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Web and Social Media Strategy for Your Church or Ministry

I’ll level with you: I’m doing something new.

I left my job in parish ministry last week and began to work full-time in the field of social media and ministry. While continuing my role at the Center for Church Communication, I’ve really started to dig in to what it takes to be effective with social media as a church and/or ministry.

That work is taking place with the good folks at Monk Development. Up to this point, those of us in the faith social media world have gotten good statistics on why we should be using social media in our faith organizations, but we’ve never really seen what is effective.

That’s about to change.

At Monk, we’re on the cusp of some breakthrough concepts and insights that we can’t wait to share with your and your team. We’re already starting to partner with churches and denominations around the country to bring them more of the what of social media instead of just the why.

The why has been covered. We’re interested in bringing value to you and actually showing you and your organization how to go about putting together a strong social media presence.

If you’re at a point where  your church or ministry is ready to pull the trigger on a website redesign, web or social media strategy or starting an online community for your congregation, please get a hold of me. I believe the information and practical strategy that Monk can bring to you will bring your church/ministry communication and organizational clarity.

Like I said, hit me up if this is of interest to you. Otherwise, check out what we can bring to your table. You keep focusing on building the relationships. Let us focus on the technology. Sounds like a good deal, yeah?

Moving the Cloud-Based Computer With Ease

Part of the drag of transitioning out of a job that I’ve been at for the past seven years is the dreadful process of moving files. I’ve amassed quite the collection of digital goods over the years, and they’ve usually resided on one of the many work computers I’ve had. Documents, media, notes, pictures, random files—you name it, it’s on my work computer hard drive somewhere.

As I’m moving things over from my MacBook 17″ to my newly purchased MacBook Air 13″, I’m realizing how happy I am with the decision to invest in cloud technology. For instance:

I use MobileMe to transfer all my computer’s settings and apps from the old to the new. I also use it to easily transfer files remotely between all of the Wise family computers (Back to My Mac, yo!) I know people give MobileMe a hard time, but I’ve really enjoyed the service.

I use Google Docs to keep all of my various work-related documents, both personal and collaborative, in one space.

I use Evernote to keep all my ideas in one place. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to open up Evernote for the first time on a new laptop and see all of your files, nice and synced and ready to go!

I used Rdio and Grooveshark to keep my music rolling through the whole process. Grooveshark still has a way to go, but they allow you to upload your own collection to the cloud, which is a huge plus. Rdio lets you stream pretty much any music you can think of on your desktop, through the web or using one of their apps. Very easy.

And finally, I use Dropbox to sync my Home folder with the cloud. With the 50 gb updgrade, I can sync my Mac home folder to the cloud using Dropbox and access it from anywhere. In my opnion, Dropbox is the most important cloud app out of all the ones listed here. You need Dropbox. Trust me.

What used to take a whole day now takes an hour at most (excluding the initial transfer using Migration Assistant). Just download a few apps and your new computer is up and running in no time. All hail the power of the cloud!

What apps am I missing? What do you enjoy the most?

Mobile Web Set to Dominate

I’m not usually stunned by data charts and the like. Statistics don’t usually do it for me.

That changed, however, when I saw the stats from Mary Meeker’s presentation on Web 2.0. The information she’s presenting, even if it’s 25% correct, this is some really wild stuff! (Note: I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of her statistics, simply for hyperbole’s sake!)

Take for instance the slide below:

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Ray-Ban Goes Augmented Reality

It’s really as cool as it sounds. Check out this video for a peek at how Ray-Ban’s latest ad campaign is pulling you into the experience.

To try it out for yourselves:

  1. Download the posters here.
  2. Go to the website here.
  3. Point poster at webcam and watch the hilarity ensure.

Has anyone seen other augmented reality apps/websites that work well?

A New Idea for Internet Accountability

I was thinking of solutions to combat Internet pornography addiction the other day. While there is some good software on the market already, I see a need for a reliable, fool-proof solution. Something that combines technology with a true desire to help people who struggle with this addiction.We all know the stats, Internet porn is a plague that lots of people, both inside and outside the church, struggle with.

Like I said, there are some solutions out there but I think there’s room for something different. Something dependable and tamper-proof. Something that’s installed blindly and only able to be administered by the person you designate.

This idea’s for free. If you’re in development and see a way to make this happen, go for it. It’s all yours:

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4 Creative Ways to Use an iPad in Your Ministry

Having my iPad now for about a month, I feel like I’m just starting to explore some of its abilities. The popular critique of the iPad has been that it’s a beautiful piece of technology without a problem to solve.

I beg to differ.

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How Technology is Changing Church Culture

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Cynthia Ware is a pro. I’ve been privileged enough to collaborate with her on a few projects recently and I’m consistently impressed by her expertise and care. She knows church. She knows new media–for pity’s sakes she has a degree in it! She gets it.

I was researching for a workshop I’ll be leading at Faith Lift in the Twin Cities next month and I came across this gem from Cynthia. The title of the article is “Technology and the Virtual Church”, but it focuses on the very fabric that makes up the clothes of the Body of Christ. It’s all-encompassing. The vision that Cynthia lays out is compelling. Superb.

Here’s a portion of the article that struck me. Cynthia contrasts the culture of the church with the mindset of the “rest” of the world:

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USB Ports Will Change the Way You Charge

I found this little gem via Mashable and thought it too awesome to not pass on to you:

usb_port

What you’re looking at is a new power outlet developed by True Power that integrates two USB ports into a standard power outlet. This, in a word, is awesome.

I’ve already got a perfect spot for one of these picked out in my house. The outlet by my bedside is what I usually use to power my iPhone at night. No more adapters, just plug that baby right into the wall!

For those nervous about power usage and expensive electronics not mixing well, True Power offers this assurance:

Please also note that the USB ports only draw power when something is physically connected to the port. We didn’t want a vampire port that continually sucks and wastes power when not in use so this was one of the features on the top of our priority list during the design phase.

These start shipping in early 2010. You better believe I’ll be on the pre-order list!

Google Wave Giveaway!

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Because we love early adopters here at BeDeviant, we thought we’d share the wealth with some Google Wave invites we just received.

Here’s the deal: We have eight of them and we’ll be giving them away all day today. How? Much in the same way we gave away a $30 iTunes gift card on #DeviantDay. Here’s the rules:

  1. Tweet a phrase of how you’re “thinking differently” about things in your life. Maybe it’s solving a problem at work in a new way or maybe you spent an hour this morning staring at the light of a prism. For example, “Today instead of buying coffee at Starbucks I brewed some at home and brought it to work in a thermos. #BeDeviant”
  2. Make sure you include the hashtag #BeDeviant. Only those with the hashtag will be counted.
  3. Check back here at 4pm CST for a list of winners! If you win, you’ll need to email me your address so I can invite you.

So have fun looking at your life and seeing ways in which you think differently. Seeing the ways in which God has crafted you to be you. And once you’re on Wave, be sure to look me up (justin.m.wise@googlewave.com)!

Ready? Go!

—–

UPDATE: And the winners of a Google Wave invite are…

  1. @bpinks
  2. @bobbyshirley
  3. @jeremyanderberg
  4. @benlemery
  5. @seanwashington
  6. @jim_gray
  7. @jmekent
  8. @rosshesseltine

Congrats! Just send an email to justin(at)bedeviant(dot)com to claim your prize!

Do Not Adjust Your Mind

There is no spoon.

[HT: Emily Carver]

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