Friday, 20 November 2015

A Christmas Advent Calender to share with people of all faiths

The Traditional Christmas Advent Calender is a new way to share the gospel message with people of all faiths every day in December.

This calendar has been put together to allow all people regardless of religion, belief, or culture to appreciate the spirit and meaning of Christmas by combining Christmas story with carols and message on sacrifice, sharing & giving. 

The design of the website has been created specifically to attract all people.

Kenneth Jorgensen who created this calendar says he found inspiration to the calendar from several sources:
"One of my favourite childhood memories was watching the advent calendar story on TV every day leading up to Christmas. Every day there was something to learn and be inspired about. Sometimes it is related to the story of Jesus and other times it is simply about sacrifice/sharing/giving. 
It appealed to people of all/no faiths. The internet has since arrived but I haven't seen something similar. As I also wanted to learn how to create web pages I thought it would be ideal to give it a go and then share it with my friends.
I decided on including 3 areas for each day: Christmas Story, Christmas Carol and topic of Sacrifice/Sharing/Giving. To find 75 video clips would normally be a huge task but since the LDS church already has a massive collection of relevant video clips it went fairly quick.
Last Christmas was the first time to show it. I shared it with family and friends but it soon spread and I was surprised to see thousands of hits. 
What was more important was to hear the many personal stories from people who had felt inspired to do better as a result of watching the video clips."
Every day in December leading up to Christmas day you/they can open a new door on the calendar and the following content will be revealed: 

1) Christmas Story video (watch and/or read) 
2) Inspiring Christmas carol/song 
3) Inspiring message on sacrifice/sharing/giving

That is a total of 75 video clips your friends can watch.

The Christmas Story video clips are the Bible Videos produced by the church.

The Bible reference will take people to the scripture on the LDS church website.

The Christmas Carols & Songs video clips include Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Piano Guys, Lindsey Stirling etc. 

The inspiring messages on sacrifice/sharing/giving include many LDS church produced video clips but also non-church produced video clips. 

The video clips for December 1st are already available for you to peek to give you a taste of what is to come but the rest of the doors will first be available that day at 6am GMT.

The calendar can be found at

Friday, 2 October 2015

LDS Tech Conference 2015

The LDSTech Conference 2015 will be held 15 October 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The LDSTech Conference is one day of information-packed sessions about Church technology, sharing your technical ideas with the Church, and opportunities to interact with other technology minded members. 

The conference is free and everyone is invited to attend, regardless of technical skill.

Details of the event can be found on the LDSTech Conference web page here:

Here are 10 reasons to attend/watch:

Here are some video clips about LDSTech Conference:

Get the scoop on the App and Game Contest. Only 3 days left to submit your entry.c Posted by LDSTech on Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What is the LDSTech Conference? Hear from 2014 conference participants.
Posted by LDSTech on Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thursday, 12 July 2012

YouView post-mortem comments

YouView (the successor to Freeview) has finally launched after 4 years of much debate and delays. 

Here are some post-mortem thoughts and comments. If you have not followed YouView then read this article from Paul Sawers.

Before the recent launch of YouView most of the media wrote plenty articles telling us YouView was too late to market since Smart TV’s had already arrived. What these articles clearly failed to do was understanding what YouView was all about and had promised so far and how this compared with Smart TV’s. Yes with Smart TV’s you can access catch-up TV & video such as the iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube etc. but YouView promised a few things that made a comparison to existing Smart TV’s almost feel like an insult to YouView.

So what did YouView promise that was different?
  1. EPG with ability to go backwards on all channels and view this as Catch up-TV.
  2. Non-Freeview broadcasters able to create their own channels and add it on the EPG.
  3. 3rd party Application Development Platform.

As you can see NONE of the Smart TV’s can offer anything like this which in my opinion make them look like Dinosaurs.

Let us then fast forward to day 1 and see what YouView is giving us.
The answer is we are getting an EPG with the ability to go backward on some (not all) of the channels. Yup that's it.

With this limited EPG and no app market and no extra channels all we are getting from day 1 is an EPG with shortcuts to where the catch-up program is. Ironically it makes those early “clueless” media writers end up being right after all but only for now.

For the £70 million investment so far we are obviously counting on more to come than just having an EPG with shortcuts to the various online players so the question becomes “Will YouView survive the competition in the future?”

YouView has enough strong backing to suggest they will stay in the market for many years but this alone is no guarantee. With the initial launch soon out of the way it becomes critical for YouView to show what their plans are for involving non-Freeview broadcasters and 3rd party application development to integrate with the current program been shown. This is an area where YouView will truly shine in the future, if they deliver. YouView need to gain the trust of this development market by revealing their plans before it becomes too late. If they do they will truly set the pace and drive innovation and if not it will remain a product for grannies.

Currently it is not too late because there is no serious alternative ready to run faster.  Smart TV’s have said they want to create an app market too but that’s all we know. Apple TV has been around a while now with no significant further vision and since it is not a TV it cannot be compared. Google TV made bullish comments last year it would be in half of all new TV’s by this summer and yet there is no sign of it being in more than 2 TV’s, a media box and 1 Blue-Ray player. That's the extend of YouView's competition at the moment.

Therefore YouView still has some time to play with but they cannot wait much longer because even Apple TV, Smart TV’s and Google TV as we know them now could soon be dinosaurs and less attractive. Not from YouView but from new innovative products.

New innovation will continue to emerge and one such interesting development is that of Smart TV being available on a “dongle” ready to plug into your HDMI slot on your existing TV. There are several such innovative products already here or on the way. One such example is Pocket TV (see video here).

This is interesting as the product will run Google’s Android system with its entire app market available and the product is so small it does not take up any space. Will Google TV then just become an app on its own system? Maybe Google has already thought about this. If not then someone just need to create a smart EPG app with shortcut links to existing catch-up players and then they have what YouView has today. The only difference would be that live TV is on a different button on the remote and with a £200 difference in price I am sure customers’ wont mind. Unless YouView get tempted to release cheaper version of it's product without the PVR drive (if we get catch-up tv on all channels).

YouView, seize the opportunity, be much more open about your future product path and stay ahead of the competition.

PS I left out Sky and Virgin on purpose as they are not free and not easily available to all people.