Must Theological Education embrace social media? What difference will it make in not just promoting the seminary but communicating, even educating, constituents? Looks like technology, theology, and education have found a new intersection for everyone.
Kevin Lum, Executive Vice President of SAI, and an NTS Grad, spent the morning working w ith NTS faculty on the power of social media, particularly focusing on ideas worth spreading. The power of social media is impressive and even theological education has to embrace
this view. We saw several great video overviews that I will try to post via my twitter feed @disciplecommons. Kevin included a number of other key insights:
One of the real strengths of social media is the power of communicating to large groups of people in a short matter of time.
Including Christian efforts to connect with people and change perspectives
Sometimes this level of visibility (or notoriety) can be powerful, stressful, damaging, or just inane. The challenge will be the distribution and discernment of content both as creators and curators of information. Kevin notes that online media is “flat” so that people have the capacity to use and misuse media. Kevin offered that blogs have different qualities and offered several for faculty to review and discuss through his blog http://kevinlum.com/NTS-Training/
Kevin offered some practical ideas
- Choose a topic: What is the idea or concept you’re trying to communicate?
- Pick an Audience: Who should read your article
- Create a Title: A good title is key
- Opening lines in the blog post is crucial in communicating ideas
- Make your blog easy to scan (Bullets, headers, bold text, etc.)
- Don’t try to Achieve too Much
- Keep it Simple, Short, informal, personal (how am I doing by the way :0-)
- Have a Call to Action
- Use Images
When should a person blog?
- Your Aha! moment
- When you’re angry (but be careful with this motivation)
- When you’re moved
- When you’re fascinated
- When you see with fresh eyes
Help Me see with Fresh eyes
Make me think
Through your blog,
Personal Bloggers tend to take on several projects including, links to interesting articles, posting quotes, embed videos, review books, allow guest editorials, comment on the news cycle, update readers on personal life, and ask questions.
It will be a full morning of reading and discussion, I may offer more this evening. It is inevitable that there will be controversy about social media but I think it is hear to stay. One example may be the Patheos network.