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    TueTuesdayJulJuly16th2013 No Photoshop? No Problem!
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Technology 0 comments Add comment
    Building a website is more than just text. Graphics and images play an important role in how your church or ministry is presented online. It's also important that images are created the correct size and at the correct resolution to ensure they can be viewed quickly and accurately.

    For the best experience, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. There are other options. We did a write-up on Pixelmator, a Mac app for just $14.99.

    Today, I stumbled upon something entirely different, a web app called Pixlr. It's interesting because Pixlr seems to work just in your web browser and provides a fairly complete Photoshop like experience. There also doesn't seem to be any sort of cost associated with using the product. I edited a few photos, save them to my computer and it all seemed to work great. Creating graphics and re-sizing images appear to be a breeze with this product.

    Below is a screenshot of the editing screen. As you can see, it's fairly similar to what you'd expect from a Photoshop alternative.

    Have you had any experience using this or a similar product? We'd love to hear your comments.
    MonMondayJulJuly8th2013 The Digital Pastor
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Social Media 0 comments Add comment
    You can always count on the Barna Group to release interesting studies/statistics on churches and christianity in general. If you're interested in stats, they are the people to follow. Recently, Barna Group posted an article called "The Rise of the @Pastor." It's full of interesting statistics and has a great infographic. Some highlights and the infographic are below. Be sure to check out the complete article if you have time.
    • More than one in five American pastors (21%) say their churches use Twitter, up from only 14% in 2011.
    • Facebook usage in churches has likewise jumped from just over half (57%) to a full seven in 10.
    • Pastors themselves are also engaged in online communication, with nearly one-quarter (23%) who use Twitter, well over six in 10 (66%) who are on Facebook, and over one in five (22%) who have a personal blog.
    • While both Twitter and Facebook gained church-based users in the last 24 months, Twitter’s growth has been more impressive: Facebook increased penetration among pastors 12% in the last year, while Twitter jumped by 77%.
    • In 2013, 70% of churches report they use Facebook, compared with 57% in 2011.
    • About two-thirds of pastors (66%) say they use Facebook in their role as a pastor.
    • In 2011, only about half of pastors (51%) said social media would be a major part of their church’s ministry. That means there has been a 27% increase in the percentage of pastors who believe social media tools are important to leverage for the sake of ministry.
    The lesson learned is that social media, love it or hate it, is here to stay. Usage and the perception of it's importance is increasing. Social media is a vital part of ministry and should be taken seriously no matter church size or budget.

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    WedWednesdayJulJuly3rd2013 Mobile Browsing Habits on Church Websites
    byDavid Pohlmeier Tagged Church Technology 0 comments Add comment

    It's pretty much official, people love to use their smartphones.

    Ein Handydrama in 7 Akten

    According to a recent study conducted by Experian, Americans spend an average of 58 minutes of time on their smartphone every day. 14% of that time is spent visiting websites. It's also interesting to note that Android users spend 16% of their time browsing websites while Apple iOS users spend 12%.

    Digging in a little deeper in some stats, IDC has informed us that in the first quarter of 2013 Google Android powered devices hold a 75% market share in the smart phone market. Coming in second is Apple iOS with a 17.3% market share. The rest of the market share is populated by Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a couple of others that I've never even heard of.

    What I find so fascinating about this is how the church websites on our platform are getting used. Here is what our Google Analytics report shared with us over a one year period starting June 1, 2012.

    The numbers below show how many visits came from each mobile operating system and how many of those visits were new.
    • Apple iOS - 653,576 (47% new visits)
    • Google Android - 214,413 (46% new visits)
    • BlackBerry - 12,597 (57% new visits)
    • Windows Phone - 4,855 (63% new visits)
    Apple even takes up places 1,2,4, & 7 of the top 10 slots for the actual device being used to navigate to our websites over the last year. To their credit, Samsung does hold on to 8,9, & 10.

    Clearly, church and ministry websites hosted by iMinistries are being accessed more by Apple powered mobile devices. Significantly more. Why is that? Sadly, I don't have the answers. It's something that I really have often wondered about. Based on market share and even smart phone usage statistics, I would have assumed Android powered devices would have come out on top.

    What do you think? Why is there so much Apple love with mobile browsing habits on church websites?

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