Despite being entirely ignored by the likes of David Winer and the InstaPundit â€“ the Malaysian blog4Godâ€™r meet-up went off spectacularly with a great time enjoyed by all. Now for yummy the details â€¦ with photos to follow …
Festivities actually began Friday night, with a pre-meet-up meet-up, where I was dragged out to some fine Indian cuisine where I enjoyed a
variant on curryÂ rendang chicken (thanks IQ), I believe called â€˜randanâ€™ or something like that. Very tasty though Iâ€™d still rather not have it served up with bones, gristle, skin, etc â€¦
That said, excellent conversation was enjoyed by bloggers:
A quote from the bobJots sums up the evening with:
As I won’t be in town tomorrow, I’ve actually met up with Dean together with Alvin, Nyx and the Sunflower last night for dinner. It was quite a hoot so I reckon tomorrow can only be better.
So far, Dean seems to be enjoying himself here, and based on his blog entries here and here, he apparently seems to particularly enjoy our gastronomic offerings. You might also want to check out some of the photos he’s taken so far. So, lets try to put up a good show tomorrow, eh?
The fun continued into Sunday, where I enjoyed an excellent service at the Bangsar Lutheran Churchâ€“ whose blogging pastor, Sivin Kit was kind enough to extend the churchâ€™s facilities for an hour-long meet-up with other Kuala Lumpur Christians who blog seeking to discuss church web site design, blogging, etc â€¦
As Sivin Kit describes the gathering from a pastor’s point of view:
“Sitting down and listening to him talk about all things relating to church websites made me laugh, want to cry and most surely â€œenlightenedâ€ from my website design blind spots …
… I hope I got immunized from bad design but I think I caught a bug for good design, thanks to Dean Peters, letâ€™s make Jesus smile after looking at our websites.”
A hearty AMEN to that … as most of the conversation was less on blogging and more on church web site design; and broke down along the following topics in mostly this order:
- Load up all of the web sites of those attending the meet-up
- Discuss the web sites
- Learn good design by looking at some bad examples of church web site design
- Laugh out loud at some Strong Bad
- Recap suggestions
On that last bullet, here are some suggestions:
- When given the domains â€œpjgh.netâ€ and/or “blc.net.my” I immediately went into a discussion on obtaining a more memorable domain name, and either redirecting pjgh.net to the new domain, or the new domain to pjgh.net. Either way, â€œalphabet-soupâ€ type domain names should be avoided as theyâ€™re as hard to remember as they are to spell
- Title Tag Madness â€“ while attempting to look up Bangsar Lutheran Church on Google, we discovered that the first link was a very old Tripod.com based site. Moreover, while the old site had a redirect meta tag, it was unnecessarily set to 8 seconds and should have also contained a message saying â€œclick here if this page doesnâ€™t redirect you to our permanent site at â€¦â€
- Title Tag Madness 2 â€“ the reason why we found the Tripod site over the current site? Two fold actually, first the 10 commandments of search engine optimization. Second, the content was mostly and unnecessarily Flash based
- Irfan view – learn how to use this free tool to color reduce and physically reduce images to avoid image bloat and for faster page loading
- Flashination â€“ the use of Flash led to a discussion on more conversion-centric design; that is, does oneâ€™s site focus in on the userâ€™s workflow? For example, a seeker or someone new to town is more likely to look for a site that is easy to find by denomination and location, and more likely to visit if the time, location, childrenâ€™s ministry and sermons are all readily available online â€“ the first two items being immediately conspicuous on the front page!
- While talking about locations and directions, I suggested that if one must put up a photo of their church online so â€œpeople recognize it when they see itâ€ then put that photo where it contextually counts, on the â€œdirectionsâ€ page and not the front page. People go to church to fellowship with other people, not admire architecture â€“ church and charity front pages should support that
- Weâ€™re not Spurgeon â€“ finally I made a point about avoiding over textualizing the poor visitor â€“ citing Jakob Nielsenâ€™s famous article â€œHow people (donâ€™t) read the web (they scan it).â€
There is more, much more that has inspired several articles I will be writing over the next week or three, but first, let me express my deepest gratitude to the semi-definitive list of the Kuala Lumpur Christians who blog for making me feel at home half way around the World.
The grace, warmth and love extended me will not be soon forgotten â€“ and provides me something to look forward to the next time I have to hop on a plan and travel 30 hours to the other side of the planet.
Terima kasih banyak-banyak for the fun fellowship … oh and the even ‘funner’ photo opps …