Character Inventory Experiment

My mentoring group and I were having a deep chat, as we often do. We were trying to individually come up with 3 questions we want an answer to before we die. One of my questions: “How accurate is my self perception?”. In other words; do most people think I am who I think I am?

As is often the case, with a quality mentoring group, I was prodded to put some teeth to this thought and the idea was dropped to actually find the answer using the form you see here.

This is completely anonymous; so refrain from giving answers so specific as to give yourself away. I will also report on what I learn about myself on my blog in a week or so. Thanks in advance. Remember to be honest, I hope to grow stronger.

Fill out my online form.

The Cool Kids

Rich Kirkpatrick wrote a great post and I started to comment. It was long. Now it’s this:

A funny thing has happened in the last 2 years or so, that I’ve noticed. New media was dominated by a small pool of early adopters, in the church space specifically, and for a few years they seemed to be of much substance and virtue to the conversation writ large for the ‘C’hurch. Maybe they were.

A big majority of them have seemed to just fade away into the background, for better or worse, as the technologies they leveraged have become boring and everyday enough that all can use them.

What this is adding up to (and I think it’s a good thing) is a conversation where the best ideas are being shared and talked about rather than the ideas of those with an agenda and a large platform.

That is to say; the ‘cool kids’ will lose their shirts in this new reality of transparency on a level playing field.

Church Leaders Do Not Understand The Times

Where are the men of Issachar these days?

1 Chronicles 12:32 said that these were the people who were responsible for both understanding the times and knowing what to do.

Today, like most days, I came across an interesting story several times in my social stream. A Church is suing a woman who has posted negative reviews on several review sites about the church as well as start a blog sharing her story of discontent with how that church has handled some issues. Now, I don’t know the whole story here and I leave it up to the courts to figure that out but I can comment on the perception that the public now has of this church and the woman.

Clearly the church in question, and the leaders of it, just don’t get it. We live in a completely different culture now that new media has become pervasive. The problem is that most church leaders think culture is the same PLUS we have new media and that is where we are failing right now not just at Beaverton Grace Bible Church; whose biggest offense might be the over use of papyrus.

We cannot go about communicating and connecting with people, both inside and outside our churches, the same way we did EVEN 5 years ago. We have turned the corner and new media has gone from being a thing that was simply a new tool to something that has forever changed our culture right down to our very core of how we empathize with our fellow man.

What this means on the ground for you as a leader in a church:

Think new media first
Don’t do your normal vision and strategy thing and then look to new media as a secondary tool or channel. New media must be a part of your thinking from moment one just like it is part of culture continually. Better yet, use new media in real time to work through your strategy it will make your church that much more transparent.

Be Transparent…now
Transparency is everything in new media space, and that just may be the scariest thing to baby boomer leaders who are used to having tightly controlled channels of communication and an audience at the ready. Millenials need you to be transparent because they don’t trust leaders, and for good reason. This means the conversation must continually be two way.

Make noise
If you truly have a vibrant community at your church and they are connected in new media sharing stories, then the positive should out weigh the negative. In a new media world there is always going to be a negative review, especially for a church, but you have to rise above that and celebrate the beautiful stories in a public way. If your organization is truly toxic there will be know hiding it, I can’t help you there.

Church Website Effectiveness Survey

At Gateway Church we are looking to gather some real data to understand how our website is performing. The problem we have is that there really isn’t much in the way of industry standards on measurable points of data. Most church website surveys and studies focus on subjective opinions of UI and UX rather than hard numbers.

If you manage, or know someone who, manages a church website we would love to share the data with you. Just pop open your analytics and fill out this form and we’ll send everyone that contributes data the results.

Fill out my online form.

Reconnect Conference

I had a great time up in Cambridge, Ontario Canada last week at the Reconnect Conference. A couple people asked for the clips I played during my talk so without further delay I give you:

//// There’s a video here. Click through to view it.

//// There’s a video here. Click through to view it.

Stop Talking About Social Media

Being in the field that I’m in and having the friends, colleagues and network that I have, there are a lot of people around me who are flat out experts in social media. It’s created a really cool journey and an inside look at a lot of really amazing ideas over the last 5 years; but I think it’s time to move on.

Clay Shirky, in his book Here Comes Everybody, says:

“Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring….It’s when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen…”

I would like to think that, at the early adopter level, we have gotten to this point but there are still enough ‘early adopters’ out there still making so much noise about ‘Social Media’ itself that we are stunting the growth of the top part of the bell curve. If we are going to pull culture along and lead them to the place that we have all discovered, which is the position of ubiquity that new media has in our live’s as early adopters, we need to act like it is pervasive and ubiquitous so that it truly becomes so.

Every time we do another blog post on 101 level social media ideas and strategy we stunt the growth of people who might otherwise be much farther down the road. Every time we try to convince our teams to adopt more social channels we turn them off and keep them out of the game. Every time we do another seminar on social media we slow down progress.

So stop talking about social media and just let it become the norm.

SXSW 2012 Recap

South by SouthWest Interactive is one of the most important conferences in the world. There. I said it.

In my conversations about it I realize that way too many people have no idea what SXSWi is all about. When I say SXSW half the people think of the music festival that happens right after interactive. The other half think that it is a technology and development conference for uber geeks.

SXSWi is actually a conference on culture and where culture is going. Since technology it what makes culture change than it naturally is at the forefront of the conversation at SXSWi. If understanding culture and where culture is headed is important to you and your career you need to think about attending SXSWi.

Some of the sessions I attended:

The View From Inside Rainn Wilson’s Brainstem

This was the highlight for me since it was right in my wheelhouse; spirituality on the internet. You may or may not know that Rain Wilson launched Soul Pancake, an online community that discusses the ‘big questions’, in March of 2009. I signed up for the beta back then because I was really interested in spirituality and the internet.

Notable notes

[blackbirdpie url=”!/aaron_j_patton/status/178629250327379968″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/m_vince/status/178620157864845313″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/sabialea/status/178630848944418817″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/StarTGIF/status/178629858535014400″]

Digital Debouchery With Anthony Bourdain

I’ve said it before, Anthony Bourdain has my dream job. I’m not saying that lightly, I really believe he has the best job in the world. So it goes without saying that this was the session I was most looking forward to. As a content creator first and foremost I think the No Reservations is creating some of the best content out there today. The session was a look at some of their creative processes and team dynamics as well as some insight on their use of new media. Since this is an all ages blog I’ll keep it clean with some of the notable notes:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/ninanord/status/179680924059967489″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/m_vince/status/179676648474554368″]

[blackbirdpie url=”!/RandyElrod/status/179671211347943425″]

Open Source Book Club | Cognitive Surplus

A couple weeks ago at re:create conference in Franklin, TN the conversation was ripe for bringing up a book that came to my attention a year ago when I saw Clay Shirky speak at SXSWi (check out my notes from this mind blowing talk and listen to the audio). The book is called Cognitive Surplus and the ideas in it are some of the most important concepts for leaders to understand in the new media reality that we now live.

Some of the brilliant minds I connected with at re:create thought it would be a good idea to do a blog to blog book review/conversation on Cognitive Surplus. I like the book so much I’m always down for reading it again. I’m currently re-reading Here Comes Everybody, also by Clay Shirky, so it’s fitting to dig into Cognitive Surplus again.

Head over to the blogs of the others involved (Adam HerodAmanda SimsChris BranscomeDavid Ballard) and get yourself a copy of the book and start digging in. Next week one of us will post the first post on the first chapter and then we’ll see what happens.

Social Media Case Study: Best Worst Movie

best worst movie
I just watched the documentary; Best Worst Movie. The doc takes a look at the phenomenon of the rise of, what some consider to be, the worst movie ever made to cult status 20+ years after its release. Best Worst Movie documents the actors from the film as they discover that people all over the country have mysteriously fallen in love with, what they themselves considered to be a horrible movie, that they were embarrassed to have been in. Somewhere around 2007 people started to gather in large groups to view the film and throw parties themed after Troll 2. This escalated into screenings at sold out theaters that had to turn people away because the demand was so high. Continue reading Social Media Case Study: Best Worst Movie