Jun 282011

One of the things I’m doing now is facilitating a social media strategy day for a church’s leadership team. Thanks to this interview with Dave Travis of Leadership Network, you can get a snapshot of what I can do for a church. Here’s an excerpt:

Dave: I think everyone knows that Social Media is of growing importance, but how is it important to churches?
DJ: Social Media is important to churches because churches are all about connecting people to people and people to God. Essential to connecting people into relationships is two-way communication, and Social Media has accelerated how millions are communicating with one another on an individual basis. Organizations, both businesses and churches, have been comparatively slower to use Social Media as a part of their communication with their constituents.

Dave: What does a day look like when you visit with a church?
DJ: Just as Social Media is very personalized, my Social Media Strategy session with a church is very customized. Before the meeting, I start with pre-work in collaboration with select church leaders to identify their burning questions and what they want to solve during our strategy session together. Then during the day, I facilitate a highly dynamic process of where they are now, where they want to go, and how they can get there. We sketch out the road map and they’re on the way!

Read the full interview over at Leadnet.org >>

In case you’ve not heard of The Austin Stone Community Church, you probably have heard of Chris Tomlin. That was his home church. *grin*

Jun 272011

As the Census 2010 numbers are being crunched, our growing population makes for all the more opportunities for serving real needs of real people. And for the 17.3 million Asian Americans, who are comparatively the most educated and the most wealthy, that means a ton of raw potential for doing good and making a difference for multicultural American society and for a multinational global village.

I shared this short presentation with the AFC CMC 2013 planning committee. [tech note: I'm loving the new iPad app Bamboo Paper, free 'til 6/30]

CMC 2011 (Chinese Mission Convention 2011 West Coast) challenges Chinese and Asian Americans to fulfilling the Great Commission aka world evangelization, or as I prefer saying, being missional everywhere. This December 27-39 2011 in San Diego is CMC 2011, where the very popular Christian author Francis Chan is the main plenary speaker. Francis is now blogging at francisupdates.tumblr.com and with wife just had 5th child! Congratulations Father Francis!

References mentioned in presentation:

Additional resources:

Jun 242011

Once in a blue moon, Asian Americans generate a bit of controversial buzz and tagged with the tiger metaphor, whether “tiger moms” (cf. Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior: Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back? excerpted from Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, in Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2011 and Tiger Moms: Is Tough Parenting Really the Answer? by Annie Murphy Paul in Time, January 20, 2011) or “paper tigers” (cf. Paper Tigers: What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends? by Wesley Yang in New York Magazine, May 8, 2011), with its share of critiques, including: Jeff Yang [no relation], Sanden TottenHana Lee, Guria King, Sylvie Kim, Nina Shen Rastogi, Susan Adams.

At the 20th Annual Conference of the Committee of 100 one panel caught my attention, Managing Asian Talent in Global Companies – Confucian Tigers. During that roundtable, it was (rightly) cited that:

Asians are 5% of the population.. yet less than 1/3 of 1% of executive positions.. less than 1% of board positions.. even though Asians are better educated and make more money than any other group in America..

And then the roundtable moderator cited a paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology about what do people perceive of Asian Americans, “the brand of Asian talent,” so to speak. Here’s the perception of some people about Asian Americans:

  • competent
  • consistent
  • conscientious
  • objective
  • well-informed
  • rational
  • self-controlled
  • socially introverted
  • passive
  • emotionally distant
  • reserved

The title of that peer-reviewed paper: Leadership Perceptions as a Function of Race-Occupation Fit: The Case of Asian Americans, was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology [Vol 95(5), Sep 2010, 902-919]. Co-authors are Lynn M. Shore of San Diego State University, Judy Strauss of CSU Long Beach, Ted H. Shore of CSU San Marcos, UCR graduate students Susanna Tram and Paul Whiteley, and Kristine Ikeda-Muromachi of CSU Long Beach. Here’s the methodology used:

The researchers sampled three groups of individuals — 131 business undergraduates from a large business school on the West Coast, and one group of 362 employees and another of 381 employees in the Los Angeles region — and asked them to evaluate an employee. In one experiment participants received identical information about the employee’s expertise as an engineer or salesperson, but some were told the employee was Asian American and others that he was Caucasian American. In a similar experiment, participants assessed the employee’s leadership attributes.

What’s my take? I’m reluctant to write a long essay here, as this blog post is already long. I’ll say this: yes, there are stereotypes and overgeneralization. Yes, there’s a ton of diversity under the “Asian American” group. Yes, there is systemic racism. Yes, there are misperceptions. Yes, there are Asian cultural values (and other cultures too) that impede some people from expanding their cross-cultural capacity to take on a bigger role in a multi-cultural society (or corporation or organization.)

I do think there is way too little airplay on Asian American issues and real life Asian American stories. So the problems persist. An occasional article or roundtable won’t do much to effect change.

One thing that must happen is for Asian Americans to learn the stories of more Asian Americans to represent Asian Americans. And more of those stories have to be told online and not just offline.

Jun 232011

This is a conversation I want to engage. And Vince Marotte has fired the first shot. It won’t be the last. The church has a big glaring communication problem and Vince calls it out with his first eBook, Context and Voice: Communication Design in our New Media Culture.
Vince describes the problem this way in Chapter 2:

Something is broken in the way that the Church communicates. There is a serious disconnect between how the culture communicates and how the Church does. This is in stark contrast to the church of a hundred and fifty years ago which was the catalyst of cutting edge communication technology and strategies. Starting with the Hebrew culture of story telling and the passing down of scriptures, history, genealogy and arts through simple spoken word.

My remarks here will be a book impression. Not a book review. Not a critique. Not a summary. Not an overview. More of a book reaction. I was very eager to read the book and finished it in a day.

I liked the book’s idea, not just because I’m an ideas guy. I like the author. I just had a nagging feeling that something was missing.

Maybe I’ve hung out with Vince too many times during this year; one too many. *grin* The book didn’t have the shock value for me that it will have for average joe church leader. And if you’ve been a follower of @m_vince or subscriber to nikao.ws like me, you would have heard these ideas before too: on a webinar and/or in a presentation slide deck.

Maybe I read it too fast. The book is written in a stream-of-consciousness conversational-style and the reader is warned right in the introduction. This did make the book easy to read. Did I mention I read it in a day, actually, under a day?

Maybe the typos bothered me. Did Vince talk into his MacBook and run a voice-recognition software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, and out came this eBook? :) Again, I love what he said but what was written (typed) made for a bumpy ride. :)

One thing missing from the book was pictures, or diagrams, or charts. That didn’t reflect new media very well. In other words, words alone don’t do the book justice. Or was this a restriction of the eBook format? I needed a picture, a framework to unpack the big ideas. And I’m an ideas guy.

Vince uses key words in a new way and with fresh nuances: designing communication. context. voice. culture. distribution. content creators. What does it all mean? It wasn’t mapped out. (And that’s okay by me.) Vince does like to skateboard, and there are no paths in a skate park, so he takes us on quite a ride. Doesn’t give us answers. He does get our adrenaline going and I know for me I want more. Here’s the 1 diagram that can help you get the lay of the land, the skate park, of the eBook:

Maybe it was the form factor. The eBook read like a series of blog posts, but more than blog posts. On almost every page, I was itching to click something to add a comment, but I couldn’t! I was reading the eBook in ePub format on iBook. The book’s begging for a conversation, but without a way for me to immediately respond on the spot, it felt like a monologue. Ugh. I know this is not the author’s intent. He does want to cultivate conversation, a lot of it at that. And it’s hard to find conversation partners on this topic. He’s asked me, in person, and indeed they are hard to find. The business of church is too consuming, of both our time and money. Maybe that’s an underlying issue, too, for why we don’t have more front door content that can connect in the context of our new media culture today. Maybe the whole economic engine and business model of sustaining the church as we know it is broken.

The hope I have in this eBook is that it is The Conversation Starter. Where the eBook form factor does work is this: you, the reader, can take it in 1 piece with you. Reflect and digest. Then come back and engage and join the conversation. I’ve seen Vince do online “coffee talk” sessions at his Gateway Church Internet Campus, so he’s definitely accessible and conversational. The eBook speed-to-publish reiterates the urgency and need for “front door content” to be created and distributed via new media. Traditional publishing takes 12-18 months, that’s too slow for ideas about new media that’s running on network technology that goes obsolete in 6 months.

In the end, I felt the book left me hanging. I finished chapter 10 and tried to turn the page and it wouldn’t go anywhere. That’s it?! No conclusion? Screeched to a halt. To be continued? No web link to continue the conversation? Abrupt ending. Did I get an incomplete download? Help?! The suspense is killing me! Great job, Vince, you’ve left me wanting more!

Jun 202011

The universe conspires in our favor sometimes. In an effort to save a botched attempt at a #85ctweetup video chat, because some coffee shop didn’t have wifi (in this day and age, can you believe it?!) … I did connect with @alisa_m_ (Alisa Manjarrez) and we somehow got onto the topic of blogging. I checked my archives, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s my 12 year anniversary of blogging! We recorded our video chat, talking about what it was like for me to be blogging for 12 years, what is the deal with orange, and a few highlights. Watch part of the interview or watch the extended version of the unedited video interview. (It’s 27 minutes long. You’ve been warned.)

And, a Big Thank You for being a subscriber here!! To celebrate this 12th anniversary with me, go to a Mexican restaurant near you and tell ‘em it’s TACO TUESDAY! And, hashtag your photo with #tacotuesday on Twitter (cf. there’s a bunch of restaurants in the OC with dinner specials on Taco Tuesday)

Links mentioned in the extended video, aka show notes: Yogurtland, Tim Keller, Peter Drucker, Christian celebrities, Asian American, Multiethnic church, my YouTube channel

Jun 192011

One aspect of family life mostly left unspoken is our mortality, especially an Asian one. Yes it could be rather morbid. It may even be superstitious to talk about it, as it was for my traditional Chinese Dad who headed up my family of origin.

This Father’s Day is our first without him. I would not say we’ve emerged from our grief already. I would say that our lives are forever changed; I would say we are doing rather well in this new normal.

The past 2.5 years have been a particularly heavy time of caregiving for Dad, as he slowly and steadily declined in health following a stroke and diagnosed with PSP, a neurological disorder without a name like Alzheimer and Parkinson. My mother and my brother Deef took care of him diligently and sacrifically. I debriefed that experience with my brother Deef, and recorded the webcast before a live audience– you can watch that video .

Our hope is that by talking about a topic that’s rarely ever talked about in the Chinese/ Asian American context as normal average people (in contrast to healthcare professional) that our story can be useful towards realizing you have 2 guys who are empathetic and accessible when that season of life comes around.

Jun 172011

They probably had a good reason to call the TEDx event in Orange County TEDxOrangeCoast instead of TEDxOrangeCounty. Did you know there are (at least) 8 Orange Counties: California, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Indiana, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

TEDxOrangeCoast happened in May 2011 at UC Irvine. Amidst the speakers’ lineup was Saddleback Church’s pastor Rick Warren & you can watch the video. He described how innovation often comes from asking the right questions, and listed 8 essential questions as the “8 Nations of Innovation”:

  1. Termination- What do I need to stop doing?
  2. Collaboration (Coordination) – How do we do it faster, larger, cheaper, or with a team?
  3. Combination – What can we mix together to make something new?
  4. Elimination (Simplification) – What part could we take out in order to make something similar?
  5. Reincarnation (Reinvention) – What has died that we can bring back to life in a new format?
  6. Rejuvenation – How can we change the purpose for why we are doing it?
  7. Illumination – How can we look at it in a new light?
  8. Fascination – How can we make it more interesting?
Jun 152011

There are times when you want to get a message to someone and typing a text message takes too long or won’t fit in 140 characters. Or, you don’t have the time to talk on the phone so you don’t call because you’re not sure they won’t answer and you don’t want to wait for voicemail. And you don’t want to be “that guy” who calls someone in the middle of a meeting.

Talking is faster than texting. What if you can send a voice message?

There’s an emerging genre of mobile apps that let’s you send voice messages! These apps go by a different names, like: voice messenger, push-to-talk, touch-to-talk, walkie-talkie, voice notes, multimedia messaging. Here’s what’s out there:

KakaoTalk app on Android and iPhone. Send/receive text, photo, voice, video. 16 million users.

WhatsApp app on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia. Costs $1.99USD per year. 15 million users.

TiKL – app on Android and iPhone. 10 million users.

HeyTell – app on Android and iPhone. 4 million users.

TalkBox – app on Android and iPhone. [ed.note: I like the name, its simplicity, and easy-find of my Facebook friends]

blip.me app on Android and iPhone. [ed.note: best looking design]

PingChat app on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. Send/receive text, photo, video, voice notes.

Palringo app on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows mobile, and PC or Mac desktop. Send/receive text, voice, and photo. $$ for extra features. [ed.note: seems like a multi-network IM that can send audio]

CloudTalk app on iPhone and Android, has multi-media messaging (voice, text, photo, video) and public forum to meet new people.

Voxer app on iPhone only. Send/receive text, voice, photo, location. Android app on the development road map.

Jawbone Thoughts – sender must have the iPhone app, receiver can listen via app or web

Voice/multi-media messaging could be the next big thing, and will be mainstream if more people get smartphones and install these apps. Down-side: it requires a smartphone with a internet data plan; instead of using minutes on your calling plan. These apps have been around for months, but, unfortunately, most people in my contacts aren’t “in network.” Yet. I’d love to connect. My username = djchuang.

My hunch is that many of these voice/multi-media messenger will be around, like how we still have multiple instant messenging networks, a la AOL, Yahoo, Google Talk, QQ, etc. Will Facebook or Google or Twitter get into the game or buy out one of these? We will see.

Jun 132011

Change is possible. Absolutely. But not totally. And, personal change doesn’t happen alone. People can change for the better. No one is stuck. They aren’t just the way they are. I believe and I have hope.

Essentially 2 questions determine someone’s possibility of changing and becoming a better person. 1. Does the person want to grow? 2. Will the person receive help? Answering affirmatively to both are the first steps towards a new life. If there’s resistance to either, then the odds are really low. Saying yes opens a world of possibilities.

Yes, every person has a particular personality. Some more than others. Acceptance of what is and who a person is does not stop with that. A person’s personality and habits is not static and set in concrete.

To be open to change is not to say a person is not good enough. Change is to say that a person is already valuable and has more capacity for good and for life. Admitting there’s room for growth is a humble posture to say I’m not perfect and I need help. Change is not easy. We need all the help we can get. I’ll take all the help I can get.

And where does this help come from? Other people who accept you and those who can give and speak grace into your life. That’ll get you on the way. To use the language of 12 Steps and of the faith community, ultimately, the power to change comes from the higher power greater than you and I, it comes from God.