Some things in life make me smile. Corporate stupidity has always been one of them.
Microsoft has decided to blacklist Google. In other words, no users of Google's gmail service can email anyone using MSN, Hotmail, or Windows Live
Check out the error message I got today:
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification
Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: Gmail tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 SC-001 Mail rejected by Windows Live Hotmail for policy reasons. Reasons for rejection may be related to content with spam-like characteristics or IP/domain reputation problems. If you are not an email/network admin please contact your E-mail/Internet Service Provider for help. Email/network admins, please visit http://postmaster.live.com for email delivery information and support (state 13).
I promise you, right now, someone in Googledom is getting chewed out! Best thing is I wouldn't put it past Bill & Co. to do this to Google on purpose, you know, to drive more users away from Google... to, oh, I don't know, Yahoo.com. Better yet, think Bill's trying to intimidate Yahoo by beating up on Google?
Email is really the bane of most companies/organizations' existence. No, not kidding. If you've ever had to deal with Blacklisting, Spam Filtering, Mass Emailing... you know where I'm coming from. It was one (of many) reasons why I'm no longer doing eBeliever.
After seeing the headaches (and dealing with the latter part of some of them) I started pushing to move CF email and other connectivity apps to Google Apps. GMail, Google Cal, Google Docs, Google Talk, etc... Fortunately, I didn't have to push very hard.
Very excited. Other than moving CF's communications to the leader in global communications, this will make our lives easier.
* Easier to access info from home, multisite locations, other office locations, anywhere!
* Electronic collaboration! Don't have to deal with printing on paper to proof!
* Scheduling/Appointments now on a platform that works on multiple Operating Systems (Mac & PC) - Microsoft? Who's that?
* More options for accepting credit cards online (25% of our CF: Live Preorders came from online transactions)
* Intranet-based information located on an Internet-based page... with integration of ACS database!
The best part is, as Google gets better, so will we. Okay, that's not the best part. The best part is the six gigs worth of server space that Google gives EACH EMAIL USER for free. Yes, free.
Honestly, if you are any sort of organization that does any sort of communication online... I have no idea why you don't do this. Check out Google Apps Organization page for more information.
..."Church is not the Internet or a building — it's people." If the notion that a virtual community can be as real as a physical one seems crazy, you may be showing your age.
Thanks to online shopping, online dating, online social networking and online darn-near-everything-else, many young Americans don't distinguish between their friends from school and those from Facebook.
These youngsters just see them all as friends, said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, a consulting firm that conducts survey research for churches and other religious groups.
In fact, Kinnaman's firm predicts that by 2010, 10 percent of Americans will rely exclusively on the Internet for their religious experience.
But that doesn't necessarily mean attending church services online, Kinnaman said. Young people define spirituality broadly, to include listening to religious music, discussing religion in an online forum, or watching a video sermon on a topic that interests them at that particular moment.
I love it. 10% of Americans will exclusively rely on the Internet to find God. The church has a long way to go before we can effectively reach that 10%.
Disagree with the Denver Post article? I referenced some articles for the other side in a previous post I wrote called Church Cowards and the USA Today. Of course, I was hyper-critical of their views, but I guess you can ignore that part.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the future.
It's a beautiful sight.
Aside from that, though, it's amazing to me that that many college students have laptops they use in class. Honestly, I graduated from college in 1999. I took my laptop to class maybe a half-dozen times. Mind you my Macintosh Laptop back then weighed 16 lbs (not kidding) but times are changing... always changing.
A question has been batting around my head for a couple years now... how can we incorporate this laptop-driven society into a worship service? All those laptop screens offer another avenue for people to connect... Is it possible to create a worship experience that can reach the televisiophonernetting society, live? Can we create a live, multi-sensory worship experience that is interactive in addition to educational, informational, and spritual? (Note: Don't have an answer. Just talking...)
I ran across a story in the Wall Street Journal that I really wanted to share. I've been trying to figure out how to spin it.
Second Life, if you're not familiar, is a virtual fantasy world. It's an Interactive role-playing game of sorts. It's a real life simulation. The game isn't filled with warriors with swords or monsters or aliens. The characters look and act like normal people, and in fact are all controlled by real people. Millions of people have a "second life" in Second Life. They work jobs. Have relationships. Go to church. Go to concerts. Spend money. All in a video game. It's technological escapism. You don't like your life. Create a new one online, and pretend.
But at what point does a game stop being a game? The WSJ shares the story of Ric Hoogestraat. Ric plays Second Life six hours a night and up to fourteen hours on weekends. He uses the game to escape his regular life. See, Ric is married to Sue Hoogestraat in real life, but to Janet Spielman in Second Life. Ric's character, Dutch Hoorenbeck proposed, married and lives with Janet's character - Tenaj Jackalope. Their Second Life marriage is so legit that Sue has caught her husband having "cartoon sex" with his Second Life wife via the computer game...
Read the WSJ article to get the insight on the online love triangle. It shows everything that is wrong with technology.
I've been researching Internet Churches lately... reading blogs, articles, books, talking to people... and what I'm hearing more often than not is that people cannot connect to God via the Internet? Their Reasons? The Internet isn't intimate enough. People put up a facade. You don't really get to know people unless you see them face to face. Physical (face to face) contact is necessary. How can you fellowship through a computer?
Tell Sue Hoogestraat that the Internet isn't intimate. Which is Ric's facaade? The one Sue sees or the one that Janet sees. If physical (face to face) contact is necessary, then Ric and Janet's relationship is completely legit and the two of them are just playing a computer game... right? They're just cartoon characters on a computer screen.
Unfortunately, I think most of us don't think that's the case. And that's the problem with technology and the church. We are so quick to condemn it because of it's weaknesses, but we to afraid to work with it, to tame it so that we can take advantage of its strengths.