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

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.)

More on the Newspaper in the bottom of the cage illustration #wiredchurch #smchurch

March 07, 2010 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

Several minutes ago I tweeted: “Saying we’re doing social media because we use some of the tools is like saying my pet bird reads because he shits on the newspapers in the bottom of his cage. “

If you’re not using social media for conversations to get to know your audience,  what’s "social" about that?  You’re just using and being traditional media as a MARKETING and advertising bull horn.  You’re just dumping old media broadcasting into new media.  The church seems to have a real hard time learning this.  We may even say that we see that there is a new media out there,  and we bring it in and fill it with what we think needs to be “out there”— we use it as a tool for self promotion.  But what we should be learning is that the conversational nature of the Social Media enables us to go beyond pushing out our wares and to begin to represent by our presence what the church has to offer.  That is: our community and its mission to find in God’s gathered people that place to BE as a people a light;  a people set apart by our commitment to be a place where radical friendship is possible,  and where we work together to find what it is God wants to use us to do to BE the change that we say we seek. 

We do not represent change by trying to shoehorn old marketing into new “Social” media.  Especially this people called church.   Chris Brogan tells people curious about or involved in Social Media to tweet 9 good things that OTHERS are doing for every tweet that points to ourselves.  God IS active,  and the church IS experiencing can be found to be in the middle (indeed ,  the locus)  of such activity,  so there is are  lot of things to engage about.  We seem to be utilizing Social Media in order to appear “current” and that “we get it”,  but we continue to miss how the social web puts the audience up front as the way to find out what the conversation should be (and IS,  regardless of whether we actually get it — (ala Cluetrain Manifesto)  — if we aren’t listening ,  the audience gravitates to those who do.

Cluetrain Manifesto

August 23, 2009 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

CLUETRAIN-coverWow.  Has it been that long already?  This is a book that pointed me in the right direction.  It got me blogging.  It instilled some boldness in me.  IN a sense,  that it it has been 10 years has me a bit ashamed of myself.  I would have thought I could have achieved so much more than I have.  I got too complacent with a routine,  and didn’t venture out to push for more of a pioneering pursuit of a social networking that would enhance the journey of the church. Maybe I need to reread this—or get this edition and read the reflections and new challenges.  Time can pass quickly in Human/Internet years.  WOW.From the website blurb:

The Seminal Work of the Internet Age -- Jeff Jarvis

With a giant “People of Earth!” The Cluetrain Manifesto roared into the Web’s consciousness in 1999. Appearing first as a website, quickly followed by the book, the Manifesto proclaimed an “end of business as usual.” The authors, four Internet experts, led readers through the new reality of the networked marketplace with their 95 Theses, including the first one—startling in its simplicity and truth: “Markets are conversations.”

And business listened. But ten years after Cluetrain’s original publication, too many companies are still ignoring the idea that their markets are really made up of people—and the book’s message remains more relevant than ever. Companies may be wired for business, but they still struggle with how to talk to their customers like human beings.

Cluetrain Manifesto

Facebook is “The Borg”?

January 18, 2009 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

Doc Searls, one of the early bloggers and co-author of what many consider to be the Bible of social networking philosophy,  The Cluetrain Manifesto,  hasn’t been a big fan of Facebook.  I’m with him on that.  There isn’t much conversation that isn’t “water cooler” talk,  and comparing favorites lists.  Even in areas one would think would foster conversation, like “What I’m Reading”,  it seems to be focused on the list rather than on specific thoughts and opinions on specific books.

A “Facebook friend” who is also an offline friend and former co-worker noticed this tendency in Twitter,  which is what Facebook tends to highlight in pushing forward the “Status Updates”:

I spent an hour yesterday reading my own Xanga blog. I realized something.. Twitter destroys ALL forms of prolonged coherent thought.

oh,  this thing with Facebook.  I have yet to get EXCITED about it ….it seems to be all the rage.  There are some cool things about it.  But it doesn’t move me like blogging has.  I need a filtering mechanism for it,  to weed out all the insanely uninteresting stuff. And the constant barrage of things to join and games to play.  It’s like face to face in a bad way:  just more surface stuff to smile and nod about,  meanwhile,  we move on with precious few outlets to talk about things that matter,  or having the kind of conversations that connect us to others at a deeper level,  where the real person we are lurks.

Doc Searls Weblog · Facebook is The Borg

Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog » Blog Archive » Andrew Keen’s Train Wreck

April 06, 2007 By: Theoblogical Category: Uncategorized

 Terry Heaton of The PomoBlog has the same sort of reaction to Keen’s new release as I do:

The Cult of the AmateurI’d never heard of this guy until Doc Searls wrote about his new book, The Cult of the Amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture. I’ve ordered the thing, because it’s important for me to read this stuff, even though I can tell you it’s all bullshit.

Although,  I HAD heard of Keen.  Couldn’t tell you in what vein,  but the name sounds familiar (but maybe that was Sam Keen,  for whom I DO have some respect)

Source: Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog » Blog Archive » Andrew Keen’s Train Wreck