Monthly Archives: January 2010

New Tools For A New Time

For a number of years, I was fortunate to have worked as  a public administrator.  My work was in the field of workforce development,  helping people to  reach their vocational goals. I was a public servant,  using all the tools available to me to accomplish public missions and goals. Today,  as a minister of the gospel, I work as a servant of the Lord, using all the tools available to me to accomplish ministry goals, and answer to a higher authority. I’m truly blessed to witness the new thing God is doing in my life, as well as in the life of the church.

If the Apostle Paul lived today, would he write his letters to the church on parchment, or would he take advantage of the immediacy and global reach of social media? In my sanctified imagination, I can envision Paul sending out tweets and instant messages from his iPhone or Blackberry on his missionary journeys, as he shared the gospel and helped to build the church.

Social media are tailor-made tools for carrying out the Great Commission (Mark 16:15) of taking the gospel to all the world. Through the use of social media God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19).  We cannot afford to ignore these innovative social tools as we network and share the gospel in the 21st century!

Remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

Leave a comment

Filed under innovation, networking, social media

Social Media 101 – Flickr

This is one in a series of articles on understanding the basics of social media and social networking.  The church certainly cannot afford to sleep on these social media tools if it is to thrive creatively in the 21st century.

Flickr is an image and video hosting website, as well as an online user community. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photos, Flickr is widely used by blog writers to host images that they embed in their blogs and other social media.  As of October 2009, it claims to host more than 4 billion images. Among other things, users of Flickr can edit, tag, and comment on images.

For more on Flickr see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLo4355l6QE

To get more of a flavor for what Flickr is all about check out the Flickr blog  http://blog.flickr.net/en

Remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

Leave a comment

Filed under blogging, innovation, networking, photography, social media

Social Media 101 – Crowdsourcing: The Wisdom of Crowds

This is one in a series of articles that seeks a better understanding of the basic elements of social media and social networking. Social media and networking are having an increasing impact on the church today. Pastors, leaders, and members are stepping up their games to include social media as a means of expanding and enhancing their ministries. Crowdsourcing is one of the newer elements in the social media conversation that definitely cannot be ignored.

What is crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and presenting them to a large group of people online, called a crowd, through an “open call”  asking for “contributions”.   Crowdsourcing has been successfully used by companies such as Ely Lilly, Boeing, and Proctor and Gamble to solve, often complex problems, that the companies were unable to solve themselves. Opening up these problems to “crowds” allows for more innovative, creative, “out of the box” thinking, and, as a result, for quicker solutions. It takes advantage of the wisdom found in crowds to solve problems. One hundred heads are better than one. The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as a shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. 

An in-depth presentation on crowdsourcing (including some of its more controversial elements) is provided in the following video by Daren Brabham:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7g0xlJ1eig 

An example of a crowdsourcing website is Innocentive :

http://www.innocentive.com/

For more information on crowdsourcing see the following article:

http://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/top-crowdsourcing-websites-and-resources/

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/crowdsourcing_million_heads.php

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

Leave a comment

Filed under information, innovation, networking, social media, social media marketing

Social Media 101- Podcasts

This discussion of podcasts is the most recent in a series of articles dealing with the basic building blocks of social media. Our goal is to apply the tools of social media to enhance the Christian experience, as well as to apply the Christian experience to enhance social media.

The term “podcasting” combines “broadcasting” with “iPod.” Podcasts refer to the posting of digital audio content onto a web site; these files are downloadable to an MP3 player or one’s computer. Video podcast (sometimes shortened to vodcast) is a term used for the online delivery of video on demand via Atom or RSS enclosures. The term is used to distinguish between podcasts which most commonly contain audio files and those referring to the distribution of video. Users typically subscribe to podcasts or vodcasts, allowing users to access the content at their convenience. For more information on podcasting check out this video by Jason Rhode of NIU:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQFKNcdCdLM

Popular podcasting directories can be found at http://www.podcastalley.com/  and http://www.podcastdirectory.com/format/Christian . For a directory of vodcasts go to http://www.vodcasts.tv/ .

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

Leave a comment

Filed under information, innovation, networking, social media

Social Media 101 – Internet Forums

Welcome back readers! Did you notice our virtual snow stopped falling on the site yesterday? I kinda miss it. : ) Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday Season. I had a great time with family, friends, and loved ones, and hope you did, too. God is good all the time, and all the time He is good. As we enter the new year, we will continue our series,  Social Media 101, by taking a look at Internet Forums.

The Internet has been called the world’s largest meeting place. It’s also a global forum where people are generally free to get up on their soapboxes and discuss whatever is  on their  minds. Whatever the topic or interest there is usually a website out there on which  a discussion about it is going on. Sites where these discussions are hosted are called internet forums. They are also sometimes known as message boards, bulletin boards, discussion groups, or web forums. Internet forums are web applications in which user generated content is shared and managed. They differ from a web log, called a blog (such as the one you’re reading now), in that a blog is written by one user (or a team), and usually, only allows others to comment on or respond to the material posted on the blog. An internet forum, on the other hand,  usually allows all members to post  material and start new topics. Read Wikipedia’s excellent article on internet forums here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_forum

Internet forums usually have guidelines and rules that members are expected to follow. Examples of Internet forums can be found at http://hostboard.com  and http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites. Never post hateful, harmful, or ungodly material on internet forums. The Christian Community can certainly avail itself of more creative, and effective use of social media, including internet forums.

Until next time, God Bless. Kenneth Lillard

Leave a comment

Filed under information, networking, social media, social media marketing