition of a photo of the writer immediately boosted trust, because people can relate to the person behind the site.

This same concept is developed in 'Persuasive Technology' by Prof B J Fogg, where he analyses a number of factors that build to create 'site credibility'. In an evangelistic site, we absolutely need to create trust and credibility:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/books.php#persuasive


JOHN STOTT WRITES: "... what I believe to be one of the major tragedies in the Church today. Namely, that evangelicals are biblical, but not contemporary, while liberals are contemporary but not biblical, and almost nobody is building bridges and relating the biblical text to the modern context. In fact, authentic Christian preaching is a bridge-building operation. It is always struggling to relate God's ancient word to the ever-changing world of today. Our calling is to be faithful to the biblical text and sensitive to the modern context. We must never sacrifice either to the other.

... I have sometimes called this 'double listening'. Listening to the voice of God in Scripture, and listening to the voices of the modern world, with all their cries of anger, pain and despair."

Taken from his latest book 'Preach the Word', John Stott, Sovereign World ISBN 1852404434


WEB USABILITY

Web users don't look at your site the way you do! Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox comments:
"Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe."
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=2776

"Important roads in London are known as 'red routes' and Transport for London does everything in their power to make sure passenger journeys on these routes are completed as smoothly and quickly as possible. Define the red routes for your web site and you'll be able to identify and eliminate any usability obstacles on the key user journeys," says the latest UserFocus article:
http://www.userfocus.co.uk/articles/redroutes.html


SEARCH ENGINES

SEARCH GUY: Anyone who has been interested in search engine optimization, and maybe started on the topic ten years ago, will remember the name Danny Sullivan. Check his 10-year overview of search engine development and his comments on it:
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060417-130526

ARABIC AND EUROPE: a Saudi-German plan to launch a dedicated Arabic language search engine for the Web could revolutionize the moribund Arabic Internet market:
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/04/26/arabic.search.reut/index.html

The French would also like to break the hegemony of Google:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaero

Meanwhile, the new .eu domain is causing many companies worries:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9075-2073598.html

ZEAL.COM closes. For a short time, the Zeal Directory served as a back-door to gain entry into Looksmart. Looksmart had long powered the first 15 results at MSN. After the Microsoft partnership ended, Looksmart and Zeal quickly deflated in importance and have not recovered. Zeal sadly closed last month, despite having a remarkably efficient system of volunteers ('Zealots') maintaining its categories. Directories have ceased to have much value unless they are specialist listings. DMoz seems dead in the water, and it is virtually impossible to get listed in it. After all, when was the last time you used a directory to search for anything?

BLOGS. Learn how to get more site visitors through search engines - for Wordpress and Movable Type:
http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=62055

META TAGS - use them in your webpages, especially Meta Descriptions:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b06april-metatags


THE WEB AND TV

The long-predicted convergence of the Web and TV is finally becoming practical, as more people are connected to ever-faster broadband connections. In a Christian context, this opens up interesting possibilities. Up till now, Christian TV has in most countries needed a satellite connection, and a very considerable budget. The result has tended to be programming primarily for Christians, often very sermon-based, with frequent appeals for finance. Not really the best way to communicate with non-Christians.

But now, streamed TV can be offered on a worldwide basis, at costs far lower than the satellite model:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5-2135185.html


DA VINCI CODE

For once, we seem quite well-prepared! There are many websites, articles and books, either written to help Christians rebut the Da Vinci fiction, or directly targeting non-Christians. Indeed, there are so many, it is hard to choose!

TruthMedia have launched a blog-style Da Vinci resource, targeting non-Christians, where people can comment and ask questions:
http://davinci.thelife.com/

Lifeway offera a sermon to equip Christians, with PowerPoint:
http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0%2C1703%2CA%3D162391&M%3D200272%2C00.html


REJESUS REACHES OUT IN UK

The ReJesus inquirers site is frequently used as a follow-on link by other groups based in UK. For instance, it has been the website link given on large numbers of PASSION and NARNIA film leaflets distributed in the last two years. Being based in UK, it is also well-placed to link inquirers with individual churches. Check the many subject areas on offer, including Da Vinci, and the new BLUFFER'S GUIDE TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY with podcasts:
http://rejesus.co.uk/the_story/bluffers_guide/

If you are running an Internet Evangelism Day presentation in your church and looking for a UK-based ministry to focus on, consider ReJesus:
http://rejesus.co.uk/


TIPS

- non-techies look away now!

JAVASCRIPT Anthology book - get the first 4 chapters as a PDF taster:
http://www.sitepoint.com/books/jsant1/

YAHOO offer their web design pattern library for public consumption. The library currently covers some common problems (e.g. bread crumbs, pagination) and Yahoo's solutions to these problems. This can be a handy resource for making design decisions. Yahoo also provides access to their UI Library for implementing the solutions they recommend.
http://developer.yahoo.net/ypatterns/
http://developer.yahoo.net/yui/

READY-MADE page headers:
http://www.freewebpageheaders.com/

DETAILED WHOIS. Not just another Who Is domain look up - gives you detailed information on any domain, including search for expired ones:
http://www.whois.sc/

FLYOUT CSS MENUS: here's a nice pure CSS menu. It's quite similar to the Adx Menu we use on the Internet Evangelism Day site, but has a delay feature you may like. It even has a float/lock menu feature - which is rock solid in Firefox, but inevitably wobbly in IE:
http://www.twinhelix.com/dhtml/divscroll/
If you absolutely need to have a 'tree' menu, they always need javascript - look at these:
http://www.treeview.net/treemenu/demos.asp
http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~heng/JSCookTree/index.html

FIREFOX: If you look at bookmarks properties (right-click a bookmark), you will see a 'keyword' box. Enter in this a memorable keyword. Then you can just type that keyword in the address bar to obtain the site, rather than searching through your bookmarks.

LAYOUTS - helpful collection of layouts to study if you are trying to use CSS divs for basic 3-column design:
http://blog.html.it/layoutgala/

WEB DESIGN FROM SCRATCH. Helpful articles, especially if you are relativey new to web design:
http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/

CSS - getting positioning right:
http://www.positioniseverything.net/
see also CSS discussion list:
http://www.css-discuss.org/

DNS Cache Poisoning & Hijacking:
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060411-085559


THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

What can empty-nest baby-boomers do next? Is it time to take life easy? More hobbies and travel? Bill Dahl found God had a rather more challenging lifestyle for him and his wife:
http://theporpoisedivinglife.com/porpoise-diving-life.asp?pageID=105

Water purification using the sun alone:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4786216.stm


ONLINE DANGERS

TechMission have developed their SafeFamilies resources which include advice for both families and pastors. This material has been presented in a day seminar by TechMission, and you can also use it to replicate such a seminar in your own church or ministry:
http://safefamilies.techmission.org/


COMPETITION FOR VIDEO ANIMATIONS

COMIX35 is THE training resource for cartoon and visual communication of the Gospel. They are offering an "Animations for Mobile Devices Competition" which is an off-shoot of their very successful International Christian Comics Competition held last year.

The competition will be open to all Christian animators worldwide. They'll compete for a prize by submitting an original animation of 60 seconds max, with original accompanying music, which contains a gentle evangelistic message (or somehow encourages the viewer to consider positively the Christian faith) in a funny,informative, entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking and/or unique way. The animation must be appealing to other members of the worldwide "mobile device culture" with a leave-behind message that makes the viewer want to pass it on:
http://comix35.gospelcom.net/


CHURCH LIFE AND OUTREACH

THE 5-SECOND GOSPEL: Church roadside board offers spiritual advice in tiny bites:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b06april-churchboard

POSTCARDS: Church marketing expert believes postcards helpful in reaching the unchurched:
http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=9254

BOOK SUMMARIES. This free service summarizes key books with a Christian worldview. Subscribing to this service may save you time and introduce you to top thinkers in the Christian community:
http://www.christianbooksummaries.com/

UK's Information Service for World Mission - OSCAR - just got better. With a new design of website, easier navigation, and new subject areas, this is one to bookmark:
http://www.oscar.org.uk/

CHURCH MICROPORTALS FOR UK: if you are a UK church, or indeed any UK organization or individual, you can sign up for a ready-made community portal site from 2DAY. A whole range of ready-made resource links are automatically included, tied to your own geographical location. Then with content management, you can add your own materials, and optionally draw down local material from other WS sites in your area too. A unique and sophisticated system:
http://www.2day.ws/

CHURCH WEBSITE BLOG: OurChurch.com produce an informative blog of tips for church websites. It's worth subscribing to:
http://blog.ourchurch.com/


TAILEND ô¿ô

When I arrived home, I discovered my roommate, Heather, quite shaken. She had stapled an electric cord under the cabinet, with the cord plugged in, and had received quite a shock. I told her that her story was about as dangerous a stunt as any I had heard, except for that day's report on the radio about a woman who had put a bag of garbage on her stove so the cat wouldn't get at it, and the bag had caught fire. Heather was silent but had a strange look on her face. "That was my sister," she said.
[Source: Clean Hewmor clean-hewmor-subscribe@welovegod.org ]

There are two keys to effective humor:
1) Leave them wanting more

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