Tuesday, March 5, 2013


One of the best ways to learn about Church and Social Media is to use Social Media to engage in conversations about Church and Social Media. There lots of people to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels who share practical tips and inspire with examples of their work. There are also certain hash tags that are useful to keep tabs on. "Hash Tags" are those little bits of texts that start with a # key. People use them on Twitter to "tag" a tweet as belonging to certain subject. This is very useful, as it gives you a way to look up a subject and see what others are saying about, even if they aren't people you normally "follow."

One such hashtag is #CHSOCM which stands for "Church and Social Media." I can create a link that just searches for that term like this. Now that link is generated dynamically, meaning that what appeared when I wrote it just now is different what will appear when you click on it. And ten minutes later it might be different as more and more people add to the #CHSOCM tweets. Indeed, as I write this there are lots of tweets being added to that hashtag because there is a "Chat" happening right now that is using that hashtag.

That is, there are about two dozen or more people currently talking about Church and Social Media, as they do every Tuesday night at 9PM EST. This discussion is moderated, meaning that someone volunteers to lead the discussion with structured questions. Usually they announce the subject ahead of time, and sometimes even suggest people read certain things in order to discuss them. After the chat is over (which takes about an hour), the transcript is later uploaded as a kind of archive.

The nice thing about a chat like this is that it's somewhere between a phone call and an e-mail. Things are written down so you can always go back, but it's also very immediate and conversational. Topics ebb and flow as people make suggestions, share observations, and generally do the sort of things people do when talking.

Another thing I appreciate is that one can have one window open on their computer with the chat running, and use another for a task like creating blog posts!

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