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Vision for the Christian Social Graph


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Executive Director Andrew Sears outlines a "Vision for the Christian Social Graph".

Published in: Technology, Spiritual, Career
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Vision for the Christian Social Graph

  1. 1. A Vision for theChristian Social Graph Andrew Sears Executive Director
  2. 2. Christian Social Graph Vision What if every Christian could connect with the needs and resources to maximize their calling on earth? ◦ Missions: Mapping every need in the world to Christians with resources to meet that need ◦ Discipleship: Mapping every Christian with resources they need for growth ◦ Helping Christians meet the needs of non- Christians Why do thousands of people have this same vision? ◦ It’s something that God is doing
  3. 3. What is the largest social network in the world? No. Facebook is the largest online social network 900 million The Global Body of Christ is the largest social network. 2 billion Christians. The problem is the Global Body of Christ is Disconnected!
  4. 4. What is the Christian Social Graph?1. The Christian social graph is a social utility to connect Christians and resources ◦ Similar to the Facebook Social graph, but more open and focused on mapping resources related to Christians2. It will be how Christians contribute to the semantic web (Web 3.0) ◦ Will build on standards like RDF, and Facebook Open Graph API3. It will define a set of data format standards and terms of use for sharing data
  5. 5. Christian Social Graph Volunteer Opportunities Event Jobs Content Organizations Christian Social Graph Groups Churches Classified People Listing
  6. 6. Why is the Christian Social GraphImportant Creating it is too large a task for any one organization to create the Christian Social graph, so standards are needed Christian data will remain splintered in inaccessible silos as it is now if we do not have standards The Benefit: The Christian social graph could help connect every Christian with the needs and resources to maximize their calling on earth
  7. 7. The Problem of Splintering:Christian Jobs Probably 20k-100k Christian jobs online Christian searching for a job would need to search… ◦ Over 100 Christian jobs sites, most with less than 1% market share ◦ Hundreds of thousands of church and parachurch websites with job postings on their sites ◦ Secular job sites with Christian jobs Usability for Christian job seeker ◦ Top 5 secular job sites combined probably have 80% market share ◦ Top 5 Christian job sites combined have less than 20% market share ◦ Results in secularization
  8. 8. The Problem of Secularizing:Volunteering1. If Christians cannot easily find opportunities in Christian ministries, they will serve in secular ministries ◦ Strong secular bias against Christian organizations exists on secular sites ◦ About 40% of volunteers are in FBOs, but the leading secular volunteer site only list 3% of their opportunities as religious2. Christian volunteers provide hundreds of billions worth of donated services each year ◦ $100 billion x 40% = 40 billion ◦ $100 billion x 3% = 3 billion3. Lack of Christian volunteer directories with critical mass will result in secularization and a major loss of volunteer resources to ministries and churches4. Goal is to avoid secularizing Christian resources while also avoiding creating a “Christian ghetto”
  9. 9. Why TechMission is Interested inthe Christian Social Graph TechMission has relationships with most of the organizations that could serve as potential data sources to the Christian social graph TechMission is aggregating Volunteer Opportunities, Jobs and Organizations TechMission has been engaged with most major secular counterpart initiatives (AllForGood, 211, etc.)
  10. 10. Volunteer Opportunities ◦ 6,171 Posted by users in past year ◦ 4,925 through feeds (expect 10k by 2012) Organization Profiles ◦ 6,518 posted by users ◦ 5,523 imported Christian Jobs ◦ Expect 10-20k by Spring 2012 Provides widgets, apps for iPhone, Android and Facebook & automated rebranding wiki has 160,000 items of creative commons content
  11. 11. Volunteer Opportunities Christian Sources ◦ (50%) ◦ (5%) ◦ (1-5%) ◦ (1%) ◦ (1%) ◦ Denominational Sites (10%) ◦ Missions Sites (10%) ◦ Local Directories (5%) Secular Sources ◦ (20%) ◦ (5%) Schema Examples ◦ ◦ Readiness for Standard: ready
  12. 12. Jobs Christian Sites ◦ (5%) ◦ (5%) ◦ ◦ 100 other Christian job sites (30%) ◦ Individual organization job postings Secular Sites ◦ (80%) ◦ (80%) Schema Examples ◦ ◦ ◦ advanced-xml-api Readiness for Standard: ready
  13. 13. Organizations Christian Sources ◦ ◦ National Christian Foundation ◦ Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability ◦ Ministry Spotlight Secular Sources ◦ All For Good ◦ ◦ Schema Examples ◦ ◦ ◦ Integrate data by EIN Readiness for Standard: ready
  14. 14. How Secular Providers are Linking Organizations (by EIN) ◦ Volunteer Match/AllforGood: Volunteering ◦ Network for Good: Donating ◦ Guidestar: Organization Database/990s ◦ Idealist: Jobs Widgets/Facebook/Mobile Apps (Web Services APIs) ◦ Catalista Volunteer App (uses All for Good API) ◦ Create the Good ◦ Johnson & Johnson &You App (uses Volunteer Match, Network for Good, Idealist and Guidestar APIs)
  15. 15. Secular Social Graph Aggregators Volunteering: ◦ Aggregates 100,000 volunteer opportunities from 20 data providers ◦ Provides volunteer search for portal ◦ Provides API key to 3rd party distributors: AARP, AmeriCorps, Care2, HuffingtonPost, etc. Jobs: and Organizations:
  16. 16. How Christians Could Link Up ◦ Provide link to organization data on National Christian Foundation, ECFA and Guidestar ◦ Provide API, export or feed of data Organization Data Providers ◦ Provide link to volunteer opportunities on based on EIN ◦ National Christian Foundation, ECFA & Guidestar ◦ Provide API, export or feed of some data Third Parties ◦ Should have access to APIs or feeds of Christian data similar to secular providers to create custom websites and apps
  17. 17. Links to National Christian Foundation Profile, Guidestar, ECFA
  18. 18. Roles in the Christian Social Graph Christian • Regional Christian portals Websites & • Church management Systems Applications • Christian social networks • Christian portals • • Semantic Web • Websites • Search Engines • System Integration Global Programming Mobile Apps • Social Networks • Standards & Aggregators • Places/Maps Aggregators Consultants • Facebook Apps • AllforGood • Widgets • 211 • Open Source Projects • Specialized Directories • National Aggregators Data Sources • 1,000’s of websites • Volunteer, Jobs, Orgs, etc.
  19. 19. Architectural Philosophy forChristian Social Graph Standards Simplicity is top priority ◦ Most Christian data sources will struggle just to provide RSS or CSV files (XML is too complex) ◦ Standard should define fields for flat file or RSS feed Start with where there is a felt need that is solvable ◦ Volunteer Opportunities, organizations and jobs Incentive to share will be similar to RSS in that sites will share data to drive traffic Aggregators can then convert simple feeds to more public global standards & Web services ◦, RDF, AllForGood, 211
  20. 20. Christian Open Social Graph Standards Data Format Spec ◦ Vmw4IVrQUdG1QVnRXVkFPcUVHcVR2MjZYU0JHU2c&hl=en_US#gid=0 ◦ Defines optional and require set of fields for each type of object (job, organization, etc.) ◦ Preferred data format will likely be RSS, but may also use CSV ◦ Encourages data providers to standardize where possible Creates a template for standard terms of use agreement for sharing data ◦ Similar to API Terms for: AllforGood, VolunteerMatch, Guidestar,,
  21. 21. Christian Social Graph WorkingGroup Group to discuss and define open social graph standards & sharing agreements Seeking input from ◦ Potential Data providers ◦ Potential developers utilizing the data ◦ Major Christian organizations with a vested interest in a Christian social graph standard Plan to publicly announce and seek out partners end of 2011/early 2012
  22. 22. Protecting Shared Data Data providers need to share enough to be useful to aggregators Need to protect types of data that could result in excessive spam Need to provide incentive to share data by driving traffic Technical protection ◦ Aggregators provide API keys tied to terms of use ◦ RSS feeds and CSV files from data providers in non- public locations if not wanting to be fully public Legal protection through terms of use and legal agreements
  23. 23. Applications That Could Use the ChristianSocial Graph Church management software ◦ TheCity Christian Social Networks Citywide Christian Portals/Social Networks Megachurch Websites ◦ Volunteer Opportunities, Jobs Parachurch websites ◦ Volunteer Opportunities Widget & Open Source Module Creation Facebook Apps Mobile Apps Consulting/System Integration
  24. 24. Law of Network Effects
  25. 25. Achieving Critical Mass
  26. 26. Achieving Critical Mass Cost/Value User Generated Value Cost Number of Users
  27. 27. Scale of the Problem Assumptions ◦ There will be a Christian social graph 20 years from now ◦ The scope of the problem is too large for any one organization How much will it cost to develop parts of the Christian social graph to achieve critical mass? Christian Social Graph: $100-500 million ◦ Christian social network: $100 million ◦ Christian Volunteer Opportunity Directory: $10 million ◦ Christian Jobs: $10 million ◦ Christian Funding Directory: $10 million ◦ Church Directory: $50 million ◦ Small Group Directory: $50 million ◦ Christian Wikipedia: $10 million ◦ Christian YouTube: $10-50 million ◦ Christian Events Directory: $10 million ◦ Can lower costs by focusing on a metro area, country or region
  28. 28. Will Christians Online be like ChristianRadio or Christian TV? Christian Radio ◦ Called “the major single innovation of the present missions era.” ◦ Christian Broadcast Network alone has reported 45 million decisions to follow Jesus through their broadcasts. ◦ At its peak, religious broadcasts represented the single largest component of transnational broadcasting Christian Television ◦ Gave us tele-evangelist and some really bad Christian TV ◦ Negligible presence in television compared to Hollywood If Christians remain splintered online in the social graph, the impact of Christians online is likely to be negligible like Christian TV
  29. 29. For More Information Visit: Call at 617-282-9798 Request to join Email list ◦ ◦ oup/christiansocialgraph/subscribe?note=1 Standard Specification: qFVmw4IVrQUdG1QVnRXVkFPcUVHcVR2MjZYU0JHU2c&hl=en_US#gi d=0
  30. 30. Appendix
  31. 31. Churches Sources ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ 919922 ◦ Schema Examples ◦ ◦ Readiness for Standard: not ready ◦ Scope of the problem is enormous ◦ Even extremely resourced organizations can’t solve it ◦ Need one major source to open up their data and probably expand that through partnerships or web scrapping
  32. 32. Small Groups Christian Sources ◦ WorldWideOpen Secular Sources ◦ ◦ Schema Examples ◦ ◦ ◦ Readiness for Standard: not ready ◦ No significant directory of small group meetings exists
  33. 33. Events Secular Sources ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Schema Examples ◦ ◦ Readiness for Standard: not ready ◦ No significant directory of Christian events exists except a few locally
  34. 34. Content Christian Sources ◦ GodTube ◦ Mission Wikis ◦ ◦ ◦ Sharing Models ◦ Embedding/YouTube ◦ RSS/Feeds ◦ Creative Commons Licensing ◦ Services APIs: ◦ Semantic_web:  RDF, Sparql, Readiness for Standard: not ready ◦ Few Christian organizations even using Creative commons sharing, so not ready for automating sharing beyond RSS
  35. 35. Classified Listing Christian Sources ◦ ◦ ◦ Megachurch classifieds: Secular Sources ◦ Readiness for Standard: not ready ◦ None have critical mass
  36. 36. How Nonprofits are likely to fit withSemantic Web StandardsAggregators:VolunteerMatch, AllforGood, Guidestar, ChristianVolunteering, Mobile Apps, Widgets, WebPortals, ThousandsContracts/API Terms of Use Nonprofit of SitesSparql endpoints: AllforGood, GuidestarSparql: API standard for organizations, job postings events, volunteer opportunities RDF: data sharing format in XML
  37. 37. Defines schema of objects relevant to nonprofits in RDF ◦ Organizations ◦ Job Posting ◦ Volunteer Opportunity ◦ Events Will be used by all major search engines to improve search results ◦ Most experts say using format could increase click-throughs by 30%
  38. 38. & MicroFormat Search Results
  39. 39. SPARQL Endpoints SPARQL Endpoints serve as the primary repository for a source of data ◦ Nonprofit Organizations in USA, Volunteer Opportunities Provides standard API query interface ◦ Two-way update capabilities coming soon Similar to AllForGood API, but using semantic web standards Will require nonprofit community in each country to agree to endpoint ◦ Will probably want to interface with Sample Endpoints ◦,, Dbpedia, Freebase, World Factbook,
  40. 40. Organization Property Expected Type Description Properties from Thing description Text A short description of the item. image URL URL of an image of the item. name Text The name of the item. url URL URL of the item. Properties from Organization address PostalAddress Physical address of the item. The overall rating, based on a collection of reviews aggregateRating AggregateRating or ratings, of the item. contactPoints ContactPoint A contact point for a person or organization. email Text Email address. employees Person People working for this organization. Upcoming or past events associated with this place events Event or organization. faxNumber Text The fax number. founders Person A person who founded this organization. foundingDate Date The date that this organization was founded. A count of a specific user interactions with this item—for example, 20 UserLikes, 5 UserComments, interactionCount Text or 300 UserDownloads. The user interaction type should be one of the sub types of UserInteraction. location Place or PostalAddress The location of the event or organization. members Person or Organization A member of this organization. reviews Review Review of the item. telephone Text The telephone number.More specific types: Corporation, EducationalOrganization, GovernmentOrganization,LocalBusiness, NGO, PerformingGroup, SportsTeam
  41. 41. Job Posting Need Volunteer OpportunityProperty Expected Type DescriptionProperties from Thingdescription Text A short description of the item.image URL URL of an image of the Text The name of the item.url URL URL of the item.Properties from JobPostingbaseSalary Number The base salary of the job.benefits Text Description of benefits associated with the job.datePosted Date Publication date for the job posting.educationRequirements Text Educational background needed for the position. Type of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, contract, temporary, seasonal,employmentType Text internship).experienceRequirements Text Description of skills and experience needed for the position.hiringOrganization Organization Organization offering the job position.incentives Text Description of bonus and commission compensation aspects of the job.industry Text The industry associated with the job position.jobLocation Place A (typically single) geographic location associated with the job position. Category or categories describing the job. Use BLS O*NET-SOC taxonomy:occupationalCategory Text Ideally includes textual label and formal code, with the property repeated for each applicable value.qualifications Text Specific qualifications required for this role.responsibilities Text Responsibilities associated with this role. The currency (coded using ISO 4217, used forsalaryCurrency Text the main salary information in this job posting.skills Text Skills required to fulfill this role. Any special commitments associated with this job posting. Valid entries includespecialCommitments Text VeteranCommit, MilitarySpouseCommit, etc.title Text The title of the job.workHours Text The typical working hours for this job (e.g. 1st shift, night shift, 8am-5pm).
  42. 42. EventProperty Expected Type DescriptionProperties from Thingdescription Text A short description of the item.image URL URL of an image of the Text The name of the item.url URL URL of the item.Properties from Eventattendees Person or Organization A person attending the event. The duration of the item (movie, audio recording, event, etc.) induration Duration ISO 8601 date format.endDate Date The end date and time of the event (in ISO 8601 date format).location Place or PostalAddress The location of the event or organization. An offer to sell this item—for example, an offer to sell aoffers Offer product, the DVD of a movie, or tickets to an event. The main performer or performers of the event—for example, aperformers Person or Organization presenter, musician, or actor.startDate Date The start date and time of the event (in ISO 8601 date format). Events that are a part of this event. For example, a conferencesubEvents Event event includes many presentations, each are subEvents of the conference. An event that this event is a part of. For example, a collectionsuperEvent Event of individual music performances might each have a music festival as their superEvent.