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Some comments and questions

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If you have visited A Thinking Man's Thoughts previously, you surely recognize that there has been some changes made to the blog. You have also probably noticed that until the last day or so it had been a while since I did much posting on this blog.

If you read the post about the Building Dedication, you can probably guess some of the real world issues that have caused blogging to take a back seat. (What the real world trumps blogging? I am obviously a bad blogger!) Another real world project that I have been working on is designing our church website - www.fellowshipbaptist-salisbury.org (we officially changed our name on the Building Dedication Sunday). I also have been working on trying to start digitally recording our sermons at Fellowship Baptist Church,

I am still in the process of making changes to the blog, but I will highlight a couple of these changes and ask for some feedback from those who visit here.

1. Overall layout
I have wanted to set up a three-column layout for awhile now (I tried a few months ago), but I could not figure out how to do it. Part of the idea to this adjusted format is that more of what I want to be visible at a quick glance will now be available without having to scroll down so much. I found the layout at Thur's Templatez

2. Categories for Blogger!!!
One of the frustrations that many people have with Blogger is that there is not a built-in way to tag blog posts into categories. For a lot of people, this is frustrating. A few months ago, I started to move my blog over to Wordpress in part because of this fact. Thanks to netcf2, I finally have a way to do this. Thank you to whoever runs the netcf2 site, as it allows me to have categories for the blog without loosing my "google juice." (One drawback is that I need to go through my old posts and set them up in the categories, but I am making progress!)

3. Added a picture of a thinking man.
One of the more frequent searches that find their way to my site is people looking for a picture of a thinking man. So, I thought I would reward all of those who come here looking for it by at least showing a part of the picture. A believe the picture most people are probably looking for is called "The Thinker" by Rodin.

Anyway, I would love to hear some comments on the overall layout and the categories, etc. (I will say that I have already had one person indicate that they like the old look better.)

Just my thoughts,

Frank

File under Blogging_, Personal_

5 comments:

Don said...

hey Frank, what are you doing for digital recordings? We are thinking of the same, right now just using tape. We recently upgraded to a new mixer and amplifier and are very pleased with the new sound of our sound, but I haven't yet looked at how to go about doing the digital recording route.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Frank Sansone said...

Don,

I have been trying out a number of different options.

I started with a Sansa mp3 player that had a built-in microphone. I move around a little too much to just leave it on the pulpit and when I tried it in my pocket or suit pocket, there was too much static.

I tried an iRiver with a lapel mic from Circuit City. The lapel mic in the "Line In" did not pick up very well and the built-in mic had the same problem as the Sansa had.

I tried an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder which came packaged with a lapel mic that was designed for use with it. I felt that this came out way too "fuzzy".

My current version is using my old laptop and I hooked up the lapel mic receiver into the notebook and then took a wire out of the earphone jack into the soundboard, etc. The recording quality came out much better than anything else. I am using Audacity to record (it is a free download from downloads.com). Audacity lets you export it to mp3 format. I am also using MediaMonkey to convert it to .wma so that it can be formatted for putting on to a CD. Unfortunately, I am having some problems actually getting it on to CD.

I hope that helps. (Perhaps saves you some of the steps I took, at least).

If you do not move much, the Sansa is actually a very good option (I assume any mp3 player with a built-in voice recorder would do the same). I left it on the pulpit for Pastor Wagner on the day of our building dedication and, since he did not move, it picked him up fine. Unfortunately, I move too much for me to try something that does not move with me.

Frank

Don said...

Hi Frank

Thanks. You must have too much rhythm!!

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Frank Sansone said...

Don,

Rythm's okay as long as its not syncopated, right?

BTW, I have since been able to burn the sermon on to CD and play it in my wife's CD player. So the funneling it through a computer and back to sound board has given me the things I was most interested in: 1. Good quality (even when I move around), 2. Ability to have sermons on a digital format for uploading to web-pages and sermonaudio, etc., 3. Ability to burn the messages on CD in a format that would play on a regular CD player, and 4. Still be able to record on to cassette for those who want the messages on cassette.

It does, however, mean that you have to have a computer you can use for this. A laptop works nice if someone has one available. After the initial trying to figure out how to do it and getting the necessary adapters from Radio Shack, it only takes a few moments to plug the things back in to the computer to use.

Frank

Scott said...

Congrats on the new building, name, blog look (complete with categories :-o ). I have been wondering why your old posts keep showing up as new posts in my bloglines subscription. Now I think I know!