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Blog

Filtering by Category: Technology

Experience and Expertise Matter

Thomas Whitley

Over the weekend Cathryn Sloane wrote a post on why every social media manager should be under 25, seriously, that was the title of her post and it didn't get better from there. Here's a little excerpt:

You might argue that everyone, regardless of age, was along for the ride, or at least everyone under the age of 30. I’m not saying they weren’t, but we spent our adolescence growing up with social media. We were around long enough to see how life worked without it but had it thrown upon us at an age where the ways to make the best/correct use of it came most naturally to us. No one else will ever be able to have as clear an understanding of these services, no matter how much they may think they do. ... As time has gone on, the age groups jumping onto these sites have gradually grown older – and frightfully younger as well. Sixth-graders who are now creating their Facebook profiles know nothing other than Timeline, and adults in their 40’s who are tweeting with their iPhone apps have no idea that the old way to do it was by texting 40404. The mere fact that my generation has been up close and personal with all these developments over the years should make clear enough that we are the ones who can best predict, execute, and utilize the finest developments to come.

Yes, it's ridiculous and plenty of people have told her so. There is a great, balanced reaction here, though, that explains precisely why experience matters.

Of my peer group, many of the smartest and most experienced social media professionals are in their 40s.  “Experience” is the key part of that last sentence because it is accumulated from a career based upon learning, trial and error, success and failure.  You try, you learn, you apply, you move on.  There is no substitute for experience.

This whole situation is pretty familiar. As someone who studies and teaches religion, specifically early Christianity, I often meet students who think they know the Bible better than I do simply because they grew up going to Sunday School.

But just as someone's years of experience in marketing and customer engagement coupled with their knowledge of how best to handle crisis situations for companies make someone a great social media manager, so years studying the Bible academically, learning numerous languages, and working to understand the sociological implications of an ancient text mean that I probably understand the 1st century text we're studying a little better than someone without the same experience and expertise.

I'm not saying I know all there is to know about the Bible. On the contrary, students often have fantastic insights that influence my reading of a text. What I am saying, though, is that experience and expertise matter. I am not uniquely qualified to be a financial adviser because I've spent money my whole life; I have a financial adviser for that. I don't presume to know more about my back pain than my doctor simply because I'm experiencing the pain.

Someone who grew up writing cute Facebook posts does not inherently understand how to be a social media manager and someone who grew up studying an ancient text devotionally does not inherently understand the ways in which this text may be engaged in identity formation. Experience, knowledge, and expertise matter.

Let's make sure we're appropriately deferring to people that know more than we do and not assuming we are somehow uniquely or inherently qualified for a position because we grew up with a tangential relationship to the field.

Existential Nuance

Thomas Whitley

Sam and I are resurrecting our podcast ThinkingBaptist, which is part of the Thinking.FM podcast network. I am very excited about this. I have missed podcasting and there is always so much fodder for a religious show like ours, not to mention that having a podcast allows us to bring in other voices, something that can only be done in a minor way on a blog such as this (having guest posts, etc.). Another part of this resurrection, though, is that we are streaming our shows live via mixlr. Needless to say, it is a bit more anxiety inducing when you know people are listening to you make mistakes, have technical difficulties, and everything else that goes along with recording a weekly podcast.

Besides all of that though, it adds, as I said to Sam, an interesting existential nuance to the show. We are putting ourselves out there for the world to see. We are trying to strip away some of the facade. We are making ourselves vulnerable.

There's something refreshing about being out and open like this. Now, if you know me personally, you know I am a rather private person and I don't think I'm violating any of that with this experience, but it is a unique experience that forces us to try to get things right the first time and when that doesn't happen, which is inevitable, to accept our mistakes, even celebrate our mistakes, and keep going.

I think it's an appropriate metaphor for life.

As Walt Whitman put it:

I celebrate myself, and sing myself.

I think the implication is all of myself. Let us do the same.

The Flaw in Google's New Minimalist Design

Thomas Whitley

First, I'll start by saying I love the new minimalist design. I appreciate the fact that Google does not get complacent and think they have found the perfect design for all eternity. They are working to continue making their products better and that includes aesthetics. However, I can't jump on board fully yet because of how much functionality I believe certain Google products, specifically Calendar, have lost as a result of the new design. First, my July calendar in the "old" design:

Now, my July calendar in the "new" design:

The new design is much more aesthetically pleasing, but looking at this tells me nothing about what my month of July looks like. In the old design up to 3 events would show and if a date contained more than 3 events, then 2 events would should and it would display a "+x more." Now, in the new design, if a date has more than one event, no events are shown and it shows the "+x more."

The new design has opted for minimalism at the expense of functionality. At the very least, the Google calendar settings should allow each user to choose how many events will be shown on each day in month view, with an upper limit, of course, of say 3 or 4. There are simply too many other calendar programs (that sync with Google Calendar) that offer a well-designed, but more importantly, properly functioning month view to make me stay with Google Calendar as my primary calendar for all of my calendaring if this design flaw is not addressed.

I have been very happy with Google products for years, but the way the new calendar design has been implemented makes the Google Calendar useless for me.

I hope they change it, and soon.

 

By The Numbers

Thomas Whitley

I started this incarnation of my blog back in May 2009. Since then I have had over 9,000 total visits. I know that for many of you that is about what you get in a month (heck, some of you get that many visits a day), but for me that's pretty good. First things first. I want to thank those of you who read my blog on a regular basis and those of you who happen upon it by others sharing links or by google searches (which happens much more often these days). You questions, comments, suggestions, and support make me keep writing...that and my ridiculously strong opinions.

What pleases me, though, is that I can see a positive trend in my stats.

As you can see, my most successful month was this February and my monthly averages are much higher than they were in both 2009 and 2010. Further, I have had more visits in the past 3 months and 11 days than I had in the first 8 months of this site. A positive trend, I believe.

What can you do? I'm sure you're asking yourself this.

  1. Keep reading. You can do this by checking back regularly, or by following me on twitter or being my friend on facebook. I personally choose to follow my favorite blogs through RSS. If you're looking for a great, easy-to-use reader, I highly recommend Google Reader.
  2. Engage in the conversation. Tell me you agree, you disagree, or that you're just not sure and tell me why.
  3. Share posts you think are worth reading with others and let them join the conversation.
  4. Suggest topics. I'm always looking for new things to write about, especially series and mini-series. Let me know what you're interested in, what questions you'd like to hear me answer, etc.

Again, thanks for reading. Let's make 2011 the best year yet.

 

Three Rules of Social Media

Thomas Whitley

Yesterday me, Trinity, Christina, and Sam made up a panel discussion on Social Networking and Religion at the CBFNC General Assembly. There was some great discussion and we talked at length about how social media has meaningfully impacted our personal and corporate spiritual lives. It really was a good discussion. At the end one of the audience members asked us for "three rules for social media." Without blinking Sam came up with three simple, yet profound rules for social media:

  1. Authenticity
  2. Trust
  3. Curation

Authenticity of course means to be real and genuine. Your authenticity then leads to a relationship of trust; your readers/followers/friends trust you because they "know" you in a very real sense. From that point you are able to be a curator for them, pointing others to resources that are worth their time. Because you have been authentic and taken the time to build the trust of your community they allow you to curate for them. You in turn allow others to curate for you.

I recently shared some blogging tips of my own, but I think I prefer Sam's because they lead so well into each other and see the very real need for curation in our online lives.

Sorry, Sam, if I have stolen your thunder a bit with these three rules.

Social Media | Social Justice

Thomas Whitley

I'm working on compiling resources for a panel discussion at this year's CBFNC General Assembly. The Panel is titled "Social Networking and Religion." The other panel participants are Trinity Whitley, Christina Whitehouse-Suggs, and Sam Harrelson - an all-star cast if you ask me. The theme for the conference is "Living Justice & Mercy," so we are working on ways to incorporate instances of social media and social justice intersecting. In doing so, I have come across two very worthy projects.

Underheard in New York: Fighting Homelessness 140 Characters at a Time

Pitch: In a time when communication is all around us, we felt it was necessary to give a voice to the people who needed it most. Between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2010 the total number of unsheltered individuals within New York City rose an estimated 34%. We gave Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos- four homeless residents of NYC- prepaid cell phones and Twitter accounts. Get to know them by clicking on the images above.

 

Proof: Media for Social Justice

Pitch: PROOF: Media for Social Justice uses photography as means to inform and educate global audiences about human rights. Powered by a strong belief that visual media is a unique and potent tool in the fight for human rights, we empower future generations to work for social change.

Our work focuses on individuals whose lives have been dramatically altered by violence or genocide: rescuers who cross lines of hatred to save the lives of neighbors and strangers; survivors of atrocities who live in evolving but still fragile societies; and child soldiers coerced into committing acts of horror.

 

Check out both of these projects and get involved in any way you can.

5,000 and Counting

Thomas Whitley

In the wee hours of this morning this site hit 5,000 views.

thomaswhitley.com has been around since May of 2009 so it has taken me 16 months to get to 5,000 hits. For some, this is laughable, but I'm happy with this site's "success" so far.

Let's make the next 5,000 happen before year's end. What do you say?

Thinking Baptists Logo

Thomas Whitley

In case you didn't know, I do a weekly religion podcast with Sam Harrelson called Thinking Baptists. I decided that we needed a logo, so for the past 2 days, I've spent all my time working on the design. The original inspiration for the design came from a round celtic cross. I then began the design making numerous adaptations, changes, deletions, etc. along the way. Let me know what you think. Doing this has given me an even greater respect for graphic designers. Designing a logo is hard work, especially when I'm not creative and don't exactly have the right software to do this type of work. So, if any of you are graphic designers, or have any experience in that area, give me your perspective. And if you ever want to do any (freelance) work for Thinking.FM, let me know. There is a lot of work that can be done and we would love to plug your work.

Resurrection of Thinking Baptists

Thomas Whitley

If you've been reading for a while, you will know that Sam Harrelson and I used to do a podcast called Thinking Baptists (@baptists on Twitter) about a year ago. Life happened for Sam and I and we got quite busy. Sam is teaching at Spartanburg Day School, writing his own textbook, and just had his second child. I finished my thesis and two masters degrees in religion and procured an adjunct teaching position at Gardner-Webb University for this fall, all while applying to PhD programs. We got busy and we have stayed busy, but when I mentioned missing our podcasting days, Sam was eager to resume them and so Thinking Baptists is being resurrected. I do hope you'll listen along and, as always, keep in touch.

Never Say Never: Real Benefits of Social Media

Thomas Whitley

Never say never. My mom used to utter these words to me all the time when I was growing up. We all understand the cliché. It means don't say something will never happen or that you'll never do something, because "never" is such an absolute word and chances are good that what you said would never happen actually will. Moreover, the terse phrase also harbors sarcasm and irony, as it uses the very word it says to never use. My mother said for years that she would never join Facebook. I didn't particularly care much, as I had said the same thing for a few years when I was in college and all of my friends were drooling over the social media site. I didn't understand the hype. After I joined, I realized the connections that could be made and began to utilize it for that purpose. My mom just joined Facebook about a week and a half ago. She found the usual friends from high school and earlier in life that she hadn't communicated with for some time, but she also found another person, a man whom we'll call Os, because that's his name (or nickname anyway).

Os was an exchange student who stayed with my family when I was quite young (around 3 or 4, I suppose). As we all know, keeping in touch is difficult, but especially when people are separated by thousands of miles and have a not insignificant language barrier. My mom is someone who keeps in touch very well with people, but over the years it gets more and more difficult. After sending a friend request to Os, my mom got a message back from him. The first few sentences are below.

I can´t describe you how happy I feel in this moment, I don´t have words to explain you my feelings, I saw your photo and my mind start to remember everything, I have to tell you a lot off things that happen in the past years

My mom forwarded me his message with her own note attached:

Isn't this AWESOME!!

It is, indeed, awesome. A connection has been renewed. The joy is unmistakable. This little experience serves as a reminder for me that as I think of how much I despise Farmville and the other myriad of games on Facebook, and how much I abhor how Facebook tries to deceive its users into publically displaying much more information than they should, Facebook does have moments when it shines brightly. This is one of those moments. Social media is a powerful tool that can change lives and change the world if we would be appropriately harness its power and resources.

Remember, never say never.

Libraries in the Digital Age

Thomas Whitley

Below is my forthcoming article in Gardner-Webb University's Friends of the Library newsletter.

Libraries in the Digital Age

I have been a student in some sort of formalized education for 21 years. As such, I have spent a lot of time in libraries of all shapes and sizes. Books are cathartic for me, but with recent technological advances, libraries have begun to change. Card Catalog systems were wonderful, but as Bob Dylan said, “the times they are a-changin.” Library catalogs have been moved to the Internet, journal articles are available in full-text with the click of a mouse, and entire books are being digitized. In my own research, I have been able to find full text of English, German, and French articles from the comfort of my home office and the local coffee shop.

What is more, the advent of Amazon’s Kindle, the iPad, Google Books,Wikipedia.org, and Gutenberg.org have led many to say that books – that is, real books – are on their way out and that everyone will keep their entire libraries on a single electronic device. We bibliophiles, however, know better. Books have maintained their presence in societies for over 600 years. Nevertheless, we are on the threshold of a revolution just as jarring as the printing press n the 1400s and, as then, many of the things that we hold as sacred and conventional will be tested by these new avenues of information retrieval and dispersion.

Information is ubiquitous. The ubiquity of information, though, also means that misinformation becomes more widespread. As lovers of books and information, we should desire that well-researched, peer-reviewed, and accurate information be available for as many people as possible. Making library resources readily available online and maintaining our presence in the digital world moves us one step closer to seeing this dream become a reality.

Special thanks to Sam Harrelson for input.

Resources Page Updated

Thomas Whitley

I have updated my resources page. You can visit it by either clicking here or on the Resources tab at the top of the page. If there are any resources that you think should be added to the list, put them in the comments of this post or e-mail me. They do not necessarily have to fall into the categories listed above, but they need to be reputable and something that I find interesting and helpful.

Trudging Through GMail Labs

Thomas Whitley

I use GMail as my main e-mail hub with 7 e-mail addresses going in and out of my main account. This has worked wonderfully for me and I have come to love the GMail experiences, even if it did take me a while to get used to using Labels and not folders (though GMail has just recently made a move that makes there labels behave much more like folders). One of the things I like so much about GMail are there labs. They make my e-mailing and overall cloud-computing experience much more enjoyable and much more effective. One of the problems I have always had is finding the Lab I am looking for, this is especially true when a new lab has been introduced and I want to try it out. One would think that Labs would be organized in some way, even if it is very simple, such as alphabetically or chronologically (in the order they came out), but this isn't the case. The screenshot below is the very bottom of the Labs list, but astute Labs followers will notice that those Labs are not arranged in the order in which they came out. GMail Labs Screenshot

Now there may be some organization that I just do not know about, but I have yet to find it. In the mean time I use the handy Ctrl + F shortcut to search what is one the page and find the lab I am looking for. So, today when I read about GMail's new Authentication icon for verified senders, I went to the Labs tab under settings, hit Ctrl + F and began typing "authentication":

GMail Labs Screenshot - search

Thus, I was able to quickly and easily find the Lab I was looking for and enable it.

What are some GMail hacks that you use to speed up your e-mailing and cloud-computing experience?

Success!

Thomas Whitley

The export and name changing all worked wonderfully. I will be here full-time now (unless of course I learn of something that works better for my uses in the future). Thanks for bearing with me. Many thanks to Sam Harrelson for walking me through the steps and sending me an insanely easy to use "tutorial" of sorts.

Copyright Update

Thomas Whitley

I have updated my copyright statement as a response to a commenter to make it more clear. It now reads:

Please note that all original posts, as opposed to links to other news stories or sites, and any photographs I have taken myself are Copyright © 2008 - 2009 Thomas Whitley. All Rights Reserved. I fully support Fair Use, and generally have no problem with others using my photographs or re-publishing posts, but ask that you receive permission from me first and, if permission is granted, that you credit me as your source.

Disclaimer and Copyright

Thomas Whitley

Since I have had this blog on this domain I have had a disclaimer, but have just tonight added a blurb about copyright. I have not had an experiences with copyright being abused on my site (I’m guessing my low number of visitors helps keep things this way), but know that many others have. One blog that I read on a regular basis is having to go to “members only” requiring a login to view the blog. This is ridiculous. People who steal something off of the Internet (be it pictures or information) and pass it off as their own are thieves, plain and simple. Thus, I have decided to remind you of my Disclaimer and to introduce you to my copyright blurb. Both are linked to in the sidebar and in the footer of every page.

Disclaimer:

This is a personal website. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

In addition, my thoughts and opinions change from time to time…I consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind. This site is intended to provide a snapshot of a moment in time, a glimpse into the various thoughts, ideas, truths running around my brain, and as such any thoughts and opinions expressed within out-of-date posts may not be the same, or even similar, to those I may hold today.

The information on this website is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Moreover, feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section, but remember that I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (or for no reason at all).


Copyright:

Please note that all original posts, as opposed to links to other news stories or sites, and any photographs I have taken myself are Copyright © 2008 - 2009 Thomas Whitley. All Rights Reserved. I fully support Fair Use, and am generally very happy for others to use my photographs or re-publish posts, but ask that people drop me a line first and give credit where credit is due.


Also, lest you think this is merely a rambling of words with no legal support, check out the facts here and here.

What Twitter "Needs"

Thomas Whitley

I received a new follower over on Twitter (follow me here) just now and went to the person’s profile to glean from the general information on his twitter page. While I was there I had two thoughts; one I’ve had before, one I haven’t. There are two things that I “need” to make Twitter more useful for me.

Thought 1: I need some way to tell how that person found me. Was it a direct link (maybe found on my website or Facebook profile, for example)? Was it through a follower or followee of mine’s Followers/Following list? Was it through a search term? There are many ways to gain new followers and it occurs to me that I don’t know what attracts most of my followers. Now for those of you who are trying to build your following, I see that this could be especially helpful. Brands/people (which are almost the same thing these days, especially in social media) could know which keywords are most successful for them. Regular Twitter users like me (I say I’m pretty regular because I only have 125 followers and follow just a few more than that) could also (potentially) have some idea why certain people began following them and thus could begin or jump in to the conversation much more easily. I know that SocialToo attempts to help in this department, but my experience has been that it is not very helpful and it certainly does not have the capabilities that this post is asking for.

Thought 2: I need a way to who followers of mine are also following that I am following or who they are being followed by that I am also following or am being followed by. It seems to me that a feature of this nature would help to build communities all around Twitter and would only strengthen conversations and connections. I realize that this isn’t as easy as Facebook’s “Mutual Friends,” but seriously how hard can it be, especially with Twitter’s (relatively) open API.

These are very initial thoughts, obviously. Is there a tool out there that accomplishes what I am looking for that I have missed? If so, please direct me to it. If not, is this doable? Is anyone already working on this?

Would this be a helpful “tool” for anyone else?

How I Do What I Do

Thomas Whitley

I really enjoy reading about what others use to do what they do. Sam Harrelson has a great post on what he uses to do what he does here. So, for some while I have wanted to post about how I get things done on a day to day basis, from hardware perspective and a software perspective.

Hardware
Most of my computing is done from one computer, my laptop is a Dell Inspiron 640m. I used to use a laptop and a desktop, having the desktop for backup purposes and as a home “hub” of sorts, but that is no longer necessary. On my laptop I run Windows Vista (which I’m quite happy with) and just recently upgraded from 1GB of RAM to 2GB of RAM as well as from 120GB harddrive to a 320GB harddrive. I don’t use any other hardware with my computer, except an external harddrive. Mice, speakers, etc. just seem to get in the way and computing for me is all about being as portable as possible.

My printer is a Dell V305W. It isn’t fancy by any means, but it is All-In-One and it is wireless, which means I can print wirelessly from anywhere in my house without having to have a “base computer” to which the printer is hooked up. The added convenience and ability to have one less computer makes this a great tool for me.

Though I no longer use more than one computer, I use my 2nd generation 32GB iPod Touch with great regularity. The fact that it has wi-fi capabilities means that I can use it at home, at school (where I spend 3 days a week), and at the office. I check my e-mail on there, twitter from it, read feeds, check the weather, etc. Oh yeah, I also listen to a lot of music, and since I went with the 32GB I can actually fit it all on there.

Software
The software side of my computing is somewhat traditional in that I use Microsoft Office 2007 for everyday text, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. That is where the traditional nature of my computing experience stops, though.

The browser that I use exclusively is Google’s Chrome. The minimalist interface, along with it’s uber-impressive speed make it my favorite browser of all time. However, for those who know a bit more about browsers, tabbed browsing especially, in Chrome, each tab runs separate from the other tabs, so if one tab crashes, the whole browser doesn’t crash. Internet Explore, FireFox, Safari, etc. have still not caught on to how genius this is.

I use Evernote to remember. Evernote syncs across multiple platforms (for me web, desktop app, iPod Touch app) and easily lets me create quick text notes as reminders, lists, etc. or to take screen shots, etc. Further, Evernote is fully searchable (even searches text within images) so you don’t have to remember which note you put the web address for that couch you’ve been looking at.

I am a student working on my Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Religion, so the Bible is important to my work. For all of my Bible needs I use BibleWorks. It is extremely powerful with great search, an insane amount of translations (multiple languages as well), and great exegetical tools. It’s not as user-friendly as some other Bible software out there, but I do think it’s the most powerful. One word of caution, though, if you don’t really understand what a verb in the aorist tense means, this isn’t for you.

My picture manager and editor is Picasa. It isn’t the best picture editor in the world, but it is free and it is by Google, which means it’s super easy to upload to the web, to a blog, etc. and to access from anywhere.

I’ve been doing some podcasting lately (check out http://thinkng.fm) and use Skype to call Sam Harrelson while he records either through Skype or using Audacity.

I use DropBox and Live Mesh to sync files across the web and computers. Having access to all of my files no matter where I am is becoming increasingly important in my life.

For Twitter I use TweetDeck. It is the best application/client for Twitter I have seen yet. I would certainly not use Twitter like I do without it.

To keep everything organized I have a mac-style dock, ObjectDock. I also use Taskbar Shuffle to keep my windows in the order I like them in my taskbar, because I never open them in the order I want them, rather in the order I need them.

I use Google products for just about everything else. I use GMail for email. All of my e-mail addresses flow in and out of my main gmail account. This way i have everything in one place and am able to respond much quicker and be much more productive. I use Google Calendar as my calendar. It syncs with the native calendar on my iPod Touch as well as with my Outlook calendar (which I never open anymore, but it is the calendar that syncs with my Windows Mobile phone). Also, my wife and I can view each others’ calendars and have a good idea of what’s going on with the other when we attempt to schedule things.

I use Google Documents A LOT. I take notes for school in there as well as take quick notes. I back up Evernote with Google Docs and vice-versa a lot. Also, I can share documents with others and we can all collaborate and make changes to the document. For example, Sam Harrelson and I have a shared Google document that contains show notes for our podcast Thinking Baptists as well as ideas for future shows. I use Google Reader to keep up with all the news, blogs, etc. that I read on a regular basis. I prefer this over a desktop application for feed reading because with it all being on the web (in the cloud) it is constantly updated and changes are shown in real time.

My blog is a tumblr blog and I use Google Analytics to track stats for the site.

It is a lot, but it is how I get my work/play done on a regular basis. I hope this was somewhat enjoyable/informative for you. I had a blast putting it together.

How do you do what you do?

Why Churches Should Twitter

Thomas Whitley

I am in Fayetteville, NC at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina’s (CBFNC) General Assembly. One of the break out session that I went to today was “Communicating Faith in an Online World.” On the whole it was pretty good, though it was aimed more at those who were less involved in the tech/online world.

The session leader, Richard Wood, gave out a short list of resources. They are:

- Richard Wood’s website
- Digital Ethnography by Dr. Michael Wesh at Kansas State University
- Rhett Smith’s series on Formulating an Online Strategy for College Ministry (follow link and search for title)
- Your Own Personal Gutenberg by Shawn Coons & Neal Locke
- Blogging as Spiritual Discipline and Pastoral Practice by Bruce Reyes-Chow
- The Case for Facebook and Other Social Networks by Bruce Reyes-Chow

NOTE: The above resources are not endorsed by me. I am simply recreating a list of resources given to me.

The end of the session was my favorite part, though, because we talked about Twitter - what it is, how it works, how it’s helpful, etc. Myself and one other person tried our best to “teach” the others present about Twitter and it’s benefits, especially for churches/ministries.

We came up with a lot of reasons, such as how was it is for others to keep up with what you or your organization is up to, being involved in the real-time conversation and drawing in people that you may not otherwise affect (as most people on Twitter are accustomed to following people/organizations they do not actually know).

I’m curious, though, what you think. Did we miss some benefits of Twitter for churches? I know how much I love Twitter and how large of an impact I believe it can have, but what about those who are skeptical?

Thinking Baptists, a.k.a. A Must Listen

Thomas Whitley

I’ve been eager to announce this for a while now and finally can. Thinking.FM is officially up and running. The site’s creator, mastermind and Chief Thinker said this about Thinking.FM:

As you can probably tell, this is a podcast network composed of niche shows in various areas. Being a longtime podcaster and web content fanatic, I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities in this space.

We should have our shows up on iTunes as soon as things are cleared, but in the meantime, feel free to subscribe to the individual shows (or the main feed) over in the sidebar. We’re officialy rolling out of private beta on Monday February 16 with our weekly shows.

I am co-hosting the religion podcast, Thinking Baptists. Our first show is up and ready for listeners. A few highlights include:

- The Pope and Interfaith Dialogue Blunders
- Eisebraun’s on Twitter
- Obama and Religion
- BIG IDEA Segment: Darwin vs. God
- Wrestling with God


Please go check out Thinking.FM. There is a lot of great other content as well that deals with topics from science, to NASCAR, to religion, to science fiction.