May 152010
 

I have 2 twitter feeds: @djchuang and @djchuang247. When I first forked my original @djchuang feed in July 2009, it was to keep my personal asides and live tweets at events from overflowing the home feed of 5,000+ followers. Didn’t think they wanted to know what I ate like @sherrysurratt does.

I’ve found my use of twitter to evolve over time, and here’s 2 tweaks I’ve made recently:

1. I follow more people and removed my 10% ratio cap. I used to follow no more than 10% of my number of followers, thinking I’d catch tweets of interest on my home feed. That’s not possible with 500 follows, much less 200, really.

The difference to follow or not to follow is whether someone can DM me or not. When I want a better chance of catching tweets from people I want to keep tabs on, I’ll use a twitter list. When I want to listen in to a convo, I’ll do a saved search on a hashtag and/or keyword.

2. I’m using my main twitter @djchuang for more replies and convo’s. I used to keep my tweets limited to retweets, making announcements, and sharing links + resources + quotes. These would be more obviously valuable to 1,000s. Yet, to only do the above makes it too much of a one-way broadcast rather than a two-way conversation.
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Dec 272009
 

Urbana09 This week I’m in St. Louis for a large students mission convention called Urbana 09, click on this twubs to follow twitter conversations in real-time.

I’ll be hangin’ out at the Pan Asian North American Student Lounge, located at The Holiday Inn Select St Louis Downtown in between sessions.

Follow @urbana09 for official announcements. Follow me @djchuang247 for live tweets. The official hashtag to use is #urbana09 according to the twubs.

[update] here are 4 videos I’ve posted via YouTube from #urbana09:
@BensonHines at Urbana 09 excerpt of James Choung seminar comment from @andrewsunkim peek in on Urbana 09 worship

Nov 032009
 

Wow. These blog post comment threads at here and here about unintentional racial stereotypes is blowing up. Big. Time. [cf. summary]

I think that discussing highly-emotionally charged issues in an asynchronous public forum like the online blogosphere is mostly ineffective. One party describes the pain of the impact from the (alleged) offense, while the other party tries to describe the original intent, all sincere and good. To quote Sam Chand, “The difference between reality and expectation is conflict.” Both sides have unmet expectations. Both sides have different perceptions of reality. Conflict ensues. It’s more than misunderstanding.

I’ll confess that I’m rather new to the impact of public communications by influential leaders. I prefer a world of open book open source unfiltered communications, and am learning to filter and edit based on readers’ response. But realizing that words mean things, and sometimes words can be mean things to the listener even though the speaker didn’t intend it.

I’d be curious how other influential Asian American leaders like Eugene Cho, Dave Gibbons, Charles Lee, Ken Fong, would respond. My guess is that a direct conversation between Mike Foster and Soong-Chan Rah, in a safe private environment, will bring faster resolution than any further color commentary.

[update 11/4] Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite have issued a public statement that “some of our earlier messages … were mixed in with some defensiveness on our part. … we deeply regret anything we did to offend our Christian brothers and sisters in the Asian and Asian-American communities. … that is why are we reaching out this afternoon to hear the concerns and the best way to move forward together in a positive way that corrects past mistakes, respects individual viewpoints and, importantly, advances the ministry for everyone.”

Oct 062009
 

Small talk is not my forte’. I can talk about weather or sports for maybe 30 seconds tops. Those are the conventionally safe topics. Work usually comes up early in the conversation, as in “what do you do?” People too quickly associate one’s identity with their work / profession / career.

There are some topics not good for small talk: “… it is not safe to discuss subjects that society deems controversial such as religion or politics.” Yet, politics get lots of air time, even though it’s controversial. Lots of mainstream media and social media time at that.

One British etiquette website describes what’s safe and not safe for small talk conversations:

Which topics are safe for small talk? …

- The weather, eg “It’s a lovely day today, isn’t it?”
- Sport, eg “Have you been watching Wimbledon?”
- Hobbies, eg “What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?”
- Work, eg “What sort of work do you do?”

… Which topics are best avoided for small talk? …

- Money, eg “How much do you earn?”
- Politics, eg “Who did you vote for at the last election?”
- Religion, eg “Do you believe in God?”

Yawn.

What about philosophy and religion? Now these two topics make for much more INTERESTING conversations!

Sep 252009
 

In this video conversation with Becky Knight, a sexologist and sex educator in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, we breach an often uncomfortable topic, “Why talking about sex is so hard?” Her website is www.livingsexuality.com and she twitters at twitter.com/livingsexuality

There you have it. Sounded to me like just do it, and start the conversation. No magical how-to. How have you talked about this subject with your peers? Your children?

Jan 162009
 

I got an invite from Daniel Lee [facebook profile], a Th.M. student at Fuller Theological Seminary, who is coordinating a newly-formed group on campus called Asian American Theological Fellowship. Last night was quite the privilege for me to share a presentation titled “Reaching the next generation of Asian Americans”.
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More than a handful of my long-distance compadres asked about my thoughts and feelings about last night’s engagement. Here they are, in 3 parts: the presentation, the group, and the potential.

The presentation. This presentation consisted of 59 PowerPoint slides. If I ran thru them Lessig style, no big deal, but I dwelled on many of them, skipped a few, and lost track of time. Meaning, I think I went long– I did go longer than I had planned to. As I debrief here, it dawned on me that since I first built this presentation in September 2007, I’ve added on more slides to cover frequently asked questions. Now after (maybe) 5 iterations, I’ve only added more and more slides — didn’t remove any. No wonder I went long! If I were to take Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint, get it down to 10 slides, I maybe could summarize it as:

  1. The opportunity is huge and urgent to reach more Asian Americans. The population will double in less than 50 years.
  2. Churches naturally have a life cycle like any organization. From time to time, church must adapt to cultural changes to revitalize, or else.
  3. Ethnic Asian churches have adapted to several models of multi-generational multi-lingual churches to accommodate both Asian-language speakers and English speakers.
  4. We’ve got so much more to offer. On the whole, in comparison to other racial groupings, Asian Americans are the most educated and have highest earnings. These resources have yet to be fully activated for Kingdom purposes.
  5. Healthy churches grow AND reproduce.
  6. In the past 10 years, there’s been an exponential growth of new churches effectively reaching next generation Asian Americans.
  7. New churches doing church a new way are found all over the United States. It’s not just a “West coast” phenomena.
  8. We still need more new English-speaking Asian-led churches to reach the next generation, and the unchurched majority.
  9. Ask not how can we keep “them” in church. Ask how can we reach more people for Jesus.
  10. It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.

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Aug 112008
 

Justin Taylor posted this gracious plea titled “Should You Pass on Bad Reports?” by Tim Keller & David Powlison.

Permission is granted to mirror the article, and I’ve chosen to extract several excerpts:

… One obvious genius of the internet is that it’s “viral.” Information explodes to the whole world. … Instantaneous transmission produces some wonderfully good things. Truth, like joy, is infectious. A great idea feeds into a million inboxes. But it also produces some disastrous evils. Lies, rumors, and disinformation travel just as far and just as fast.

So what should you do when you hear “bad reports” about a person or church or ministry? We want to offer a few thoughts on how to remain constructive. To paraphrase Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome words come out of your computer, but only what is constructive, in order to meet the need of the moment, that what you communicate will give grace to everyone who ever reads it.” [nb: other key verses = James 4:10-11, Proverbs 17:9.

… Passing on negative stuff always undermines love and respect. It’s never nourishing, never constructive, never timely, never grace-giving.

… To savor the tasty morsels of gossip and bad reports is very different from grieving, caring, and wishing nothing less than the mercies of Christ upon all involved.

… you only really need to know something if it touches your sphere of life and relationships.

… If you hear bad reports about other Christians you must either cover it with love or go to them personally before speaking of it to any others.

… to simply suspend judgment. Don’t pass on bad reports.

Read the full article.

We desparately need more civil conversations in the public square of the blogosphere, especially among professing Christians. I think this article masterfully deals with not passing on bad reports via blogging, and to deal with personal sins personally. What may show up in a follow-up article or in the collective wisdom of the crowds, is how to discuss issues online when individuals have obvious disagreements.

What have you noticed about watch blogs? I find it unfortunately ugly when certain individuals equate a difference of opinion / conviction as if it were a public moral sin. It’s not.

Jul 102007
 

This polo shirt has been quite the conversation starter. Wore it on Sunday for church and home-hunting in Orange County, and effortlessly picked-up conversations with people along the way all day. (photo by Jeremiah)

Jeremiah's mom and dad

After church, ran into Stanley & Leslie Jee, and she recognized the pattern on the booth decor at the Georgia Aquarium cafe in the pix, and knows the person who designed the pattern! And then they treated us out to a great sushi dinner at Kabuki! (well, had you going there for a moment; they weren’t total strangers — they’ve known my wifey since the teen years.)

In the afternoon, talked at length with Art Scott, who gives great piano lessons in South OC. So if you’re in that area, or know of someone in that Aliso Viejo / Laguna Hills area, be sure to check out Piano Lessons by Art Scott. Turns out he is quite an organist and had several connections (like me) back to Virginia. He shared a great story about his first time in an airplane, which happened to be a private Lear jet. What a way to fly! (while convenient on the boarding, I think I prefer the smoother flights of a large plane like a 747, thought I can’t really say since I’ve never (yet?) flown on a private jet…)

And met 2 or 3 others who struck up conversations too b/c of the Virginia Tech logo, or maybe it was just the bright orange color that matches my orange Crocs on my feet, and makes me stand out like an orange traffic cone. (So, with response like that, I just had to order 3 more VT logo shirts.)

Jan 232007
 

Learning the ways of a road warrior, as I’m in Dallas during my 6 weeks in a row of weekday travels. Traveling does have its own subculture that has its own habits and vibe, or lack thereof. I’m feeling it in the sense of disorientation (I turned the wrong way from my hotel room to the elevator 3 times already), daze and gaze of people at airports, and other soul-emptying feelings. Now when I actually arrive at my destination, and I get to line up meaningful meetings with people, those are great.

Last night I hung out with Xangans Edward & Christina Lee and felt replenished. The conversations went on for hours, and was only cut short b/c I needed to get some sleep last night for my work today. And tomorrow’s work will be a longer day. So it’s not for lack of ideas that I’m not blogging more, but it’s for lack of time and finding a consistent source for me to get replenishing and energizing for myself.

For example, I’d to write more about the Next Gener.Asian Church Skypecast (up to 100 skypers), which became a Skype conference call (limit 9 skypers) b/c none of us could get into the skypecast b/c of server load or something. Host/moderator David Park wrote up a recap along with two others on the call, and we did get it recorded. On the call I mentioned the “big umbrella” label of “Asian Americans,” and I’ve found more Asians than not disassociate themselves from that label, even though they fit the bill. And then today’s USA Today had a piece, Evangelical: Can the ‘E-word’ be saved? Again, another label from which increasingly more people are disassociating themselves.

Back to the skypecast. It’s new technology, it’s free, but it’s not working too smoothly and reliably yet. So I’ll propose this solution to David and Next Gener.Asian Church — let’s use a conventional conference call service. This will open participation to normal phone users, and Skypers can dial the landline number too. Plus, many people have free weekend minutes on their cell phone calling plans, so cost to participate can be kept essentially free. I’d recommend freeconference.com that I’ve used on several occasions, and have been pleased with their service. Another one with a very similar name, similar services, but different, is freeconferencecall.com, with the added bonus of offering a free recording service, but I haven’t used it before.