WPCoffeeTalk Interview

What’s in your cup? My friend Michelle loves to grab a mug and chat with members of the WordPress community. Last summer she asked me to join her. I don’t really like being put on the spot like this, but she’s a good friend so I agreed.

She has a real talent for taking situations like that and making them painless. To my surprise, I had a really enjoyable time yakking with her, and I’d encourage you to check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTJi_tq-LRj3zswLWylNh4w in general. She has some really great interviewees.

Find a Church Service on The Web

There are so many reasons one might want to use technology for church or other type of religious service. (I’m going to use churches in this article because it’s what I’m most familiar with as a Christian). You might be ill, the roads might be dangerous, you might be traveling, or you might have a hard time picking which church you wish to attend. That’s just to name a few reasons, and it’s not even counting the times you attended a service and wanted to listen to a message again. The solutions to these issues might be right in front of you – and you just don’t know it yet.
Catch Sermons Week-to-Week
When my kids were younger, we were in a quandary. They were too old for children’s church, yet the adult church was just a bit, well, too adult-y. The material presented wasn’t age-appropriate, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember any place in the Bible that dictated that being a Christian included a three-point sermon. My husband and I decided that we still wanted our children to learn about God, but in an age-appropriate setting. We chose to send them to Sunday school and not make them come to the church service.
This was great for them, but not so great for me. I missed the sermons. Fortunately there was a solution. I discovered that our church offered a podcast, available on the church website and on iTunes. It’s a free download that updates weekly. As I browsed through the Internet, I discovered that many churches offer this podcast option.
Find a Church Service on The Web For Special Holidays
Another issue we faced was the holiday one. My husband isn’t really big on crowds, and the religious holidays tend to have people packed into the church so tightly that one could feel like a a mummy in a sauna.
Our solution? We catch a service on the Internet, watching a service in real time with the computer hooked to the speakers, so we can enjoy the music and the message without the crowds. On non-holidays, we can watch services online at any time using sites such as ChurchOnline. My favorite part of the online services is that I can worship with people from all around the world.
Wedding, Baptisms, and Funerals
There are, of course, the special services, too. The services that you want to hold on to forever. Thanks to digital recordings, these special services are there for you to keep in your files so you can listen to them whenever you want.
If you want to give church technology a try, there are a few points to consider. If you are a church music fan, you might be better watching the services online or get the app for a church such as the Saddleback iPhone app. Most churches don’t offer music in their podcasts due to legal reasons. Also, find a church (or two or three) that you love, and ask what they offer. Some churches offer basic sermons while others do Bible studies and prayer sessions. Some even offer youth group online.
Give it a try, and let me know if you come across any great podcasts.

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How to Record a Call on Skype

How do you record a call that occurs over the Internet? As an interviewer, this was an important question for me. Through the years, I have done well using my Olympus digital recorder with regular telephone calls thanks to a really cool earphone/microphone piece, but recording a Skype call with it wasn’t quite as effective. In addition to the lack of sound quality, it was just one more item to pack when I hit the road. Surely there was a better answer…
Ask the Experts
If you read my blog regularly, you already know that I am greatly impressed by the podcast 350Third. Two guys from different states talk together to create the podcast recordings. I contacted them to see how they made their recordings so clear. The answer was simple – Call Recorder.
One thing you will learn about my family and me as these blog posts continue is that we are the ultimate tightwads. I appreciated the tip of Call Recorder, but it costs $20. That’s quite a chunk of change for me. Still, after much reflection (plus the knowledge that I could use it as a tax write-off), I bit the bullet. I did that last spring, and it’s a decision I have never regretted.
Record Calls for Home and Business
Call Recorder integrates seamlessly with Skype. When I do an interview, I ask for permission to record the conversation for my records then click on the record button. It’s just that simple. I can easily bookmark spots of interest, and I can easily record visuals as well as audio. If I ever figure it out, I can use the program for podcasts like the guys on 350Third. If I plan to do a vodcast, the tools are at my fingertips. Love it.
Business aside, the program is wonderful for personal home use.  I can record conversations with others as we plan parties long-distance. That way, I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. If I want, I can take a person on a tour of my house via Skype, have them meet my family, then save the conversation and email it to them at a later date so they can feel as if they are a real part of our lives.
Call Recording is a simple way to keep track of conversations. I love that it doesn’t require any extra packing when I travel. All the records go into a folder on my desktop, which I label by the name of the person I talk with. Thanks for the tip @350Third!

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A Podcast to Inspire Family Tech Chat

Podcast or podcasting icon
Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve got teens or tweens who want to keep their fingers on the pulse of technology, check out the podcast 350 Third. Hear an analysis of new products on the market and get a glimpse at trends coming to the forefront from technology geniuses Scott Barstow who runs Rocket Hangar and Anders Brownworth, head of research and development at Bandwidth.com.
Are Cell Phones The New Cigarette?
This is one intriguing question Barstow and Brownworth address in detail during Episode #7. Other issues addressed are the use of drones in reaching third world cultures with medications and tablet rentals.
Get the Family Talking
My favorite part of 350 Third is that it respects me as a non-official techie. These guys really know their stuff, but they talk about technology using verbiage my teens and I all understand. Each episode opens with current technology news then focuses in on topics of special interest. Links on the 350 Third site offer information and sources that expand on our family’s education. When we’re all done listening, we all start talking – and dreaming of what we can do.
You can subscribe to the 350 Third podcast for free on iTunes. The weekly episodes are easy to fit into busy schedules since they each run less than an hour.

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