On Saturday, the Social Media Boot Camp was held at LICC, just off Oxford Street. I’m finding it really interesting working within both the Higher Education and the Christian sectors with regards to digital tools – both have groups who are keen to utilise the potential available with social media, both are pretty evangelistic about the purpose of the message they carry… and both have big groups of people who are resistant to social media, who need to understand that social media is not the be all and end all, but a tool!!
The event was co-hosted by a number of organisations, but http://dmingml.com/ (Global Missional Leadership Doctor of Ministry) appears to have been the driver behind it, and look at this great opportunity to share resources online, and then build upon those with further resources… (The hashtag for the event was: #dmingml). The wonderful app below is just recently released, and is continuing development – hopefully with a more general licence release in the spring!
Jason kicked us off with a bit of an intro, with an overall message that social media is just a tool, and just because it’s there doesn’t mean need to use it (as in, no need to panic and think you need to join every social media outlet out there). However, it’s good to be aware of its potential, and then look to use it well! Antony Billington from LICC then tied the event in with John Stott‘s original aims in setting up the LICC, ‘double-listening’, to both the world and to God, and looking for joins between the two (rather than dismissing the world!)
Krish Kandiah (from EA), who was currently flying back from Australia, then provided us with a bit of video chat! He is incredibly excited that so many Christians are positive about social media engagement! He encouraged us that the Church should be early adopters of new technology to spread the good news, as was done in the Reformation/with the printing press. Through social media, the world is becoming a smaller place, allowing, for example, more effective prayers. Such prayers can be sent out by Twitter (rather than monthly newsletters), shortly before the event, through the event – and allows us to know what is happening ‘now’. Social media has lots of potential for mass book groups, podcasts & vodcasts from sermons. One of the things Krish seemed particularly chuffed with, was that he set up Nick Griffin does not speak for Christians and gained over 4000 fans very quickly!
Yes, it was an excellent day (maybe a little difficult for those who know nothing about social media to follow, but think overall well balanced, gave me things to think about and reconfirmed some of my own thinking!) – and I got to meet some people face-2-face for the first time. There was a big call for a site/wiki on which to share experiences of what has worked… For the project on which I’m working: @bigbible, we are keen to get people engaging in Tom Wright’s ‘Matthew for Lent’ and will be providing some traditional style housegroup material, but also, an optional layer, engaging with new media! As it is clear that so many are unfamiliar with new media, the intention is that the blog will allow those who have experimented with social media in a Christian context (particularly in relation to the Bible) to blog about their experiences (so let me know if you’re interested), so we start to build a resource of ‘best practice’ (and also what to avoid!). Potentially a wiki may also help… [I was tweeting as @drbexl BTW]