Ask Darrel: My First 3 Years on Church Staff

Welcome to Episode 58 of the Ask Darrel podcast. On this episode I’m going to give you some insight on my first three years of being on church staff.

Just recently, I celebrated my three year anniversary at my church. In this episode, I talk you through the lessons I’ve learned and what has surprised me in moving to a church environment.

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The Two Sides of Content Creation

I hate writing tutorials. Why? Well, first I’m horrible at explaining how to do something on technical level. I always assume the reader has prior knowledge that they don’t have, and I figure that if people get lost, they’ll just google it.

Trust me, they don’t google it.

However, if you ask me to write about the future of the church and how technology plays into that, I’m all there.

In other words, I’m an abstract thinker. But, I know that doesn’t work for everyone.

Which is why I admire Katie Allred.

Katie is one of the best people I know at instructing others. She understands what reader needs to know, and what reader doesn’t realize they don’t know. (Plus, she’s a professor at the University of Florida.)

In other words, Katie is a concrete thinker.

Now, I don’t believe that one is superior to the other. But, I do believe that some of us don’t understand which one we are. It’s taken me over three years of writing blog posts to realize, what suits me best.

When you don’t know who you are, you try to mimic popular social media personalities and bloggers, and then you end up looking like a copy of an original.

Abstract or concrete, it really doesn’t matter. Just figure out which one you are and stick with it.

Inside Evan Spiegel’s very private Snapchat Story

Evan Spiegel isn’t building the next Facebook or Twitter. To some that may be obvious, but it’s important to understand. That’s because Spiegel is driven by the idea that people are looking for alternatives to their curated Facebook and Instagram personas. It’s not a social site, it’s a communication app with a large dose of entertainment on the side.

“We no longer have to capture the ‘real world’ and recreate it online,” Spiegel explained during a speech he gave at a conference in early 2014. “We simply live and communicate at the same time.”

First Twitter decides it wants to be considered a news app, and now I think people are realizing Snapchat is a communications app. I think this is reinforced by lack of content discovery, content archiving and displaying pre-produced content (unless you’re a major brand).

The question for churches is, are they approaching Snapchat a social network or a communications tool?

via Inside Evan Spiegel’s very private Snapchat Story – Recode

The Real Problem With Facebook and the News

This week I was asked by The Baptist Press to comment on the Facebook Trending News controversy (you can read the article here). Looking back, the more I look at the issues people are raising, the more I find the situation to be absurd. I think Ben Thompson stated it best:

This, then, is the deep irony of this controversy: Facebook is receiving a huge amount of criticism for allegedly biasing the news via the empowerment of a team of human curators to make editorial decisions, as opposed to relying on what was previously thought to be an algorithm; it is an algorithm, though — the algorithm that powers the News Feed, with the goal of driving engagement — that is arguably doing more damage to our politics than the most biased human editor ever could. The fact of the matter is that, on the part of Facebook people actually see — the News Feed, not Trending News — conservatives see conservative stories, and liberals see liberal ones; the middle of the road is as hard to find as a viable business model for journalism (these things are not disconnected).

via The Real Problem With Facebook and the News – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

The Information Age is over; welcome to the Experience Age

Interesting article from TechCrunch.

Many people think Snapchat is all about secrecy, but the real innovation of Snapchat’s ephemeral messages isn’t that they self-destruct. It’s that they force us to break the accumulation habit we brought over from desktop computing. The result is that the profile is no longer the center of the social universe. In the Experience Age you are not a profile. You are simply you.

This has been my thinking for a while. Once we move from Web 2.0, in which you actively contribute to the web, to Web 3.0, where the contribution is so seemless, your ability to create an online persona that’s different from your real life is going to become more difficult.

I don’t see this as a bad thing. Instead, I see it forcing high profile personalities and organizations to rethink they’re strategy. Yes, people will still need to plan in advance and think through the brand, but the idea that you can create one thing, yet do another thing, is coming to an end.

via The Information Age is over; welcome to the Experience Age | TechCrunch

Ask Darrel: Politics And Your Church

Welcome to Episode 57 of the Ask Darrel podcast. On this episode we’re talking about dealing with people who want to talk politics on social media.

Okay, let’s talk about politics (everyone makes an audible groan). While I know this is not everyone’s favorite subject, you may have to deal with a staff member or pastor that is really passionate about politics on social media.  So how do deal with this gracefully and still let people voice their opinions? 

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Why Podcasts Matter

I write a blog, do a weekly podcast and I’ve tried my hand at vlogging. If you told me I could only do one for the rest of my life. The answer would be easy.

My podcast.

Why? One reason is that it’s the easiest for me in terms of content. There’s always something to talk about. Plus, talking about a subject is much easier then writing about it.

But that’s not why I would choose podcasting. I would choose podcasting because there something intimate about audio. I’ve listened to enough podcasts to know that over time those people behind the microphone can become a comfort for a lot of people. There’s something about a familiar voice talking to you while you go about doing life’s work.

Now I have no idea if I have that effect on people, but I know they do on me. Here’s a quick list of podcasts that I’m currently listening to:

Each of these podcasts bring me some joy throughout the week. Every episode is like hanging out with friends that you haven’t seen all week. I don’t think I’m the only person who feels that way.

It’s why I love podcasts, and I think they’re here to stay.