>Social Media Changes in 2011 and What it Means for Me as Pastor

>Social Media Life - WorkstationImage by the tartanpodcast via Flickr

ReadWriteWeb has an article out, “10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011” which I think can be important for ministry and how we look at our own use of social media.  Just take a look at Ravit Lichtenberg’s opening paragraph:

With more than 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets posted on Twitter each day, and  2 billion video views each day on YouTube, social media has become an integral part of our connected lives. But this is just the beginning.

Whoa !!  That kind of blows my mind.

There were 10 changes that the article points to.  I’m going to highlight several that are at least of interest to me.  Plus I’ll provide a very brief interpretation by me:

1)  Social Media Will Be Supersized — Lots of things are going to be connected with each other.  For instance, even right now, this blog post gets put on my Facebook page and all of my Tweets (which I really don’t understand but do anyway) get put on Facebook as well. But then Facebook notifications get sent to my e-mail inbox.  And I can do all of this on my little iPod Touch.  This will change as Social Media sites do more and more stuff.  Says the article:

“By the end of the year, using today’s à la cart solutions will seem as efficient as buying a pocket knife with only a bottle opener in it.”

3)  Mobile Will Become Our Gateway to the World — iPhones, iPads, Androids, Tablets.  How will your church reach those who are getting most of their information and connection via mobile devices and not at their computers at home?

4)  Video Will Be Everywhere — People will be looking at Video as a connecting tool and as a worship tool and as an advertisement for your church.  We don’t do near enough with video.  Perhaps I should learn.

5)  The Next Big Online Social Network Will Not Be a Network at All — People are looking for more intimate, private experiences online.  This can play right into where the church needs to be.  Think of Facebook as a big net…that then feeds into more personalized experiences. If this is true, this is important for the church to be one of those ways for persons to connect in a more intimate setting.

7)  Psychology is Shifting — Not sure about this one.  But I think the following paragraph sums up what the author was trying to say:

As the constructs of relationships, privacy and our ability to influence others evolve, we will also face important questions: How do we respond to the changing definition of relationships? How does the elimination of behavioral cues, only available face-to-face, impact our ability to connect? How does our need for emotional balance get addressed in the face of constant change?

I know this is a question I’ve looked into as it pertains to death and grief.  What does it mean to grieve via Facebook?  Is that enough?  Should we be concerned?  I don’t know.

8. Citizen Activism Brings Back Purpose and Power — Through social media we can actually work together (if only financially) for change.  Haiti’s earthquake.  Tea Party.  Environmental issues.  Obama’s election.  Water.org.  How can the church tap into this for some of its activist issues?

9. Social Business Intelligence Will Heat Up and So Will Privacy — I think we’re already there on these issues.  The “Big Brother” who is watching us is the business world.  Companies want to know our habits our histories and sell us their stuff.  How much information out there is too much?  I think the church needs to have a voice in how this information gets shared. And, clearly, the church needs to be aware that privacy is going to be a concern for people in the church as well.

Well, what do you think?  Do these changes affect ministry for next year?

Read the whole article over here.

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