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#NMTrain                 Real Relationships in a@drbexl                 Virtual Space?@digitalfprint   How can digital med...
http://j.mp/virtualcomm
http://youtu.be/1JFYioMWfBk
Community? Wikipedia defines community as  A group of interacting people, living in some   proximity (i.e., in space, ti...
What defines „a Community‟?
http://audioboo.fm/boos/367199-a-few-pearls-of-wisdom-from-jas-tdc11-re-community
Image purchased from iStockphoto
Image: http://j.mp/IaePVj
Christian Values?
Image purchased from 12Baskets
Love thy neighbour? What does it mean to „love your neighbour‟ in a world in which  a „friend‟ might as easily be the kid...
http://youtu.be/3SuNx0UrnEo
http://bigbible.org.uk/2011/06/does-social-media-count/
http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/donutsocialmed.jpg
Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 “In fact, the progression and continuing interaction among social media  formats is not unl...
Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 The thing is, it‟s not likely that you would introduce to  someone and then immediately inv...
Outreach Magazine, May 2012
May 2012, @ChristianityMag
Human Beings at Machines,not “are machines”.http://www.sxc.hu/photo/192333
Friendship“…Out of a commitment to an ideal of Christian relatedness that sees us all as God‟s children, each worthy of a...
http://bigbible.org.uk/big-read/bigread12/
http://j.mp/IaePVj
#Digidisciple(s)          http://bigbible.org.uk/digidisciple/our-digital-disciples/
http://j.mp/9waysmission
Some good advice from@ianaspin: Care for others - genuinely Know that the world doesn‟t revolve around you Be „remarkab...
Community?Wikipedia defines community as A group of interacting people, living in  some proximity (i.e., in space, time,...
@drbexl                                   @digitalfprint                                   @bigbible                      ...
Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain
Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain
Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain
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Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain

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Talk given for http://www.newmediacentreofexcellence.org.uk/regionaltraining in Leeds, April 28th 2012.

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  • IntroduceBex Lewis, Project Manage BB, seeking to encourage “bigger Bible conversations, online & offline”, also happen to be a lecturer in media studies, with a background as a historian… Take a vote: think online offers ‘real community’. Setting out stall early on … find word ‘virtual’ a bit of a misnomer … people have ‘virtual’ relationships with the characters that they watch on TV, but today we’re looking at the world of ‘new media’, particularly ‘digital/social’ media, and I’m hoping that by the end of today, that you’ll see that social media can help enhance human relationships, rather than damage them. I’m not being Pollyanna’ish, but I am keen to focus on the positive, as the media does a very good job of making us all fearful of using online tools and spaces… We’re dealing with real people, and real relationships… 45 minute session.
  • So, to give an example of this, I want to talk about something that happened to me on Monday. Things are not all going smoothly in Bex’s world, particularly personally, and I got an email which felt rather like the last straw. As I fought not to cry I tweeted that “work is not supposed to make you cry, but unfortunately it has”. I make use of deskspace at Premier, and was bundled off for prayers, hugs & tissues, and when I got back to my desk there was 40+ tweets from my Twitter friends offering hugs, prayers, thoughts… and asking what they could do to help practically. This screenshot indicates the conversation between myself/Sharon, who was sitting around the other side of the office, and came round with chocolate….
  • The one that put a smile back on my face was this, and indulge me by enjoying this… This link was NOT going to solve the issue that I was dealing with, but the same way as we’ll try to cheer our friends up when we meet them after they’ve had a bad day… this was a more ‘immediate’ & timely form of this.
  • So, bearing that experience in mind… let’s look at the Wikipedia definition of community (I am inhabitant of the digital spaces… it’s one of the first places I look – but as I stress to my students – not the last place!) … note that it doesn’t refer to ‘geography’ which is something that we in the church tend to see as central to our church experience… but is that how it is?DISCUSS: What defines ‘a community’? (3-4 minutes) What does ‘community’ look like? What are the elements that MUST be present for a community? No right/wrong answers here – about opening up debate. Will then take 2-3 minutes of answers, populating the next slide.
  • Now 2-3 minutes of answers… Expectation is that the essential elements are about much more than about being in a physical space…
  • 1:46
  • So, I hope that you’ll start using the terminology of online/offline, rather than real/virtual… these are real people, engaging in real relationships online.
  • As Mark Zuckerberg demonstrates, and as we know, communities already exist, so we’re not looking to replace those, but looking to enhance them through the use of social media, TOOLS that allow us to connect with each other more frequently, more immediately, more at ‘the point of need’ to use supermarket terminology. Note: Christian communities DO exist – but how open do we make them to others? If we have a ‘Christian ghetto’ site – great for discipleship, but not for reaching out to others…
  • So if we’re arguing that we want to demonstrate ‘whole-life’ Christian values in the digital space, what do we think these are? (Authenticity, Accountability, Traceability, Honesty, Support, Inclusiveness, Pastoral care, etc) and particularly how these might apply to online spacesAre we the same person, living by the same values in both 'spaces', what should those values be, and what particular challenges does the online environment offer to Christians?And don’t forget about those people who, for whatever reason, are unable to physically be in church (allergic to perfume, etc). 2-3 minutes to discuss, then 2-3 mins to feed into this PPT. (Grace, honesty, etc… )
  • It’s a SPACE …
  • Apologise to those of you who may already have seen this … seem to produce a new one each year, and last year it was June, but I think it helps set the scene really well as to why this online space is SO important to engage with! (2-3 minutes)
  • Apologise to those of you who may already have seen this … seem to produce a new one each year, and last year it was June, but I think it helps set the scene really well as to why this online space is SO important to engage with! (2-3 minutes)
  • Just to re-iterate this, see this screenshot from January, of an algorithm which seeks to demonstrate the sheer volume of traffic moving across the internet & how we need to engage with this – everyone else is hanging out here … if we say we want to reach people – we need to be there, be part of their conversations… [Link to BB site – demonstrate live if possible]
  • So, if you’re going to engage in these conversations – how do you become part of the conversation? As we’ve said, need to understand the tools… Understand is no such thing as ‘social media’, it’s a collective term for a range of tools, which allow you to have different types of conversations with different people. (Bryony) is going to give you more insight into Facebook & Twitter after this, but just to give you a quick look… it may be slightly daft, but it works – hence why this went “viral”!
  • Another nice explanation is this kind of idea … [read]Overall in this we need to be aware of a change in mindset from broadcasting (as we do in sermons) to conversation… in marketing terms we’ve moved from a ‘push’ (where we send acres of marketing) to a ‘pull’ economy – where the message that we have (and we have a good one, don’t forget that!) appeals to people & pulls them in…
  • Another nice explanation is this kind of idea … [read]Overall in this we need to be aware of a change in mindset from broadcasting (as we do in sermons) to conversation… in marketing terms we’ve moved from a ‘push’ (where we send acres of marketing) to a ‘pull’ economy – where the message that we have (and we have a good one, don’t forget that!) appeals to people & pulls them in…
  • I’m not a fan of the idea of the ‘digital native’, working rather with the idea of ‘resident/visitor’, but look at the levels of technology ownership (yes, it’s American). How are we going to capitalise on the tools that people are already using, and ensures that the message reaches them where they are, when they put out a hand to find it… or will the social media sphere be full of athiests, humanists, fundamentalists – all of whom use the online spaces very well!
  • Andy is going to talk more on online evangelism, but I thought that in all this we need to remember this great question that is posed by Christianity Magazine this month … social media is about RELATIONSHIPS: talk to people, have fun with them, debate with them, enjoy their company … don’t always be looking for “the big sell”…
  • Always remember that there is a human being at the other end of the keyboard - each uniquely created by God… and as is noted by many communicators is not what you’ve said, but what others have ‘heard’ … not everyone receives the message that you send in the same way .. And one message definitely doesn’t fit all… we’re in the world of what is described as “the long tail”, where rather than being able to send out a mass message, we have to have more concern with individuals (which I always hope we as Christians do anyway, but…. ) – Google searches for ‘niches’ (small keywords/multiple entry points, etc.) So…
  • Question of time commitment – give 2-3 minutes to discuss the question – again no right/wrong answers, but possibilities for engaging without getting lost in the technology – ensure that you are its master rather than its slave…
  • What I’d like to do is introduce you to a few members of my ‘Big Bible’ community. The Big Bible Project was set up around…
  • The Big Read 2011, where we wanted to encourage people to discuss the Lent material that we provided (built around Tom Wright’s Lent books on ‘For Everyone’) individually/in their housegroups, and then to come online to discuss with a wider range of people – to listen to a range of voices… We engaged with around 24,000 visitors on different platforms, so went ahead with Big Read 2012 (and just received funding for 2013).
  • Last year we tried a forum …. Was too much of a ‘space’ that people weren’t using … so this year we set up a FB group to catch people in the space they were already using … got over 300 genuine joiners .. Although a lot were clearly ‘lurkers’ rather than participants (does that matter?) …
  • And Laura Sykes set up a housegroup which was essentially a forum – allowing access to all who signed up – that definitely was busy.. Although potentially diluted the content in the Facebook group!
  • Over the previous year we’d developed relationships with a range of people via a mix of online conversations and offline events, and I wanted to encourage more ‘guest bloggers’ on The Big Bible Project – so came up with the idea of #digidisciple(s) … people who blog on what it means to be a disciple in the digital age/space once a month (or less). It’s given us a rich range of debates/conversations, and posts can spin off into responses, etc.. Note that (s) in brackets, as computers are stupid, so if you search for the plural, it’s less likely to find this.
  • Here’s one of the latest posts … all about being missional in a digital space, so v. appropriate – but we’ve covered all sorts of other topics – friendship, ethics, pastoral care, ‘being’ in the digital space, authenticity, engagement, practical tips… worth a look!
  • .. And here’s some of our community talking about this this morning.
  • When thinking about engaging with community – think of someone who does it exceptionally well (over 100k followers on Twitter…)
  • So, we return to where we started – the Wikipedia definition of community. Is the online such a community? Take a vote yes/no…
  • So ... More discussions… who’s going to kick us off?
  • Transcript of "Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain"

    1. 1. #NMTrain Real Relationships in a@drbexl Virtual Space?@digitalfprint How can digital media enhance true community?@bigbible Dr Bex Lewis, The Big Bible Project, CODEC UK@ww2poster Social Media Consultant, Digital Fingerprint
    2. 2. http://j.mp/virtualcomm
    3. 3. http://youtu.be/1JFYioMWfBk
    4. 4. Community? Wikipedia defines community as  A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CommunityDISCUSS What defines “a community”?
    5. 5. What defines „a Community‟?
    6. 6. http://audioboo.fm/boos/367199-a-few-pearls-of-wisdom-from-jas-tdc11-re-community
    7. 7. Image purchased from iStockphoto
    8. 8. Image: http://j.mp/IaePVj
    9. 9. Christian Values?
    10. 10. Image purchased from 12Baskets
    11. 11. Love thy neighbour? What does it mean to „love your neighbour‟ in a world in which a „friend‟ might as easily be the kid from down the street you grew up with as a woman in Botswana whom you‟ve never seen in person and only know in the context of Facebook status updates, photos, and notes? What is the nature of community at prayer in a compline service tweeted each evening by the cybermonks of a Virtual Abbey? What is the ecclesiological and liturgical significant of worship in various churches across the theological spectrum on the quasi-3D, virtual reality site „Second Life‟? How can we negotiate spiritual interaction in these contexts without losing sight of basic elements of Christian faith expressed in traditional embodied and geographically located practices of prayer, worship, and compassion towards others? Tweet if You Heart Jesus, p.xiv
    12. 12. http://youtu.be/3SuNx0UrnEo
    13. 13. http://bigbible.org.uk/2011/06/does-social-media-count/
    14. 14. http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/donutsocialmed.jpg
    15. 15. Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 “In fact, the progression and continuing interaction among social media formats is not unlike that found in face-to-face engagements. Twitter, for instance, is a bit like a public coffee hour. When you‟re at your best, you spend a little time with everyone, and take care especially to welcome newcomers. And, as at the coffee hour, it‟s generally considered rude when a group of more established friends hangs out in a clique, telling inside jokes that highlight how much everyone else is not part of their set. Facebook, by contrast, is ore like going to coffee with a select group of friends who might bring some of their own friends along. The conversation is still relatively public, and you might run into folk at the coffee shop who join in the conversation. A blog, however, is a poetry reading. Sure, it‟s public in a way. But it‟s pretty likely that only those people who already know you will come to hear what you have to say. If they like it, they might invite friends to the next one, or they might hang out afterwards to comment on your work.
    16. 16. Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 The thing is, it‟s not likely that you would introduce to someone and then immediately invite them to your upcoming poetry reading. You might mention that you wrote poetry in the context of a coffee hour getting-to-know-you or just-checking-in conversation. If there‟s a mutual interest, you might even go for coffee with your other poetry loving friends. All of this would happen before you started inviting people to your readings by way of creating a context for that invitation that comes off as something more relational than narcissistic.”
    17. 17. Outreach Magazine, May 2012
    18. 18. May 2012, @ChristianityMag
    19. 19. Human Beings at Machines,not “are machines”.http://www.sxc.hu/photo/192333
    20. 20. Friendship“…Out of a commitment to an ideal of Christian relatedness that sees us all as God‟s children, each worthy of attention and care.” (p.145) Where is the balance between conserving our sanity/deeper relationships, and ensuring that all feel valued? What about friendship „clearouts‟?
    21. 21. http://bigbible.org.uk/big-read/bigread12/
    22. 22. http://j.mp/IaePVj
    23. 23. #Digidisciple(s) http://bigbible.org.uk/digidisciple/our-digital-disciples/
    24. 24. http://j.mp/9waysmission
    25. 25. Some good advice from@ianaspin: Care for others - genuinely Know that the world doesn‟t revolve around you Be „remarkable‟, be different Earn the right to have others take notice of you Be grateful if ONE person cares what you‟re doing Have something to say that matters Do stuff that matters – make an impact Strive to bring value to everyone you connect with Be fantastically generous with our time, money, and kindness Be outrageously committed to making the world better It‟s all about relationships – build & nurture them Thanks @ianaspin (http://bigbible.org.uk/2010/10/the-eleven-commandments/)
    26. 26. Community?Wikipedia defines community as A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community
    27. 27. @drbexl @digitalfprint @bigbible @ww2posterImage purchased from iStockphoto
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