Really enjoying Twitter

So, I’m about a week into my experiment trying Twitter and I must admit that I’m really enjoying being able to post such quick little updates of what I’m doing.  Especially as I’m in the midst right now of wrapping-up my dissertation and I have a bunch of small milestones that I need to hit soon, being able to quickly post my status has been helpful not only as a small encouragement to keep moving forward, but also allows me to look back and celebrate the process I’ve made thus far.

I’ve found the Twitter widget for Mac OS X to be espeically helpful, as I can very quickly post my status without having to logon to a website anywhere.  This free widget is a definite must-have for anyone on a Mac who is Twittering.

Also convenient is the ability to setup Facebook to show your latest Twitter post as your status.  Post to Twitter and “kill 2 birds with 1 stone.”

I’ve also started poking around for others who are on Twitter to see what they are posting, but haven’t found too many educators or children’s ministers yet.  Do you fall into either of those categories and do you have a Twitter account?  Drop me your username…I’d love to check out your Twitters 🙂  You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jrhode

As I continue to become more familiar with Twitter, I’m looking forward to trying to implement this into my teaching.  Anyone else started using Twittter or some other micro-blogging tool in your online teaching or children’s ministry communications?  I’d love to hear your comments.

iPhone optimized

Thanks to postings from Veronica Belmont and TUAW, I stumbled across a great plugin for WordPress called iWPhone that optimizes a WordPress blog for viewing on the iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve installed this plugin on my blog, but since I don’t yet have an iPhone myself, I’ve not been able to see yet first-hand how the blog displays on either an iPhone or iPod touch. My next trip to an Apple store however, I’ll definitely be giving this a try!

For those of you who do happen to have an iPhone, I’d love it if you could try accessing this blog with your iPhone and drop me a comment with your feedback on how the blog displays for you. Even better yet, if you are able to somehow grab a screen capture and can send that my way, that’d be even better!

I’m hoping there’s an iPhone in my future…if AT&T would only expand it’s network so that usage wasn’t so limited or if they would allow Apple to open up VoIP on the iPhone so that calls could be made over WiFi, that would be enough to put me over the edge to becoming an iPhone convert.

Along the lines of optimizing Web content for iPhone, I also just came across a great piece free software for Mac OS X called iPhoney that allows for a Web developer to preview a website how it will be rendered on an iPhone. I’ve tried this out and it works really well. However, the software doesn’t recognize the mimic the browser type for iPhone-specific CSS, so I wasn’t able to use the app to test my blog optimizations. Again, I hope someone out there who is privileged to have an iPhone can get in touch.

New Podcast: Children’s Ministry Talk

Children's Ministry TalkDick Gruber and I are excited to be launching a new children's ministry podcast that we are calling "Children's Ministry Talk." While still very much still in the formative stages, this podcast will be talkshow style in which we look forward to providing encouragement for children's ministry leaders, by children's ministry leaders, on all things children's ministry.

So…how exactly will we accomplish this goal?  Well…we really want this podcast to be very much listener-driven and reallly be interactive. We want those who minister to children around the globe to contact us with questions or comments on anything related to children's ministry. Also, we'd love any suggestions that you'd have for the "ultimate children's ministry podcast."

There are lots of convenient ways for you to contact us, all of which are posted at the site that will accompany the podcast at childrensministrytalk.com.  I'll refrain from posting our email address, phone number, and even del.icio.us tag in this posting, but you can find all of that over at childrensministrytalk.com. There's an RSS feed for the blog there as well as links to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to subscribe to the blog so that you don't miss a single episode!

We plan to regularly have guests join us on-air to discuss various children's ministry topics. Who knows…maybe you'll have opportunity to join us on the air!  More details are sure to come as we continue fleshing things out. 

But, in the meantime, we want to hear from you!  Specifically, what questions do you have that you'd like us to talk about?  Is there a topic that has been addressed in a children’s ministry course, seminar, or conference that you'd like us to expand upon?  Or, is there a situation that you are facing in your children's ministry that you'd like some advice on how to address?  You name it…we want to hear from you on it.  We look forward to hearing from you, either via email, phone, etc.  Let your voice be heard and get in touch!

Twidget – Twitter Dashboard Widget

As my experiment with Twitter continues, I’ve been looking for an easier way to update my Twitter status rather than always having to go to the Web. I found a great dashboard widget for Mac OS X that allows me to quickly update my status…very nice!

Apple - Downloads - Dashboard Widgets - Twidget - Twitter Dashboard Widget

Now, how about a widget that lets me see the status of those who I want to “follow” in Twitter? I’ve not come across that that, but I’m sure it’s out there somewhere. For anyone who is already using Twitter, how are you following the status of others? Are you actually logging into the Twitter site? Or, via Facebook? Something else?

The undeniable fact remains…I’ve got a lot still to learn about this whole microblogging thing.

Twitter vs. Jaiku?

vs.

While I’ve not yet done a whole lot with the microblogging tool Twitter, I just came across this thorough introduction to how one might use Twitter.

If you want to give Twitter a try, you can sign-up for a free account here. You can find me at Twitter at http://twitter.com/jrhode

I wonder as enamored as it seems young people are these days with texting and social networking tools like this, are us “old folks” missing out by not being actively involved in the whole social presence phenomenon?

While I’m going to give Twitter a try and keep an open mind about it, I must admit that I’m really apprehensive about taking the time to post what I’m doing. Does anyone really care anyway what I’m doing? I know there are people who do, but will they want to subscribe follow me electronically? Maybe they do…and I’m being totally “20th century” about this.

Anyway…I’d love to hear from anyone who is either actively using Twitter, Jaiku, or some other microblogging tool. Or, maybe you’re considering just trying one. What are your thoughts on this?

Another question I’m going to throw out…what’s the big difference between Twitter and Jaiku? I’ve got a Jaiku account as well, but I’m not sure why I would want to use one over the other. Certainly, the fact the Google now owns Jaiku certainly catapults the development capital and potentially the longevity of Jaiku.

Chime in with your thoughts!