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The E-zekiel Technology Blog

E-zekiel Technology Blog

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E-zekiel Technology Blog

The Balance between Style and Content

Friday, May 07, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
Unless the purpose of your Web site is to communicate all the bells and whistles that are possible in Web site design, the overuse of images and digital effects can obscure the point of the page. So as you make decisions about your Web site’s design, remember to keep your Web site’s purpose in mind. Is it to communicate and convey information? For most of us, that answer is yes. That means each page should serve the overall purpose, and each page should offer something valuable to its visitors. Digitally dressing up a page that doesn’t contain useful information doesn’t increase the value. The better approach is to let the style serve the content, not the other way

A New Development in the Facebook Like Button

Thursday, April 29, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
Facebook is one of the most well-known social networking sites and is used by many churches and ministries to connect with members and visitors. Recently, Facebook has launched a new way for users to show they “like” what they see. An FB “like” button has started showing up on external blogs and news sites – such as CNN, ESPN, and so forth – and it operates the same as the button within Facebook.  If you want to show your approval of something on one of these sites, you simply click the “like” button. You can even add a note saying why you like it.
This change does also bring privacy concerns to mind, however. When you click “like” on an external site, your activity is published to your Facebook profile and to your friends’ news feeds. Also, as friends visit the site you “like,” they’ll see you’ve visited it too. So, if you don’t want to reveal this information, don’t click the button.

Beware of Phishing Scams

Friday, April 23, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
“Phishing” scams are conducted through email messages that give the appearance of being sent from a business, bank or government agency but are really from a thief who is trying to trick you into giving away personal information (credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information).
The messages often ask you to update, validate or confirm information – and suggest dire consequences if you don’t respond. Additionally, the Web site that you are directed to may seem official, but it’s actually bogus and is intended to gain your information to steal your identity – and your money.

To protect yourself, watch for the following:
  • Bad spelling and awkwardly written sentences.
  • Written in all caps – a form of online shouting.
  • Unsigned, nobody’s name or contact information.
  • Contains an executable attachment. Be careful about downloading an attachment from an unknown source. It could contain a virus.
  • Coming from the email address of someone you know sending you something the individual would never send. Viruses can hijack address books.
  • Contains a link to a Web site. This is where you’d be asked to provide your personal information.

Earth Day's 40th Anniversary, April 22

Monday, April 19, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
It was first observed on April 22, 1970, and now 40 years later Earth Day continues to be a time for individuals, corporations and governments to join together in support of environmental causes. More than one billion people in 190 countries are expected to participate in Earth Day events this year. For more information, visit www.earthday.net.

National Volunteer Week, April 18 - 24

Friday, April 16, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
"Celebrating people in action" is the theme for this year's National Volunteer Week, April 18 – 24. A signature event of the Points of Light Institute, the week celebrates ordinary people who do extraordinary things to improve communities across the nation.
Churches and ministries, of course, know very well of the need for volunteers to serve in essential roles – and of the response among members week after week. If you'd like a tool to help your church or ministry better manage volunteer needs and opportunities, don't forget about the HelpRoot Volunteer manager. It's the tool E-zekiel.com makes available to customers (Essentials plan and above) to promote and manage volunteer activities.

PowerPoint Keys that Add Control

Friday, April 09, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
For PowerPoint presentations, you’ve got several keys available to you for added control while presenting.
  • Changing Slides – To advance slides, you can use the mouse, or press the “page down” key or the “spacebar.” To go back one slide, the “page up” key and “backspace” key will do the trick.
  • Jumping Slides – Jump to the last slide by pressing the “end” key or press “home” to go back to the beginning. You can also hold down both mouse buttons for two seconds to jump back to the first slide.
  • Emergency Escape – To exit a slide show quickly, press the “ESC” key.
Want to know more? Press the “F1” key while in presentation mode, and Powerpoint will display a list of shortcuts you can use during presentations.

Playing Audio/Video Files on Your Site

Friday, April 02, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
Want to play an audio or video file directly from a page in your site? You can do so by inserting HTML code embedding a media player into your page.  That’s two primary parts – encoding and installing – that are explained in this “Knowledge Base” article on E-zekiel.com. Click here:

Pasting Content from Word?

Friday, March 19, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
There’s an easy way to import content from a word processing document into your E-zekiel Web site, but it’s not by pasting directly from Word or other similar software. That creates formatting issues. The styles that are preserved from Word don’t necessarily match the Web site styles. Plus, the embedded code can also interfere with how browsers display Web pages.
Whenever you need to copy and paste content from any source into your site, you’ve got three better options to choose. You can:
1)     Paste the content into a plain text editor such as Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) before copying and pasting it into your site.
2)     Remove all formatting from the text just before copying it by using the formatting eraser in the document program.
3)     Click the “Paste from Word” button on the editor toolbar and paste the content into the dialog box that comes up.
All of these methods are intended to scrub the content of any non-standard code that may interfere with the page's proper operation. Once you have the content in your page, you can use the editor tools to reformat the content in the best way possible for the Web. (These options apply to text and tables only, not images or multiple text boxes.)

Daylight Savings Time Starts this Weekend

Friday, March 12, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
At 2 a.m. on March 14, most of the United States moves one hour ahead and switches to Daylight Savings Time (exceptions are Hawaii and most of Arizona). Daylight Savings Time will continue until the clocks “fall back” the second weekend in November.

For years, home safety experts have recommended the two time changes as good reminders to replace smoke alarm batteries. More recently, media reports have noted the risks associated with that loss of one hour’s sleep. For example, traffic accidents are said to spike on the Monday following the time change. And a Swedish study even said that the incidence of heart attacks can increase in the first three workdays after the switch. So, enjoy the added daylight, but be careful out there!

How To Communicate Effectively

Friday, March 05, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)
One of the challenges churches and organizations face is how to communicate with members, leadership, staff, committees, prospects and others in a way that gives attention to the most important messages, producing the greatest results. E-zekiel addresses that concern.

If your website plan includes the Group and Communications Managers, you can easily manage the delivery of messages to multiple and varied audiences. In other words, rather than inundating every group with every available piece of information, the communication process is greatly improved by targeting specific messages to specific audiences.

Here's the basics of how it works. In the Group Manager, you create multiple groups (Staff, Youth, Women's Ministry, Finance Committee, etc.) and assign individuals to the groups. You then use the Communications Manager to send target email messages to the particular groups.

It's safe to say that the majority of people with email addresses routinely receive unwanted or unrelated email. By categorizing your members and visitors into groups based on their interests, you increase the chances that your message will be received, read, and acted upon. And you increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your email communication.

Extra Tip! If you are sending communications to groups larger than 250, use an email marketing application such as Constant Contact instead. These applications provide reporting functionality that can help you determine your success in communicating with the group.