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Re: church unity (Jason's comment above): I suppose it's a matter of perspective. I, too, am seeing churches more willing than ever to work together. I have no idea how it works. For the last 5 years, I've seen Luis Palau do it, but it's a complete mystery to me (given how I grew up seeing churches not work together). I think there's a generational change afoot, part of the great historical oscillation between unity and isolationism movements in the church. I know this isn't universal. I think being up in the Pacific NW there's less resistance to churches being in community with each other; it's not entrenched culturally as in the Bible Belt (where my 'people' are from).
Awesome! They're way ahead of us. "One of the big problems techies have with Flash is that most mobile browsers don’t show it yet. (Flash is the technology Clover websites were built on… For a number of great reasons). Well, once again Clover has changed all that. You now get a motion-enhanced, beautiful, easy-to-navigate, SEO friendly website for those browsers with Flash enabled, and a beautiful, easy-to-navigate, SEO friendly website for those that don’t. This new feature gives you the best of both worlds." Crisis averted. ;)
Bobby, another point (and I'm no flash fanboi either): Clover is essentially an all-in-one CMS and front-end web application. Another example might be or Virb (not nearly the same feature set). The end user (churches, Ben et. al.) aren't really looking at those decisions (which is a problem, if Clover isn't, which is unlikely). Hopefully Clover is applying their impressive creativity to adding on a mobile or HTML5 solution as well. The benefit to their customers who outsourced their web communication: upgrades happen magically (when deployed well), and they don't have to hire a an in-house developer. I know this is a somewhat technical discussion, but "the medium is the message" as we've heard. That goes to how the Story gets told, or at least, is heard.
As a designer & animator who built MANY all-flash sites back in the day (for record labels and movie studios, too), I can appreciate both perspectives. Ben, your points about the "wonder" factor make a good counterpoint to the valid platform limitations of Flash. We now live in a "post-PC" world, with powerful mobile platforms as an important point of first contact. What's fascinating to me now, as a digital craftsman, is that it's actually technically possible (we're talking the edge of the frontier here) to do most of what Flash does with other tech (HTML5, Javascript, CSS3, etc.). However, these skills and practices haven't "trickled down" to other parts of the industry (studios and record labels are nearly as slow as churches in adopting current methods). Another problem is that Flash offered a one-stop *application* - a universe in a jar - to designers (i.e., tech mortals) for creating these worlds. There's no equivalent *at all* for newer techniques - just a collection of technologies. We'll see something eventually, but the methods aren't standard yet. Ignoring the mobile platforms entirely would be a missed opportunity. In the future, consider an alternate site for mobile users - It may lack the some "wow factor", but perhaps a bare-bones mobile site would reach those who missed the PC version. Video is also quite effective in that space. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be either/or, but both/and. Of course, as always, quality costs money. =)
I honestly don't know much about the Charismatic movement beyond what you've written here (I've only heard and seen a bit of what you describe), but I'll be following your story.