The world of the Internet is amazing. It allows us to connect like never before! As things have been developing, a new way of using the Internet has evolved. Think of the old way as Web 1.0. This new way is called Web 2.0. In Web 2.0, the web is being used for social-networking, group-adjustable web sites called wikis, subscribable news and media feeds called RSS, as well as web sites that blur the distinction between using a browser and running an application like a word processor. Well, one of the social networking juggernauts is called Facebook. This site was originally designed for college students who network together by inviting each other to be "friends." Since then, it has grown well beyond this simple social-network. In the light of the bad press surrounding another social-networking site called MySpace, I've avoided this whole endeavor altogether. Until now. I now have a FaceBook account and daily check it to see what might be going on there. It is very popular with the college students and now has been opened up to everyone else. My hope is that I will be able to better connect with our young adult population who may or may not come to Church.
In the final weeks of September, I jumped on a plane and headed to Ontario, CA to go to the Podcast and New Media Expo. Before you read any further... Yes, I am a geek. That is proof enough. Anyhow, I decided to go to the Podcast Expo so that I could support my friends who are part of the SQPN (Star Quest Production Network), a group of Catholic podcasters who have been gathered together under the leadership of Fr. Roderick Vonhögen. Last year I just went for the day to offer support. This year I scratched out three days. Last year the network won three podcast awards. This year, again, they won three podcast awards. This is certainly due to the kind of content they are creating as well as to the community support they have gathered around themselves.
While I was a the Podcast Expo, I got to spend some time with my sister, Marianne, who lives a short hop from Ontario in Corona. We watched some movies at her place as well as went to see one in the theater. Golly! It's been a long time since I've stepped foot in a theater. There's just not enough time. Anyhow, I really enjoyed my time with Marianne. It was also great networking and meeting new friends while at the Expo. They're all a wonderful bunch.
Fr. Geek on SQPN
Since January, I have been producing a video series on things in technology and the Church. After each episode is completed, I would post it on the Internet. I would put it on my own web site as well as YouTube.com. It all began with a trip to San Francisco and the MacWorld Expo where I created the first few episodes for Fr. Roderick's Catholic Minute Podcast. Since then, I began a extended conversation over some months about whether or not that would be something Fr. Roderick, the CEO of SQPN, and Greg Willits, the COO of SQPN, would find beneficial. After talking to Fr. Roderick and Greg Willits, we discerned that I could offer these videos as one of their many programs. And thus was born "Fr. Geek Video Podcast." At this writing, this new video podcast was officially added to the front page of the SQPN.com. This is quite an honor. Each episode takes quite a bit of energy and time, so they won't be coming out weekly or even monthly. Think of it as a periodic release of episodes. I am now pondering on doing one on putting up media screens in Churches weighing the pro's and the con's of such an idea, and explaining how to do it with taste. At this point, I have some raw video footage. I don't know when I'll get it all together. But that's the cool thing about podcasts. All you have to do is subscribe to one, and when it's ready, it will automatically download to your computer when you run your podcast software. Prior to this podcast, I was invited by Fr. Roderick to include my Da Vinci Code series as part of the SQPN. It's a lot of fun to make podcasts. It engages my creative side while also letting me geek-out! All you have to do is have a passion that you would like to talk about, a computer with a microphone, recording software, and an internet connection. In all, I actually have six different podcasts which I have produced or of which I am part. Here's the list:
Geek is Good
My poor baby! My orphaned web site, GeekIsGood.org, has been given practically no attention lately. I haven't totally abandoned it, but simply have been directing my attention to podcasting. I will continue to ponder on how I might best make use of that site. In the meantime, please be patient. Whether I continue or not, being geek will always be good!
Fr. William Holtzinger