One of the hottest topics at the whole RoundTable was Asterisk. I lucked out and ended up sitting right next to Andrew Mitry in my room, who also runs Asterisk. We were able to offer some good info to our session I believe and were able to talk to a number of interested individuals during the Topic Bazaar this afternoon. There’s definitely a huge interest for it in the non-profit/charity arena and I think that a consultant could do extremely well catering to this niche market. I probably talked to enough folks today alone to keep me busy for the next six months or longer if I was taking on that kind of work.
So, aside from the interest from all the participants, what does Asterisk have to do with the RoundTable in general?
In my opinion, I think that what may have been the biggest flaw of the entire RoundTable was that we weren’t able to capture all the “run-off” from each of the breakout rooms so that guys from the other rooms can absorb it later. This isn’t a complaint aimed at Clif and his team from COR (who did an AMAZING job at planning this), but it is something that was talked a lot about and I hope that it’s something we can work out technically before the next one. This could actually be a good place to use Asterisk and allow participants to see it in action! Assuming the network infrastructure would support this scenario (really needs to have wired drops), one could run an Asterisk install in a virtual machine from a laptop and connect a couple of good quality SIP phones to it – one in each room. The Aastra’s I use at ESI have a great speakerphone and could do this easily I believe. Then, just run the Monitor() app and they’re recording! This could actually be extended even further. Some random ideas:
- Folks from outside the physical space can dial in
- One-way only streaming
- Inter-room conferencing
I really do have a lot more ideas, but it’s now 12:15 AM here in Central Time and I have to be ready for the shuttle to the airport at 5:30. Who else has thoughts on what we might could do? Let your imagination go wild and leave a comment – chances are, “the answer is yes.”
 For the “touch points” that didn’t work at all this time. This would be audio only unless we got some H.323 phones.
I know that Tony Dye has expressed some interest in being able to go back after an in-person event and remember who’s who. I think rather than trying to build our own solution, we can use something like fd’s Flickr Toys Badge Maker. This is just an example. We can pick a standardized format and color scheme and decide what info to put where. Then, just upload the photos and tag them “citrtbadge”. What does everyone think? (Please ignore this terrible photo!)
If you follow my blog, you know that Pearls Before Swine is my favorite comic strip ever. Today, they have quite an appropriate strip posted today, considering I’m at the RoundTable.
So the first official day of the Fall 2007 Church IT Round Table has come to a close and I’m getting ready to call it a night. The worship tonight was wonderful and the meal and fellowship was fantastic. I think the highlight for me personally was sharing communion with my “Brothers in IT” – and even more so that the communion was served by our peers – the COR IT Staff.
I really have met some great guys, some from my breakout group and others just at informal times. I actually met a guy today who isn’t too far from Shelby – what a small world! Jesse is from Grace Covenant in Cornelius and we got to share some info and pray for one another tonight – great to meet you Jesse. Dinner tonight was with Jesse, Trace Pupke from Seacoast, Matt Bradshaw of the COR staff, and two others who’s names escape me now (we really do need that online directory Tony).
I just added some photos to my Flickr account, so go check out the new Round Table photoset. I also took it upon myself to create a CIT RT group on Flickr. If you have a Flickr account, go join the group and add your RoundTable photos to the group pool, and if not, go create a Flickr account and then join the group!
I almost forgot – the whole original intent of this post was to promote the planet church it feed that I believe Matt Bradshaw setup. It’s aggregating a bunch of guys blogs, so go check it out if you’re interested.
Day One of the Fall 2007 Church IT Round Table in Kansas City has been an absolute blast. I’m extremely glad that I decided to make the trip at the last minute. I’ve met a ton of smart, interesting folks and we’ve all had the opprotunity to talk about things we’re passionate about: 1) Our Lord and Savior and 2) Information Technology.
It’s been wonderful to put some faces with names and even better to fellowship with this group of guys. I was a little nervous at first that an IT Volunteer from a small church in a mostly rural part of North Carolina would have little to offer with all these guys from mega-churches that have 5,000 – 7,000 attend on any given weekend, but once the Round Table discussions started this morning, I was immediately at ease and felt totally comfortable offering input.
It’s a lot information to process, but I’m really in awe at what an awesome job that the COR team has done in preparing for this. Everything is so well done, that we’re even going to be very forgiving when we get ready to prepare the “bandwidth quality” section of their report card.
In other, mostly unrelated news, Verizon announced their “iPhone killer” today, the LG VX10000 Voyager. It looks amazing, but let’s hope the software and the openness of the platform can out-do the iPhone (no, I’m not holding my breath).
Finally, the KDE team announced the release date/launch party for KDE 4.0 – January 17-19 at Google HQ in California. Hopefully, this means we’ll start seeing KDE4 stuff in Kubuntu builds soon after the Gutsy release in a few weeks. Personally, I can’t wait!