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Oct 11, 2013

U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (CPT)

Today I was sworn in as U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (CPT):
I, Daniel Haas, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Captain do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.

May 19, 2013

Twitter as your News Source

If you are anything like most people you think you are nothing like most people. Also you may want to find one of the most convenient ways to access all the news you want in a one-stop-shop across a variety of devices (smartphone, computer and tablet).

You may say: I’m on Facebook and I don’t need another social network. Well, depends on your definition of “social”. To me Facebook is about the “Who?” whereas Twitter is about the “What?”.
As for News: On Facebook I don’t learn about news but I learn about my friends’ reaction to them. That has social value for me but may not always be news.

If you can admit to being anything like most people you may be able to find something that fits your needs among Android’s Top 4 free news apps:
1. Flipboard
2. CNN
3. FOX News
Disregarding Number 1 – which really is more of a social aggregator than a news app – you will recognize three major media outlets that you know from TV, Radio and print. That means you could visit their websites on your computer and have their respective apps installed on your respective devices.

Or: You can use Twitter for all of the above.
If you were to follow CNN Breaking News @cnnbrk, Fox News @foxnews and USA TODAY @usatoday on Twitter you could easily follow everything that interests the most people without multiple installations and having to go to websites all the time. It is just conveniently delivered to your twitter feed. Be aware though: Twitter is just as social as Facebook: your friends are there and will follow you. You may end up engaging with them over there and it will be different from what you do on Facebook. Also Twitter gives you more opportunities to follow decision makers and stars more directly. Just look at whom I am following. And also please follow me @danielhaas

Jan 10, 2013

Treating email like just another social network

It’s very early in the year and I seem to have a problem:
The two email accounts that I use have a combined 11,572 emails in their inboxes.
This I would consider a problem because my view of email has evolved like probably everybody else’s:

Email is electronic mail – that’s why we call it that.
You use proper greetings and salutations, the whole etiquette is that of a full-blown letter.
To this very day Outlook is the gold standard for email and it tries to simulate real hard copy letters to the very details of a paper clip symbol for an attachment.

One problem is: there are way too many emails. And most emails are not from people. These days email is mostly automatic notifications of all kinds – not really a letter anymore but an endless flow of updates.
Second problem: Email is no longer in the Outlook on your computer. I check them on my phone and my tablet way more often than I do sitting down at the desk. That has dramatic effects for email consumption: It blends with texts and social media status updates. There is virtually no difference in handling the apps for email, facebook, messaging or twitter on a mobile device.

I used to file every email I received in the appropriate folder just like you did with paper letters back in the day. When Gmail came around it replaced folders with labels which was a huge progress back in 2004. Now even that seems to be obsolete!
What’s the point of keeping yourself busy archiving emails? Regardless of your email provider they all have decent search functions these days. There is no need to put them in folders, archive or label them. From now on I will just leave them where they are: in the inbox. I will continue to respond in a timely and professional manner but the whole processing after that I will just not do anymore.

I am happy with the way I manage my social media accounts.
When I see a facebook post I either let it go, like it or comment.
When I see a tweet I either let it go, retweet or comment.
I don’t know why email in 2013 should be any different:
When I get an email it either triggers some sort of action on my site or not.
I’ll just let it fly by like any other post or tweet.
Basically 2013 will be the year I start treating email like just another social network.

Jan 1, 2013

A New Year

Ask not how your church will be doing in 2013.
Ask not how your career will be doing in 2013.
Ask not how your family will be doing in 2013.
Ask not how your nation will be doing in 2013.
Ask yourself instead what you are going to do to be ready for kingdom come.

Dec 31, 2012

Same procedure as every year

Sure enough we watched Dinner For One – same procedure as last year:

For the past few years we’ve also added this spoof:

Another major change is that we got to watch it all on our American TV
thanks to the YouTube for Wii app :-)

Dec 19, 2012

My Top Five Posts of 2012

It’s that time of year again – a time to highlight this year’s most popular posts:

1. Our Green Card Timeline
2. Time to move
3. Church Online?
4. Education Costs
5. Gay Scouting

Which one is your favorite?

Sep 28, 2012

America, You Sexy Bitch

America, You Sexy Bitch is not a book. Based on the #twitterrelationship between @McCainBlogette and @michaelianblack it is a road trip project that should lead to a movie.

Two people that are very different take you along on a crazy ride all over the US. Quite truthfully I only wanted to review the whole thing mostly because of their stop in Salt Lake City, Utah, so close to my home. Here is how @michaelianblack sums it up: “SLC is LDS, and being there can make you feel like you are on LSD.” What unravels from there is a wonderful almost classic road trip movie. Oh, wait, it’s just on paper. Anyway, they should make a movie out of it because the landscapes and people are so real.

The whole #twitterrelationship could be summed up by listing all the #hashtags and #twitterhandles they encounter along the way. Luckily Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black do agree on a shortlist of their whole trip which starts with Las Vegas strippers:

Vegas Lap Dances: McCain and Black’s Strip Club Stories from Commonwealth Club on

In Branson, Missouri, they didn’t find ultimate love but a truely shocking experience:

In Memphis, Tennessee, Meghan McCain tweeted “Michael and I have relocated to Graceland” whereas he had more mundane desires:

Ultimately a lot revolves around Ian Michael Black being scared of @SenJohnMcCain. And one of the climaxes toward the end of the journey is a dinner with this group:

Go ahead, buy the book, it is a very enjoyable read until the movie comes out:

Aug 28, 2012

Your church blog

Today I relaunched and it is more social and has more media than ever before. What do you think of it? Please leave a comment!

Also here is my portfolio of church blogs that I have done before:

2007 projekt-jugendkirche

2007 evangelisch-uellendahl-ostersbaum

2009 provocommunityucc

Jul 8, 2012

Good Bye iGoogle! Hello HootSuite!

What page comes up, when you open your browser?

As long as I can remember for me it has been iGoogle. Most of my digital life is stored with the search giant anyway. That’s why I found it convenient to be greeted by my latest emails and blogposts as soon as I open my browser:

Earlier this morning I realized that that era is coming to an end when I was greeted by the following message:
“iGoogle will not be available after November 1, 2013. Learn more.”
The one and only true start page is going away! I am really going to miss it. It’s nice though to get advance notice to adjust.

And as a matter of fact adjustment has already been made. Most of my updates I consume via Hootsuite anyway. Starting today I’ll just use that as my browser’s start page:

Jun 19, 2012

You know you’re German when

You know you’re German when is a pretty fun and educational tumblr that showcases German curiosities. Today a submission of mine got published: