So, it’s May 2nd. Where did the first four months of 2011 go already? I’ve been meaning to write a quick update on several topics for a while now, but we’ve been moving at a pretty quick pace and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. A conversation we had the other night has inspired me to let you know what’s going on over here. So here goes. First topic; the Webinars.
Where For Art Thou Webinar?
Many of you have had positive things to say about the webinars I’ve done with Dave Stagl and Jason Cole. Honestly, even if you didn’t like them, we’d still have done them because they are a ton of fun for the three of us. You’ve probably noticed we haven’t done one in a while. There are a few reasons for that. First, we’ve run out of topics that we think work well in that format. The other ideas we’ve bounced around all seem to benefit from some level of demonstration, or hands-on ability. Which brings us to the second challenge; technology. The last few have been really tough to pull together from a behind the scenes tech standpoint. Doing these on the cheap is tough, especially when the three of us are scattered across the country.
Rest assured, however, that we are working on some ideas. We don’t yet know exactly how it will play out, or what the format will be, but the three of us remain committed to helping other techs grow, learn and improve their craft. For the time being, we’re taking a break to figure out what those will look like. In the meantime, if you have topics you’d like us to discuss, leave a comment and we’ll take a look. It could be something we discuss on Church Tech Weekly, or develop in another forum. Either way, you haven’t seen the last of the three of us together...
What’s With The Ads?
You’ve probably noticed the ads on the right side of the page. Hopefully, you don’t think I’m selling out. I established this blog four years ago to be a resource for other church techs, and intend that to continue. The reasons for the ads are simple; I work at a church, I live in one of the most expensive areas of the country and I have two teenage daughters, one of whom goes to college in the fall. As I surveyed my financial landscape late last year, I realized I need to earn some additional income. I determined I could take a job at Starbucks or something, but that would take away time that I have to generate content for this site. And writing about what I love to do is really a joy for me, so I tried to find a way to monetize that. Somewhat surprisingly, it worked.
You shouldn’t have noticed any change in the content of the site since the ads appeared, and I don’t expect there to be one. My sponsors have no say in the editorial content of the posts, or the podcasts. You’ll also notice that those who are sponsoring me are companies that I’ve been promoting for years anyway. I personally chose each sponsor, and I’ve turned down a few who wanted to advertise. The way I see it is simple; if someone advertises on my site, I am endorsing them as a product or service worthy of your consideration. Unless I would make that recommendation to a friend, that company won’t be advertising on the site. It’s that simple.
So no matter who you see on that right sidebar, or anywhere else on the page, rest assured if they’re an advertiser of mine, I endorse the product. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the right choice for you, but it’s at least a product or service you can feel good about trying.
What’s Up With Broken Links?
Around mid-March, I started working on migrating the site from WordPress to SquareSpace. I found I was spending far too much time working on the backend of the site and not enough time writing. After a few weeks of testing, I determined SquareSpace would mostly fix that. Right around the beginning of April, I made the switch. You should have noticed a few things: First, the site should be loading a lot faster now. Second, some of the links to old posts are broken. That’s because the taxonomy of post names is totally different between SquareSpace and WordPress. If I were more adept at MySQL, I could have probably fixed it, but I’m not.
I will be going back through all the old posts at some point and re-linking everything that’s broken. In the meantime, if you find a broken link, please let me know in the Report Bugs tab and I’ll get it fixed.
In case you’re wondering, SquareSpace has been great. It’s much faster for me to get a post up now, which is what I wanted. It is more expensive, and I couldn’t justify it without a revenue model. But it is really nice. I also continue to recommend BlueHost as a great hosting company if you want to do a regular site, or host a WordPress blog.
So there you go—that’s what’s happening at Church Tech Arts. We have a lot of great ideas in the pipeline and will continue to bring the best content we can. If you have a topic you’d like me to tackle, please leave a comment! Thanks for reading.