NewSpring Church Web Campus Site

NewSpring Church Web Campus

Posting has been a little more sparse than usual lately. I’ve been in big project land getting the NewSpring Web Campus (live on Sundays at 11:15am and 6:00pm EST) up and running. 

For the tech specs crowd, we’re using our current video-on-demand vendor Lightcast Media for the streaming video and live countdown, a hodgepodge of AJAX stuff for the chatroom (I’m exploring other, more scalable options right now), and the site is built on our existing ExpressionEngine install, which makes updating things a lot easier on me. We’re currently using an AOL Wimzi widget for limited live prayer until PHPLive! can sort out their issues and let us give them our money for their extremely flexible multi-operator system.

I started wireframing this in late October, took a few weeks break, buttoned up the first round of .PSDs in mid-November and then started talking to a few web developers to find a good fit to help me with the heavy-lifting. By late November the layout was finalized (ish) and we began development in early-December aiming for an ambitious January 4th launch.

Too ambitious. We had one development snag over the Christmas break, and then we contracted with the lovely and talented Paul Armstrong to help finish out the site for a February 1 public launch. Oddly enough, in order to hit our (still yet ambitious) deadline, I ended up doing way more front-end code than I ever planned to (because anything more than “absolutely none” is actually more). I’m sure at some point someone who knows what they’re doing will be brought in to tidy up my hackery, which will likely coincide with a phase 2 (online user map/count, better live prayer UI/platform, and some other prayer-related features) and a phase 3 (packaging up a simple CSS/HTML free install of a web campus that other churches can easily set-up and use with the streaming vendor of their choice.)

Big props to our Web Pastor Nick Charalambous who’s running the show and the volunteers and Will Rodes, who’s responsible for the video components being what they are and where they need to be. I just build stuff, they make it happen.

Update: if you’re after the technical aspects of the video capture process, Will has a great write-up full of acronyms and schematics.