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2009 Church Without Walls:

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2009 Church Without Walls:

  1. 1. UUCA: A Church Without Walls [email_address]
  2. 2. The Social Web is Based on:
  3. 3. The Social Web and UU Principles <ul><li>Inherent Worth & Dignity of Every Person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Without faith in each other there really isn’t hope, there’s no faith community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussions, comments, Latest Activity box </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Justice, equality, and compassion in human relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online activism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No isms on the Net </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Micro-financing: New Orleans, Holdeen, Guatamala, Buckingham </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transparency and democratic process for our congregation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone has something meaningful to contribute </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Democratic process: Members publish content, not just staff </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing: Our Deeds (transparency) attracts new members </li></ul>paradigm shift
  5. 5. What do UUCA’a members think of their new online home?
  6. 6. Our Site Supports Ministry in Many Ways
  7. 7. Our Ministers’ Pages
  8. 8. Supporting Ministry
  9. 9. Monday 9/14/03 One day after rolling the new UUCA site out to our congregation, an average of 14 members were on the site and intentionally showing their presence by being available through the optional chat tool.
  10. 10. Latest Activity: 9/13 - 9/22
  11. 11. Easy Viral Propagation of UUCA: Not Evangelism!
  12. 12. <ul><li>Which platform and why: June 2009 Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>About Ning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ning’s weaknesses & Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Friending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to create a dynamic community online </li></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul>The Process
  13. 13. <ul><li>Member retention/ participation: Social technology extends church life online. To accelerate and support relational congregation. Not in church? Participate online. </li></ul><ul><li>Relational congregation: Leverages read/writeable, or Web 2.0, and social technology without compromising privacy of ministers, staff and members, all of whom can now communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Profiles enable people to get to know one another. </li></ul><ul><li>Attract new members & 3rd parties : Provide participation online as an incentive to motivate prospective members to get involved/ to get invested in the church. Registration extends community participation to inquiring, friends, and members. Registrations must be approved. 3rd parties for facilities rentals and alliances. </li></ul><ul><li>Activism and spiritual growth: They’re supported and enhanced by smaller versions of the site, or groups, dedicated to them. (Also, Integrate micro-financing. e.g.: </li></ul> New Web Presence Goals and Benefits 5/14/09
  14. 14. About Ning <ul><li>Ning means peace or tranquility, 安宁 or 宁静 , in Chinese: a unisex name </li></ul><ul><li>More than 4.7M users on 1M social networks in Jan. ‘09, about 200K of the networks are active, meaning members go into them at least once a week. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Size significance: servers for increases in load, minimize downtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size = an indicator of longevity. It buys time if ownership changes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>$500M capitalization. Mark Andreesen, founder/inventor of Netscape and other successful internet properties is the primary investor. </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced; seasoned management team </li></ul><ul><li>Never say never </li></ul>
  15. 15. Safety and Privacy: Access controls <ul><li>Registration: UUCAVA can control who registers </li></ul><ul><li>Feature access: A number of controls can restrict access to specific types of features. E.g.: The church can elect to monitor and approve all uploaded items and comments made in discussion boards </li></ul><ul><li>Profile privacy: Registrants can control who can see their profile pages and other content they create. </li></ul><ul><li>Friending is not necessary: Activity feed on home page does not require “friending” in order to see what is going on in the congregation online. Friending is good for creating a list that restricts who can see blogs and other content posted by an individual. Friending makes it easier to send private messages to individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate behavior discouraged: There is no anonymity, which typically curtails inappropriate behavior. All comments and content will be attributable to a member. </li></ul><ul><li>UUCAVA name protected: Church protects its reputation online because it controls the site, not members of the congregation. </li></ul><ul><li>Who administers the site? Administrators and editors of the site: The church can assign to any number of individuals rights to administer the site or to edit specific areas of it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals designated as “Administrators” can remove content anywhere on the site and also ban members from participation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identity controls: The church and the registrants can decide whether profile photos of them will appear on their profile pages and also on the site’s home page. </li></ul><ul><li>Terms of service: Based on’s terms but can be amended. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Questions for Ministers <ul><li>What are the opportunities and potential you see for intentionally using the site in your work? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your experiences on other social networks or in blogs you may already have. Compare those experiences to what you see here. You will likely have questions and comments from the comparison. Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional work that will be created by the new site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will the new site make easier for you? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will you actively use and participate in the online community? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the religious education program benefit from the new technology? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think other UU churches and the association will want to consider what we do as a model for them? </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>What are the opportunities and potential you see for intentionally using the site in your work? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your experiences on other social networks or in blogs you may already have. Compare those experiences to what you see here. You will likely have questions and comments from the comparison. Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional work that will be created by the new site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will the new site make easier for you? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will you actively use and participate in the online community? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the new site help you to work more effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think it will create more work? In what way? Can you quantify it? </li></ul><ul><li>What marketing opportunities can you think of arise because of this new technology? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there new legal issues with a social site? What are they? </li></ul><ul><li>Who currently knows how to update the existing site? Names and contact info? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the sermons and mp3s on easily accessible CDs or DVDs? Who has them? </li></ul>Questions for Staff
  18. 19. Competitive Analysis: Why Ning <ul><li>Ning provides the best platform for setting up good-looking, sophisticated social networks with minimal effort. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophisticated means: flexible customization tools; product features that marry together blogs, forums, activity feeds, multimedia, and publishing tools. It allows members to create promotions and news-like content modules -- very easily. WYSIWYG. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is based on open social technology which means there are 1000s of third-party-made embeddable applications to update the site when needed. Eg: Wikis are coming in July. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The runner-up, kickApps provides the best platform for integrating social networking components into existing websites. </li></ul><ul><li>CrowdVine and Haystack are for orgs./cos. that are looking for simple social networks to improve personalized communication -- IM, email, blogs and boards. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Competitive Analysis cont. <ul><li>CollectiveX is good for existing groups that want to collaborate, which means co-author content such as documents. </li></ul><ul><li>GoingOn provides a new hybrid solution with capabilities of Ning and KickApps. It’s too new and too small a company to take a risk with. </li></ul><ul><li>Ning Offers the best solution for allowing networks to break away from the standard Ning format. You can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disable ads or run your own for $20/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hide the “Ning” name within the url and remove Ning promotions for $13/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to comprehensive developer documentation and APIs for advanced customization </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Ning(2005) vs. Facebook(2004) & My Space(2003) <ul><li>Casual Relationships: Facebook and MySpace connect people to friends and family to communicate and to share entertaining exchanges online. </li></ul><ul><li>Networks of Purpose: Ning gathers users around common interests, causes and affiliations. Ning’s platform encourages learning together in a meaningful way. Because you can control nearly everything that appears on Ning, you reduce or eliminate the “noise and irritations” of Facebook and My Space and focus on the interest, cause, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Journalism: Ning has a “citizen journalist” air to its presentation, it echoes that of a newspaper or news site experience. The difference is that users are creating all of the content. It is that “citizen” quality of Ning that gives the UUCAVA a democratic air about it. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Look and Feel: Warm, Welcoming & Dynamic Fold
  22. 23. Ning is Free: Premium Services are Recommended <ul><li>Ning’s revenue is derived from advertising: third-party ads and promotions that drive the creation of more Ning networks </li></ul><ul><li>The basic Ning network comes with free 10GM of storage and free 100GB of bandwidth. Translation: The church starts out with a capacity of about 5,000 photos and 500 videos. </li></ul><ul><li>To remove the ads and Ning promotions it will cost: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove ads: $24.95/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove Ning promos: $24.95/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove Ning from the site’s url $4.95/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total monthly cost: $55 or $660/year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When more storage and bandwidth are needed, they can be added in 10GM and 100GB installments for $9.95/mo. </li></ul><ul><li>Premium services for faster turn-around time on help requests is also available. The church starts out with a 48-hour response time. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Ning’s Weaknesses <ul><li>Registration: Everyone on the UUCAVA network will have a Ning ID. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It provides access to any other Ning network. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limited control of the Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All of us will know that our web home is hosted by a company that don’t control at all. UUCAVA will have no control of network updates, maintenance and feature improvements. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some privacy controls are set globally and cannot be customized in certain features. Eg: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion Boards (Forum): They cannot be set as private to members-only unless the entire network is set as private. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Parental Controls: The only way parents will be able to track all of their kids’ activities on UUCAVA online is if the family shares one user name and password. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parents must give their permission for kids 12 and under to have a unique screen name and password. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile Privacy: The My Profile feature cannot be set globally as private for the default. The church should recommend that each profile be made viewable only to fellow members. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Weaknesses cont. <ul><li>Third-party affiliates: Members of V.O.I.C.E can participate only if we allow individuals in V.O.I.C.E to register and have the same access/participation rights of UUCAVA members. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UUCAVA V.O.I.C.E members can set up a Group for themselves though. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VARUUM Yahoo Group has Rainbow Ministry members from several other churches. The same goes for them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anything that VOICE and VARUUM do on UUCAVA can be viewable to affiliated members, but they won’t be able to comment or subscribe to the respective groups. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Search: Tagging is important on the Photos and Videos to ensure that search returns credible results from all the content on the site. Items baring the same tags appear for each other as Related Items. </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in privacy controls: There can be a lag in time of a few minutes to longer when members change their settings. Everyone should “refresh” the pages whose controls were changed and possibly clear their browser’s cache. </li></ul><ul><li>Photos & videos: When uploaded to the Gallery they pass through an approval process. When they are embedded into text entry box for display in blogs, discussions, groups and comments, they appear immediately without approval. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Friending & Ministers <ul><li>Concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure: Don’t want my personal activity known or confused/blurred with ministry& inappropriate Comment Wall comments on the My Profile page. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overwhelming: Can’t keep up with what everyone is doing on the site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favoritism: If I friend some but not others, then people will be hurt. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggested ways for handling concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For you, the site is for your ministry -- nothing else. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Members Only: Individuals in church member database can participate. If that includes family, don’t discuss or reveal that which you don’t want known by the membership or the general pubic if you choose to make anything on the site that you do available to “Everyone” or “Anyone.” Those two words mean the same thing. “Anyone” does mean, the general public included. And Everyone doesn’t mean “Just Members” - it’s anyone. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring: In your Settings, on the Privacy page, either choose to approve comments before they appear, or set viewing to “Just Me” to keep the comments private. If someone is harassing you with messages, go to their Profile page and click on the “Block Messages” link under the profile photo. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Friending & Ministers cont. <ul><ul><li>2. Go at your own pace. Do not let the rate of activity control you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just browse the Latest Activity box on the Main page - scroll through it to see “headlines” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Urgency: If something is so desperately important to a member and not evident by what the Latest Activity box relays, they will send a message, phone or see you in church. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog about Friending and in it say you’ll do your best but there are no guarantees of response because of time constraints. Say the really important things should be told to you in person or through messages or email. (You decide which of the two you want to direct questions to. Doesn’t really matter since ning will tell you if there are private messages waiting for you. --Can you establish a folder in your email inbox into which all ning communication can be directed to automatically?). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Favoritism is solved by Friending anyone who asks you to friend them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Friend everyone who asks because it will make them feel accepted, which is central what you do. Not friending is contradictory to the seven principles. Your behavior and activities on the site will be dictated by this exposure. You’ll make choices. People will adapt. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education effort: All efforts to train and educate the membership can deal with “Online Pastoral Care” for who? The ministers! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Friending Pros & Cons <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll make people feel good. Friending is “intentional welcoming.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll be able to see the video, photos and blogs of members who set access controls for them to Friends. (You’re not obligated to look at them, and people know this or will learn, as stated previously) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Still nervous about friending because “Friends” may contact you too much, and your Church email inbox will be overwhelmed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Control which activity sends email to you. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go to Settings, then Privacy, then email and choose what you wanted to be notified for. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your Activities in the Latest Activity Box: Choose which of them you want to appear in it from the Privacy Settings page. If you want to make occasional exceptions, turn off or on your individual choices, but remember to revert when you feel the “reported” activity is old news. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The site Administrator can also remove anything reported in the Latest Activity box. So let that person know if something should come off. If the Admin reports back that it’s been removed but you still see it, it’s probably because of your cache. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global “Friends” Access: You can’t specify individual friends to have access to your meanderings on the site. “Just Friends” means all friends. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Creating a Dynamic Community <ul><li>What it takes to create a dynamic community online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Imperative: Intentionally Connect Offline Church Life to Online Extensions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers mention it sermons, group meetings etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers hypertext and use multimedia in the online text of their sermons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers mention the latest topic in their blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lay leaders do all of the above </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Go green by sending members to the site. (Paper still should be offered for those who cannot go to the site. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed a community or it starves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be a role model upfront -- upload photos, embed videos, write a blog, start a discussion and intentionally solicit people to participate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-population of the site: A site that starts with a big video and photo collection makes a difference. Music also does. Any content that can be consumed upon first login and for about 4 weeks and still be fresh for the members works. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 30. Creating a Dynamic Community cont. <ul><ul><li>Upfront time commitment by admin staff/contractor and/or Administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timely reporting the latest off-line Church news highlights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Refreshing Highlights 1x a week with photos of weekly church life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking the time to tag; to write captions for videos and photos </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Individual attention to members as they come online for the first time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intentionally Welcome: A message should be sent either through the Messaging/Inbox system or posted on the Comment Wall of each person’s profile page. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helping people to see how to do an activity or task better or more easily </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leaving another positive or supportive comment for them when their activities start to appear in the Latest Activity box </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General release: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When the site launches to all, the intensive member contact and care will last for about 3-4 months. Then a routine will kick into place </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Misc. <ul><li>Creative Commons licensing rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Become well versed in this </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre-register everyone in the member database </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant opportunity to jump start the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss pros and cons thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enlist members (adult and teens) for summer content creation </li></ul><ul><li>Who are our stakeholders in this effort? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Church as an organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trustees? (Shaida Johnston and Desda Moss are in the test site) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hold on to existing web site. It holds archives of sermons; more uses </li></ul><ul><li>Church legal counsel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And counsel is all it is. Lawyers are not gods. They provide advice; they do not dictate actions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check to make sure they know what they are talking about for online issues. Many don’t because it’s not their area of expertise </li></ul></ul></ul>