Digital Life(style)

Dave Merwin #dmingml @davemerwin

The below is largely quick-notes taken on “my” iPad (it belongs to work, I have a bit of time to test it), so make of it what you will – I should just have live posted!

Social Media Bootcamp
View more presentations from davemerwin.

Dave started with: Acts 1:23-26 – we use the tools we have!

  • With social media and personal branding, it’s all about how you use the tool. Dave quoted David Winer – Narrate Your Work. People will find you, have conversations & comment – but they need to know what is going on. Look at the stats to see where it’s worth focusing efforts – e.g. statistics indicate that there area a huge number of  iTunes downloads, so podcasts are a great tool.
  • TechCrunch – sharethis – tells you where people are sharing. Most are sharing links to Facebook, then to email, although a significant number are linking to Twitter.
  • Many of these social media sites are information silos – e.g. FB & Twitter might not talk to each other, and the users on one may not be on the other.
  • We are working in a society where we are moving towards aiming to achieve work life integration not worklife balance! Work and life reflect each other accurately.
  • Ben Dubow – Faith Autopsy website. He has a blog, Facebook & Twitter, all separate accounts, but they converge. His Twitter isn’t restricted to talking about his blog, but brings in a wider audience. Facebook has a smaller audience but more “appropriate” (Friends = a misnomer).
  • To post is to invite feedback from others, so may need to develop a bit of thick skin. Need honest feedback … With a “digital curtain” = a bit anonymous… Provide encouragement & gather people together round comments etc. Ben has more than one site, and with The Inside Soup – offers cross-pollination, but has to deliberately work at it. Can’t just put content out there & leave it. Set time aside for it…
  • Hollywood Poster (xxx church).
  • Know your audience / use the right material for your audience – e.g. your demographic might mean that email may be the most appropriate.
  • Netflix // // mahalo // this week in startups – Ask them their stories what is the idea, who got it going – why is no one doing this for startup churches.
  • Kevin Rose (set up Digg). Put the content out there – if people don’t like it they won’t engage. Kevin – v good at responding online on Twitter. Kevin – open, transparent, have conversations. Admit you don’t know everything – great way to build relationships. E.g. churches using podcast and people hear sermons etc (ustream, iTunes, etc) – then come in f2f. Easy to get content out there – be daring enough to be transparent…
  • Online software – release early & release often – iterative process. Allow people to see what you’re doing & offer feedback on what has been written etc!
  • Twitter etc – open conversations. May not be relevant to everyone who reads them but that’s an accepted part of the process.
  • Digg – up or down – comments on in diggnation. They have a lot of media – uses simple ideas though. IMovies – $5 to YouTube as walking. Connect throughout the day & see what people are up to. ..


  • Jason Clark: Social media & transparency – not appropriate for all?! Lot of it is drivel or makes people uncomfortable? Augustine and Jonathan Edwards / narrative Inc some autobiography?! Be transparent about what new media is doing in the community. Transparency & engagement can be more than verbal diarrhoea.
  • Dave: Not the only way but Jason using WP, Twitter, Facebook & Flickr. Multiple-post contents?!
  • Create personas…. Creates baseball trading cards of those who are likely to use the content. What are their needs? What are their goals? What are they going to achieve by joining with you? What are they going to do with your content?! Main user … Can ‘just’ be friends – what assumptions can you make? Make appropriate subscriber content possible. Know all users won’t be using the same content/platforms. Helps decide about workflow/user needs – interested in when best times/get responses.
  • Manage (via Posterous). Writes in one place – sends via email to all his different services. Manage multiple blogs etc. Well funded / e.g. If post contains YouTube will upload to YT?! 9% of those opening files do so through WordPress. Significantly passionate… Free & well promoted. Choose well focused tags/categories to pull in users. Can choose which services it actually posts to – doesn’t have to go everywhere.
  • Titles are really important – need to get people excited and they’ll jump in and engage.  Think before you post / you can delete everything but it will still be out there… Vimeo (more control) – YouTube – less control… Content is usually better. Distribute via mobile. Don’t need to spend on creating a website anymore / use other services e.g. Google, Squarespace, WordPress etc – need to pay for the design but not the infrastructure…
  • How do you bring all this content back together? All over world & multiple platforms – so built an app…. Community tools. Use the tag – Same as Url. Cahoots – community app. Safe streets – contacts & rate. Biblr – send out last word of a verse, have to feed back with same word as first verse. Sosorry. Confessional. Jesus: save us from your followers. Small grouper – support for small group networks – recipes, scheduling, etc… All become more important. become a resource.
  • Applications online are what people are ( using – attached to phones. Go slow, put time in unless inflammatory / but can see a consistent thread in your development. Provides a testimony for your life…
  • Look at how people are using it well on little money. Case studies this afternoon. How protect ourselves from rubbish?! Read the privacy policies!! Don’t write anything if not prepared to see forwarded elsewhere.
  • Timing – four hour work week – set up e.g. to do email once a week. Choose your own timings. Manage & inject into conversations. Suggestions for getting a working knowledge of tools – What is the hashtag? Explain simply… Think of specific examples. Sermon tag/SMS numbers… Simple idea for ‘small’ churches of 300… ?!

Follow @DaveMerwin on Twitter.

By Digital Fingerprint

Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture  in the third sector (especially faith). Author of 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.

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