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December 5, 2007 / compassioninpolitics

Church social media, The Blogging Church, and non-profit organizations: My Quick Thoughts….

Social media can be something that takes ALL of your time or can be a convenient and fun way to build your brand. Its also a great way to display your personality. At the end of the day, it can be all consuming, if you don’t create balance in your life. (Jeremiah Owyang concurs is alluded to by Steve Rubels post about the ease of drinking the web 2.0 koolaid). This should be a wake up call to people in ministry who might allow large chunks of their day to be absorbed with blogging. Being a preacher or a pastor can be an all consuming job in itself, so adding blogging or social media to the mix can seem like a daunting task. Writing and editing and interacting with an online community in addition to pastoral, counseling, and leadership duties is truly mammouth. (Not to mention having a family and raising kids) However, I think that for 75-80% of pastors that choosing to opt entirely out of social media and blogging is a bit misguided.

The More Efficient Alternatives to Traditional Blogging. Or Non-profit Social Media Meets Productivity and GTD:
I strongly believe that if blogging isn’t the answer for, then perhaps podcasting, videos, or wikis are. When you can podcast from your mobile phone, it makes it easy to collect your thoughts about various subjects all in one place and later pick and choose which one you want to post on your blog. Utterz and Jott both offer these types of services that allow you to leverage your mobile for evangelism . I think, then, adding text, such as a Bible verse, additional resources, or a probing question in the text can be helpful. It also makes the podcast truly multi-media and adapts to more of the diverse way people learn.

Strategic Criteria for Social Media Engagement:
From my discussions with people in the ministry, these four issues seem to play huge in any decision:

High quality, Bible based Content (or in the case of non-profits purposeful or mission focused)
Search
Strategy
Time and Resource Commitment

I think looking at social media as an opportunity to be playful, passionate, and creative offers opportunities for churches and non-profits to reach new populations, but only in the context which takes the 4 issues outlined above into account.

Just my thoughts. Any perspectives? Thoughts?

Nathan Ketsdever Nashville Business Blog Coach and Consultant

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5 Comments

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  1. compassioninpolitics / Dec 5 2007 5:17 pm

    Other alternatives include:
    Squidoo-to be informative and for SEO (disadvantage: advertising)
    Wikipedia-to be informative and for SEO
    Facebook-a Fansite or Group for a particular idea. However actively maintained at least once a week.
    Video-look at Youtube but look beyond the options for video. YouTube gets high rankings and has tons of users (I seem to remember it being in the top 20 most used sites–but I may be wrong), which is a big advantage. Other sites have a nicer design look.

    Any number of permutations and combinations of mobile and podcasting.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Dec 5 2007 11:30 pm

    I increasingly think that form most preachers who may be time crunched that 2-4 minute podcasting may more in tune with their 70% of their needs. Of course they can post snippets of articles they get published. But, I think podcasting is a quick and personal way for pastors to connect with members and perhaps even folks out in the community. And my assumption is that each podcast episode would be posted or otherwise linked to their blog (probably wordpress). Something along the lines of Jott or Utterz, however podomatic seems to offer some help. And of course this method is very iTunes friendly. There is less need to have to deal with traditional RSS–although I wonder what percentage of podcasts are listened to once on a computer or ipod.

  3. Aaron Marshall / Dec 10 2007 2:22 am

    This is a strong post. I am interested to see how some of the new social apps play out in church Utterz, Jott and Twitter

    Blogging takes a lot of time… A lot.

    As if I have to tell you! You are the only christian blogger i know that can tear 5 posts out a day almost!

  4. compassioninpolitics / Dec 10 2007 2:54 am

    Thanks man. Your blog rocks!

    Jott will allow you to say your post to your mobile and jott will type it out on your blog.
    (I don’t know how accurate this method is)

    Utterz allows you to post mobile messages to your blog. (the audio isn’t perfect, but is also a great way to capture an individual moment or thought at a moments notice) Utterz is also very community oriented (they have a suggested topic of the day and you can pick which individual utterz you post to your blog)

    I think Utterz may even have gone in the video direction as well (although not in the mobile context), which has better audio.

    Folks that use Utterz and Jott are rather passionate about its use.

    I don’t think Twitter will be super helpful for pastors or preachers for a year or more, unless they live in a early adopter tech community like San Fransisco or Washington. Or unless they are leveraging it will mobile.

    Conference twittering, alternatively does make sense because its a way for folks to stay in contact. (and pastors are adopting twitter faster than the flock, i would imagine)

    Twitter does give pastors a way to connect to communities in untraditional ways.

    Keep on rock’n!

  5. compassioninpolitics / Dec 10 2007 2:55 am

    Thanks man. Your blog rocks!

    Jott will allow you to say your post to your mobile and jott will type it out on your blog.
    (I don’t know how accurate this method is)

    Utterz allows you to post mobile messages to your blog. (the audio isn’t perfect, but is also a great way to capture an individual moment or thought at a moments notice) Utterz is also very community oriented (they have a suggested topic of the day and you can pick which individual utterz you post to your blog)

    I think Utterz may even have gone in the video direction as well (although not in the mobile context), which has better audio.

    Folks that use Utterz and Jott are rather passionate about its use.

    I don’t think Twitter will be super helpful for pastors or preachers for a year or more, unless they live in a early adopter tech community like San Fransisco or Washington. Or unless they are leveraging it will mobile.

    Conference twittering, alternatively does make sense because its a way for folks to stay in contact. (and pastors are adopting twitter faster than the flock, i would imagine)

    Twitter does give pastors a way to connect to communities in untraditional ways.

    Keep on rock’n!

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