Aug 262010

As we’re all trying to figure out how to manage the information flow that comes through various websites, social networks, blogs, video sites, online communities, what have you, there’s a layout that’s becoming more and more common, but I’m not sure what that format is being called.

The format is this: display a list of items with the most recent item on top, aka reverse chronological order. Each item is typically listed as a title and excerpt, whether truncated from the body text or specifically crafted as a teaser. An icon or thumbnail photo or avatar or date or author or location may accompany the item listing. Aside: This format is somewhat related to blogs and microblogging. Blogs typically present a list of posts with the newest post at the top; some bloggers will only list excerpts so readers have to click-thru to read a complete entry. Faster load time. More stat trackability. Microblogging like Twitter has acclimated us to scan a list of short messages and respond (with a retweet, reply, or click a link) to the ones that catch our attention. [[ update 1/3/11 - this format is also called NEWS FEED, cf. CNN's NewsPulse, NY Times' Times Skimmer ]]

I wanted to find out what to call this format as I’m working on a redo of the Leadership Network flagship website. While I won’t say too much about the back stage activity (who’d want to see sausage made?), I will mention my favorite new feature: the stream of most recent items across all channels. I tip my hat to Todd Rhoades for coming up with the idea. This format isn’t new. It’s actually ancient. I just don’t know what it’s commonly called.

I searched for over an hour for the name, though it is being used more and more. “Activity stream” is what they call it in the social network world, where real-time information gets displayed. It’s called NewsFeed over at Time magazine. BBC called it like being a sushi belt. I was surprised that “river of data” was buried in the search results, though it does get referred to as such.

Here’s a quick summary of its genesis — the format (or presentation style) was first called “river of news” by Dave Winer back in 2005, though he’d been using it since 1999. (you can look at my history research in my Diigo library)

Take a look at to see how a content stream could look like. This one is pulling the latest from the 3 Leadership Network blogs. That’s the idea of what we’re after. It won’t look exactly like that.

The new website is coming. Soon. You’ll probably hear more about it on The Nines – FREE online conference about game changers on September 9th – Register at

Aug 122010

In my blog dashboard, I’ve got dozens of blog titles that I’ve queued up in the Drafts folder. Some have sat there for months, a few even years.


credit: ganesha_isis

Rather than keeping them hidden from public view, I’m going to release them as a sneak preview. No guarantee that all or any of them will be written due to my human limitedness. I’m not a workaholic nor do I have all the time in the world. Perhaps these headlines will inspire you to write a blog post in response. In no particular order, here the list:

  • Towards personal branding or organizational entity
  • is bigger and better really better?
  • Can you apologize too much?
  • how to get WiFi at conference events
  • Deciding whether to have ads or not
  • streaming radio and online music
  • search 9 Bibles all at once
  • Having more than one job
  • Let someone know everything, or else
  • how does doing flow from being
  • how to switch from Ning to BuddyPress
  • Attitudes & beliefs & opinions colors how we live
  • when people on stage don’t match the people in audience
  • How twitter can make you a better communicator
  • editable websites with info on churches
  • Others perceive more than what you perceive
  • why do you do what you do
  • re-explaining the online world again
  • zeal more than excellence
  • why I love counselors
  • business strategy for a loose-knit marketing network
  • owning my spirituality
  • getting past past sex lives
  • veteran onliners
  • defining leadership
  • how to deal with negative social media feedback
  • men and women can be friends
Aug 072010

Finding voices and faces that can better connect and/or represent both genders in actual diversity of the Christian church can seem elusive, especially in a financially-driven world. Asian American women
One of the currently under-represented grouping is Asian American women who are Christian ministry leaders, be it church or parachurch. Kathy Khang has started a great list of Christian Asian American female leaders. Here’s a copy of that list with a snapshot of what they’ve done and/or how they’re notable [in no particular order]:

This is an incomplete list, for starters — please add a comment with other women leaders who should be listed. While typing out the title for this blog post, I fumbled around with the word order, i.e. “women Asian American church leaders,” “Christian Asian American women leaders,” “Asian American women ministry leaders,” or “Asian American women church leaders” … I wanted to name this grouping of women leaders who were involved in vocational Christian ministry related to an Asian American context.

How can we better address the current situation of the American church leadership tier being disproportionately represented by one demographic, when the actual demographic make-up of church attendance (or locality) is far more diverse — ethnically, gender, socio-economic, etc ? How much of the Lausanne Global Conversation will percolate and change the American church?

Yes, it’s all quite complicated, with dynamics involving organizational viability, market forces & economics, regional and local distinctives, racialized history, philosophy of ministry, church growth theories, theological convictions, denominational heritage. To sweep it under the rug of the spiritual being transcendent and the inequalities of our social reality being insignificant seems quite a gnostic notion.

To remain silent about this in the public arena of the blogosphere doesn’t seem to help anything. This may well be one of those things where annual reports of measurable results may be a bit short-sighted for much-needed longer-term endeavors. The issue is not going away. When will the church engage?

Aug 032010

Eric Bryant‘s book gets a reboot as Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World, the book formerly known as Peppermint-Filled Pinatas. The book now has its own website, sermon series, small group materials, blog tour

This book is an accessible and easy read. It’s filled with real-life stories of how to step out of one’s comfort zone to build real relationships with real people of all kinds: someone of a different ethnicity, a different economic class/ different pay grade, different political persuasion, different lifestyle, different religion. And interspersed with Biblical stories and guest authors chiming in too.

I know for me, if I only looked for people just like me to befriend, I’d be all alone. I’ve rarely ever found anyone who is like me. And that’s ok. It’s really a good thing to get to know people who are different. The Bible has something to say about people being made different anyways: having different gifts, different roles, different parts.

For those of us who find it challenging to step out of our comfort zone, it’s good to have a friendly voice come along, like this book, to show us how to get past our discomforts and to live out of faith and not out of fear. I know I can use the help. Thanks Eric.