• an annual worldwide focus day on a Sunday in Spring, as the culmination of Digital Outreach Month. Churches and other groups are encouraged to create a focus spot or digital training day, either on that Sunday, or indeed at any time of the year. Next IE Day is 1 June 2014.
• a year-round resource guide about web, mobile and digital media outreach
Digital Evangelism Issues
• is the blog for Internet Evangelism Day ... main IE Day menu:
We offer a range of free articles and related resources for anyone wishing to write about online evangelism. You may also use any of this blog's posts as short filler items in print media. Read more To reference any blog post in print, you can shorten the URL to IEDay.net/blog/ archives/1234 (of course replacing '1234' with the actual posting number).
Church website testing tool
Use our free self-assessment tool to provide you with a customized report on ways to make your church site reach out into your community. Read more
Infographics are a great way to communicate a strategic visual overview of any topic. Global Mapping’s new series of mission-related infographics are very helpful. This month they have summarized some vital trends and opportunities for digital evangelism, in this ‘missiographic’ entitled 3 Revolutions Impacting Internet Evangelism ▼
Grateful thanks to GMI for creating this valuable resource, coincidentally in the very week that the Mobile Ministry Consultation is taking place.
What opportunities does this infographic highlight for you? Please add your comments.
Two very helpful pages from Jakob Nielsen about website usability. A confusing website is one that visitors will leave. Quickly and permanently.
Jakob Nielsen is a recognized website usability expert. You can sign up for his AlertBox newsletter here.
1. Flat vs. deep website hierarchies
Virtually every website that has more than a few pages uses some structure for organizing the content. The most common (and most easily understood) structure is to categorize pages into groups, often with distinct subgroups. The end result is a hierarchy of content, a structure familiar to most of us from our interactions with organizations, families, and the natural world. Read more.
2. The halo effect
The Halo Effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used to make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions, even if biased ones. Websites can be impacted by the halo effect. Read more.
Related page: You cannot escape the blink test
Human brains are wired up a certain way. You cannot break human cognition rules and still communicate – this applies to a vast variety of situations. That the message is ‘spiritual’, or otherwise beneficial, makes no difference. Online, everything is subject to the brutal ‘blink test’ – the lightning fast algorithm our brains apply to a website, magazine article, video short, or anything else. Read more.
The growth in mobile phone usage across Africa, Asia and the rest of the Majority World has been phenomenal and transformative – see detailed study from AllAfrica.com. 99% of Kenyans accessing the Internet do so on mobile phones, reports the Communication Commission of Kenya.
While over 96% of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone, 1.5 billion people do not have access to electricity. In the Majority World, 79% of people have no electricity. But they can talk on their phones while they carry drinking water home. Mobile access is not just for urban dwellers.
So what is the best way to reach these people for Christ? Their mobile device.
Come to the Consultation?
The Mobile Ministry Forum (MMF) Consultation at the Wycliffe Bible Translator Headquarters 9-11 December 2013, in Orlando, FL, is the key gathering for people interested in learning how to use mobile technology for ministry outreach. This 3-day conference includes TED-style presentations, discussions, ministry field reports, workshop breakouts, and networking time. The call is to anyone using mobile technology in a ministry context, creating apps or content, or anyone interested in starting a mobile ministry.
Keynote presenters include…
Tomi Ahonen – Forbes ranked this former Nokia executive as #1 “power influencer in mobile.” He lectures at Oxford University and has been quoted in over 400 articles and presented at over 250 conferences.
Ken Cochrum – is currently serving as VP for Global Digital Strategies. Ken and his wife, Ann, recently founded Indigitous.org, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital means.
Gary Nelson – has 35 years of senior and executive management experience in the domestic and international financial payments industry. He currently serves as Chairman of the Nelson Family Foundation, Chairman of Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN) and Founder of Alkami Technology.
“The content was exceptionally good and I’m still amazed at the quality of the participants and the key ministries represented. Of all the different conferences I attended this year–and I do this a lot–yours was overall the most valuable experience.”
- Tom Watkins, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, TWR
The opportunity for cross-cultural missions
Mobile ministry is not some special esoteric thing only for specialists. Any mission agency, any pastor, any national believer anywhere in the world, can be leveraging the huge opportunities for mobile evangelism and discipleship right now.
Missions – consider sending a representative to this Consultation! You will be glad you did.
The Mobile Ministry Forum (MMF) is a coalition of ministries working towards the goal of giving every unreached person a chance to encounter Christ and His kingdom in a compelling, contextualized fashion through their personal mobile device by 2020.
Ministries include: Biola University, Campus Crusade for Christ, Christian Broadcasting Network, Cyber Missions, International Mission Board, and Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Human brains are wired up a certain way. You cannot break human cognition rules and still communicate – this applies to a vast variety of situations. That the message is ‘spiritual’, or otherwise beneficial, makes no difference.
Online, everything is subject to the brutal ‘blink test’ – the lightning fast algorithm our brains apply to a website, magazine article, video short, or anything else, as the infographic ▼ below explains.
His other valuable books, to understand more about human cognition. Whether you are a communicator or just want to understand more about how you, and other people, tick, these simple and non-academic insights are vital.
Facebook, Wikipedia and World Reader have already implemented ways to make plain text web-pages and books available on dumb and feature phones, piggybacked on the mobile signal rather than through true internet access.Presumably Internet.org’s vision will include more of this technology, and be primarily targetted to mobile phones, the only piece of electronic equipment that many in the Majority World will ever own.
Digital media have already revolutionized the opportunities for evangelism and discipleship in the Majority World. The Internet.org vision could enhance these opportunities by a whole order of magnitude. Every mission agency, every national church and parachurch group should be researching, preparing, and training for these opportunities. Find resources, ideas, news, and strategies from Mobile Advance, Mobile Ministry Forum, and Visual Story Network.
It’s rare to see a new word born and taken into worldwide common usage within a month. But that’s what has happened with ‘phubbing’ – a contraction of ‘phone snubbing’. Invented by Australian Alex Haigh for his Stop Phubbing campaign, it describes the behavior of partially or entirely ignoring someone you are with, by engaging in activity on your mobile phone. The 24/7 availability of social networking and SMS can push out face-to-face conversations.
Back in 2008, this was already a common activity although without a name, and was depicted that year in the remarkable frieze added to the base of the The Meeting Place bronze sculture at St Pancras Station, London (pictured above; video below, 18 seconds in).
I find this fascinating in two ways:
It illustrates our remarkable human ability to create single new words to describe things, actions, and concepts. Without such a shorthand word, we need a phrase, even a sentence or two, to explain something. A word encapsulates and crystallizes meaning.
But we are also visual creatures: we need an overlay of imagery and story for any word or concept. It is several years since I saw the frieze at St Pancras Station, but the image of the girl with the phone has remained with me, and immediately came to mind when this new word arrived.
More thoughts about words
Jesus is the ultimate Word, that encapsulates, well, everything – about God, life, meaning, sacrifice.
Paul used secular and pagan Greek words and expanded their meaning to explain spiritual truth.
Even a simple word like dawn will have very different resonances for different people, depending on their life story and experience. For many, it may be a thing of beauty, but for some could be shaded by pain or fear. Many Christian words may have beautiful resonance for us, but carry painful or negative baggage for our hearers or readers, which can be circumvented by avoiding Christianese jargon. The same word often does not mean the same thing to different people. Even some secular words may have such different meanings to people that they always need defining.
“The soul never thinks without a picture”, observed Aristotle. Even a simple picture or video clip added to a blog or Facebook post (YesHEIS.com is great source for clips to start conversations with outsiders), or PowerPoint for sermon/talk/seminar, will leverage understanding and memorability. Will you ever forget the bronze phubbing girl now?
Is there any memorable image that makes a word or concept real for you? Please share here.
Photo credit: Geograph.co.uk | Creative Commons some rights reserved
Social media, in its widest sense, goes back beyond the beginning of the Internet, as this infographic explains.
It is not a passing digital fad. People have always wanted the opportunity to interact electronically. Social media is perhaps the defining communication movement of this century, and highly significant for sharing the good news – if done appropriately.
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