Mon 21 May 2007
The last couple of days were nonstop so I didn’t get a chance to post on the rest of the Dynamic Church conference until now. Curtis Simmons kicked off the second day with a keynote address on where they are going with Fellowship One. The roadmap definitely looks exciting and I pray that God guides and leads them as they decide what has priority. Curtis mentioned the upcoming release of a Digg style site where Fellowship One users can submit and vote on what features they want.
Next up was Terry Storch, who introduced some of the out of the box ideas that he is a part of at LifeChurch.tv. They are using everything from Second Life to set-top boxes to “maximize reach” on the Internet. See posts by Terry, Jeff and Eric for more details.
Staying on the techie track, I headed over to Nick Floyd’s session on “Consuming DataExchange: Platform and Language Independent.” To give us a picture of what can be done with DataExchange, Nick setup a demo where he simulated a scenario between a volunteer on the greeting ministry and a first time visitor. He used his mobile phone to capture the contact info and push it back to Fellowship One. Nick wrote up all the details on how he made it happen here. Nick explained that DataExchange is Fellowship One’s XML-RPC API. He also, explained that they support versioning, so that if we write an application and they make an update it won’t break, they will always support previous versions. We are hoping to use DataExchange to provide a customized user experience on our next release of stmarkdc.org.
For the afternoon I took leave of the technology track and bounced into a session on “Check 21 and the Local Church” by Curtis Simmons. The session was informative, explaining the difference between Check 21 and ARC and how Fellowship One hopes to provide support for both in a single, integrated solution. I am sure our finance department will love the new tech.
Curtis Harris highlighted a few of the upcoming features on the roadmap, two things caught my attention. First, the availability of attributes via DataExchange, this would allow us to store and access any kind of user data and connect our website or any other application to it. Second, the release of a web site content management system (cms). A web site cms that is already integrated with Fellowship One is a great feature that will allow churches to establish a dynamic online presence quickly.
John and I hung out with my cousin Christine Eskander and her husband Mina for the evening. They are volunteers at Saint Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Coleyville, Texas. We spend the evening talking about technology and service. The Wednesday night service at their church has taken off and they mentioned that His Grace Bishop Youssef will be starting a series soon. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth checking out – hopefully we will be able to watch online as well.
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