Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Malaysian Odyssey: the blogs4God’r Malaysian Meet-up!

Despite being entirely ignored by the likes of David Winer and the InstaPundit – the Malaysian blog4God’r meet-up went off spectacularly with a great time enjoyed by all. Now for yummy the details … 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 curry  rendang chicken (thanks IQ), I believe called ‘randan’ or something like that. Very tasty though I’d still rather not have it served up with bones, gristle, skin, etc …

Malaysian blogs4God'r pre-meetup, meetup crew

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 Church– whose blogging pastor, Sivin Kit was kind enough to extend the church’s facilities for an hour-long meet-up with other Kuala Lumpur Christians who blog seeking to discuss church web site design, blogging, etc …

semi-definitive display of Kuala Lumpur Christians who Blog

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 “enlightened” 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, let’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 “pjgh.net” 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, “alphabet-soup” type domain names should be avoided as they’re as hard to remember as they are to spell
  • Title Tag Madness – 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 “click here if this page doesn’t redirect you to our permanent site at …”
  • Title Tag Madness 2 – 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 – the use of Flash led to a discussion on more conversion-centric design; that is, does one’s site focus in on the user’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, children’s ministry and sermons are all readily available online – 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 “people recognize it when they see it” then put that photo where it contextually counts, on the “directions” page and not the front page. People go to church to fellowship with other people, not admire architecture – church and charity front pages should support that
  • We’re not Spurgeon – finally I made a point about avoiding over textualizing the poor visitor – citing Jakob Nielsen’s famous article “How people (don’t) read the web (they scan it).”

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 – 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

6 Comments

  1. Thanks Dean for a great time … lovely photos (you will notice W.Sunflower is posing almost the same angle in both shots! Bob’s hair is really cool and curly like he just woke up .. all with wonderful Malaysian smiles).

    We are committed not to make “Jesus weep” when it comes to websites!

  2. Please don’t put my picture AND my blog together .. and why don’t you have an email address here that I can write to?

    I hope you can do it soon else I’m going to have to take down my blog. Did we NOT have a conversation about this?

    and please remove my comments too ,.. thanks.

  3. It was great to meet up on Friday. Unfortunately I was out of town on Sunday, otherwise it would have been a blast.

    Oh yeah, the ICQ is a bit in a panic :D

  4. Sorry a-nony-mouse for any hardships. I didn’t mention you by name, nor did I make a 1-to-1 linkage between your photo, your person and your blog.
    My thinking – based on several years working in both law enforcement and security systems – that your anonymity was safe provided:

    1. you do not identify yourself at your profession nor your blog ID/persona; and
    2. you do not tell _anyone_ of your blog ID/persona you cannot trust 100%; and
    3. you do not surf to your blog during working hours, especially do not post while at work; and
    4. you employ different and strong passwords on/with any blog/site with which you create a login; and
    5. do not transmit nor post to your blog using your phone or other SMS mechanism; and
    6. those whom you do not trust frequent my blog; and
    7. those who do visit this blog find it cause to investigate yours; and
    8. those whom you fear are are able somehow to make a 1-to-1 association with your anonymous ID/persona though I do not mention you by name, nor make such an association here … (which is why I changed your real/given name you posted here in two different comment) …

    The lucky coordination of random variables I’ve enumerated above aside … I’ve removed all links to your blog, double checked to make sure neither your real name (which you posted 2x) nor online ID/persona is mentioned and will keep an eye on any referrers generated by links on your blog to this one you previously posted.

    All that said – I APOLOGIZE – for any agony and/or insecurities the blogging of what was a happy set of meetings may have caused you, and especially for any jeapordy it may have placed on your employ. It was not my intent to do such harm nor hurt.

    Next time I’m in town, I’ll know better to keep to myself – or at least keep my camera and thoughts to myself after such meetings.

    p.s. – my email address is in the “About Us” page – making spammers work basically makes spammers go elsewhere (lazy lot that they are).

  5. Pingback: malaysia » Blog Archive » Vegetarian Biryani

  6. The chicken was ‘rendang chicken’ :) hehe