Category Archives: Media

Straw poll means little

Our twenty-four hour news cycle is a mammoth beast that needs constant feeding. That’s why the cable networks and political pundits have turned what was once an innocuous fun little straw poll in Ames, IA into some “do or die” genuine test.

Michelle Bachmann won Saturday’s straw poll…good for her. But does it really mean anything?

It must to Tim Pawlenty, who has decided to leave the GOP race. However, historically only George W. Bush took winning in the straw poll and converted it to a win in the Iowa caucus, the nomination, and subsequent win of the White House. Otherwise, it’s been a horrible predictor of final outcomes.

There’s no doubt that Bachmann is running a good campaign. But if she’s thinks that what the Hawkeye elites had to say means much, she should heed the warning from one of the Three Little Pigs, who built his house made of straw…and we all know how that one turned out.

SmartTALK airs my e-mail

In case you didn’t know, I’m a big proponent of regional cooperation. My nearly four years of living in metropolitan Nashville showed me the benefits of regional government and the metro area all living under the same rules for services.

The wealth and growth experienced by cities like Nashville and Louisville are not shared by the shrinking tax base and business-crushing regulations in Pennsylvania’s cities. The problems facing PA’s cities was the topic of SmartTALK a Harrisburg-based public affairs program aired on WQLN Thursday evening. I weighed in with an e-mail that was aired and discussed. My contribution aired at about 29:55 into the program.

Watch the full episode. See more Smart Talk.

Echo 2010: HTML5 – John Dyer & Nathan Smith


Two opposing platforms: Mac vs. Windows, iPhone vs. Android

Purpose: Big-C church better utilize the new technologies

What’s hot – HTML5 + CSS3 + JavaScript

HTML5 is  terse, shorter and simpler

Examples: <DOCTYPE> <script> <style><stylesheet>

New Tags:

  • <header>
  • <nav>
  • <aside>
  • <article>
  • <section>
  • <figure>
  • <figure>

Recommend: continue to use <div> and use “class” with the future HTML tags: <div class=”content”>

<canvas> + <svg> IE9 supports svg now – Raphael SVG library

Canvas works on phones, mouse intrativity with SVG –

In SVG and Canvas, you can do everything that Flash does. If you are starting from scratch, you would need to do it in SVG/Canvas and not Flash

New <form> elements: <input type=”date” /> “datetime” “email” “tel”

You also get adaptive keyboards on mobile devices

HTML5 “Apps” –

  • CACHE MANIFEST index.html
  • Sencha Touch HTML5 Mobile App Framework
  • PhoneGap – start in HTML5 & JavaScript then they will make it work as a native app in iPhone

HTML5 JavaScript API’s (Desktop Features, Browser Database, Geolocation, localStorage) cool, but not ready yet


  • Flash was the most reliable way to play video on the web, 99% of desktops, doesn’t work in iPhone
  • H.264 = Money, browser makers pay $5M per year, works in IE, Chrome, Safari, but not Firefox & Opera
  • Ogg = Ugh
  • WebM/VP8 – looks good, not out there yet
  • Recommendation: use H.264 via HTML5, with a fallback to Flash playing the same file if the browser can’t play H.264 natively via <video>
  • <video source=”mymp4file.mp4″> – CSS styled video controls to control the user interface

CSS3 – not HTML5 but still awesome

  • .gradient { background: #eee url (gradient.png) repeat-x; background: -webkit-gradient; background: -moz-linear-gradient} look at:
  • .drop_shadow¬† { box-shadow: rgba (0, 0, 0, 0.5) 0 2px 5px; again adjust at
  • .rounded_corners {border-radius: 5px look at
  • .text_shadow {text-shadow: rgba(0,0,0,0.5) 0 1 px 1px;


  • lots of common fonts
  • if you have a font you love for headings, you can load a font from the server
    • flat images
    • sIFR: flash, not working on iPhone
    • Cufon: JavaScript + <canvas>
    • @fone-face: pure css, tricky to implement
    • must use fonts that are licensed to do this

Social “Graph” – who owns your data?

  • standards and protocols aren’t really being used
  • Facebook “Like”
  • OpenLike – open protocol to allow sharing the things people like in a simple standard method between web applications

John Dyer –

Nathan Smith –

Echo 2010: Social Media Fails – Dawn Nicole Baldwin

Dawn Nicole Baldwin from Aspire One talks about how if you are not careful, you can destroy your brand with social media.

Notes forthcoming.

Echo 2010: Ideamaking – Charles Lee

Time to get off of the dime and make your idea’s happen.

Life After a Great Idea: Moving Ideas to Implementation – Charles Lee


1. Who Are You & Who/What Are You Leading? “Tribes” – Seth Godin – you can make change by leading the world, small groups of true believers, takes a 1000 people. Purple Cow – something worth talking about, something remarkable. Spend your time and money to make something that matters, that’s amazing.

2. How will you implement your ideas?

Practical Insights into Idea-Making:

  • Wisdom comes from the streets – sometimes we project what people will like, not the actuality. If you want to do a college ministry event, talk to actual college people instead of projecting your perception. Allow people to speak into what you are creating
  • Paper please – write it down, solidify the concept
  • Work on simplicity – ($44 B in unused gift cards –
  • Have a business plan – well-thought-through, numbers-crunched, sustainable plan. Don’t base your whole strategy on the “Like” button

Creativity & Idea-Making

  • When you have an idea, you write down some thoughts.
  • Then you have another idea, unrelated.
  • Then you may have another random idea. Write them down and let them germinate.
  • Then you’ll see connection from one to another, and some will die
  • Finally you’ll have the big concept
  • Share your idea
  • Expect the “No’s” and dream anyway
  • A Disturbance in the Force
  • Work Hard and Persevere

May we never let the lack of implementation on our ideas get in the way of the what God’s wants to make happen in our lives.


Echo 2010: Creative Workflow – Brad Zimmerman

At the Echo Conference with Brad Zimmerman talking about Adobe Creative Suite on creative workflow for video production, with ideas transferable to any creative process

Creative Workflow – Brad Zimmerman

Everything in Adobe Production Suite

1. Pre-production: have to meet to go over creative

2. Story Board/Shot list – iPhone: iStoryBoard, or Cinemek storyboard composer

3. Computer setup: boot on flash drive, two 1 Tera production drives: one with every file organized by sermon series, other is library drive with every image organized and categorized

4. Books:

  • Making Ideas Happen
  • ReWork

5. Automation: Photoshop: drop lip

Template files

Use the same soundtrack for similar videos

6. Workflow:

Drop all the video in timeline, fix audio then edit
Soundbooth repair and replace
apply hard limit
noise reduction
B-roll…drag and drop over top

Adobe Dynamic Link – import After Effects, grab and drop into timeline without rendering

Rightclick – edit original

Placeholders – pick a color (lower thirds) in After Effects import Premiere Project
Using a text document to write a program for arrays

Keying – New>Adjustment Layer – works on everything in timeline

Color Correction

Multi-camera editing

Brad’s work is at

Third Presidential Debate Live Blog