Theological Community, EcoTheology, The Church, The World, The Blogosphere

The effects of Micro-blogging

June 29, 2013 By: Theoblogical Category: Wordpress

I’ve long been critical of how the rise of the micro-blogging (starting with the most micro of all, Twitter, and the slightly longer form Google + and Facebook, and the services like Tumblr, where I tend to go to make longer-than-Twitter comments on things that elicit a response from me that I read online.

Last night (or early this morning, around 2am, I upgraded my WordPress install to 3.5.2, and noticed it had been months since I posted anything as a blog post. I STILL don’t like that. I saw a WordPress plugin that makes a blog post from Google + Posts. I am pondering doing that. I am also investigating Google Plus Comments, if I can get it to nicely play with Disqus and WordPress comments. I want to keep my WordPress local storage of all comments in line, and Facebook comments I will NEVER deploy if all the comments stay in Facebook. NEVER. That’s the SILO that I detest. Google has export features for ALL of my data, just like the RSS export I did before the discontinuation of Google Reader.

As I move into the ramping up of my work with (I’ve been working as the Social Media person there on a part time basis since September, and now that I’m pretty much done for now with my UMCom project that I’ve been doing full time for the past 2 months, it’s time to ramp up to full timw with Sciddy. Part of my upgrade and efforts to add some additional Social power to my comments is also relevant to my task of getting Sciddy more visibility.

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Trust Quotes #9: Chris Brogan

June 01, 2010 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

My biggest peeve in perusing the daily, hourly, constant stream of Social Media (Twitter in particular)  is the barrage of self-promotion that most organizations think is “doing Social Media”.  If I weren’t committed to trying to lend my voice and my skills to helping the church understand and utilize Social Media* ,  I would have unfollowed a lot of “church” orgs because they seem to know little else than talking about themselves constantly.  Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents and Social Media 101,  and widely considered to be the number one “Social Media Guru”,  also sounds this theme.  Before him,  10 years ago,  The Cluetrain Manifesto authors told us this,  back in the day when blogs were “the tool” that most defined Social Media.

In all cases, we all believe that beating people over the head with your needs and desires to sell products or services isn’t a successful strategy any longer. We look to build relationship-based selling models, such that we turn audience into community, and we guard our relationship with our community as an asset, every bit as much as we guard our trade secrets.

My personal definition? Be helpful. The way I built my own personal brand was delivering information that others could use to improve their own lot in life. And I promote others at least 12 times as much as I promote my own stuff on various social networks.

via Trust Quotes #9: Chris Brogan.

What’s that?  “.. promote others at least 12 times as much as I promote my own stuff on various social networks” ?

Have your own voice (that was “Cluetrain” terminology).  Marketing speak turns people off.  How do we convince people that our community has something for them?  I think perhaps it has to do with listening to what THEY are talking about.  NOT trying to steer the conversation.  Not trying to SET the content of the conversation.  It has to do with HELPING them find resources that are of apparent interest to THEM.

So take heed,  church organizations.  When 99% of your tweets and Facebook messages are promoting YOUR content,  YOUR events,  and YOUR products,  you come off as blind and deaf to the audience.

(* and whatever name it may take on down the road….”Social Media” has been around for 20 years….it’s just the capabilities of the medium that have evolved.  Computer Mediated Communication, Virtual Community,  Online Community, it all seeks to describe the experience of connecting to people via the network.  The Internet finally connected most of these networks together, and the value of the network experienced explosive growth.)

Dumb Title: “Blogs Are Out, Social Networking Is In” #wiredchurch #smchurch

February 06, 2010 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

The title of this post sounds a bit clueless to me.  Blogs ARE a sizeable portion of Social Networking.  Blogs existed before just about EVERYTHING that is now thought of as “Social Networking”.  I think it would be more accurate to say that “Blogs are no longer the rage”,  or “Twitter and Facebook” are more popular than Blogs”.  Well, DUH.  But the increase in Blogging among the over 30 crowd seems to me to be a typical and predictable reaction to the “paring down” of what it takes to be “out there” in Social Networking comparative to what it took to come up with blog posts.  The “under 30” crowd seems to gravitate to quick, low output, “quicky” status updates and texting type messages,  while the older “networkers” see their role as curators to their audiences. 

In 2006, about 28 percent of teenage Net users said they blog, while only about 14 percent now say they do. Commenting on blogs is also down, from 76 percent in 2006 to about 52 percent now.

But blogging has remained relatively constant among older users. Pew said its studies in recent years have "consistently found that roughly one in 10 online adults maintain a personal online journal or blog." About 11 percent of Net users age 30 and over maintain a personal blog, compared to seven percent in late 2007.

NewsFactor Network | Blogs Are Out, Social Networking Is In

Blog apps have begun extending themselves outward into the larger Social Networking streams via allowing for logins from other social networking authentication,  and by the growing API features for Twitter, Friendfeed,  etc.   One plugin,  which I could not get to work on my WordPress blog,  claimed to be able to pull in tweets that reference the tweet generated for the blog post,  and link to these in the comments section. 

This is further evidence of the fact that blogs are a part of this ecosystem of Social Networking.  Many of the earliest tweeters immediately found their same group of people to “follow” that they were connecting with via RSS in the heydey of the blogs. Now they find posts and items of interest that are singled out by their other “followed” sources,  instead of having to filter out items in the RSS feeds that don’t particularly interest them. 

So far from being “out” of the “circle of IN” in this scramble to be “with it” re: Social Networking,  blogs are simply adapting,  as are their most active and “social” authors, leveraging the tweet streams as filters to help find the most relevant stuff.  And again,  I think the church needs to focus on this role as curator.  We need systems that bring together the resources that others bring to bear,  and they are out there. 

Blogs are still important #smchurch #wiredchurch @scobleizer #twit

January 02, 2010 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

Leo on are talking about how blogs are being used less and less,  but Scoble says something that to me and a whole lot of folks is pretty obvious:  Every now and then you have something you want to say that takes more than 140 characters.  For me,  that’s most things.  If I do more than just link to something or say a quick “That’s cool”,  I do a blog post,  title it to fit into a Tweet (along with its appropriate hashtags),  add the usual blog tags,  and the blog posts it as a tweet that links to the blog post. 

Have we gotten so “micro” that we forego much of any elaboration?  This is really bad when we consider the Twittersphere as a content connector for the church.  Also for those of us at all interested in the sociological/theological implications of immersive techno-communications. 

I need to check if archives these shows.  I want to be able to refer back to this discussion as it took place on

How to Blog? #RSS #twitter #whyblog

November 07, 2009 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

I am seeing a rash of “advice” on how to “think up” blog posts.   No doubt this is a result of the Twitter popularity.  I hate gimmicks.  Much of the advice given about “increasing your blog output” is irritating to me.  Why?  Because the point of a blog is to speak your mind.  I see so many twitter posts that make some comment,  but there is no blog or background to let the reader in on what lies behind that comment.  Here is a good and natural reason to “start a blog”:   out of one’s Twitter usage. 

For me,  and many other veteran bloggers,  it was blogs (and their RSS feeds) first.   Twitter brought to the masses a way to post quick updates,  and even news happening in front of or discovered by the tweeter.  So blogs for me was a big reason to jump into Twitter in a big way.  It has definitely DECREASED my checking in on RSS feeds.  It’s like an RSS feed moderated by the authors of the RSS feed content.

Ironically,  the article that started me on this little rant was one that was tweeted by title “How to think of Blog Posts”  ,  but the author (one of my favorites in the world of Social Media, Chris Brogan) actually did something with that similar to what I would say,  In a nutshell,  put down your thoughts and your reactions. Other blogs (and now tweets,  often  pointing to blogs)  and articles on the Web provide me with much of my blog fodder.  That’s why I am so interested in “Blog This” plugins for browsers that allow me to highlight something I want to quote and open it in a quote style for my blog,  provide the link to the source,  and also auto title the post based on the original title.  I now have a WordPress plugin that turns around and posts a twitter update like this :  “New blog post: Title of Post (url of post shortened by”……there was a plugin that promised that it would post comments back to the blog from any retweets of that blog post,  but that plugin failed to work,  but I love that idea.   Anything which helps me weave a more robust, listening, engaged presence is something in which I’m very much  interested.