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27 October 2009


I have so many things going on right now I can't see straight. I guess that just means I need to pull back for a few days and regenerate.

And there's no better way than going on a road trip with the Communications team.

First stop: Cultivate09

Here are my notes, chicken scratches and takeaways from the day. Overall a great conference. Met some new people and definitely left with stuff to chew on.

Phil Cooke
Creating compelling content in a media-driven world

2 Things are happening:

  1. Our content has become shorter
  2. We spend more time communicating + less time creating each message = Time Suck
Four questions to ponder:
  1. What are you really trying to do? "Remove obstacles/barriers (smooth the path) for people taking their next steps on the web.
  2. How do you deal with ambiguity? NOT providing the perfect answer to difficult questions when there really is NO perfect answer.
  3. Are you asking the right questions? Jesus is God - but so what? How does that impact my life?
  4. Stop focusing on: How much will it cost? And: When will it be ready?

Developing a web strategy
Drew Goodmanson (cobblestone software) & Gabe Taviano (Digital Disciples)

SEO (importance of - added numerous visitors/members the weeks following the optimization)

Online evangelism as a strategy is 1% or less successful. + side is that church members forming relationships in the community use the website as a connection point to get people into church.

Theological issues exist in the understanding of online church and if it's even possible for people to connect that way.

Must be PASSIONATE and PROFESSIONAL in order to be successful online.

Use of website for visitors: Visitors can send message online letting people know they are coming to church so you can meet them and welcome them at the kiosk.

Tony Steward ( Digerati) & Rhett Smith (counselor)

How does your pastoral responsibilities translate to the web?

How much are you responsible for? Do you have to answer every inquiry? Do you have to provide all services to all people?

So many books out there to grow social media - but are there resources to shrink and better manage your use of social media?

"Batch" your online usage. Check email/Twitter every hour or so rather than the minute it comes in.

Boundaries are huge when faced with the new onslaught of online communication. AND it's not really up to the leadership to set boundaries (work schedule and time nanagement) when they are God's boundaries from the beginning (Sabbath).

Matching space for space (people on computers are rarely standing) (Book: 4 hour work week)
Native to the environment (making the experience feel native to the user - what they would expect and want to see/feel)

Clint! Runge
Archrival Creative in Lincoln, NE

Differences between Gen X and Gen Y
  • Xers ask how can I be different. Yers ask how can we be different
  • Xers = exclusion. Yers = inclusion
Generation Y
  • Attitudes: "we" (as in Wikipedia).
  • Peer to peer approval most important thing. Branded to death so they tend to trust peers more than advertising.
  • Success = good life, good job with purpose and meaning.
  • Huge belief in causes: Environment (easy and no one is really against it), economy and education.
  • No Brand Loyalty.
Mobile devices are the "First screen"

Future of social media: 15 minutes of fame is an expectation rather than an aspiration.
  • First screen - "Social mobilization" GPS socialization.
  • Creation of smaller social networks based on interests and not the global collective.
  • Virtual world - Second Life.
Let people in on your "secret" and who cares what everyone else things. Marketing plan similar to that used by Red Bull, "We just want the 14-20 somethings drinking our drink so we'll cater to them in marketing - who cares what everyone else thinks..."

What's the next generation going to be known for? Those born in 2001 or later - Gen Y x50 or something to that effect. Born with the thought that they have all the answers and want
family cohesion.

Trends seen recently
  • New politics: Skepticism. People want change but not sure that change will occur. "Apple will have more impact on them than the government will."
  • The modern guy: What does it mean to be a guy these days? Free to explore things they are interested in. Things like dance, creativity, arts, starting different businesses, etc.
  • Life tracking: adding content to social media and even medical outlets so that it can be tracked and the collective data used for personal development.
  • Do the right thing: Too many ethical dilemmas. This generation gets very worked up over this stuff and there is a sense of relief when their decisions are seen as right or ethical.

Small Explosions
Bobby Gruenewald & Terry Storch (Digerati -

Creating small but sustained explosions that can stand the test of time rather than huge explosions that make a big impact that then fizzles out quickly.

Digerati Team: In the development of something like Youversion you start with the big picture in mind. But in that you must also check in each week to ensure the right steps are in place in order to move on to the next week's tasks. In these meetings you may only look a couple week's down the road rather than revisiting the big picture.

New York Cab Driver example: Keep moving forward and don't look back or to the side. Everyone knows his or her role and as long as the meeting up front does well at setting the expectations and framing the roles then everything works.

The 3 T's: Text, Twitter and Thumbs.

Tim Schraeder & Michael Forsberg

Park Community Church uses Jarbyco during all services to elicit feedback from participants on the messages and what they think. Also used interactive polling during a service to help drive the service.

Facebook, Twitter and Texting each hit a niche area and can be used in different ways. Nothing wrong with using all three.

Jon Acuff
Author of the Blog: Stuff Christians Like

"Booty. God. Booty." Description of being all about God only on Sunday mornings...

"Satire: Humor with a purpose."

The Devil tries to destroy your story and get you to discount your story.
Our response: Give your story to God. Don't forget why you tell your story.