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Muddy River Media.org - Concepts

3

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Today we start a brand new series in which we look at specific Drupal based CMS websites that your hosts, Rob and MF, have built. The idea here isn't to promote ourselves as site builders, but instead, to give you an inside look at the things we consider when building sites and to give you some behind the scenes info on how we build them.

Today we start with MuddyRiverMedia.org, a recent site built by Mustardseed Media. The episode was originally supposed to contain info on both concepts and hands-on geek skillz, but Rob talked too much, so it's broken into 2 episodes, todays lays out the conceptual with special guest Mark Fogerty, owner of MuddyRiverMedia.org

All that plus listener feedback on this week's G&G

MRM is awesome

I haven't even gotten through the podcast and I've already emailed MRM to 3 pastors in my area. This is fantastic stuff.
-sirkyle

-sirkyle

Thanks!

Hey Guys -

Thanks for the link to the Train-ee.com series on building a church site on ExpressionEngine. I know little to nothing about Drupal - so will let others make the EE to Drupal comparison.

Just FYI - at the end of the series the site will be auctioned off on eBay, with proceeds going to charity (still TBD - but leaning towards one of the programs that buys farm animals for families in Africa) - so the hope is that the church geek community gets a tutorial series, a church will get website, and a charity will get a check.

itunes ok??

Hmmm hope it's just me, but I can't find this latest ep on itunes (in the usual place)... maybe the electrons are travelling slowly today...

I'll check tomorrow but in the meantime will listen via the direct link (onepixelout player).

Cheers
Pete

Same Problem

Same problem here.. not on iTunes yet.

Paul Vaartjes
www.paulvaartjes.com
www.cursoryglance.wordpress.com

Paul Vaartjes

oops...

It should show up in iTunes shortly.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Arrived

Yep, it's arrived!

Paul Vaartjes
www.paulvaartjes.com
www.cursoryglance.wordpress.com

Paul Vaartjes

Moodle

I think Moodle would be a good option for any groups looking to do multiple teaching courses.
I currently use it for some of my classes at school.
It's very easy to add assignments, and submit them back; to add resources such as wiki's, pdf's, weblinks, etc; to use the calendar and forums, etc.

Our school's instance doesn't look very good at the moment, but I'm sure it can be easily themed, and appearance isn't of utmost importance with an internal teaching site.

The link to the moodle site is www.moodle.org

Paul Vaartjes
www.paulvaartjes.com
www.cursoryglance.wordpress.com

Paul Vaartjes

Moodle at Seacoast Church

Caught this from the Church IT Podcast back in February: Trace Pupke and his team at Seacoast Church built a web site using Moodle to create mynextsteps.org, a training site for personal growth and leadership development.

Micah

Watering Jaw?

MF, one quick question; your "jaw was watering"? Well, I guess the mouth and the jaw are closely related...

Thanks for the shoutout on the podcast, guys.

Steve from Portland

Drupal and Churches

Great to find other people enthusing about Drupal.

I'm still on the learning curve but looking forward to doing some great things with Drupal.

Do you do stuff with Joomla also?

Sorry

Joomla is a great and widely used tool. But, we don't use it for our development so we really aren't enough of experts on it to talk in much detail about it. We try to stick with what we know and use. That's drupal.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.innovatingtomorrow.net
www.mattfarina.com

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host
www.mattfarina.com

Comment about registration form

Hey guys, cool site. I wanted to make a little comment about the registration form. I found the requirement of including a ministry name, address, etc to be a bit of a barrier to entry (of course some people such as church employees may have no issue, but I doubt most people will know the address of their church/ministry off-hand, and as such you will likely either cause them to wait to sign up - possibly not coming back - or else they will input fake data just to get past and get into the site). I really don't think "all" of this information should be required during sign up. Alternately of course you should make an effort to collect it after sign up (if you really have a need to collect it that is), by popping up reminder notices and emphasizing it in email communications. Ideally there should be some perceived benefit to the person as well (such as inclusion of the ministry on a "supporters" page, option to receive a printed newsletter, or things like that).

Possibly consider whether you really need to collect the full address - maybe you only need the city, state, and country (which of course any volunteer would know off hand). Collecting the basic stats on what type of ministries/etc should be fine though, as the person should have no trouble answering that so long as it's only a few questions.

As a side note, I also found the "State/Province" drop-down to go against the grain of standard web convention, and as such it was not easy to use. I would suggest assessing how various popular sites treat this form field and copy them - many times following conventions are best for usability (ref: "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug). Perhaps something like the "Conditional Fields" or "Hierarchical Select" Drupal module could come in handy.

Keep up the good work, and God bless! :)

- David

Good suggestions

Hey David...Good suggestions here. Here's my thoughts:

1. In terms of which info is collected and which is required: this is outside the realm of the developer's job. I know the site owner had reasons for requiring all this stuff (which I found acceptable) so I never questioned them. This is a perfect example (IMO) where the client doesn't tell me which modules to use and I don't tell him how to run his ministry :)

2. Yes!! State drop downs are a horrible pain on this site. The problem here is money. The budget just didn't allow the ultimate solution to this problem. As you suggest, if it was in the budget, I would have definately had some custom javascript written that would behave much like hierarchical select module (which can't be used here out of the box). These are the things that I'm sure will be improved once the donations start rolling into the site (hint hint :) )

Thanks for the comment!

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Blame Us not Rob

Hey David

You can lay the blame for your concerns at our feet as an organization, and not Rob's.

There are numerous reasons why we require both individual and ministry address data. There is no doubt our registration process could be considered a barrier... but I believe it's a smaller barrier then charging money. :) If people really want to use our resources I don't think the registration process will stop them.

Since people download our resources for use in their local ministry, they must have some sort of role, whether volunteer or paid, in their church. I don't think it will be too difficult for them to get the ministry's address. If it's a last minute rush to register, download and use immediately, then I don't think our registration process is their greatest issue in life. :)

Our organization is passionate about support churches, not entertaining individuals. We feel there is a bit of accountability involved when a person has to give their address as well as the ministry's address.

As Rob mentioned with the State/Province drop down... it's not exactly what we wanted but right now it's all we can afford. If people take a few seconds to read the helper text, the drop downs work very well... but we realize this part of the form can be frustrating for those who don't read and follow the helper text.

People only have to register once so we feel the pain experienced is minor compared to the opportunity to download free media resources. Those who refuse, feeling our registration process is just too much to stomach... there's not much we can do about that. And, you're right, people can input fake data to fool us... but we'll leave that between them and God because it's awful hard to fool Him.

I appreciate your comments and concern. I realize our organization is far from perfect, and our registration process is ripe for criticism. All I can say it that smaller churches now have a few more options for digital media that they didn't have a month ago. That's our primary concern.

God bless

Mark Fogarty
www.MuddyRiverMedia.org

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Get Muddy... It's Free!
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Mark Fogarty
www.MuddyRiverMedia.org

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Get Muddy... It's Free!
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Bible Module?

Hey, I really like the Bible Search module and have been looking for something like this for a long time for lcmspastor.com. Any possibility of sharing the wealth with this module?

Dale
Cohost, CrossFeed Religious News Podcast
http://www.crossfeednews.com

Bible Browser Module

Hey Dale...
Sure thing. Although, here's fair warning: As we mentioned, it's totally custom written for the MuddyRiverMedia site. Therefore, to get it working you'll have to hack around in themodule and change a bunch of stuff in the code.

I would LOVE to see someone take this and make it generic enough to release as a "taxonomy browser" on drupal.org. At this point, it coulnd't be released because people would do nothing but complain that 'it doesn't work' :)

If anyone wants to genericize this and release it, it's cool, but please let me know if you do, so you can give the original developer proper credit.

Anyway, here's the module in it's current customized state

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Just for clarification

This is written for Drupal 6, right?

Dale
Cohost, CrossFeed Religious News Podcast
http://www.crossfeednews.com

Drupal 5

Nope, it's D5.

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com