Theology Project Resurrection

Theology Project

Subscribe to "theoproj" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
We need labs to develop our enabling Web apps
All of that (the previous post was offered: Some boring technical background of the Weblog building was motivated by the slight hope (perhaps "wishful thinking") that I might be able to find a home and an academic "fellowship" in which to continue this work,  and have a way to get paid to do it or be able to manage the project and make an income, too.  I have ranted before about how the Church needs the kind of entrepeneurship such that it invests in something like an MIT Media Lab (in An MIT for the Church -- there, I just used a shortcut--- see the Some boring technical background of the Weblog building entry below).  The Church has pastors, and theological teachers,  and secretaries and custodians.  It also needs to support the people who can help build the next generation of "communication technology systems" which will enable it to more effectively use not only time and paper but also its people power --like Knowledge Management.  But it goes much deeper than KM.  It's got to do with connecting people with passions for certain things; something that is known in Church structures as "calling".  People often discover that certain callings bring them together in mission with others.  The more "avenues" we enable for these callings to be expressed and explored corporately (ie. in the context of exploring call as a community),  the more effective we are in our community.  I believe so strongly that these web technologies arriving are going to accelerate the pace of  our exposure to ideas and to visions of our people.
comment []
6:14:45 PM    
Some boring technical background of the Weblog building

I do have a few technologies which I have chosen as the candidates for my "online community platform".

.Net "portal" software called DotNetNuke provides a very modular and extensible framework for hosting all kinds of interwoven features,  all stored in a single SQLServer database, a nd includes such modules as a Discussion Module (to add a threaded discussion anywhere,  link lists to which logged on members can contribute,  and a still to be released Weblog component (which is the featrure I most want to add to this.)   I have two weblog platforms I'm now using,  one is a Desktop based "Weblog generator" called Radio Userland (where I am composing this entry for the Theology Project section of my weblog called Theoblogical Community,  on which I have cut my "weblog teeth".  In the past two months,  I have added a "mirror" of thatWeblog in "Movable Type",  and have called that version or instance Movable Theoblogical.  There are still many additional longer articles I have yet to copy from the Radio Userkand version to the Movable Type version,  and still want to do this since there are additional features in MOvable Type that Radio does not yet offer (like "TrackBack",  which is a way for differrnt weblogs to"notify" each other that a reference --- and this usually means a comment--- has been made by another author to this entry ,  and usually shows up as a numeric count of  "Trackback(s)" beneath the entry itself.  Selecting the Trackback link will open a list of links to the entries on other weblogs where this reference has been made.   The other weblog has sent a "Ping" to the referenced weblog as a "notification". 

The Weblog world,  even though mostly based on XML technologies which are touted as "Standardized" are not yet in sync as to how their entries are "tagged" and what additional features are supplied.   The longer articles I wrote in Radio Userland did not get picked up bythe export process I used to convert all the other entries into a format "importable" by the other system.  Further, the entries that did get migrated over have quite a few "Shortcuts" which Radio outputs to the html files as a href links,  but the export tool left in their native "Radio shortcut format" ,, which was simply to enclose the "Shortcut" in double quotes (like "this is a link".  Radio stores the Shortcut names in a special table that it checks for matches to what's in the quotes (which now seems lilke an odd choice to have us unsupsecting Radio "shortcut users" use).  Now I've got all these "quoted" titles ,  many of which are  actually article and entry titles that get converted to html links on the fly when Radio builds the html files with the latest entries included. 

comment []
5:59:41 PM    
Theology Project 2003

This "Theology Project" category is intended and reserved for updates to my now ancient Web coverage of my now defunct DMIn project. I was doing that work in an online group that once a year,  met at Dayton when all the other DMin groups met together.   That started in 1993,  and United was giving me a kind of fellowship to do this,  becuase it wasn't costing me anything.  I may have been considered doing and attempting something that was,  at the time,  considered "out there" enough to perhaps put the Online DMin idea a boost.  Thing is,  ironically,  I didn't finsih the final stage of the program (the Project Stage,  which was to set up some sort of test online community to explore the issues faced when trying to do spirituality and/or church things online.  What kind of "comunity" would it be;  what is "virtual" and what is "Real",  or "face to face";  and while we're at it,  is it right to call the face to face type "real" ,  when there seem to be plenty of examples of "Face to face" community that come across feeling and seeming like anything but community,  in the deepest theological sense,  or sometimes in any sense whatsoever.

That was TEN YEARS ago!  Well,  the project stage was starting around late 1996.  While I kind of waded around in the sea of web -based forum applications, and the cost of them,  and seeking to work out a place to "host" this experiment,  the job in Nashville came calling,  and I jumped at the chance.  After all, here iwas a Church related eneterprise,  seeking me out as a webmaster,  presumably on the strength of my theological interest in the Web possibilities for the Church and for Theological Education,  since this was all I was writing about on my Website (and still am,  for the most part).  The real task I was to have,  however,  was in learning the nuts and bolts of combining HTML and Data (via various Web-to-Database scripting applications.  Early on , it was a CGI based script against a flat-text file database,  hosted by our ISP which hosted the company's pages.  Later,  as we moved inside, it was ASP (Active Server Pages). All of this was good experience,  and I've been able to bring all that learning with me.  But I find myself still without much of a Church-related audience who are interested in my concerns about how far the Church still finds itself from "getting it" about the Web and the communication tasks that lie before us.

Now,  over 6 years after leaving the academic test ground and upcoming project,  and wandering in the widerness of new technologies for those years,  I have more experience and "survival skills" in Web development (except that it's not putting any food on the table righ tnow),  but the "promised land: I seek to set foot into is not yet much in the vision of most Church communicators.

The Web has changed quite a bit since 1996 (most everything that has been developed now in use was started after that),  and now there's Web Services, XML,  Weblogs, RSS,  Flash as Web Applications,  and more arriving.  New developments raise new sociological and psycho-spirtual issues,  like the way Weblogs have created new kind sof conversations,  and how databases and forums and the whole mix can be dynamically linked so that Books can be a base for a small community (and yet the publishers don't see it ).

I haven't really nailed down a coherent analysis of the way this "Project" is different, Have I?  The project is the Final Stage of that old DMin,  which was to be the "prototype" online theological community.  I remember that I had Church communkties and Theological Education both in mind.  The way Church memebrs could carry on various communications using online media, a nd the way that Theological Education could augment and perhpas change theological education cirriculum and teaching environments.  These seem to still be very much "up in the air".   The advanatage now is thatthere are more opinions from which to draw,  and a whole host more "luddite" reaction from both the academic institutions and the CHurch establishment about what consitutes real learning and what constitutes real community. 

comment []
5:32:55 PM    

Saturday, November 02, 2002
Research Needed in the Church

p.172, smart mobs: When you break down the interesting idea of mobile, ad hoc social networks into the elements needed to make it work in practice, a rich and largely undeveloped field for research opens.

This sounds like the kind of thinking that needs to be grabbed hold of by Churches and their agencies of Communications and resource developers (such as Publishers)

comment []
3:11:12 PM    
Augmenting face to face with Wireless
smart mob notes: 171: Using Bluetooth and other short-range wireless technologies such as very-low-power wideband radio, individual members of the community could engage in more intimate and timely information exchanges when face to face, whereas WiFi technologies could provide the infrastructure for neighborhood-wide and Internet-wide communication: Mobile ad hoc systems provide opportunities for ad hoc meetings, mobile patient monitoring, distributed command and control systems and ubiquitous computing. In particular, personal area networks enable the creation of proximity-aware applications in support of face-to-face collaboration. Mobile devices like cell phones, PDAs and wearable computers have become our constant companions' and are available wherever we go.... Personal area networks open the opportunity for these devices to take part in our everyday social interactions with people. Their ability to establish communication links among devices during face-to-face encounters can be used to facilitate, augment or even promote human social interactions. In some sense, an ad hoc mobile information system is the ultimate peerto-peer system. It is self-organizing, fully decentralized, and highly dynamic.48 Goffman ideas: The wireless instantiation of a 12-foot information bubble around wearable computer users is a physical model of what sociologist Erving Goffman calls the "Interaction Order," the part of social life where face-to-face and spoken interactions occur.51 Goffman claimed that the mundane world of everyday interactions involves complex symbolic exchanges, visible but rarely consciously noticed, which enable groups to negotiate movement through public spaces. Although people use the ways they present themselves to "give" information they want others to believe about themselves, Goffman noted that people also "give off' information, leaking true but uncontrolled information along with their more deliberate performance. One form of information that people give off, called "stigma" by Goffman, is markings or behaviors that locate individuals in a particular social status. Although many stigma can have negative connotations, stigma can also mark positive social status. The information we give off by the way we behave and dress helps us coordinate social interaction and identify likely interaction partners.
comment []
3:04:09 PM    

Thursday, August 15, 2002
The Printing Press And The Church

In search of a way to begin the "blogulation" of prior writings,  as a first step in updating the earlier studies in online community to the current (2002) web world.

comment []
7:32:11 PM    

Saturday, July 27, 2002

mysterious disappearing Comments links feature fixed ....

comment []
6:22:42 PM    
Theology Project page and category added to ressurect and update old studies from 1994-97   
comment []
6:20:21 PM    

Saturday, July 13, 2002
Updates to the now centuries old (in Web years) research I did on Online Community and the Church back in 1993-97.   So many links have no doubt gone dead,  and new players and writers have enetered the arena,  many of them , no doubt,   via the Weblog.
comment []
4:07:41 PM    

Sunday, June 02, 2002

In the process of moving a lot old writing to Weblogs here to this weblog site.

Well,  here's the oldest one , right here.   I'm gittin' the hang of it!   I think I may buy Radio after all.  I 'm really gettin' intrigued now for the possibilities for Theological Community and even,  some day if things go well than they have in past history (fat chance,  but we'll keep hoping),  Religious Publishing (or Theological Publishing if "religious is too generic for you,  or even "Christian" if even Theological sounds too liberal for ya (but if it does,  you probably won't like me too much......but if all the above is true and you still like me,  then I'll probably like you more than I would even if you didn't like me (huh?  What did I just say?)

comment []
8:05:36 PM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2003 Dale Lature.
Last update: 9/23/2003; 3:13:15 PM.
September 2003
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
May   Oct