2009 Christian Tech Conferences
12 comments | Posted: 4 January 09 in General, by Nathan Smith
This year is shaping up to be a good one for Christian tech conferences, with several exciting events on the docket. I thought it best to list them out chronologically, and do so early enough that you can start thinking about which ones interest you most. Also, if you know of any I’ve overlooked, please feel free to make mention of them in the comments of this post.
The Ministry 2.0 conference is a bit like An Event Apart, in that it takes place several times per year, in varying cities. The first one last year was in Nashville, TN. I will be speaking in ’09 at the venue in Austin, TX doing one presentation and one workshop. My presentation will focus on solid design fundamentals, and how to employ them with an eye toward outreach. My workshop will revolve around the creative process, showing a walk through of: ideation › wireframing › design. There will be several other speakers more eloquent than myself, including Stephen P. Anderson and Jason Reynolds.
I spoke at BibleTech last year, and found it to be an intimate gathering where you could really get to know the attendees. There were numerous topics, ranging from XML conversion from Hebrew to Chinese, optimizing Bible software for mobile devices, and using various methods of data visualization. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend this year, because my I will be busy gearing up for the conference that my employer puts on.
If anyone is looking for an affordable Christian event in the Seattle area, ripe with nuggets of knowledge, this would be the one to attend. Be sure to check out the talk by my friend John Dyer, Director of Web Development at DTS. He will be presenting “Technology is Not Neutral: Some Ways Technology Influences Spirituality.” Also presenting will be Mark Stephenson, the man behind the Web-Empowered Church, based on the TYPO3 CMS.
Dynamic Church is a yearly conference hosted by my employer, Fellowship Technologies. The focus of the event is to teach attendees how to “minimize administration, maximize ministry” via our flagship product, Fellowship One. What that means is, you will learn how to use various tools and methods to be more efficient, so that you can focus on what really matters: people.
One of the cool things coming down the pipe is our new RESTful API, allowing F1 to serve as a transparent gateway to your church info, rather than being a mandatory hub. Think of it this way: It’s been said that Twitter receives only 5% of its traffic via actual page loads, and the rest comes from their API…
In an interview with BC Magazine, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone stated that the Twitter API serves 10-20 times more traffic than the Twitter.com website. — Source
Of course, we’d want people to enjoy using our product, so the F1 design / dev team (myself included) will be both presenting and fielding suggestions from conference attendees, as to how we can make F1 even better. It is my hope that the event won’t be solely about our business, but more about how we can collectively raise the bar for all church management software.
We also invite notable speakers who present on topics beyond the internals of FT, such as church leaders describing how they “do” church in a changing culture. This year, one of our featured presenters will be Kem Meyer, Communications Director at Granger Community Church.
I spoke last year alongside Christian Bradford at the first Echo Conference, and will hopefully be presenting another breakout session this year. My previous topic revolved around Web Standards and accessibility. It was well received, but sparsely attended. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best fit for the event. Echo is really more about inspirational videography, marketing, and design. So, my ’09 topic will be more tailor fitted to a user experience based theme, rather than the intricacies of code nuances. I might have to throw in some jQuery wizardry for good measure, because everyone likes on-screen magic.
I guess that covers the 2009 Christian tech conference listing, for all those I’m aware of anyway. Again, if I’ve overlooked some cool venue, be sure to let me know in the comments. And, please do consider attending one or more of these events so we can all hang out together, and possibly do a Godbit dinner.
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