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Social Media Masterclass for London Witness


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A full-day course working with London Witness ( - seeking to confidently communicate God in London.

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Social Media Masterclass for London Witness

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA MASTERCLASS This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Dr Bex Lewis Director, Digital Fingerprint Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, CODEC Centre for Digital Theology, Durham University May 2015 for London Witness masterclass-for-london-witness
  2. 2. Today’s Session • Introductions • Why social media? • Getting past the fear • Where? • Twitter • Facebook • YouTube • Blogging • Other • Strategy • Where • When • Who • Action Planning
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  4. 4. Let’s “tweet” each other…“Let’s Tweet Each Other”
  6. 6. Image Credit: Facebook Meme
  7. 7. SOCIAL Media
  8. 8. "If you want to build a presence in the social media platform, then you need to be present." - @unmarketing
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  10. 10. @drbexl
  11. 11. The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young. Social networks are the result of human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the dynamics of communication, which builds relationships: a considered understanding of this environment is therefore a prerequisite for a significant presence there. Pope Benedict XVI (2013) @drbexl
  12. 12. The Big Questions •Why •Where •When •What •Who •To achieve what? •How do the digital tools help achieve this?
  13. 13. WHY?
  14. 14. Image Credit: The Worship Cloud
  15. 15. “There’s no place for faith in our public life” Discuss The problem with the question is that it presupposes that the 'secular' perspective found in the phrase 'public life' is without 'faith' in the first place. If faith is a combination of worldview (or how we imagine the world to be), praxis (a combination of rituals, liturgies, ethics and financial considerations), and life expectations (what, in light of worldview and praxis you expect life to be like, a kind of telos) then the 'secular' is as much a faith as orthodox Christianity. If this is the case, then it's not so much 'should faith be in the public square' but rather, 'which faith would we prefer to be in the public square?’ Joshua Penduck, Ordinand
  16. 16. “There’s no place for faith in our public life” sounds like a form of oppression to me. Firstly, what does one mean by "faith" in this context? Too many people use the word faith to me "things you believe, which I do not believe" or vice versa. I this context, I'd substitute "faith" for "belief system" (and add that atheism is a belief system). Now the statement reads "There's no place for belief systems in our public life." Now the statement sounds like, at best a form of denial, or worse wilful ignorance of the psychology. Faith is inherently involved in public life, the only questions are: what kind of faith (or faith in what) and is that faith declared or undeclared. Generally, when people have said to me "there's no place for faith in our public life" what they meant was "there's no place for your belief system in my world." - and that is most definitely a belief (form of faith) that is trying to shape public life. Benjamin Ellis, Social Technologist
  17. 17. That statement, unqualified, is a logical impossibility, I'd say. Like saying 'there's no place for water in a human body'. It's not true, it shouldn't be true and it's almost impossible to imagine a real, live situation in which it could be true. Being a little less obdurately literal, I think there's a context behind this question that's been created by a linguistic trick/synecdoche – something like saying 'there's no place for insisting that overpriced, artificial, carbonated, bottled, super-chilled water be the only liquid in the human body'. That is, people take a particular and very specific understanding/manifestation of the thing at hand and use it to stand in for the general term. In the case of 'faith', it will variously mean 'unquestioning adherence to a major world religion' or 'superstitious behaviour based on claims without any verifiable evidence' or 'brash confidence in the ability to change a situation' – or even more specific stuff, like 'telling people not to have sex before marriage' or 'setting economic policy on advice from bankers, not econometricians' or any one of a million other things. And then, without anyone saying so explicitly, *that* specific notion becomes the basis for arguing for or against the inclusion of something as general as 'faith' in public life. In almost any other context, we know how crazy and dangerous it is to be so careless but the faith thing seems oddly vulnerable to this haziness. /rant. Ben Whitnall, Bible Society
  18. 18. As an atheist… I have a strong spiritual side…. For me, faith originates within me, influenced by the world that I am in, but it is first and foremost a personal venture. Of course, it affects how I live. Anything to do with meaning and the 'more' to life has to, I think. I don't subscribe to a religion but a lot of the time I enjoy talking to and living alongside those who do. Their beliefs can be inspiring and thought- provoking and challenging, and I value them as people and so I like that conversation being a public one - and hope it is respectful. I think faith is less likely to become oppressive or dangerous if there is a very strong personal conviction and it is not just treated as a social way of life with everything coming from outside of you Miranda Cooper-Beglin
  19. 19. “The real battles of faith today are being fought in factories, shops, offices and farms, in political parties and government agencies, in countless homes, in press, radio and tv, in the relationship of the nations. Very often it is said that the Church should go into those spheres but the fact is that the Church is already in those spheres in the persons of the laity.” World Council of Churches 1955 H/T @jaybutcher
  20. 20. @MurielSowden If you have faith, then you live that faith 24/7. Not something that can be switched off in differing contexts.
  21. 21. Understand the Culture Image Credit: Bex Lewis, Morocco, 2014
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  23. 23. Are you comfortable learning from ‘marketing’?
  24. 24. Networks of Networks
  25. 25. The Church Front Door? For many churchgoing is no longer the ‘cultural norm’. People don’t actively ignore the church: they don’t even think about it. Matthew 5:13-16 calls us to be salt and light in the world, and for thousands in the ‘digital age’, that world includes social networks such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. With literally billions in the digital spaces, the online social spaces presented by churches need to be appealing, welcoming, and not look like they are just an afterthought: they are now effectively the ‘front door’ to your church for digital users, and you ignore those spaces at your peril. Image Credit:
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  27. 27. We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love (Drescher, 2011, 127)
  28. 28. Carl Medearis Relax, enjoy your friends. Enjoy their company along with the company of Jesus. Point him out, freely, without fear or intimidation. You’re not responsible to sell him to them. You’re simply saying what you’ve seen. You're not the judge. You’re the witness.
  29. 29. Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh Social Media: More than the cherry on the cake!
  30. 30. #ChristmasStarts
  31. 31. #ChristmasMeans
  32. 32. #EasterMeans
  33. 33. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FEAR? Image Source: RGBStock
  34. 34. Even though in practice, face-to-face communication can, of course, be angry, negligent, resistant, deceitful and inflexible, somehow it remains the ideal against which mediated communication is judged as flawed. Prof Sonia Livingstone, Children and the Internet: Great Expectations and Challenging Realities. 2009, p26
  35. 35. An incredible new technology enables the transmission of text on a worldwide basis. It rapidly reduces production and distribution costs and for the first time allows large numbers of people to access text and pictures in their own homes.
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  37. 37. A moral panic may be defined as an episode, often triggered by alarming media stories and reinforced by reactive laws and public policy, of exaggerated or misdirected public concern, anxiety, fear, or anger over a perceived threat to social order. Companion-to-Moral-Panics-Intro.pdf Image Credit: Stockfresh
  38. 38. Right back to Socrates… This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves…you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing. (Phaedrus, Benjamin Jowett trans.) http://bigthink. com/learning- from-the- past/socrates- wouldnt-trust- the-web- should-we- trust-him Image Credit: Wikipedia
  39. 39. “The fluidity and transience of online environments poses challenges to traditional authority structures, roles, and tools. The result has been that the internet is framed both as a threat to certain established roles and hierarchies and as a tool of empowerment by others.” – Heidi Campbell 2012
  40. 40. Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that presumes that a society's technology drives the development of its social structure and cultural values. Wikipedia
  41. 41. Core Ideas: • The development of technology itself follows a predictable, traceable, inevitable path largely beyond cultural or political influence, a continual journey of progress • Technology in turn has inherent "effects" on societies, rather than socially conditioned or produced by society, where it has organised itself to support and further develop a new technology
  42. 42. The Medium is the Message (McLuhan) "the printing press, the computer, and television are not therefore simply machines which convey information. They are metaphors through which we conceptualize reality in one way or another. They will classify the world for us, sequence it, frame it, enlarge it, reduce it, argue a case for what it is like. Through these media metaphors, we do not see the world as it is. We see it as our coding systems are. Such is the power of the form of information.” Neil Postman, Teaching as a Conserving Activity (1979), p. 39 Neil Postman
  43. 43. Pew Report, 2012 quoting Jeff Jarvis, Journalist “Before the press … information was passed mouth-to-ear, scribe-to-scribe; it was changed in the process; there was little sense of ownership and authorship. In the five-century-long Gutenberg era, text did set how we see our world: serially with a neat beginning and a defined end; permanent; authored. Now, we are passing out of this textual era and that may well affect how we look at our world. That may appear to change how we think. But it won't change our wires.”
  44. 44. DISCUSS All technologies offer AFFORDANCES, CONSTRAINTS and change SOCIAL PRACTICES e.g.  What has been made possible with the introduction of mobile phones?  How have mobile phones limited our activities?  How have our social practices/habits, etc. changed since mobile phones? Image Credit: The Worship Cloud
  45. 45. Lion Hudson (2014)
  46. 46. be-a-digital-disciple-with-changingworship
  47. 47. 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? … 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, 2011, p.xiv
  48. 48. Human Beings at machines, not “are machines” Image Source: Stockfresh
  49. 49. [If we are…] means by which God communicates and reveals himself through his Spirit, then our blog posts, status updates, tweets, artistic images, and online comments should be products of a life transformed by Christ and indwelled by his Spirit.As restored image bearers, our online presence and activity should image the Triune God. Byers, A. Theomedia (2013, 196)
  50. 50. “Technology should not dictate our values or our methods. Rather, we must use technology out of our convictions and values.” John Dyer, From the Garden to the City, 2011,p5
  51. 51. #DIGIdisciple •We all have something to contribute to the digital space: • Living 24/7 for God • Online/Offline, not Virtual/Real •Are we the same person, living by the same values in both ‘spaces’? Image Credit: The Worship Cloud
  52. 52. What (Biblical) values do we want to see in our (digital) world? Image Credit: iStockPhoto
  53. 53. WHERE?
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  56. 56. Image Credit: 10 Essentials for Twitter
  57. 57. 1: 140 Characters
  58. 58. Train Tweets
  59. 59. 2: Followers
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  61. 61. 3: Bio
  62. 62. Twitter Spokesperson: “Twitter brings you closer to the things you are passionate about - and for millions of people across the globe that is faith.” christmas-sermons
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  69. 69. 4: RTs, MTs & HTs RTs, MTs and HTs
  70. 70. 5: #Hashtags
  71. 71. /03/25/the-church-of-england- goes-to-hollywood-the-best-of- churchofenglandfilms/
  72. 72. 6: Trending Topics 22/03/15: 18:51
  73. 73. 7: Favourites
  74. 74. 8: Lists
  75. 75. 9 : Verification
  76. 76. 10: It’s good for… • New connections via shared interests • Building your “brand” • Pre/During/Post Event Conversations • Breaking news • Asking questions • Sharing good resources • Sharing pithy statements/quotes • Being “polemical”
  77. 77. Tweeting in Church? • Good Thing? • Bad Thing? • Why might/might not people tweet in church? • What might encourage more ‘engagement’? Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh
  78. 78. P.S. to-add-your-phone-via-sms
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  81. 81. LUNCH Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh
  82. 82. 8 Essentials for Facebook
  83. 83. 1: Personal Profile
  84. 84. 2: Write on Walls
  85. 85. 3: Pages
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  87. 87. Facebook functions in ministry? • Encourage Community • Whole (life) Church • Groups (e.g. 20s30s) • Give others insights into ‘church life’ e.g. photo sharing • Offer pastoral care • *Youth: PM’s, CC parents/another leader in • Advertise Events
  88. 88. Facebook Insights
  89. 89. 4: Groups
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  91. 91. 5: Events
  92. 92. 6: The Like Button
  93. 93. How do you feel about these?
  94. 94. 7: Age/Gender
  95. 95. 8: Help!
  96. 96. 8 Thoughts for YouTube
  97. 97. 1: Search
  98. 98. YouTube: “How To Read the Bible”
  99. 99. 2: Popular?
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  104. 104.
  105. 105. 3: Everyday Tools
  106. 106. Go to: 4: Sign Up
  107. 107. 5: Upload
  108. 108. Simple ideas for Video: • Think of the STORIES you have to tell, and how you might tell them – • Events: Before/After • Sermons: Quick Overviews/Responses • People & Their Lives • What can you “How To”? • Engage with other’s videos: • Comment (no flaming) • Blog about them • Add to favourites/playlist
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  110. 110. 6: Channel
  111. 111. 7: Playlist
  112. 112. 8: Comment
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  114. 114. 7 Thoughts re: Blogging
  115. 115. 1: Blog Characteristics • A reverse diary (most recent entry first) • A publically accessible personal journal • Reflections, comments and hyperlinks • Commentary/news on a particular subject • Text/Image/Links including media • Interactive, especially comments • Potentially informal tone
  116. 116. 2: Ideas for Content • “See what we’ve been up to” • Thoughts & Reflections • Reviews (Books, films, websites) etc. • Challenging ideas for debate • Interviews (Text, Audio, Video) • ‘Best Of’ Content • ‘How-to’ Posts • 10 things you can… • Guest Posts
  117. 117. 3: Get Inspired…
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  119. 119. 4: Think About • Who are you blogging for? • How often can you blog? • What style of blog will you use? • What content can you produce? • What do you want Google to find? • Who else can you bring on board?
  120. 120. 5: Wordpress
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  122. 122. 6: Tumblr
  123. 123. 7: Sermon vs Blog?
  124. 124. 3 thoughts on the Visual…
  125. 125. 1: Pinterest
  126. 126. 2: Instagram
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  128. 128. 3: Image Sources, e.g. • FREE • • • • • PAID • (Christian) • • • See: for more
  129. 129. Audio?
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  133. 133. SOME STRATEGY When, What, Who
  134. 134. WHEN?
  135. 135. 1 : Hootsuite
  136. 136.
  137. 137. 2: Buffer
  138. 138. 3: Google Alerts
  139. 139. 4: IFTTT
  140. 140. WHAT?
  141. 141. Think about •Keywords •Humour •Vulnerability •Authenticity •Stories
  142. 142. Who sees this? 1. God 2. Parents 3. ‘Kids’ 4. Newspaper 5. Enemy
  143. 143. H.A.L.T. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, step away from the keyboard/keypad and deal with that issue first. @BenjaminEllis
  144. 144. Think of the Consequences It seems obvious, but sometimes that anger isn’t apparent until we see the hurt reaction from our unintended victims, and by that point the damage is done, with the evidence there for all to see. And no, deleting the tweets later doesn’t help (hello Kanye West). At best you are going to end up looking a bit silly. @BenjaminEllis
  145. 145. Principles of Good Engagement •Be interesting •Be encouraging •Be active •Be helpful •Be authentic Image Credit: Stockfresh
  146. 146. Don’t look to “publish” but engage in a CONVERSATION Image source: Stockfresh
  147. 147. “Call to Action” • Don’t make it too complicated to participate • Define an (easy) action • Define the (simple) benefit(s) • Give a (short) time frame Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh
  148. 148. WHO?
  149. 149. Your audience •Who are you interested in reaching/listeni ng to? •What ‘problems’ are you seeking to solve for them? Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh
  150. 150. Personas
  151. 151. All devices: “responsive” design
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  153. 153. Don’t forget…
  154. 154. Agree ‘a voice’
  155. 155. holders/technology-and-church/social-media-guidelines • The principles applied to this are: • Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent. • Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. • Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive. When you gain insight, share it where appropriate. • Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation with other communications. • Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember that you are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your part of it. Disclose your position as a member or officer of the Church, making it clear when speaking personally. Let Galatians 5:22-26 guide your behaviour. • Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others even where you disagree.
  156. 156. Bath & Wells Diocese 9 Twitter Rules • Don't rush in • Remember tweets are transient yet permanent • Be a good ambassador for the Church • Don't hide behind anonymity • Be aware of public/private life boundaries • Maintain a professional distance • Stay within the law • Respect confidentiality • Be mindful of your own security
  157. 157. communications-for-the-social-media-age/ Don’t overthink. Running through committees, endless drafts and approval processes to get a response out there can cause far more damage than good. As long as you have taken the time to assess the situation and can take a rational, respectful tone in your response, even an awkward response is OK to start with, and buys you time to continue to respond to the problem.
  158. 158. Image Source: RGBStock Your Situation: •To achieve what? •With what media? •Who’s going to do it? •How often? •What kind of content? •What risks need to be managed?
  159. 159. What is your ONE takeaway action?
  160. 160. TAKEAWAY QU: What does it mean to share with grace, care and love?
  161. 161. Saint Teresa of Avila (adapted by Meredith Gould, 2010) Christ Has No Online Presence but Yours Christ has no online presence but yours, No blog, no Facebook page but yours, Yours are the tweets through which love touches this world, Yours are the posts through which the Gospel is shared, Yours are the updates through which hope is revealed. Christ has no online presence but yours, No blog, no Facebook page but yours.
  162. 162. @drbexl @digitalfprint @digidisciple