Cycling through the Digital Reformation

One of the things that I come across a lot when I talk with churches about Social Media is “how do we do it?’  This article from Jim Naughton’s fine site, Episcopal Cafe, is a great answer to that question.   This post is an excerpt from Elizabeth Drescher’s new book “Tweet If You Heart Jesus, Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation”.  I think it may just be the next book in my library.

What’s been going on?

My posts have been rather sporadic of late.  I have had a number of “irons in the fire” that have taken precedence over my blog posts here at  It certainly isn’t because I haven’t been busy!

First, I have been the point person for the development of a new website for the Diocese of Olympia.  It has been months in the making (more on that in another post), but has been going in earnest since February.  We went live with the site, in early May and  have been working on getting the bugs fixed and the kinks out.  I have to keep reminding myself that the website is to be a vibrant, evolving entity and is never really “done”.  We will continue to tweak, upgrade and refine over the life of the site.  It is never finished. I appreciate any and all feedback, but do offer an option to respond if you chose to comment.

Secondly, I have just completed a one year certification program from the University of Washington on “Social Media Technology and Implementation“.  This has been a fabulous series of classes and should be the model for teaching social media, IMHO.  I will share the voluminous amount of information I have received in future posts.  The graduation ceremony is this week, but we don’t get a cap and gown.  Oh well.

And lastly, I have been installing a teleconferencing system for the diocese.  This is being installed in key churches around the diocese to help connect some of our more remote parts of the diocese.  We are very excited about this project and hope it will be a model for other churches and dioceses around the country.

I continue to strive that this humble little blog will be a place to disseminate information on how churches can effectively use digital communications to further enhance their presence and message to their faith community and the greater world.

What the Internet is hiding from you

I have been meaning to write something about this since I first heard about this last week after seeing this video by Eli Pariser.  As with many things, I got distracted and it got lower on my ever expanding to-do list.   Here is another link on this, and thanks to my buddy Kat Lehman at the Diocese of Bethlehem for reminding me about this.

I think this is a major issue that we haven’t really addressed at any real level yet.  If I talk with or interact with only people like me, or ideas or concepts that are just like mine, I am going to miss out on some great conversations and insights.  Just as I don’t want to be told what to think or believe, I don’t want to be presented with only those issues and things that some algorithm has generated as “my stuff.”  It limits conversation, limits the flow of ideas and isolates us more than brings us together, which is the antithesis of what the Internet was originally touted for.

If you agree with me on this, pass these links on.  That is part of how we get the word out.

Changing Demographics and its Impact on Communication in the Church

The following piece is from my colleague Kat Lehman in the Diocese of Bethlehem.  She compiles a great little  e-newsletter called [email protected] House.  It contains lots of information on IT and technical news as well as links to content useful to us in church IT work.  To get on the list to receive this newsletter, you can contact her via email and follow her on Twitter @KatLehman.

The largest demographic now in the US are the millennial generation. They outnumber the Baby Boomers. This demographic are teenagers through about age 30 (1980 to year 2000 birthdate) and they want significantly different things from church. They want or like an ancient tradition but they want it modernized and they want to be able to ask a lot of questions. They want to have conversations about what they believe and what others believe. They want to actively participate and they want to be in the decision-making loop. They do this primarily through social media outlets. They like collaboration and they expect to have a voice (even if they are only teenagers right now). They are also extremely hopeful and they are social justice minded as well. They want to make a difference. They are more likely to be innovators than any other generation currently alive and they want feedback especially when they are successful. Interestingly, they don’t generally engage via email. They do so via text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and a thousand and one other ways via social media networks rather than traditional communication means.

We’re Tweeting at Convention

The 100th annual convention of the Diocese of Olympia will be held on October 29-30, 2010 at the Hilton Seattle Airport Hotel &Conference Center.  I will be offering two workshops, Website Design 101: Best Practices in the Digital Age at 10AM and Social Media and the Church at 11AM.  More information on these and other offerings can be found here.

We also will be tweeting about the convention at @ecwwtweets.  You can follow along as well as join in on the conversation through Twitter using the hashtag #olycon.  A live stream will be shown on the right side of the site.  If none of this makes sense, there is more explanation at “How do I Tweet Thee…..”   See you at convention!

Stewardship of Communication

The following is from a sermon I preached on the Stewardship of Communication. In it I talked about how the message you are presenting to your audience needs to be varied and versatile.

Good Morning!
I am the Internet Strategist for the Diocese of Olympia. My job is to bring 21st century technology to the Episcopal Churches here in Western Washington. I love this job because in part, it is about communication. It is about how we communicate our presence and mission in the digital age. Does our message change based on how it is presented or to whom it is presented? Does it change based on the organization presenting it, whether it’s the church, the diocese, the national church or the Anglican Communion? Continue reading “Stewardship of Communication”

Goodbye Google Groups

A few months ago we wrote a post on using Google Groups. It would now appear that this feature is going away. This announcement from the Google Groups blog has the pertinent information. The new options seem to be Google Docs and Google Sites. The more pressing info deals with the November 2010 date and the February 2011 date.

Security and Privacy

A lot has been written concerning Internet security and privacy.  There is no doubt that there are lots of scams and cons our there on the Internet trying to separate you from your money or your personal information.  There are many stories that have been circulating about how people have had their identity stolen or compromised.  Some are true, some are urban legends.  You may conclude that you are unwilling to use the Internet because of these issues.  Don’t do that.  The facts are that the Internet is three things:  Powerful, Dangerous and Necessary. Continue reading “Security and Privacy”

Getting the Message Out

When I do web design workshops, one of the things I tell people is that simply putting up a website will not guarantee success. There is a similar misconception in connecting the faith community electronically. That fallacy is that using one method for digital communications will reach everybody. It won’t.  The following is from an article “Complex Comm World” by  Tom Ehrich at

Continue reading “Getting the Message Out”