Feb 022011

There are popular social networks. And then there are private social networks. Both have their place. Some churches are only in one of those places. Some churches show up in both places. Some churches aren’t anywhere online.

For churches with people who may be more cautious about communicating online, a private social network could be a safer place to get started.

The Table is a private social network that’s free for churches. And as an web app, it doesn’t require any software installation. Its features list looks nice. Just a web browser and internet connection. Here’s their video describing what the Table is:

The Table is coming soon. February 23rd. On that day, the doors will open and The Table will be made freely available to one and all. You have to wait for it.

Unless you win. Here. Being translated, you don’t have to wait!

You can win a free account to The Table here and beat the crowds! (kinda like getting in the amusement park or Costco before everyone else.)

To win a free account, add a comment below with your church website address and describe how your church could use a private social network like The Table. I’ll award a free account to The Table Project to 3 commenters on February 7th at 7:59am PT, to: (1) one at random, (2) one with the most interesting story (based on an “interestingness” factor), and (3) a church that’s giving voice to its church members & attenders, not just the pastor’s. Winners chosen at my discretion and decisions are final.

[CONGRATULATIONS to Marc Payan and Bumble Ho for winning early access!]

(As an aside, methinks comparisons to commercial offerings like The City or SoChurch is unfair. Each church has to discern what’s going to work in their context.)

May 082010

In the May 2010 issue of Worship Leader Magazine, a new column launches by yours truly, called “DJ’s Spin.” As a magazine that’s been around since 1990,cover of Worship Leader
I’m part of the team that’s extending the magazine’s availability to an online readership in addition to its faithful print-edition subscribers.

In “How Grief Connects Us All,” I share 5 examples of how the online world is connecting us in the midst of grief:

As Internet technologies, online tools, and smartphone apps become increasingly weaved into our everyday lives, the relationships facilitated by these network tools have an integral role in our worshiping communities. This connected worshiping community is both within our local church and in the network of relationships we have with other Christ-followers in the Church universal.

And, my first column in Worship Leader is available in a variety of online formats:

While it is debatable whether print-based magazines will go through the same challenges as print-based newspapers has, there are some similar challenges being navigated. I am curious why newspapers have been hit harder & earlier by the digital revolution than its magazine counterpart. What are your thoughts?

Aug 292008

Got an email this week from Joe Carter, about a new online magazine / network:

I’m the managing editor of Culture11 (www.culture11.com), a new online magazine/social network that was started by Bill Bennett, David Kuo, Steve Forbes, et al. Today is our first day and rather than trying to get attention using traditional media, we’ve decided to announce our launch by reaching out to our friends.

Our goal for the site is to build a community around irresistibly interesting perspectives on life in America. From pop culture to politics, from faith to family, you’ll find original and entertaining stories here from some of the country’s most dynamic voices. …

With your help, we can make Culture11 something truly extraordinary – an online destination that has the editorial excellence of a great magazine, the thrill of a terrific conversation, and the comfort of a supportive community all rolled into one.

Now, usually I don’t care (as much) about the context of a conversation, particularly during with someone f2f in person, as I’d counter-positioned myself in contrast with Stephen Shields over Monday night dinner at Chuy’s. Don’t think we have a photo of that momentus event, but there were 4 tweets: 1, 2, 3, 4.

However, when it comes to websites, one of the 1st things I do look at is the “about us” section, especially when they want me to sign up for a free account and register my personal info with them. The “about us” page at culture11.com is sparse (at the time of this writing), and no explanation of what “culture11″ means, which is less of a concern for me.

So, good to find out names of some of the people behind culture11.com in the aforementioned email. Here’s a couple of links to what can be known about them (or, someone with the same names):