My #SXSW Interactive Experience – Day 2

Interactive Badge

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.

My Experience – Day 2

How Many Rungs?: Social Change & the Engagement Ladder

  • Most of the most important actions you may hope to influence do not happen online.
  • Micro-donors are making an emotional connection to a cause – They don’t care if you are tax-deductible or not.
  • Help everyone take the next step in their engagement instead of focusing on how many people are at a particular engagement level.
  • Choose one technology platform that you can use well instead of multiple platforms that you do not use well.
  • Help people know that they are truly able to make a difference in the world.

Are Your Customers a Crowd or a Community?

  • Crowds: receive information passively; have pride; are looking for benefits; driven by connection; prefer to get; powered by inspiration; are sustained by service
  • Communities: need a forum to communicate and interact; have purpose; are looking to belong; driven by collaboration; prefer to give; powered by influence; are sustained by story
  • Belonging can never be commoditized.
  • You do not have to scale the resources to connect the community and organization if you allow the whole community to belong to each other.
  • Do you have more places for your constituents to connect (listen and respond) or collaborate (influence next steps)?

Keynote: Seth Priebatsch

  • The previous decade was about the social layer – taking connections to family and friends online.
  • The next decade will be about the game layer – using game mechanics in the real world to motivate action.
  • The game layer may give us tools to make an impossible problem possible.
  • It is a huge win to move a problem from impossible to very difficult.
  • A group may be able to quickly solve a complex problem when given clear rules.

The Behavior Change Checklist. Down With Gamefication

  • The secret to behavior change is a feedback loop – an understanding of what one’s actions and how they affect things.

    The Behavior Change Checklist. Down With Gamefication
  • To create a feedback loop move data to meaning, meaning to actionability and actionability to data.
  • Our mind turns a feedback loop into a game.
  • Time discounting and delayed gratification are two major barriers to behavior change.
  • Time discounting refers to the greater value that is placed on enjoyment now over enjoyment in the future.

Lurkers: Your Most Important Community Members

  • At times, lurker = learner. People want to gain more information about the organization.
  • Everyone who becomes an active part of a community begin as lurkers.
  • The most active community members will cycle in and out over time.
  • Helping lurkers take one sharing opportunity is critical to ensure a continuing active community
  • Create the opportunity for people to engage as soon as they begin.

Next Steps for Resurrection Online

  • Focus on a single platform and use it very well before expanding.

    Inside the Austin Convention Center
  • Encourage offline actions (love your neighbor) through what happens online.
  • Develop a way to share and receive stories of people who worship with Resurrection Online.
  • Create opportunities to live out attributes of a community for Resurrection Online
  • Create opportunities for Resurrection Online regulars to influence future development.
  • What would a game layer would look like for the journey of knowing, loving and serving God?
  • What would a game layer would look like for worship at Resurrection Online?
  • Create feedback loops for membership expectations.
  • Pay attention to whether those that share feedback are regulars at Resurrection Online
  • Practice random acts of connection among regulars – email, phone, letter.
  • Create predictable programs to invite people to engage – once a week, first Monday, etc.
  • Facilitate connections among regular worshipers that are in similar situations
  • Create the opportunity for people to engage from the very first time they worship online

Next Steps for Me

  • Where can I be involved in making a difference that has a multiplier effect?
  • Be active in communities of which I am a part.
  • Try out
  • Check out TED Talks, each from a Seth – and
  • Create additional feedback loops around my desired behavior change.
  • Become a lurker/learner in some new online communities.

Sites to Investigate 

Downtown Austin


Will you be at SXSW 2011?

SXSW Interactive Banner
Image by jenniferconley via Flickr

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

This is going to be good.

National UnFriend Day 2010

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?

Alerted by this post, Jimmy Kimmel Calls for National UnFriend Day, I am going to take part. Will you?

Facebook is Worthless for the Future

self made you are not currently logged in whil...
Image via Wikipedia

Let me explain…

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.

This post was instigated by this post Thnks Fr Th Mmrs: The Rise Of Microblogging, The Death Of Posterity by Paul Carr.

Scaling Up Resurrection Online

The scaling issue in digital art
Image by kevindooley via Flickr

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.

I have appreciated the guidance from both 3 Mistakes Made in Scaling up New Ventures and The Pain of Growth. I want to share a few concepts from those articles and apply them to Resurrection Online.

  • 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.