drawing blank

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Apr 292004

I’m like most people (one of the few ways I am), that when I’m put on the spot, or taken by surprise, instead of being able to come up with a snappy + witty comeback, or thinking quick on my feet, I draw a blank. I hate that. But I didn’t get that kind of quick wit when God handed the brains out. I have to make do with my figidy wild ideas for multitasking and intense relating. :) So recently I get stunned in the headlights, planning a small surprise, to hit up one of those once-a-year free-ice-cream days, and enthusaistically invite my friend, but he doesn’t want to go, and not only that, he’s upset and angry, that I’d hold back information from him.. he didn’t want ice cream, free ice cream, a special only-comes-around-once-a-year free ice cream.. sigh.. sincerity only goes so far..


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Apr 232004

after a full day of dialogue at the API Pulpit & Pew Symposium, mostly structured in working groups, I now have a break to decompress for a moment.. some engaging conversations, and I find myself straining my vocal cords, instead of using the proper + better speaking technique of breathing with my diaphragm, so tomorrow’s cross-country return flight, with a low probability for conversation, will provide some physical relief.. as widely available as these web technologies are, I’m somewhat surprised, or the better word is: disappointed, that more people don’t use readily + freely available technologies like blogging, IM, web message board, listserv, chat room; email on occasion and web browser they use, but that seems to be about it.. so as much as the numbers say the adoption rate of using the internet is pushing 70% or so, it’s a selective limited use of the web..

to give you a preview of coming attractions, I’ve been starting to reconfigure my job description at Forministry.com, having worked on an internal document surveying the uses of internet technologies for ministry purposes, and in process of exploring how to better equip churches and people for using web technologies more effectively for ministry purposes.. I’m anticipating a launch in a few months, with some fanfare, how much fanfare is yet to be determined, and with summer doldrums not being particularly the best time to launch anything, I might go with a soft launch, and have a rolling start of sorts.. sorry to be intentionally vague about the developments, have to be sensitive to market forces and competition, tho’ we don’t call other companies that, I prefer the term comparable offerings….

research mode

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Apr 222004

leaving out the door in a sec, bound for cross-country flight (direct, courtesy JetBlue an API symposium until Saturday; sms text message me on my home page and perhaps we can meetup or just chat on phone.. I’m using public transit, so you’ll have to come out to East Bay to meetup.. thrilled to be spending a few days in the most wifi enabled part of the country! :)

worlds colliding

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Apr 152004

(I had said this before but hadn’t blogged it) The Apprentice is being revealed tonight.. I started watching a few weeks after it began, wasn’t on top of that venue, great to see the building momentum over the past few months.. and fascinating to see the development of reality-based television (unscripted but still casted and edited) beyond Survivor, arguably the American forerunner (tho’ arguably Candid Camera, American’s Funniest Videos, Real People, have been past foreshadows).. where the marketing genius of 2 who are way ahead of the pack, in a time where [alleged] transparency and authenticity is [somewhat] craved, the Donald and Jessica Simpson are way ahead of others (exception noted for the Osbornes), by putting themselves out there on reality tv, and instead of spending their own monies via conventional marketing tactics, they get on reality television and get paid for it.. brilliant!

what a way to get a message out, pitch the product(s) via presenting the person.. and the worlds collide [Costanza reverb here] with the Apprentice featuring a Jessica Simpson concert.. would the Newlyweds show have an episode about her concert and how it went with the team from The Apprentice? Can you say cross-branding affiliation?

in an information oversaturated world, the personal touch of a person makes it stand out.. what makes the world of blogging all the more effective is the person attached to the blog, and then the personality and content to support the cast.. with millions of blogs around, to cut through the clutter, it’s the persona-driven ones that stand out (ones that come to mind most quickly: Andrew Sullivan [a profitable one at that], Jen Lemen, Rudy Carrasco, Jordon Cooper, Tallskinnykiwi, Josh Claybourn, boing boing, et al

So what makes Purpose-driven the big deal, according to this thesis, is Rick Warren (what makes Willow World go round and round is Bill Hybels).. but also, Pastor Rick has tapped into the budding infrastructure of pastors, which I’m coining the term (at this moment) as an dynamically-generated inter-church network (or I could call it A New Kind of Network, cf. McLaren).. Mel Gibson tapped into it too for The Movie (now well into the top 10 of all-time grossing movies).. the Purpose-driven (PD) network has been built years in advance, commencing with the PD church book, the PD conferences, the Pastors.com web portal, and most significantly activated (used) with the PD Life book, and would likely be used for the PEACE initiative in the on-deck circle.. with these dynamically-generated inter-church network, the infrastructure gets built through a lot of relational strategies with key leaders (pastors), in order to access the masses to which these leaders influence.. but it has to be done ever so carefully, and not exploited, or the whole thing collapses.. and it can’t be over-used, that is, only 1 thing gets distributed through A Network, not many things.. A Network cannot be used for multiple products from multiple vendors, and thus branded (bad thing).. A Network built around A Person.. opt-in and opt-out going forward.. corollary: A Network built around A Movie.. A Network built around A Event.. A Network built around A Conversation.. then timely dismantled — and this part of the life cycle perhaps most challenging to the institutionally-biased, build-an-organization, kind of thinking..

Holy Weekend

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Apr 092004

The Chuang family has a tradition (being untraditional as we are), going on for what, at least 3 years now, to worship at as many churches as possible during Easter weekend.. in the past, one year we took in a Mozart Requiem on Good Friday at an Episcopal Church, Easter Sunrise at a community garden, and a mini orchestra on Easter Sunday.. this go around may include the following: Good Friday at a neighborhood Episcopal Church (processional, kneelers, responsive reading, memorial nail upon exit and all), Willow Creek style Easter production, Saturday night vigil, Easter Sunrise, and Easter Sunday service.. for us, it seems incomplete to think that one local church can capture the full expression of the variety of the Body of Christ, and it has been invigorating and energizing to participate in a wide range of worship experiences at least once a year..

audience of one

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Apr 062004

after 2 road trips in the past week, by plane to LA for AALC (where I got to meetup w/ fast-talker Anna and others) and by train to Raleigh for TYF, I’ve felt pretty tired and gone to bed early the past 2 nights, but now awoken in the middle of the night, and would rather blog than to toss ‘n turn for 2 hours.. I find my thoughts to be as multi-threaded and multiple windowed as my computer desktop usually is, cluttered with many layers, windows, and buttons to click on.. *click* audience of one — idea perked re: who reads blogs and whether the blogger writes for the readers (thus not revealing anything really personal

for me, I do desire and occasionally do write extremely transparently here, and not as often as I’d like (seeing how some blogger I know aims for daily throughput), nor as transparently as I’d like, now that my profile gets more prominent through more venues.. I’d like to think that I can be my transparent + broken + unedited self in all contexts, even as public a venue as a blog [which can be read around the world by anyone, mind you], and part of my hesitation at aspiring or ascending into more prominent roles of leadership is the limitations / constraints / expectations put onto the leader, that a leader’s words and thoughts can no longer be freely shared and unedited, but rather, has to be more measured and thoughtful, b/c of the impact it has on the masses.. for some of the newer generation, it’s okay to be transparent, and the expectation is for more transparent + vulnerable leaders, but even with them, it’s not a total transparent + vulnerable leader they respect + trust + listen to, it’s one who still has a certain sense of vision or direction or charisma or influence or deconstructionist wit.. (jumping tracks) I had a tough conversation recently that I wish I could blog about, but can’t, partly insider info, won’t impact your portfolio, but might mine.. as one who [almost] always inviting dialogue, I run into a psychosomatic wall when people fail to respond with empathy or engagement, be it a categorical misunderstanding on why I’d have a personal website that reveals data which may be controversial or taboo (but won’t engage in dialogue as to why they feel compelled to shout me down), or when I honestly say I don’t know how to say something and it’s the first time I’ve tried, the unfeeling insensitive response I get is, yeah, I can see that.. ouch..