What we can learn from Michael Dell’s $99.5M purchase of Red Hat debentures

What can we learn from Michael Dell’s $99.5M investment in Red Hat? Personally what I walk away with is a sense of bewilderment. Not that anyone would spend so much on such an excellent operating system, but that Red Hat would spend so much time creating a paragon of usability and accessibility in the form of their corporate website and not keep their news pages up-to-date; and forget to take advantage of free advertising in the form of a syndication feed.

snips from Red Hat's home and news pages

From time-to-time I’ve received some grief for being too blog-centric when it comes to church web sites, but I think as we hurtle down the road to mega churches in a media-frenzied, instant news world, we should take note of Red Hat’s glaring omission and avoid doing likewise.

Consider this, Red Hat has a website that would probably make nearby native Mark Pilgrim giddy with ‘Dive Into Accessibility‘ glee. It’s clean, it’s colorful, it’s all CSS and all usable – heck I’d even bet the farm that it’s data-driven. So why not then create a simple RSS or Atom feed of news items the Red Hat new page? This would give people the opportunity to auto-discover them via their aggregators – and search engines an additional point of entry.

Similarly on your church websites, if you’re posting recent events and sermons as a means of providing continually changing compelling content – and I hope you are – then you need to make sure to take full advantage of the rapid infusion of aggregators into everything from ipods to browsers. Considering the relatively low-cost of as creating a simple syndication feed and embedding an alternate content link tag on all of your church website’s pages, what have you got to lose? Consider what you’re losing by not doing this!

Anyway, that’s my ‘content is king’ lesson and/or ‘substance over style’ sermon from the real World today. What are your thoughts?

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ESV Bible Audio, now in available in a yummmy verse-at-a-time format

Today the great guys and gals at the ESV Bible are unveiling a big update to the audio New Testament at the ESV Online Edition.

What’s the big news? Well whereas you could only hear complete chapters at a time, now you can drill into and hear single verses at a time … or better yet, enhance your Bible studys and Sermons with the ability to have invividual verses read on command.

Imagine all the fun I’m going to have reviewing sites with John 11:28 and Proverbs 12:15 available in audio … can’t wait!

How is this possible? Well from what I understand, the crack technical staff there listened to the entire audio New Testament and marked by hand where each verse begins and ends. Expect a technical writeup in the near future.

Where can you hear this? All you need to do is click on the "Listen" link whenever you’re browsing a passage in the ESV New Testament. Want a sample? The Beatitudes are a good place to start.

Since the good folks at the Bible Gateway are providing the the bandwidth for the audio, so you’ll need a recent version of the free RealPlayer installed to access the files.

Hmmm … wonder if this feature mean that Verse-of-the-day podcasts are coming soon? What’s that little birdie … you say yets? They’re coming Friday, May 6. Thank’s (s)tweetie!

Hmmmmmm … wonder if this means I need to update Scripturizer to take advantage of this? … Probably.

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