Using Photos of Children

One of the most common questions that I am asked when I do workshops on website design and social media is “What about photos of children, what are the guidelines?”  I will talk about needing permissions, how to (or not) identify them and then go on to the broader topic of photos of people in general.  I was about to write something on this, but one of my Episcopal Communicator compadres at the Diocese of Newark, Nina Nicholson, has written a very good piece on this subject on her blog “Geeks for God“.  It has good, practical tips and even includes verbiage for crafting a release form!  Do check it out.  Thanks, Nina!

Sacramental Social Media

One of my favorite go-to sites for church stuff is ECF Vital Practices.  They are a terrific resource and this post is no exception.  This excerpt encapsulates so much of what I tell people, it is nice to know others are saying the same:
“Going to a Facebook page or a Twitter account and finding it dormant sends a symbolic message: nothing is happening here. Better not to have a social media account at all (which is a legitimate choice). But an active page can be evidence that your community is a place with life that shows the love of God to each other and those who visit.”
You can read the entire post here.

Web Trends for the New Year

One of the great things about what I do is trying to stay current on technologies and trends and then passing them on to others.  This link came across the Episcopal Communicators Facebook page and I think it is quite timely.  We are looking to redo the ecww.org site next year and these tips fall in line with what I have seen evolving.

Websites should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it fits the mission and goals of your faith community.  A website should be updated/refreshed/overhauled every 18-36 months.  Take a look at your church website.  Is it showing its age and looking a little tired?  Make a New Year’s resolution to spruce up you site in 2014.  Do you need some assistance or consultation?  Contact me and I will be happy to send you resources or if you are in the Diocese of Olympia, I will come out and meet with you.

There are lots of options to choose from.  Get in touch with me.  Let’s get crackin’!

Can You “Like” God?

For people who are “digital immigrants” ( basically those over 40), the idea of social media is somewhat confusing.  When you add religion into the social media mix,  it can get even more convoluted.  What is spirituality, what is community?  How do you have a religious encounter through technology?  The program New Tech City on WNCY in New York City has a very thoughtful an interesting segment on this topic.  It doesn’t answer all the questions and it certainly isn’t a magic bullet, but it is something that every church needs to address at some level if it wants to be relevant in the next few years.  Thanks to Faith Rowold at Episcopal Relief and Development for passing this on.  There is also a nice little shout-out to Trinity Wall Street in the piece!

Tech Support Exposed!

As part of my duties here, I am called upon for computer or tech support help.  This comes from co-workers, church administrators, clergy, web designers, you name it.  I came across this picture from xkcd.com which totally explains how it’s done.  Now to get ready for convention…..tech_support_cheat_sheet

Is Your Church an Embezzler’s Dream?

Normally this blog site deals with technology issues and trends  that I think are worthwhile pieces of information for people doing digital technology for their faith communities.  However, our Canon for Finance, Chris Smith-Clark has brought to my attention some good tips on protecting your organization from “financial chicanery”.  I am posting her article here and hope you will take it to heart. Continue reading

What Is Your 15 Second Elevator Speech?

I have found that since I started my position here at the Diocese of Olympia, my focus has changed on talking about church websites.  Initially it was all about tools, how to do it, how to maintain the site, etc., real nuts and bolts stuff.   When I talk with church groups who are working on websites, they invariably want to know what plugins to use, how many navigation tabs, etc., but they never ask me “what is the best way to show my church?”  More and more I believe this is the question that should be asked first. Continue reading

How to Start a Communications Plan for Your Church

I love it when I find nuggets that will help churches with their mission.  Here is a nice little article from one of my favorite websites, Church Marketing Sucks (can I get an Amen!) that talks about how to get started with a communications strategy for your church.  With all of the tools and apps out there, it is possible to put together a really nice communications strategy for your church or faith community with little financial outlay and not get yourself overwhelmed.