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Author: Ron Graham

Ministry Reports

Ron Graham’s Report
— for Oct-Nov-Dec 2016

This page reports my voluntary ministry activities for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.

Dear Brethren... This report covers the fourth quarter of 2016.

Preaching at Bundaberg

During October, November, and December 2016, I presented 17 Sunday lessons in Bundaberg. These included 9 sermons, and 8 Bible class studies. The sermons were individual lessons on various topics, not a series or theme. The class lessons were likewise, except in October when I continued “Bible Opposites” such as Knowledge and Ignorance, Rembering and Forgetting, Innocence and Guilt.

Special Website Project

During the quarter I set up an important project for the simplybible.com website. This is to make it easy for users, at the touch of a button, to download the contents of a page on to their computers in the form of a pdf file. This means they can read the page anytime without going online. That's a great benefit to those who don't always have access to the internet.

It was always possible to create a pdf version of any page using the browser’s print facility. However, many users don't know this. So providing a download button, right on the web page itself, makes it easy for everyone. It also prompts users to action which they may not otherwise take.

It only takes a few minutes to make a pdf document out of a webpage. But of course when you make hundreds of them, it adds up to a lot of time. I have software to batch convert, but not every page "comes out right" and fixing the duds is more time and trouble than doing one page at a time, checking and tweaking "as you go".

In the quarter I managed to make 350 pdf documents which are now available online. That leaves about 1000 to do in 2017.

I wrote some javascript functions to automate the provision of a notice, and download button, on each web page. As soon as a pdf exists for that page, the download notice appears. This automation saves a lot of work and avoids errors.

A note about "duplicate content"

This project creates "duplicate content" which Google is supposed to "punish" so that the content does not rank high up in search results. But that is not correct in our case, because each web page is marked as the "canonical" which tells Google to index that web page and ignore the pdf duplicate. There is also an alert in the folder that holds the pdf duplicates. It tells Google that I don't expect the pdf files to be indexed. Of course Google does what Google wants, and it may index some pdf files, but it won't "punish" the website for that. Rather it's an indication that Google recognises the page as important and wants to offer the pdf option in its results. (Google Search is a very smart artificial intelligence).

New on simplybible.com Website

In the quarter, I added 7 more Bible study pages to the website. That's only half what I normally add in a quarter, but I wanted to concentrate on the special project as explained above.

At the end of 2016, there were 1341 Bible study pages on the website.

Website Hacked

One night in early November, I discovered that the welcome page for simplybible.com was blacked out, with a notice saying "hacked by..." followed by the cryptic name of a well known hacking group. I immediately replaced the whole site on line, did some checking on the server, and changed the password, making it as strong as possible. Needless to say, I went late to bed.

Website Usage

The figures for page views (total of pages opened by visitors) continued to be very respectable over the quarter: October 150,694; November 135,370; December 118,000 (source Awstats).

Website’s 14th Birthday

I started working on the simplybible.com website in 2001, the new millennium. The site went online in December 2002. It started off with 80 pages. In December 2016, on its 14th birthday, it had 1,645.

Facebook Outreach

We occasionally give the outreach of simplybible.com a boost by promoting a post on facebook. For $50.00 the post reaches many thousands of people, some of whom are thereby introduced to simplybible.com via facebook who may never have found it by another way.

Thank You

Thank you for keeping on helping me in the Lord’s work, and for your prayers, and your confidence in my work, especially the website, by means of which we reach out to many thousands of people. By sharing with me in this work, you make it possible for me to do what would be impossible if I were on my own.

Love and best wishes in Jesus.

  Ron Graham

Copyright on print
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