Blog Reboot: How to Succeed at Everything (1 of 4)

I am a fan of technology. Technology can be used in a variety of ways that vary from mundane, productive, entertaining and more. I have recently started using an app that has made a tangible difference in my behavior in the real world. An app that is helping me make progress on things that I care about in my real life.

I recommend Lift to you.

Lift is an iPhone and Android app that “employs coaching, community, and data to help you be your best.” According to their website, it provides:

  • Coaching – Stay motivated with guidance, encouragement, and optional reminders.
  • Community – Learn from thousands of experts and users following similar goals.
  • Data – Lift makes it easy to track, analyze, and celebrate progress.

I joined the Better Blogging in 30 Days plan which has helped me begin to update this blog after a long time away. I use Lift for a variety of daily habits I want to maintain or start and commend it to you.

What tools do you use to make progress on those things about which you care the most?

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Online Memory of Life at 1000 Memories

Image representing 1000Memories as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

What is an appropriate way to remember someone online after they have died?

You find http://1000memories.com to be a useful tool to recommend to others. Here is a bit from their website:

1000Memories is a new way to remember the life of someone you love. We help you build a space to share photos, record stories, and memories with family and friends. Everyone knows a person in a different way and together, we can create a truly special place to remember a life. It’s absolutely 100% free to use and your memories will be stored here forever.

How do you feel about this?

Speedlinking – August 13, 2010

Online Spiritual Direction – Engage?

Last week at The Global Leadership Summit I heard about Engage, which is (from the vide0) “an online experience and guide to help you personally. Engage is like your personal spiritual coach.” From the promo text at the Summit – “A web-based church-wide people development system where spiritual formation, technology, and social media converge.” You can find more information at www.willowcreek.com/engage. Here is the promo video:

Isn’t this spiritual direction?

I will be happy to look at a product when it can be used in a local church.

Internet #FAIL at Resurrection Online

The past Sunday morning was not a great at Resurrection Online. First, here is a normal graph of connections from the evening service on June 13:

The blue line is the number of computers that are connected and the green is the estimated worship attendance. The black line at the bottom is the iPhone stream multiplied by 10 so that you can see it on the graph. Here is the graph from Sunday morning:

  1. The initial drop in traffic was the result of a loss of connection between the Resurrection Servers and the Wowza flash servers at Amazon sending out the Flash stream. iPhone stream was not affected, likely as it was on a different subdomain.
  2. Losing the video feed will cause people to reload the page which puts a heavy load on our web server. The deep spike is when the web server was rebooted as people were trying to reconnect.
  3. Uptake around 11:27 was from people seeking to reconnect. The Wowza flash servers were not able to maintain the traffic when people were seeking to reconnect so we did not sustain those who sought to get the connection.
  4. The main player was switched to the iPhone stream around 11:40 and the flash servers restarted.
  5. Restarting the flash servers regained their functionality.

Although the initial failure was out of our control, we are taking steps to mitigate the issue. Sending streams to two different Amazon availability zones with a primary and back up built in as well as continuing to explore other content delivery networks will hopefully move toward preventing this in the future. We have a catastrophic failure like this less than 2% of the time, however we can and need to do better than that.

Thanks to Ian’s quick work on Sunday morning to salvage those that were able to continue worshipping and the entire IT team for the amazing work they do to make Resurrection Online and all of Resurrection’s tech happen well.

Notes on “Virtual Religion in the 21st Century”

Several months ago, I received a copy of several articles that explore the intersection of religion and the internet. I want to record some of my notes on the articles and at the same time share them with you.

“Believe It or Not: Virtual Religion in the 21st Century” [PDF Link] by Susan E. George was published in 2005 in the International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction. In this article, George “explores the development of virtual religion and its impact on humanity” (63) through three main movements:

  • “First we consider the nature of religion and note that a social and communal expression is vital” (63).
  • “Second, we explore ways that technology is facilitating religious expression, noting it is both supporting conventional practice and enabling new” (63).
  • “Third, we move to consider technology in context, noting how it is ideally the application of science for the benefit of humanity, although many people have identified negatives of technology including its power to rob humanity of the essence of what it is to be human” (63).

These movements give an overview of the landscape of the internet and religion. I found particularly helpful the references to a ruling from the US Catholic bishops on The Sacraments via Electronic Communication. I will leave more discussion about the sacraments online to a future blog post. George leaves the reader with the question, “How can technology play a positive role in humanity” (70)?

How would you respond to this question?