Digital Media & Press Media - Text

Article in @christiantoday on Community in a Digital Age


Had a good email conversation with Quentin the other week, and here’s some of the results:

In days gone by, connecting on a large scale meant Christians having to meet in person, in conference centres or church halls. Now, Christians anywhere and everywhere can connect with each other online every day.

A virtual community has built up around the Bible thanks to The Big Bible Project, which currently has 60 active contributors and has around 148,000 visitors to the website.

And there are other possibilities through existing social networks like Facebook, with its 700 million active users, and Twitter, with its 300 million active users.

Read full article.


Forethought for Tuesday in Holy Week #EasterLive

Thought 1: What to talk about today?

So, it’s Tuesday, what does that mean? Not knowing the Easter timeline all that well, I was very pleased to spot this Holy Week Timeline via someone’s Twitter account, and blogged about it earlier today on BigBible.

According to the timeline above, we’re onto the withered fig tree, but EasterLive gives us a clear outline for the stories that we are looking at.

Thought 2: Tom Wright: The Parables

So, Tom Wright has talked to us about the Tenants in the Vineyard:

and in week 4, it was all about parables!

Thought 3: What has everyone else been talking about?

EasterLive have given us clickable options to what others have been talking about (I am assuming across the whole hashtag, rather than just for today):

Ah no, I just clicked, it’s not doing a tag cloud, it has given a list of pre-suggested words (so #Easterlive tweeters, get using them), as there’s a couple that are empty if you click through into them.

Thought 4: Arguments

Do arguments have to difficult, harsh, etc.? I googled ‘Postive Argument’, which may be some kind of scientific term, but I liked The Happiness Project outline of how to positively contribute to arguments..

There’s so many things we could follow around the web, but I’m off to meet with Huw, the imaginative person behind EasterLive, to celebrate his upcoming birthday…

Digital Life(style)

6 thoughts for Palm Sunday #EasterLive

Have you heard of EasterLive yet? If not, check it out, and see the stories that people are posting on the #EasterLive hashtag on Twitter (if you’re not sure how to use Twitter, there’s a great guide here), and last year’s story is being retold on Facebook.

It’s Passover week in 1st Century Jerusalem. A bustling throng of Jewish pilgrims have gathered in the city. But this year a preacher/carpenter from Nazareth is set to turn the tables of history – right before their eyes. This is the Easter story and this is your cue.

By Tweeting your story, the Easter(LIVE) website allows you to showcase your very own Passion Play. Be it a historical and Biblical account or a poetic, visual, musical or creative retelling – it’s up to you. It’s a chance to explore, to learn and be creative. Give it your personal stamp, bring it to life and share it with everyone.

I am going on a visual, digi-explorer journey, to see where my thoughts, prompts from others on Twitter, and Google take me… and may God prompt me to put something useful on here, alongside the materials we’ve been producing for BigBible!!

Thought 1

I am a keen supporter of 12Baskets, and am embedding myself in using the tools in order to provide feedback on how we can encourage its use using social media… so many people spend so long preparing sermons, tracking down images that can be (legitimately) used (praying before you download from Google isn’t really an ethical approach!), and we could do so much more if we SHARED images. The site already has over 35,000 images – what can you contribute?!

Anyway, I went onto 12baskets to look for images related to Palm Sunday… and here’s your opportunity to add to the 8 images currently online, although there’s also a great selection of written thoughts, hymns, and materials to purchase, and picked out the following couple of images:



12 Baskets:

Thought 2

What were the verses that tell us the story of Palm Sunday, of Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey… and note, as Richard Littledale has in his blog… that the donkey doesn’t only appear “in the Christmas story”.

Luke 19:29-40 “When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Lives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it? just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.'” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ Then they brought it to Jesus’ and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order you disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.'”

John 12:11-19 “The next day a great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: ‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’ His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!'”

Thought 3

@richardlittleda had been talking to @vahva, as she’d posted the picture below – donkeys in the churchyard (from today!)… he’d responded to tell her about his blog post… donkeys are not just for Christmas!


Thought 4

I wonder what YouTube has to offer on this? There are multiple videos on YouTube, but I thought this one was beautifully produced and with a great message…

Thought 5

I grew up in a Brethren church, and I’m not sure we did Easter in the same way that others do. The one thing that has always stuck out in my mind from when I started going to an Anglican church was the prominence of these palm crosses, so I headed over to Flickr to see if I could find a Creative Commons image for that… and went for a little hunt as to their significance. These crosses  can either be given to members of the congregation for them to place somewhere as a reminder of Easter throughout the year, or the alter may be covered with palms which are blessed, then kept, and burned the following year, the ashes used on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) to mark the forheads of the faithful (from here).

Thought 4Flickr:

Thought 6

Maybe time for a little audio in our multi-media world… and prompted by following another Flickr image, came across AllGloryLaudAndHonor (downloadable MP3, taken from here)

Want more?

You can follow my contributions at or follow the #EasterLive hashtag.

Digital Media & Press Media - Text

Twitter? That’s just like Facebook statuses without the extra stuff, right?

Well, Twitter and Facebook may both be social networking sites, but they are quite different. Facebook is officially a ‘private’ space, where you interact with people that you already know, whereas Twitter is a public space, giving lots of opportunities to meet new people. If you have a smartphone, it’s even easier to use Twitter!

What is Twitter?

Whilst Facebook has been around since 2004, first came on the scene in 2006. It’s a form of microblogging, based on text messaging, so every message (known as a tweet) is limited to 140 characters. Messages are displayed on your profile page, and read by subscribers, known as ‘followers’ (rather than ‘friends’). Messages usually aren’t as personal as Facebook statuses… “I had toast” tends not to work… unless you’re a celebrity (find them on:!

Twitter is great for “meeting” others with similar interests, as it’s easy to search for particular words. Twitter also uses #hashtags which make it easier to find specific interests. Take, for example, if you were looking for the TV series “Lost”. If you search for ‘lost’ you will find all the tweets where people have lost things, but if you search for #Lost you are more likely to find people talking about the TV series. Users often repost other users messages, known as a ‘Retweet’. The message then gets circulated to their followers, spreading the message much wider. This is the basis of the power of Twitter.

So, that’s what it is, what can you do with it?

We’ve already said that Twitter is great for following celebrities, and for making new contacts. I find it much easier to work out what someone is interested in on Twitter, as people tend to write more frequently and more ‘openly’. Twitter has few rules, but does have a strong etiquette, and the tone is generally friendly, genuine, with people engaging where their passions are. It tends not to work if you’re not interested in something!

Once you have a decent following, you can seek feedback and questions (as Stephen Fry famously did when he got stuck in a lift!). Want to be the first in the know? News stories tend to break first on Twitter, including the plane crashing into the Hudson River, and the death of Michael Jackson.

What about if you want to get serious?


Twitter is great for reputation building, and with every Tweet being treated as a separate ‘page’ by the search engines, your name will jump up Google, and you’ll be easier to find. Just think what it’s appropriate to post!

If you want people to follow, and continue following, you, you need to make yourself interesting, justify their investment of time. Give them insights into the real you, your passions, and a touch of humour. Some of the big companies are on Twitter, and you can get discounts, support, competitions and an idea of what’s new? Look at how Radio 1 use Twitter, all part of building a relationship with their audience.

Do you need to be on it?

If you need to network, before an event, or when job-hunting, Twitter is great for this. You can have great conversations with people before an event, and it makes it easier to say hi, and then carry on the conversation afterwards! If job-hunting, demonstrate your passion for a field, and an awareness for the latest news stories, and the key people in the field.

It’s important to accept that it takes time to build up a following, and that you need to put time into chatting to others. It can take time for Twitter to make sense, and, one final note… your followers will come and go – don’t take it personally!

Article written by Bex Lewis for the Winter 2010 of Thoughts Magazine (a free magazine for teens, twenties and students), and first published on BigBible.


On Radio Newcastle talking about @bigbible this morning

Download the MP3 (25MB) from Dropbox (I couldn’t find the stop button initially, so it carries on for a bit afterwards), and follow up at @bigbible.