Church, Twitter & Trinity [Audio & Slides]

A couple of weeks ago now I had a great opporunity to share some of my recent thinking on social media for the church - how it affects our attention, our understanding of truth and of relationships - with the wonderful people at All Saints Church, Peckham Below is the audio and slides of that night! Enjoy.

James Poulter @All Saints Peckham - Sociality by jamespoulter

Sociality ASPeckham 220511

Life in a multiscreen reality

Patterns for Multiscreen Strategies
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If you have watched any live or as live programming on the BBC as of late you will likely seen a little symbol and a what could appear to the untrained eye a combination of randomly assorted characters. #bbcqt #bbctbq #HIGNFY Any of those ring a bell? The learned amongst you will of course know these are the apple of the social media maven's eye - the humble hashtag is taking over the world on programme, concert, live event and wedding at at time (that's right - I went to a wedding that had it's own tag on Saturday - check out the #teambu stream).

All of this is to encourage something that the Beeb are very keen on - a multi-screen viewing experience or MVE. As outlined in the presentation above from German design studio Precious Forever - MVE is not quite as simple as whacking a #tag on the opening credits of a TV programme - and although MVE may well be another contributing factor to my Social ADD, but it does provide a new - more social kind of viewing experience.

In pre TV days (I am told) people would sit around the wireless in the living room and listen to programmes together - it was a social experience, one enjoyed by a family unit. I wonder if the increase in TV channels embracing MVE's are trying to drive us back to that more social way of consuming mediums which have become ever more individualist, be it TV, YouTube of video games.

Time-shifting technology such as TiVo and Sky+ have given us the ability to watch whatever we want whenever we want it - no more hassling over who has the remote, no more having to sit through Countdown with Mum waiting for Deal or No Deal to come on - and as much as these tech have freed us from one another's tastes, they have also driven us from sharing in the experience with one another. MVE of course is never going to provide the reality of sitting down with friends to enjoy Shark Week, but maybe we are getting back a little of what we have lost.

Over to you:

Does MVE provide a better TV watching experience?

Presence v. Participation

One of the interesting aspects of last weeks LikeMinds conference was the phenomenon that I have experienced in a few good conferences (I use that term carefully), that when the most interesting stuff was being said on stage the twitter stream died of... Interesting I think to myself. The #LikeMinds boys!

It's not that the #tag went completely silent, but you could certainly see and feel a dip in it's momentum. It seemed for a second that the fact that someone had got up on stage to share something with us in the room that was truly interesting, people began to opt for being present where they were, rather than participating (or for some broadcasting their pithy comments) in the conversation on Twitter.

You may now be sat thinking - yes James, this is plainly obvious, why waste your time telling us this. Well you may be right, when we are presented with something really interesting, mixed with the social etiquette of a person on a state, sure we pay attention. But what about at home watching a movie, or at the dinner table in a restaurant or in a lecture? Do you find yourself, your partner or your friends checking Twitter, Facebook or reading the football scores? Or maybe your fingers wander to that level of Angry Birds that was giving you trouble in the tube home?

The thing is, I know this is my experience. For all that I love about these technologies, for all the connectedness they bring, I also find a constant struggle against what has just become the norm, the battle to remain present where I am, with who I spend my time with. It's not easy when these things become so engrained in our way of life. As my friend Jeff Pulver often says "social media is like air" it's becoming just the way many of us (not all I know) live our lives.

But in the same way that many of us found at LikeMinds and as I find my wife Constantly reminds me (as I in turn remind her) that there will always be down time to tweet, blog and post - but the moments of true connectedness are found when we meet, visit and worship together, and right there in those moments by our very presence we are participating, writing new lines of living code into His great tapestry.

At the start of this new week let's give it a go. Being present, participate with what you find in front of you. Practice being present.

Facebook, Meetup & Me

meetup_logo_1
Image by tierramwilson via Flickr

Tonight I am giving a little talk at my good mate @BernieJMitchell's London Meetup Organisers Group, (they are people who organise groups in London using the site - Meetup.com - does what it says on the tin really doesn't it?!)

The subject of the talk and the prezi below is looking at how you can use Facebook and Meetup together to get people more engaged in community groups.

Meetup and Facebook share a lot of similarities so it's great to see how you can integrate the two together. Meetup's themselves have been springing up recently around all sorts of subjects, from the #140conf meetup groups that me and Bernie and others (@LeeSmallwood and @JeffPulver) have been involved with for a year or so now, to groups around Mashable, Evernote and the Huffington post.

Some of the most interesting London groups include:

All well worth checking out... And now for the Prezi...

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Becoming a dispenser

Tokyo, Tokyodome Baseball If you have been to a festival, rugby match, football game, or in some cases even the odd school fete, you will have no doubt come across a strange looking fellow or lass with a large barrel beer or pint of "The Black Stuff" strapped to their back, holding a spout, ready to fill your cup with their hoppy beverage. These things are not a bad idea at all. The beer comes to you and it often turns up again when the glass is empty. Someone one day thought about using the technology of portable cooling, filtration and storage, saw the problem of people cramming up to heavily packed bars in stadiums, and fixed one of the truly annoying parts of live events - just simply getting a drink.

I think this little innovation paints a brilliant picture of what is going on around us now. We can all be dispensers. We all have the potential to use a little bit of technology and share what we have with the world, in a way that is truly useful. So how do you go about being a dispenser?

What's in your barrel?

Working out what kind of brand you have in your barrel is often more difficult that getting out there and sharing it (after all, twitter and Facebook aren't all that difficult really...  I mean if 500 Million people can do it...). Each of us has been packed with a truly UNIQUE set of giftings, skills and a past that makes us full of great stuff. We had the potential to be a dispenser of that uniqueness - and the first step to dispensing it, is know what you have. So take stock of it? What do you have that you can give away?

  • What knowledge? What Experience?
  • What connections? What Network?
  • What assetts? What information?
  • Work out what is in your barrel...

Learn to pour it out

Learning to dispense what you have I think is a two part deal, one if a attitudinal, one is a technical.

First - the technical.

This bit is easy. Just get on with it. Can you write a blog about your experience? Can you create a great presentation and share it on Scribd? Can you create a great set of infographics and get them up on Flickr?

Or can you just meet up with someone to share an experience over a latte? (Above all the twittering and blogging I do - this remains my single favorite way of sharing with people).

Second - The attitudinal

Being a dispenser however requires openess. Openess to be opposed, rejected, applauded, revered, belittled and in many cases ignored. This is a matter of the heart as much as it is of the head. If you are ready to share what you have, then be ready to face up to what people may have to say about it - and if you are really ready to be a dispenser, then be ready to share and encourage that constructive critisism. This is something I have learned and love about some of the best dispensers I know.

Tear up the bar tab

What I have found the most rewarding about being a dispenser, is the one thing that the beer dispensers at a Rugby ground cannot do - a dispenser creates new dispensers. You see - when we begin to pour out what we have into others, we see it well up in them, and sooner or later like when a beer glass overflows people become so full of what we and pour into them, they cannot help but dispense it themselves. now that's exciting...

Your 2pence worth...

  • How do you choose to give away what you have?
  • What are the barriers that get in the way of you living the life of a dispenser?

*I felt compelled to share this thought after a talk at our church @stmaryslondon, by our senior pastor Barry Kissell. Barry spoke on how we can share the Holy Spirit because we each have him in us, and therefore we can be dispensers of the spirit to others. I think this is a reality for many Christians, but something that applies to all people, no matter what your faith (or absence of it).*

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James Needs You!

Ok, so this is going to be one of those "try and keep it humble but big yourself up" kind of blog posts!

I have been shortlisted for the Reputation Online Awards in the "Greatest Contribution From An Individual" category. This for anyone is very flattering, but particularly so for me when you see who I'm up against! (The Head of the PRCA none the less!) - however here's the snag (and hopefully where you come in) - to win I need people to vote for me...

Of course this no opens the opportuntity for what could be a straight forward popularity contest, but as @MaxTB pointed out on Twitter today, it's hard to see from the post on @rep_online what exactly we have done beyond brands we have worked on or job titles to get shortlisted in the first place!?

So in response to a suggestion from Miss Vikki Chowney (@vikkichowney) I thought I would lay it out for you, so at least you can have an informed opinion.

I currently work at Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster, looking after brands such as Huggies (Kimberly Clark), The British Army, World Horse Welfare and RBS amongst others, in the role of "Digital Director" - an illusive job title at best, but basically means that my team and I try to help these brands create an engaged presence in social media.

I also am a trainer for the PRCA and the CIPR and you can find some of the presentations I have done for them here on the blog.

I've contributed bits to the industry in terms of sharing what I do and my experience here, if you can call sitting on the PR week sofa "contributing".

And of course I am also a blogger myself, which if you are reading this then you are clearly aware of that fact!

So which of these things mean I should win... well to be honest - none of them.

This is my day job, and making clients happy is a part of that, as is training my team and sharing that knowledge with others in the industry. And the blogging... well I just plain enjoy it. I don't do it for awards, but also can't say the recognition is welcomed either. I can't help but communicate (if you ask my wife she will confirm that...), it's what I do, it's what I always have done. Do I deserve an award for it? I suppose that's up to you...

If you feel compelled to vote for me - please text 'Ro 3' to 82100

Cheers.

James

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Facebook, Privacy & PR

Yesterday afternoon I sat down with the folks from PR Week for the Video Podcast to discuss the recent changes to Facebook's privacy policy, and how they have handled the PR around it. Here is the vid;

This was filmed ahead of last night's announcements from Facebook about the next steps in Privacy control with the "masterswitch" that will be rolling out to users in the coming days.

Below is the video posted on the Facebook blog from Mark Zuckerburg about the new changes. Which, in terms of content is great. It terms of delivery however... well it speaks for itself - AWEFUL. A monotone CEO is every PR's nightmare, let alone visibly reading from an AutoCue. Now we all know Mark has never been the best communicator, he is no Steve Jobs, and we have no reason to expect him to be.

However as I mentioned in the podcast - we are talking about one of companies that is encouraging and enabling, sharing, openness and sociality - and they respond to a problem that effects nearly 500 Million people in a totally unsociable way.

So what can we learn here?

Simply:

  • Respond early and openly - don't hide in the shadows of a looming crisis, move swiftly
  • If your brand image is one about friendship and community - choose spokespeople that reflect that brand image
  • If you are socially enabled business - BE SOCIAL - use what is at hand to your advantage - a direct link into the homes of over 500 million people is a tool worth using when necessary

Monday Musings: The Gutenberg Effect

Morning All. Welcome to your Monday. Here are some digital nuggets to sink your little nashers into for the week of March 8th. Kicking off with a video spotlight: How The Interenet is Changing Advertising.

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This cracking little "epipheo" presents captures very succinctley something which as been nagging at my brain for a while. Something I like to call "The Gutenberg Effect". For me the technological shifts that have truely rocked the world have always brought about a new way of thinking and with that new way, an outburst of creativity has spread like wildfire.

Looking back to creation of the printing press, what Gutenberg achieved was not only a technological shift, but a cultural one that allowed people for the first time to hold the printed word in their hands and read it for themselves. A technology that was a key driver in the cultural shift that ultimately ended up becoming The Reformation.

We have seen this process repeat throughout recent history with the creation of commercial radio springing up from the creativity of HAM radio set users in the early 20th century, and then far more recently in the boom of satellite television. Each has created a shift in the way we communicate with one another. Each has demanded something new of the sender and recipient of communication. With print it was undivided attention. With radio it became a background medium, with TV a shared collective experience.

The internet in general, but increasingly the social web provides a different form of communication. A new kind of shared experience, that is not media specific, time specific or geography specific. An experience that is neither broadcast nor narrowcast. Yet is still a shared experience, but that experience is fundamentally different, as for the first time the way in which that experience is consumed lies in the hands of the recipient, NOT the sender.

This means big things for the advertising and marketing industries. It means a change of mindset, a different thinking is required, as we can no longer control or stipulate that a communication has to be consumer OUR way. But be open to the fact that our communication will be consumed, when, where and how the recipient wants. The sooner that marketers get that this shared experience is a movable typing twittering tubing experience, not a media experience, the better.

More on that in the coming weeks...

in other news...

A fantastic dissection of HootSuite for the unitiated from my chum Gemma Went

10 Great Newbie Twitter Mistakes Made By Businesses from Mike Johansson on Social Media Today

And a great presentation from Coca-Cola on Social Media care of Robin Grant @ wearesocial