December 9th, 2011Posted by: Internet Ministries
New information technologies have always provoked reactions of fear. A large part of Plato’s Republic, ironically, is a warning about the dangers to society of the spread of a new technology, the alphabet. There may even be a few of us here who are old enough to remember that the invention of the telephone was rejected from fear for the end of personal privacy. Truth be told, there are elements of insight in the anti-technological fears of those who urge caution. But technology, as an element of the material world, is in and of itself neutral, neither good nor evil in its own terms. It is always and only the use to which we put our inventions that gives them their moral value.
September 29th, 2011Posted by: Internet Ministries
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministries is pleased to announce the launch of the Daily Readings application for Android mobile platforms. The Daily Readings App was developed to be an easy way to access the day’s Bible readings (as prescribed by the Lectionary of the Greek Orthodox Church) from your mobile device, read the lives of the saints, and look up fasting guidelines for each day.
With the Daily Readings app on your Android mobile phone or tablet, there is no better way to carry the Church’s prescribed Scripture and devotional readings with you at all times.
August 24th, 2011Posted by: Internet Ministries
The Department of Internet Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Office of Vocation & Ministry of Hellenic College are pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned and updated web sitewww.OrthodoxJobs.com. Developed to serve Christian and service-oriented industries, especially Orthodox agencies, schools, and ministries, the improved site is now enhanced with resume and job search features. All job posting services for employers and job searching services for job seekers are free.
October 5th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
Please, let’s get it right with mobile Internet. Wireless Internet access from mobile devices reached the watershed moment with the iPhone over two plus years ago when the iPhone was first launched.
Now with the third generation iPhone (3 Gs) out we can’t say we are caught by surprise. As a power iPhone user, nothing irritates or frustrates me more than being treated like a blackberry or “other” mobile device.
Some sites provide a mobile version for the iPhone that is so handicapped so as to render it virtually unusable. NyPost is one such site that I dread to visit. The iPhone version is nothing more than the version given to Blackberry users. It is rudimentary, has no search feature, and worst of all you cannot get out of that version. The web site is configured to recognize the iPhone’s Safari browser and serve up a lower-end version.
ESPN on the other hand gives you an iPhone specific view of it’s site that conforms to some of the overall navigational styles Apple introduced in the iPhone. It’s just OK but not my favorite If that site confuses or annoys, you can at lease click on a link to view the “real” web site. I love that.
I stand accused here because neither the www.goarch.org or www.patriarchate.org and www.usvisit2009.org web sites have a mobile version. That’s more an issue of staffing challenges and time to create the templates in our CMS than bad implementation.
So I just ask one simple thing: we are in the mobile/portable information age. It’s not coming. It’s here. Can we please create sites that don’t treat mobile users like second class citizens and have CMS developers consider push-button mobile renditions of sites so that tomorrow’s majority–mobile internet users– aren’t treated like second class citizens today.
September 23rd, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
We have been collectively preparing for the forthcoming US Visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Orthodox Observer issue highlighting the visit is at the press, the web site is awaiting public launch, material and press kits are complete or nearing final form, and details of certain venues are being wrapped up.
As one engages in any project, you have the opportunuity to focus on certain areas with an intensity and attention that you ordinarily would not or could not. It’s been a tremendous blessing again to read and reread content from His All Holiness regarding the environment.
Today I was reading references dating back to the 1990s from major news media here in the USA and abroad. What struck me was the genuine admiration that other faith groups or those who looked at religions had for the “Green Patriarch”. From his declaration that to harm the environment is a sin to his ongoing work today, His All Holiness has represented our Orthodox Christian faith and life on a message that few religious leaders have ever done.
Now, as we near the start of his visit to the USA I hope and pray that others will have the opportunity to learn about and be inspired by The Green Patriarch. Maybe, just maybe, we can make a qualitative difference from his message that will come from our own grass roots here in the USA so that everyone, not just environmentalists, will know who the Green Patriarch is.
With the spread and adoption of social media today I am hoping that we just might have a chance to make that happen.
August 14th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
Confession: I absolutely love Sci-Fi. Qualification: I absolutely love good Sci-Fi. I don’t like Sci-Fi that uses tech and imagination towards its own ends or Sci-Fi that is not creative, clever or smart.
I grew up watching the original Star Trek. Yes, I’m a Trekki (or Trekker for the insiders). I digress.
I also watched the subsequent iterations and other Sci-Fi classics and not-so classics from Next Generation to Battlestar Galactica, to Buck Rogers, to Star Wars to you name it.
I’ve loved (and also disliked) some of the recent, quality Sci-Fi engagements. I name Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi Channel version) as a spectacular version that was engaging, perplexing, thought-provoking, refreshing, disappointing, often too-risque, and a show that had a great sub-theme that technology cannot act as an agent to transform the fundamental human condition. So, what happens at the end? Technology is abandoned and things are started new in this eden-like, baptismal/cathartic episode.
Which brings me to Peter Jackson’s new endeavor. Opening today is District 9. I haven’t seen it yet but reading the reviews, this looks like a refreshing contribution to the Sci-Fi genre. I won’t comment about the portrayal of gore, violence or anything else like that. Separate issue and conversation.
Rather, I’m deconstructing the reviews and it seems like some of the themes that can potentially make the Sci-Fi genre great might be present in this movie: What does it mean to be human? By advancing in our technology, what does it mean that we become “creators” and how does this relate to faith and religion? Does and can technology take away our humanity? How much “progress” is too much progress? Can advancements in technology become a means to amplify the darkest aspects of our sinful condition? Why do we fear what we don’t understand? And more.
Again, while I can’t condone the excessive, grotesque violence and imagery that has unfortunately become characteristic of some poor representations of the Sci-Fi genre, I do hope that District 9 provides a platform for some broad themes that can be critically deconstructed, analyzed, discussed, and even used in certain settings.
I’ve used Spiderman, Iron Man, and Lord of the Rings (to name a few) in some of my youth and young adult sessions. I hope that District 9 will be a good, thought-provoking addition to that arsenal.
As I’ve now been involved in ministry for over 15 years, I’ve become more and more of an advocate of using pop culture in our ministry outreach–but always using it critically.
So, Peter Jackson, I’ve been a fan of what you did with Lord of the Rings and King Kong, let’s hope you have another winner here.
August 12th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
In about two months we will be in full swing awaiting the arrival of His All Holiness. This is going to be the fifth visit I’ve been priviledged to be part of including Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Phanar.
My how things have changed and evolved. In 1997 we did this new thing called streming video. It was revolutionary at the time. Before YouTube we had every video up and encoded same day–sometimes even hours after an event. What a gift to work with my talented colleagues at GoTelecom to make this happen!
This time it will be interesting to see how Facebook and Twitter and YouTube will play a roll. I have some ideas and dreams and we’ll see where the nexus of staffing and dreams intersect.
Perhaps the biggest seizmic shift will be mobility. In 1997 I packed an Apple PowerBook and a prototype encoding card (yes I had to pull strings on that one and secure a beat up beta tester’s card because the product wouldn’t be available for months) a VCR and whatever else. I had a full portable encoding studio in a suitcase.
Today I’m writing this blog post on my iPhone, can syndicate my blog post to Twitter, am connected to the Internet on my iPhone, can web browse, take photos and video and even edit video on my phone and upload it to my web site or YouTube. Oh and I can do anything on Facebook too.
The gift of perspective and experience unveil much.
Well, I’m looking forward to seeing how all things will come together. We will have successes and failures and maybe we’ll even have a behind the scenes blog roll or Twitter feed on the visit. Whatever we do, we hope and pray it’s for God’s glory.
August 11th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
Sex, games and rock ‘n’ roll are some of the top search terms by kids including searches for some of the top social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace. Pretty interesting and just reinforces some previous studies and trends. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10797_3-10306357-235.html
August 10th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
I’ve embarked on the journey of further trying to reduce my family’s impact on the environment.
For years we have been recycling, I’ve replaced most of my lights with energy efficient fluorescents, cut aerosol products, etc.
In honor of the forthcoming visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I have been trying to think of another project and chronicle my journey.
I think I have it:
I am going to audit electric use in my house and energy loss. I’ve researched some products and purchased them at my own expense.
I’ll be posting some pics and progress in the coming weeks. Thanks for following my journey! I hope my experiences can help others learn about the message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and our Orthodox Christian Faith.
August 6th, 2009Posted by: Theo Nicolakis
If you haven’t seen or heard, Al Gore, the Sierra Club, Surfrider, and other environmental groups are planning on initiating a campaign to allow for web site addresses to end in .eco. So, just like you have www.cnn.com, www.goarch.org we could have www.goarch.eco. The goal of the campaign is to have 50% of the proceeds donated to environmental causes targeted towards research, education, and action.
I haven’t seen specifically what will qualify someone or something to receive portions of these proceeds, so that could be a touchy subject.
Regardless, given our Church’s emphasis on ecological awareness and the international environmental symposia held over the past eight years, this might turn out to be a pretty neat idea. Because it’s a domain name, would be one’s choice to support or not support this. You can read more about this proposal here.