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WEB EVANGELISM BULLETIN

. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 131 ~ March (ii) 06
Twice a month ISSN 471-0323

News this time...

INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY - GONE ALL DIAGONAL
DOUGLAS YEO - 10 YEARS OF ONLINE MINISTRY
MIDDLE EAST: INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES BEAR FRUIT
SEARCH ENGINE NEWS
LEARNING ENGLISH AND EASY ENGLISH
CHURCH SITES
DA VINCI CODE - BE READY TO USE IT
TIPS
LINK TO AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CHANG
THE PASSION FILM AND EASTER STORY
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
BOOK REVIEW
FEEDBACK ON THE TECHVANGELISM CONFERENCE
CHILDREN AND TEENS
MEETING SPECIAL NEEDS
TAILEND

"Nobody believes the official spokesman, but everybody trusts an unidentified source" - Ron Nesen

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love" - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


INTERNET EVANGELISM DAY - GONE ALL DIAGONAL

Thank you to everyone who distributed the news releases or made links to the IE Day site.

Here's a new opportunity to make it known - diagonal corner banners. With grateful acknowledgement to MakePovertyHistory.org, we've adapted the concept so that any site can add an eye-catching corner banner in any corner of a web-page, or the corner of any suitable page element if preferred.

It is very easy, and just needs the copy/pasting of a small block of Javascript. Please, if you have a site which targets Christians, consider adding a banner for the next two months:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/banner-linking.php

And we need a spare-time publicist for IE Day. Could this be you?
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/publicist-needed.php


DOUGLAS YEO - 10 YEARS OF ONLINE MINISTRY

Douglas Yeo was an early pioneer of 'bridge strategy' sites. Starting ten years ago, with the assistance of Campus Crusade's new web team, he created a site built around his professional interest and gifting - classical bass trombone. He wished to give support and encouragement to music students and others considering an orchestral career - but all expressed through his own Christian worldview. Over the ten years, he has replied personally to 100,000 emails. This is on top of his professional engagements and family commitments! He writes:
"My website celebrated its 10th birthday on February 12 and in celebration of that milestone, I have added a new page to my website which details the history of my site, how and why it was launched and the people behind it."
http://www.yeodoug.com/home/text/yeodoug_history.html


MIDDLE EAST: INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES BEAR FRUIT

Christian web sites in the Middle East are receiving nearly nine million hits per month, according to the Strategic Resource Group (SRG). One Christian organization that hosts chat rooms for Arabic-speaking web users estimates that more than 42,000 people visit those sites every day.

More than 2,000 Bibles in the Arabic language are being downloaded from the Internet each month, according to Paul Schultheis, SRG founder. One organization reports that 20 people per month are
converting to Christianity as a result of learning about the Christian faith on these sites.

Although some governments attempt to block these web sites, generally the Internet knows no borders. More than half of the population in the Middle East is 25 years old or under. Many young people own computers or have access to computers at Internet cafes, schools, or through friends.

The Internet provides anonymity and privacy for anyone searching for answers to life's most important questions, including one's spiritual destiny. This technology has connected people together through email groups, networks, blogs, and chat rooms. Consequently, people are becoming “ideological soulmates” on-line, according to a recent Washington Post article. Christian organizations are seizing the Internet opportunity to create communities of people who can openly talk about faith issues in a safe environment.

Full story: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s06020031.htm
Strategic Resource Group: http://www.srginc.org/


SEARCH ENGINE NEWS

PODCASTING - is comparatively new, though there are already numerous podcast search engines and it's important to optimize your audio files if you want listeners to find your spoken content: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3590246

TECHNORATI FAVORITES: If you have a blog, you can add a 'click to add to favorites' button (in a similar way to Delici.ious central sharing of bookmarks:
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060223-091634

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: Four vital steps for optimizing your website:
http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2006/mar/1prt.html


LEARNING ENGLISH AND EASY ENGLISH

'English Language School' looks to be a good overall secular resource on learning English:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b06march-languageschool

The Easy-English.info team continue with an excellent program of producing downloadable easy-English scriptures and commentaries for use in the non-western world. These include simple translations of the books of the Bible (1200 word vocabulary), plus Bible Commentaries (2800 word vocabulary), Bible Studies, and other good things. Latest available is Galatians:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b06march-easyenglish

And the easy-English evangelistic SOON paper is available free in any reasonable quantity. See online PDF samples - also in African French, African Portuguese, Swahili and Fulani:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/resources/free-papers.php
Gospelcom's Bible Gateway includes a huge range of online Bibles in different languages, including the easy-English version 'WE' New Testament:
http://bible.gospelcom.net/


CHURCH SITES

What is the purpose of a church site? What should be its priorities? Read this very significant discussion, conducted with generosity of spirit, between Frank Johnson of StrategicDigitalOutreach.com and Paul Steinbrueck of OurChurch.Com:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b06march-churchsites


DA VINCI CODE - BE READY TO USE IT

"With this May's release of the movie version of The Da Vinci Code, our churches will have a potentially unprecedented opportunity to answer questions about Jesus from spiritual seekers in our communities. If you haven't begun to consider your church's response to the movie, these ideas will help you get started," says Lee Strobel:
http://www.pastors.com/rwmt/default.asp?id=249&artid=9211&expand=1

Da Vinci Code training: Learn how your church can join a nationwide outreach telecast on The Da Vinci Code with Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg, and Erwin Lutzer. The telecast is scheduled for May 21:
http://www.ccn.tv/programming/event/evt_21may06.htm


TIPS

- non-techies look away from screen now

BIRTHDAY ALARMS - get email alerts before friends'/relatives' birthdays:
http://www.birthdayalarm.com

CASSETTE TO MP3 - record, or convert tape records, to MP3 with no-pay Audacity program:
http://audacity.sf.net/

ONLINE IMAGE VERIFICATION - ensure form submitters are real people; how to create a simplified image verification system:
http://www.phpbuilder.com/columns/patterson20060301.php3

Web Page Creator from Google: Want to create your own web page, but don't know how to begin? The new Google Page Creator is a simple,tool that allows you to build a site. Knowing Google's expert abilities, this may turn out to be a winner:
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3586916

BLOG ANALYITICS: Google has purchased an analytics service for bloggers called Measure Map:
http://www.adaptivepath.com/team/news/2006_02.php#000578

CSS: See a CSS site develop before your eyes: step by logical explained step:
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/livedesign/


LINK TO AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CHANG

Eric from HCJB radio write, "If any bridge website or ministry can use this interview, please feel free to copy the links. We were fortunate enough to interview tennis great Michael Chang. At one time he was ranked number 2 in all the world. A Chinese ministry told me how popular he is in Asia and that he would be a great guest. Well, our interview is now featured on his webpage. He clearly talks about his faith and our email address is given 3 times for people wanting to know more about Jesus (also, our mailing address and website). I pray that non-Christians will go to his site and find the Lord! This is the 'bridge strategy' working to perfection!"
http://www.mchang.com/latestnews.html

You are encouraged to link directly to the audio file of this interview, which is hosted by HCJB.


THE PASSION FILM AND EASTER STORY

CCCI's site PassionofChrist is an all-year resource, but is particularly significant in the run-up to Easter, as people are reminded of the story in different ways. To date, this multi-language site has had 400,000 visitors.

Use it as a resource - link to it, or share it by email with inquirers:
http://www.PassionofChrist.com/


THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

ONLINE USAGE: Pew Internet says more Americans are going online purely for fun:
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/175/report_display.asp

Meanwhile in the UK, TV ratings for both the public service and commercial channels are falling, as more Brits get their entertainment online.

CHRISTIAN HISTORY: The Christian History Institute produce a short weekly email focusing on a noted Christian from the past. They say: "We find Christian history inspiring. We hope you will, too, Refresh your week with morsels of courage, faith, hope, love and humor."
http://chi.gospelcom.net/guestbooks/form_chinotes.shtml

VIRTUAL TOURIST - learn from this Wiki-like site written by volunteer members to help each other's travel plans:
http://www.virtualtourist.com/

VIRTUAL JIHAD: Denial of Service and other cyber-attacks on websites are on the increase:
http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,62505,00.asp


BOOK REVIEW

N@ked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk With Customers
Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, Wiley 2006

"I've written a brief book review and posted it on the e-vangelism blog. Thought you and your readers might be interested," writes web evangelism commentator Andrew Careaga. "Many of the principles apply to churches or individuals wishing to use weblogs as a means to share their faith online."
http://www.e-vangelism.com/2006/03/book-review-naked-conversations.html


FEEDBACK ON THE TECHVANGELISM CONFERENCE

Frank Johnson shares his experience of the 18 March California conference:
http://www.strategicdigitaloutreach.com/

More conferences information:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/events.php


CHILDREN AND TEENS

In countries where religious assemblies are permitted in schools, there is potential for Christians to provide what may be the only Christian teaching the children will hear. UK-based Damaris are launching new material for primary (ie age 5-11) schools:
http://www.assembliesonline.com/
http://www.damaris.org/

The Spiritual Problem With Teens: They're Following U:
http://www.crosswalkmail.com/dwwgwwz_nzdpnob.html

Disturbing research shows what avowedly Christian teens in USA don't actually believe. And this in a country with more Christian radio, TV, books, trained pastors and youth leaders, than any other:
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religiontoday/1378663.html


MEETING SPECIAL NEEDS

"Does this link stimulate ideas for evangelistic sites?" writes web evangelist Lois:
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5048937.html

What she is suggesting is an outreach site for people with learning difficulties. Since they are adults, they do not want children's material. Pages written in easy English for second-language users are not quite what they need either, since these pages will still probably address complex issues.

What might a site for people with learning difficulties look like? I guess a design brief might look something like this:
- restricted vocubulary
- easy concepts but non-patronising
- easy clear navigation, with large visual clues, and maybe audio instructions on mouseover of page elements
- short pages
- large font size
- plenty of pictures
- use of audio, video clips, music
- could include help with life/health issues

I have never found anything like this in either Christian publishing or secular web media. Could this work? Join the CWM forum and add your feedback. (Or just write to me!)
http://www.christian-web-masters.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9468


TAILEND ô¿ô

Here's an unusual take on a 'blonde joke' - by a blonde - and a Christian. (Don't shoot the messenger, please.) It will take you a little time to get it:
http://everydaymusings.blogspot.com/2006/01/its-blonde-joke.html
I wonder if this methodology might work in some sort of evangelistic blog context?

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