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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

advice on churches & the internet (updated 20/10/12)

is the world of church websites or facebook or twitter accounts all a bit alien to you?

i thought I'd have a crack in this post at sharing the lessons i've learned on this subject.  i've tried to keep the post simple, and i only mention software that is free. 

i'm likely to keep updating this post as and when something new or better occurs to me. 

by all means add your tips via the comments.



1) how often can you update info?  
- if infrequently  - in that situation what you put up needs to be info which doesn't change a lot.
- if frequently - then you need somebody to do the update and some ideas on what you'll post about.

2) what do people like sharing on the internet?  links about info that is trustworthy, interesting, or about popular culture.  so if you want people to share what you post then.......

3) what software?  
- gmail is useful as an email address for a church.
- twitter is great for short 140 character messages  - and there are ways of automatically getting tweets to also appear as facebook posts.  
- facebook is great for longer messages, for albums of photos and for keeping in contact with others (and being reminded of their birthdays). 
- google sites is a relatively simple way of setting up a church website.  
- blogger allows longer posts and there are ways of automatically getting blog posts to also appear on your facebook and twitter pages.  
(there is also software that allows you to schedule in advance posts to twitter or facebook)

4) its a church so .... you need to be sensitive to what you post online and with whom you talk to online. what you find hilarious and a laugh may offend somebody else.  a good test is "if this were a poster would i pin it up inside the church?".  also you need to pay particular attention to the privacy settings in the software you use.  for example on facebook you might not want all you friends posts to show to all others viewing a church facebook account.   also make sure you comply with the EU cookie law


if you need some basic help setting something up i may be able to help.  email me on usefulinparts@gmail.com (one c of e church a week will probably be my limit on help  - i'm not claiming massive expertise but i do admin a church's twitter, gmail, facebook and googlesite and use various other software to schedule or automatically copy posts to some of these)

useful links
bex lewis - prezi presentation on twitter for the c of e and another by her on social media

bryony taylor's presentation on social media and the scared sacred 

what twitter is like - a super description - by dorkymum

sticky jesus - 10 commandments of twitter as gathered @ greenbelt

via inspire magazine - website self assessment questionnaire

how to engage people on facebook and twitter by Bryony Taylor

mashable's the beginners guide to social media

a guide to internet acronyms

online tools you shouldn't be without - by bryony taylor and bex lewis 

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