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Collis is a designer and entrepreneur and loves working online, where he runs an internet startup called Envato. Working with blogs all day long led Collis to cofound the annual blogging event Blog Action Day, which was profiled by the Baha’i World News Service in 2008. Collis has worked on lots of different Baha’i projects and is particularly excited to be involved with Baha’i Blog, as it unites his two big interests in life, the Baha’i Faith and blogging which, combined, is pretty much what Collis considers to be the recipe for awesomeness.

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How to Build a Fast, Free Website For Your Baha’i Group, Community or Event

Maybe it’s because I’m a web designer, but people often ask me how they can get a website up. It used to be that to do this you needed to either really enjoy tinkering with things like HTML and domain names, or you’d have to go and hire a web designer. But it’s 2011 and now there are plenty of really easy to use services that will get you up and running in no time.

Of course if you have a very specific or complex specification of how you want your site to work or look then you are probably going to end up needing a professional still. But if you just need a website to provide information or a blog then that’s a piece of cake! Continue reading

Writing a Baha’i Will

Photo by Sean M Scully

It might feel a little morbid thinking about your will but it turns out that writing one is something every Baha’i must do in their lifetime. I discovered this recently when the birth of my first son inspired me to think about the future a little more than I normally do. I discovered that writing a will is in fact a law from the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

It’s a good thing too, because apparently here in Australia if you have no will in certain circumstances everything you own will go back to the state! Yikes!

Because a will is a legal document, it’s important to remember to seek some proper legal advice before drawing one up. You can buy templated will kits, but for me it was nice to have someone qualified doing the work rather than bungling it up myself accidentally – not that I’d ever know!

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Official Wikipedia Conference is in Haifa!

If you’re a fan of Wikipedia (or any of their many other projects) then you’ll be interested to know that this year’s official Wikimedia conference, dubbed “Wikimania“, is being held in Haifa, Israel right around the corner from the Baha’i gardens! From their website:

Wikimania is the annual international conference of the Wikimedia community. It’s organized by a different local team each year – in 2011 the conference is taking place in Haifa, Israel. Wikimania allows the community and the general public to learn about and share their experiences with free knowledge initiatives all over the world.

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9 Handmade Baha’i Jewellery and Craft Pieces from Etsy

While there are a few sites for finding Baha’i jewellery online (such as Baha’i Gems), another great way to find Baha’i craft, including jewellery is through the craft marketplace Etsy. A quick search on the word ‘bahai’ yields lots of great stuff, I’ve collected nine of my favourites to showcase here, but I highly recommend heading over and finding your own favourites.

And if handmade is your kind of thing, show your support for these talented Baha’i artisans by purchasing an item or two!

Valley of Love Copper Bracelet

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Using ‘The Greatest Name’

Image by Lorenia (Flickr)

A few days ago we published a post here on Baha’i Blog featuring 6 Baha’i iPhone Wallpapers, however I noticed a few Facebook and email comments pointing out that perhaps it’s not appropriate to have The Greatest Name or a photo of the door to the shrine of the Bab used in this manner. This seems sensible, so I first wanted to let our readers know that we’ve now updated the post with two fresh wallpapers featuring Baha’i quotes replacing the other two wallpapers. And second of all I thought I’d share some quotes that my fellow Baha’i Blogger Naysan found on the subject of The Greatest Name and its usage. Continue reading

6 Gorgeous Baha’i iPhone Wallpapers

Over the last few years Apple’s iPhone has become rather ubiquitous, and I’ve seen more than a few Baha’is carrying them about. But what is a little harder to find are Baha’i wallpapers for the iPhone. Happily there is a lot of great imagery around that is Baha’i related, for example just check out our gallery of Stunning Photos of Baha’i Houses of Worship.

So I spent a little time this afternoon compiling some photos and images into iPhone sized wallpapers for Baha’i Blog readers to deck out their mobile phones with some inspirational background images!

Just browse to this page with your iPhone, press on the image and hold down until a little dialog comes up asking you to Save Image. Once you’ve saved it, go back to the menu and go to Settings > Wallpaper and you should be able to find the image in your Camera Roll.

If you have any of your own iPhone wallpapers to share, or know of more, please do share them in the comments! There are lots of free image hosting services like PhotoBucket where you can upload them to and link up in the comments!

So without further ado … Continue reading

6 Accomplished Baha’is in Film and Television

With some five to six million Baha’is in the world it’s no surprise that some of the most accomplished people in any discipline are bound to be Baha’i. Being a bit of a television and movie junkie I decided to find out if there were any famous Baha’is in Hollywood. Sure enough shows like Heroes and the Office have featured Baha’i actors, as have movies like the Interpreter and the Godfather! Continue reading

Off-Center: An Interview with Aaron Kreader and Dave Rouleau

I’ve always loved the book by Hand of the Cause, William Sears, called “God Loves Laughter“. Something about the statement has just always seemed so right to me. So, I was delighted to stumble on the work of two talented American Baha’is working together at the Baha’i National Center in the US. Dave Rouleau and Aaron Kreader are – respectively – the creator and artist behind a long-running comic strip called Off-Center.

I caught up with Dave and Aaron to learn a bit more about the comic strip, their inspiration and what advice they have for other aspiring Baha’i artists. And for those of you (like me) who aren’t in the US and don’t receive The American Bahá’í magazine, we’ve got a few editions of Off-Center to view embedded here in the post. Continue reading

Representing the Baha’i Faith in Style

As a designer, I strongly believe that visual aesthetics go a long way to creating an impression. There’s a reason companies and brands go to such lengths to control the visual elements of how they are represented, in television, advertising, products and materials. The effect can be huge.

As Baha’is wanting our Faith to have its broadest impact and reach, I think it’s important we try to make sure everything we do looks its best. While not every invitation for a devotional meeting or flyer for an event is going to warrant or afford a professional designer, it’s always worth putting some effort in to making things look attractive. And in the cases where we can get a professional in, whether paid or volunteer, it’s important to do so.

DesignTheFaith is an online showcase of great design in Baha’i projects from around the world. Featuring not just graphic design, but photography, film, fashion, web design and more, the site is a fantastic resource for inspiration.

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