Stumbled across Planning Center today ... wow, it's kinda like basecamp modified for service planning.
Planning Center is an online service planner that will revolutionize the way you plan your worship services. Your staff will become more organized and efficient while your volunteers become more connected and informed. Planning Center helps bring your whole team together.
It's elegant, easy, and web-based. You don't need to download, install, or configure anything (no IT department required!). All you need is a web browser and an internet connection.
A while back we had a couple brainstorming meetings with our Creative Arts Executive Pastor about what stuff he'd like to see in an online tool to help him and his team. Our aim was to develop something with Sharepoint ... and well, we still haven't gotten anything firmly together 'cause we just don't have the time to focus on Sharepoint.
After watching the demo/walk-through of Planning Center, there's no way we can make Sharepoint do the same things with such simplicity and elegance ... without dropping a TON of resources on custom development and even then you don't get that AJAX look and feel. I'm confident we could make something useful for our arts guys using Sharepoint, but who knows when we'll actually make that happen.
Planning Center is the brain-child of Jeff Berg, who recently resigned after 6 years as the Director of Creative Technologies at Southwest Community Church in Indian Wells, CA to fully devote his time to Planning Center. That certainly lends of a lot cred to this service vs. something written by an "outsider". According to Planning Center's website, Willow Creek and North Point use this product so it must be pretty slick right?
I'd love to hear if any of you are using Planning Center ... or any other worship service planning apps.
Registration is now open for our 2nd IT Roundtable @ Granger >>> GO register HERE
This WILL be promoted through our WiredChurches site along with the other workshops and forums held at GCC throughout the year. So, if you want to claim your spot, I recommend you register very soon before promo pieces start going out to the masses.
If you left a comment in a prior post asking to be notified when registration opens ... sorry, I can't figure out how to fetch your email addresses from the comments ... grrrr
For now I've set a cap at 25, but may lift that depending on which room we end up with No registration cap. Price is set at $39 for early bird and $49 thereafter. Times are 9am-4pm, but we'll talk about doing something the evening before and the evening of ... like last year. Sponsors to cover pre/post-event food and/or door prizes are welcome ... especially if you're already on-site for the Innovate Conference :-)
Speaking of the Innovate Conference ... I'm officially on the conference breakout schedule ...
IT Best Practices. Walk away with some clear strategies you can put in place to keep your technology tools working for you, rather than overwhelming you.
Hmm, out of some 1000+ people ... how many will actually wanna come to hear about IT?
I didn't post a reminder for last Thursday's (June 21st) Church IT Podcast ... it was an experiment to see if people were relying on the reminders I post ... and based on Thursday's very low number of callers ... most of you need reminders :-)
I strongly recommend you take a moment right now ... fire up your calendar of choice and set a reoccurring appointment for EVERY FIRST and THIRD Thursday of each month at 2pm Eastern. Set aside an hour and a half ... as we always go over an hour ... especially if you hang around on the phone after the recording has stopped.
Topics discussed in Episode 10
- Much discussion surrounding all things passwords - IT staff can see everything on the network! How do you communicate that to users/management? Should you? - VPN discussion ... SSL Explorer is free - Handling Admin passwords ... Andrew Mitry gives us a demo of his on-hold music :-) - What event log ID's do you monitor? What's a good tool to do so? Chris loves WhatsUpGold - Little bit of SAN discussion - I failed to remember to get Sharepoint in the discussion sooner ... sorry Tony :-( ... discussion about who's doing what with Sharepoint - How do you decide where to save a document? - Chris Kehayias and I yak a long time after everyone else leaves (I went ahead and kept recording) about Microsoft ForeFront, Sharepoint, Windows Media Services/Encoder, etc
Go listen to the Episode 10 or the other podcasts HERE
Put on your calendar ... right now ... the next talkcast will be July 5th. Any particular topics you'd like to have discussed July 5th?
New DespairWear #1: "Irony" Introducing the most ironic shirt ever created.
Introducing a shirt so ironic it could even cure acute anemia*!
Yes- Despair's new Ironic Tee
achieves a kind of droll, transcendent brilliance that's certain to
appeal to cynics, chemists, disaffected college students, and ironists
across the globe, even as it strikes fear into the hearts of those
lesser vendors of ennui, angst, and pomo-snark clothing who litter the
Internet- you know of whom I speak!
No self-respecting collector of ironic shirts can resist the
chance to purchase the new standard by which all other ironic shirts
wlll be compared and found wanting! Buy it NOW!
* Not a cure for
acute anemia. In fact, if you're anemic, we strongly recommend that you
DON'T buy this shirt. You're pale enough already- a light-colored shirt
like this will just make you look whiter than Robert Smith at The Cure's
1990 Full Moon Concert ... Instead, why not compliment yourself by
buying a shirt more flattering to your vampiric pallor? Something with
just a hint of Goth sensibility? Such as...
I had a question about MozyPro today so gave tech support a ring. Brian answered my initial questions quickly and easily. I also inquired into when or if they were going to develop a way to pre-populate media locally which would then be mailed to them before the initial online sync ... which can take weeks depending on how much data you want to backup.
He said that is huge in their development pipeline right now ... but couldn't give an ETA.
If Mozy can pull this off at a great pricepoint, they will have IMHO (at least for now) the killer online backup solution. Load up my backup data onto disk locally, ship the disk back to Mozy, forget the really long initial upload and begin sync'ing block changes right away ... all for $.45/GB per month!
It's still not a replacement (yet) for D2D nor tape for long term archival, but this is a great offsite DR solution.
Continuing from Tony's attendance tracking question ...
I recently heard from a volunteer that you can now get network surveillance cameras that can count people. No way?! He suggested it could be a way to track attendance at GCC if you had cameras at all entry points ... hmmm
I did a quick search tonight and found a little info on this from Axis Communications.
AXIS IVM120 People Counter is ideal when you need to count people, e.g.
in shops and other indoor environments. Easy to set up, with this
software you can instantly monitor your customers per hour, day or week
over the network. Integrated with your network, it supports your staff
planning and entrance management.
Their documentation is pretty lame, but this is certainly worth a little further investigation. So assuming you can't drill down deep into the count stats, would just a count of how many people moved through your entryways be of use? Hmmmm
My buddy Tony recently posted a question about RFID and some possible attendance tracking uses. I knew our uber IT volunteer Tom had talked in the past about his teams research into tracking people and things for the health care industry ... so I shot him an IM.
He gave me a quick eye-opener into RTLS (real-time locating systems) ... wow! It's not cheap (yet), but the application is oh-so-sweet.
Imaging using 802.11 technology to track in real-time the location of any object you want to tag. Not only know the location of the objects, but be able to track their motion and setup alerts based on the interaction between tagged objects. I'm going to cut/paste some of our IM conversation ...
Hospitals are the first to adopt [RTLS, due to cost]
They tag people and assets (like Infusion pumps, defibs, etc.) and track via Wi-Fi (high-density so 4 AP's or more are seen by each tag) so that each device can be triangulated.
www.ekahau.com is one of the leaders, but there are others too.
Then the RTLS software can trigger alerts, like "Dr. Female" + "Nurse Male" + no other humans are only occupants of storage closet 37, so send security alert message to "Mr. Safety" immediately ... or "XGA projector from conference room" is in motion outside conference room...notify Mr. Safety ... or "baby Jane" is in motion outside newborns but not checked-out and not with "mom Janet". and vice versa ..."need the closest infusion pump" right now: result is stored in "Nurses locker room".
Same application moves next into large freight yards, so get answers to things like "where the heck is trailer 825324" instead of driving around for 30 minutes, get the answer as a GPS coordinate...this is for outdoor wifi ... same thing for ocean docks and automobiles.
Also, the tags can be triggered to flash and sound from the software to help pinpoint the item or person.
The technology is either wi-fi, or passive RFID, or active RFID, or combinations of those with or without Infrared. Infrared can provide immediate verification of the "right room" or "must be room right next door against this wall"
Another key use is for "plant and equipment maintenance"...so "it's time to service infusion pump 326 since it has been [in use] 2 years", so "where is it?"
jpowell says: where is it? when was it last moved? when was it last in room X? so sweet!
Pretty amazing technology. It'll be a while before it's affordable ... but when it is I'll be the first to slap a tag on my Tivo remote so I don't have to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out where the kids misplaced it :-)