Tim Schraeder on Google+ for Ministry

By Tim Schraeder

 

youI’ll preface my thoughts by admitting the fact that I’m far from being an expert on social media. I would consider myself a passionate user of social media and have watched it morph and change over the last decade or so… from Yahoo Groups to Xanga [my site is still active and is embarrassing], from MySpace to Facebook, to Twitter and now, Google+.

As many other bright and much more brilliant minds that I have pointed out, the social web… the ability to share and receive information with networks of friends, co-workers, and acquaintances… is one of the most significant culture shifts to take place in our time. While the mediums have changed and continue to morph, the idea, relationships, and power of the social web have only continued to increase.

It can be exhausting to try and keep up with everything… I mused last week on Twitter: Tweets, Likes, Circles, +1’s, Friend Requests, DMs, Pokes, Adds, Status Updates… it’s all too much! #socialmediaoverload

However, after poking around and reading up on Google+, the early adopter in me is thinking this is something with paying attention to. Think about it:

  • Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users
  • TV took 13
  • Internet took 4 years
  • iPods took 3 years
  • Google+ added 10 million users in less than 3 weeks… and this is just in the exclusive, by-invitation-onluy debut. It’s just beginning.

I loved this video description of Google+:

Sharing is the currency of social media.

Google+ is redefining and simplifying the way we can share information. Instead of making lists or groups, Google+ makes it easy to add your friends to various circles and customize both your view of their news feed and allows you to select the content you share with your circles.

But, don’t take my word for it, here’s some great content from people wiser than me that’s worth reading:

One of my favorite movies last year was “The Social Network,” and in a lot of ways, I feel like we are in the early days of “The Facebook.” There’s still some kinks in the system, it’s not perfect, everyone isn’t fully-connected yet but there’s room for infinite possibilities. We have no way of predicting where this will be in a few months or in the next year.

Google underwhelmed us with Wave and Buzz, but I feel like they are right on target for redefining the social web experience with Google+.

For church communications folks,  you would be well-advised to get ahead of the curve on this one. Who knows how this could be leveraged for churches or how the church could use it to empower our people to spread the word?

The entire social web revolution is in many ways a 21st century return to the roots of our faith. Our faith was a grassroots movement. There was no marketing or fanfare, only a group of people who knew they had something they needed to share with the entire world. Our faith spread from person-to-person from household-to-household, from city-to-city to the ends of the earth. All we see and experience today is a return to that personal sharing and telling of our story, from individuals to their networks, circles, and friends.

Google+ is a new platform and opportunity for us to consider what’s next.

We’ve got the greatest message worth sharing and we would be taking it and sharing it wherever people are… offline or online.



Tim Schraeder

Tim Schraeder is a church communications specialist, working with churches across the country through his role in church relations with ChurchSolutions Group and as co-director of the Center for Church Communications, the parent organization of ChurchMarketingSucks.com. Tim is also the generaleditor of the forthcoming book, Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communication. He blogs his thoughts on church communications at TimSchraeder.com and blogsin under 140 characters @TimSchraeder.