I came to SXSW Interactive 2011 to gain perspectives, discover technology and learn practical steps that will help Resurrection Online fulfill our purpose of building a Christian community where non and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. I hope to share some highlights and next steps from the day for Resurrection Online and myself.
Tomorrow I will travel to Austin, TX for SXSW Interactive. This is my first year attending and I am excited for the experience. According to the website:
SXSW® Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the incredible new SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer. Join us for the most energetic, inspiring and creative event of the year, taking place March 11-15, 2011 in Austin, Texas.
I am looking forward to a time of learning, reflection and technology next steps for Resurrection Online. More importantly than that, I would love to meet up with you while I am in Austin. Will you be in or around Austin over the next few days? If so, leave a comment on this post, connect with me on Twitter at @andrewconard or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I care about community and hope to be part of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians through Resurrection Online. As a pastor, should I accept every friend request that I receive? Does it matter of the individual is part of the congregation that I currently serve? served in the past?
Throughout my life, I have kept a regular journal on and off throughout the years. I have a stack of journals from elementary, high school and college in our basement. Currently, I have been keeping a one sentence journal up to date. I am looking at options (Office Drop for the outsource and my ScanSnap for cheaper in dollars and more expensive in time) to digitally capture these journals to store for the future on Evernote (Is that even going to be effective?)
I enjoy looking back at my perspective and important events from years ago. In the future, I hope to be able to do the same for my life today. I do not believe that Facebook will be a useful tool to reflect on my life in the future. The birthday wishes, comments and status updates fade into the internet, unlike a birthday card that is received in the mail. Even scanning a birthday card captures the color, handwriting and sentiments that were expressed at a particular time in the past.
Resurrection Online has experienced 38% growth in year-to-date average weekly worship attendance over last year. This is really exciting and has also lead to some challenges. We are looking at how to continue to provide the best possible experience for those that worship online, offer opportunities to grow, give and serve as well as launching multiple micro churches.
Recognize that first users are not the same as scaling users
At Resurrection Online, I have witnessed this in practice. Some of those who first began to connect with the online community have not continued. Even those that are connected today may not be the ones who will continue to worship with Resurrection Online as we begin to offer additional opportunities to be in community. It will be interesting to see how this community continues to develop.
Anticipate that first products are not the same as scaling products
I have sought to anticipate what will not be able to scale as Resurrection Online grows and avoided starting to implement the opportunity. It is much easier to introduce a new opportunity rather than remove what no longer becomes sustainable. There are likely still things that we are doing today that will not be able to sustain as growth continues, however I hope that number of those things is small.
You will have to be as willing to stop stuff as you are to start stuff.
This is connected to the above point about scaling products. There have already been some things that we have stopped which were offered in the beginning. As part of Resurrection Online‘s commitment to roll out features as soon as possible and listen to feedback from the users, we will necessarily stop doing some stuff after it has begun because it just won’t make sense with actual congregants.
You will have to drive up the level of excellence. … As you grow, so will the expectations of your guests.
This will continue to be true. There are aspects of Resurrection Online quality with which I am not satisfied today. Increased numbers of people connecting with Resurrection Online will mean that quality will need to continue to improve.