Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I am a Graphic Designer!

Pardon me, but I'm having a proud moment. Just bought photoshop and put a few hours into playing around with it to generate that. Pretty neat huh?

Naughty words

In the Christian communities that I've been in there are always people struggling to control their tongue (Christian speak for not saying bad words). Scripture teaches us to keep your tongue from evil, that the tongue can corrupt the whole person and a whole lot of other things about the tongue's ability to reveal who you really are in your heart (note how the heart an tongue are tied together). I can't speak for you, but this is TRUTH to me. I only ever cuss when I'm angry, proud, or being a people pleaser (which thankfully for the grace of God isn't often anymore!).

So that's all interesting, here's an even more interesting thought. Take a word like the "F" word. I'm betting that you could go back to Jesus' day and walk up to a devout follower of Christ and say "F***!" and they wouldn't even flinch. They might look at you funny, because they wouldn't know your language so you might as well be saying "bacon!" The point is that I think we can sometimes reduce scriptures teaching about the tongue to a "blacklist" of words. But really, there isn't anything in scripture that teaches about which words are unacceptable to say. Scripture teaches about the connection between the heart and the tongue and we need to focus on that. If you're running around filled with anger in your heart against your fellow man shouting "bacon!" at him then you too have a tongue problem.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Spare change...

I don't like change. I give it away as fast as I can actually; tip jars, beggars, charity cups, my kids. I've even thrown away pennies because it was a nuisance to hold onto. I was thinking about this and figured "hey if it were convenient, giving away change would be a perfect way to regularly give to charitable organizations."

Because I've worked in internet related projects for almost 10 years, I think in domains. The idea started off as However that was taken. So after some brainstorming, I settled on:
  • (a close second)

As I thought about the idea more I remember an Ancient Jewish law you can find in the Bible which bound landowners not to harvest the edges of their field nor the gleanings (stuff missed on the first pass), but should leave that for the poor and alien. (Lev. 23:22). Change, it seemed to me could be the modern-day equivalent to this. So, I decided to start up CoinDonor focused on trying to find creative ways to help and encourage people give their change.

Sometimes helpful hurts

I frequent several websites (Cingular for example) that have a feature in their data entry forms for phone numbers that automatically jumps out of the area code, into the "first three", and then finally into the "last four". So you just type:


and happily it fills out the form like

234 654 7890

However, what these technical luminaries fail to realize is two things:

  1. Not everyone can touch type numbers (much less touch type at all)
  2. The vast marjority of the forms on the web that solicit phone numbers either don't break the field in three parts, or don't have the fancy "auto tabbing" feature.

The result of this miscalculation is a customer experience that leads to the form being filled out like this:

234 ___ 654_

And if the final tab takes you into another field (say name). Your "name" happily starts out as "7890"

Frustrated the customer has a mess to cleanup, and if they're anything like me, they'll discover when "Helpful hurts" as they accidentally (despite now knowing) repeat the same mistake because the "tab" is in their fingers. This time slightly closer because they repositioned the cursor in the "first three" field so they have:

234 654 ____

With name still starting as "7890". Maybe I'm abnormal because I use the web ALL THE TIME, but I bet not, and I'd bet larger money that Cingular (and others) haven't user-tested this feature.

Monday, June 21, 2004

God and e-mail

I was doing a little clean-up of my e-mail inbox this morning. I had a folder structure that looked like this:

The Future/

As I was surfing through it, I decided that it wasn't well organized, had irrelevant stuff in it, and basically needed an overhaul. So I moved Business up a level and gave it some sub-folders and moved the personal stuff around into existing folders. Finally I DELETED 'THE FUTURE', which gave me a chuckle.

What is God's UI to His creation? I don't know but I'm pretty certain that it can't be Outlook.