Archives For social media

Leonard Sweet has a new book out and it looks like it’s going to be a fun one to read.

Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised To Ignite Revival takes up the subject of the God-given desire to know others — form relationships, and the fact that most of the current social-media generation have found a place of belonging outside the organized church.  So how do we bring them together?

Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised To Ignite Revival by Leonard Sweet

God came to earth to invite us, personally, into a relationship.  And while Christians at times downplay relationships, the social-media generation is completely sold on the idea.


Check out this short video clip where I share how I’m looking forward to sitting down to read the book.

VIRAL: How Social Networking Is Poised To Ignite Revival

by Leonard Sweet // Published by WaterBrook Press

ISBN: 978-0-307-45915-2

240 pages.  Also available as an e-book.


So I have one big question for you right now — Does the TGIF generation (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook) have something to learn from the Gutenburg generation?  Or vice versa?

Kinetic Typography — that’s the official name of the motion graphics you’ve been seeing pop up all over the net these days. It’s powerful when done right.

Now you’ve seen a lot of great motion graphics on the web. Here’s one example to set frame of reference:

But there’s a specific flavor of motion graphics that deals with moving typography. Temporal typography to be more specific. And here, we have something called KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY which is produced by a new type of creative producer called a kinetic typographer these days. So get ready for more kinetic typography in the months and years to come.

Here’s some examples of great kinetic typography I’ve seen recently. And a big bang at the end.

And finally, we’re also seeing some of this format being applied within ministry media applications. I’ve included a fabulous one as the last one in this listing below as a “TRUER & BETTER” final example. . .

. . .

And finally, the true and better example featuring words of truth by Rev. Tim Keller by Peter Artemenko:

Do you know of any other examples of amazing motion graphics – kinetic typography? Share a URL below!

This weekend, I’m excited about being on the top floor of 7 World Trade Center.

It has a spectacular view in a totally green building — the first to go up amongst the WTC buildings.  When you are there, you can see up, out and down all around you when you are peering out the ceiling to floor windows.

But the view that I’m more excited about is regarding the discussions and activity that’s going to be going on at Redeemer‘s Entrepreneurship Initiative 2011 Forum conference — carving out a collaborative vision for what gospel entrepreneurship looks like on a practical basis.

It is always refreshing and at the same time challenging to hear  Tim Keller share his theological vantage point and then interact with others marketplace practitioners about how we are to go about faith and work integration.

I’ve been asked to help lead a session on social media for non-profits and for-profit organizations on Saturday — so glad that Guy Richards of Abiah will be my co-pilot so that we can both share case examples of social media in action.

I’m looking forward to reviewing with the group some of my own approaches to digital engagement across the web — including the Five C’s for Social Media Success framework I’ve been developing through my client work over the last couple of years.

If there’s enough interest, I’m willing to walk through the presentation again online via a webinar. Just drop a comment here if you’d be interested in hearing what I have to share.

Spring is in the air! After over 70 inches of snowfall around here this winter, I’m ready for spring.

Even though there’s still melting snow in our driveway, it’s time to get busy with spring time activities — including some spring cleaning.

So today, I decided to clean house a bit…online. And the first place to attack was one of my Twitter accounts. There are many different strategies for who to follow or followback. But one rule that’s probably agreeable to most is to remove people from your follow list that are inactive or MIA from Twitter.

I personally like since it lets you filter your Twitter Follow list for people who haven’t sent out a tweet in ____ days.

If you really want to be conservative, you can try something like 180 days (no activity in 6 months kind of makes them as good as any other non-user, right?). But I go for the 30 day threshhold and see how many come up. bulk unfollow twitter

In one fell swoop you can chop off dozens and dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of inactive twitter accounts from your follow list. While some people might want to hang on to everyone on their list, this actually does help your twitter friend ratio of following to follower ratio which is used by some measurement apps out there.

AHHHH….that feels better.




Social Media Nation.




Merry Christmas.

HT: Jason Locy of FiveStone

Well, the other posts in this series touched upon how your ministry should view the social web as an extension of your social community and also seeing that social media is not just a passing fad at this point.

Today, I’ll share three factors of the social web that makes it compelling to use for church communications, especially for outreach into the communities around you.

At the foundation of today’s discussion is basically whether you want to remain nameless without any familiarity or trust. Do you want to be some anonymous entity stuck in a corner of your community or do you want to be a dynamic community participant that befriends people so you can invite them into relationships — with you and / or your ministry?

Here we go:

1) Better visibility – Managing your online presence across the social web gives you a position of infinitely better visibility to those that are in your community.  These days, the Googlopoly has invaded our life, not just our computers.  People don’t let their fingers to the walking anymore, they  travel the world of mouth.   In fact, with any serious effort, you’ll personally gain a lot more “friends” that can now know you exist than ever before.

2) Increased familiarity – This benefit does not require exteme lifestreaming, but it can be found from intentional utilization of the social media networks out there. If you are wiling to take on some simple proactive strategies, the social web allows you to converse with a much wider range of people about a much diverse range of topics than you probably would in your normal offline routine around town.  As people begin to regularly have a view into your daily activities (regular as well as those seat of the pants last minute activities), thoughts /reactions to various happenings around town, and your overall posture regarding both –  things that excite you and things that really really really matter to you, your local online social network becomes increasingly familiar with you, your personality / humor as well as your general willingness to engage.

3) Trust – This can only be achieved over time with authentic exchanges pointing the way to a God-honoring relationship built on trust. If you are consistent, outward facing, and responsive to people’s questions, needs, and just plain ol’ calls for social engagement, it is a start to quickly establishing trust with other individuals in your social networks. This last factor category cannot be overstated enough in terms of effects.

Visibility, Familiarity, and Trust.
These are the ingredients of any evangelistic outreach efforts whether you are online or offline.

Do you see how utilizing the social web successfully is not that different?  You really should leave a comment below.

It is amazing how divisive the topic of using social media in the church setting can be these days.

It’s being treated like a completely wild animal on the loose by some.  Some pastors’ take is to ban all social media and prohibit church staff and lay leaders from using Facebook and other social media — people in this camp position it as Satan’s work.

But what happens when social media becomes more than a fad?  But a new mode of communication like the telephone, or fax, or email, or . . .is it proper to ban it altogether vs. find some other creative approaches to address the concerns at hand?

I’m guessing the fundamental position on social media in the church is largely determined by how one perceives how and where the social web fits into the picture today and in the future.

Here’s one take that makes the bare bones basic appeal for the church to use social media.   On one hand, I’m surprised that such arguments have to be articulated out loud.  On the other hand, I guess the web 2.0 world has evolved so fast relative to other emergent technological innovations in communication that it can’t be addressed enough.

Check out this short video segment of a presentation on social media any why the church should embrace it. . . Continue Reading…

You’re either in or out. Excited or confused. Optimistic or a party-pooper.

People always ask me why I use Twitter. Without getting into the usual “no, it’s not about broadcasting the flavor of my toothpaste, or any other mundane details of my daily living” conversation, here’s one concrete example that hopefully helps give a better picture for the power of Twitter.

While I know that we’re not to make idols of men (or pastors of really big and successful books for that matter), but to illustrate the point, I’m sharing with you that I recently received a Tweet from none other than . . .


Yup, it was Pastor Rick Warren himself tweeting me about one of my latest web projects (more on that in other post soon, I promise!).

Twitter, and social media in general, has collapsed the 6 degrees of separation into 1.

You are now able to connect and collaborate with almost anyone else imaginable that’s relevant. It’s not that I tweeted back and forth with this person in particular. It’s the fact that just a couple of years ago, being able to connect, exchange, collaborate with someone like Rick Warren directly would take a lot of energy. Even if he tried to be as accessible as can be to people outside of his network (i.e. people he’s never met before), getting to him when I’m on the east coast, and he’s on the left coast (or somewhere else in the world) just isn’t that practical or easily done. I’ve emailed his “” email address listed in his books and website before. I’ve been to Saddleback worship services several times before. I’ve called the PDL team when our church launched our own 40 Days campaign before. I’ve gotten what I’vee needed from his ministry organization each time, but getting a chance to interact with Rick Warren directly himself wasn’t really feasible.

Today, with social media, things have completely changed: The friction of access and connection is infinitely reduced because of social media. If you are proactive, purposeful and pleasant (don’t discount that last one!), the possibilities are plentiful.

It’s not just Rick Warren. Whether it’s Leonard Sweet or David Pogue of the NY Times, or even YOU that I’ve tweeted with . . . the fact of the matter is that 6 degrees of separation has become 1.

That’s why I use twitter. What about you?

When the web started entering into everyone’s vocabulary, churches began to feel the pressure of getting on the web. Today, the web has become part of daily living, and it is a critical touchpoint to reach people before they physically enter your church doors.

It’s just a fact of life now: more people will visit your website first before they first visit your church.

But something new and old is happening. In one sense, it feels so familiar — just like the seismic shift we saw with the mass adoption of the web itself. But now it’s about something different — every church feels like they should be figuring out what to do with. . . Facebook and Twitter.

For those still sitting on the fence, it’s sometimes helpful to hear what others are doing. Some church tech companies are starting to share case studies and tutorials for how to approach the new social media platforms. Here’s one video webinar that you may want to watch: CLICK TO WATCH.

This presentation is aimed at medium-to-large churches, but it’s a good glossary intro for any sized church on why your church should be considering reaching out to those on the social media platforms.

Critics of church online all point to the sterility and breakdown of human connections across the digital highway.

Stefana Broadbent, an anthropologist who has studied human relationships across technology (cell phones, IM, Skype / video chatting, Facebook, etc) for over 20 years, has come to a different conclusion.

While you watch this video of her presentation on how the Internet and technology actually increases intimacy in human relationships, you’ll find the eerie Dunbar number coming up (120-150!). Technology hasn’t drastically increased the number of real connections we manage online – humans are in the end humans.

But of course there’s a little twist. . .

Did you notice the typical number of people each person connects with in close relationship (80%…___ intense relationships) when using technology mediums? Surprising? No?

Broadbent’s findings can have real implications for how church online approach and use technology to communicate and connect its people.

But this learning isn’t just applicable to digital worship communities trying to build out complete online church experiences. Technology won’t just by default destroy or degrade intimacy in relationships — it can actually leap across distance and social/cultural structures (like workplace rules) to enhance and build relationships where offline just can’t compete.

The presentation in this video is an interesting data point when thinking about how to approach the use of social media by pastors and churches.

What do you think?