Gonna ride this horse for awhile

Yup, I’m really hooked.  But I think you might want to know more about this.

I monitor the posts in a couple of Google Groups…ChurchBIT and ChMS Discussion.  Recent discussions in both of these groups (independent of each other…maybe it’s something in the air) are about Social Networking tools/sites that are specifically for churches.  One of these discussions led me to this blog-site that has access to a survey for church people to take and get info from.  Give it a rip…

And, I’ve got no dog in this fight, but you also might want to look at BeOneBody, CircleBuilder, and LightsTogether

Blessings to you and all whom you love.

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2 Responses to “Gonna ride this horse for awhile”

  1. Mickey Says:

    I’m still not convinced that a custom “Christian” social networking tool is the answer. We’ve looked at doing that in the past, and even have similar tools loaded on our site (the latest version of vBulletin does quite bit along these lines). But why?

    We’ve got 2200+ church members already on Facebook. Without our intervention, they created 40some groups and they’ve been using it for a while now. They can talk to each other, share photos, create public and private groups, etc. Why do we need to move them from there to a Christian bubble?

    I see sites like Facebook as doing a few things for us that a private network couldn’t do:

    1 — As I said, we’ve got a head start with tons of church members already there.
    2 — It makes it much easier to invite non-church friends to events. Rather than asking them to join CircleBuilder and then look at the event, you can just send them right to the event on Facebook.
    3 — As someone said at the NACBA meeting last week, the “15 of your friends are attending…” messages can go a long way, especially for youth.

    On the flipside, I see two potential problems with this approach:

    1 — Less control. You can control the groups that you create, but that’s about it.
    2 — Dilution, especially down the road. We can all agree that Facebook won’t be around forever, so when the next big thing (or things) comes along, we’ll have to slowly migrate to those directions rather than keeping the connections we have in CircleBuilder (or whatever program).

    That being said, I think it’s worth it. We’re pushing as hard as we can into Facebook and Twitter (and LinkedIn and FriendFeed, etc) to take advantage of those opportunities.

    I love to hear what others have to say about this.

  2. Howard Brown Says:

    Mickey,

    I love your post as things are still evolving on the right mix of traditional and online community building. I believe a private online community has significant value to give higher levels of control, engagment, reporting, online giving, messaging, database integration that you may not want to do on a public place like FB.
    FB is the 900 pound gorilla for now, and sharing content between the churches “walled garden” community / small groups and FB is an absolute depending on the church and its flock.
    We believe combination of CircleBuilder.com and an open social network is good thing.

    Blessings

    Howard Brown
    (full disclosure – I am cofounder and CEO of CircleBuilder Software and open to feedback, comments, sharing and growing as we continue to grow the kingdom)

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