Category Archives: communication

Workshop resources

For attendees of my Oct. 9 workshop “Crying in the Cyber Wilderness,” as part of the 41st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida,  here are the links to other resources:

Church Web Site Design: Assessing and Improving your Web Site to Reach Outsiders This Internet Evangelism Day article assesses the usability, design, and readability of your  Web site. It also evaluates other important factors, such as your Web site’s ability to be found in search engines and encourage repeat visitors.
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/church-site-design.php
Is Your Church Web Site Useful? Lauren Hunter’s blog interview with Brandon Steiger, founder of a Web site development firm for non-profits, discusses the top issues that congregations face in creating effective Web sites and building a Web site with your congregation’s needs in mind.
http://churchtechtoday.com/blog/?p=213

Fifty of the Best Church Web Site Designs – Vandelay Design’s gallery features links to 50 of the best congregational Web site designs, along with sample layouts and methods that can be applied to your congregation’s Web site.
http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/best-church-websites/

Book:Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability – Steve Krug’s book discusses easy navigation, home page layouts, and other factors that influence your Web site’s usability by focusing on users’ thought patterns when visiting Web sites.

A Little Church Web Site Discipline – eGrace Creative founder Brandon Cox, a freelance web designer, highlights the top mistakes congregations make when designing and implementing Web sites.
http://www.egracecreative.com/2008/03/18/a-little-church-web-site-discipline/#more-95

Five Key Principles of an Effective Web Ministry – This article from November 2008’s Christian Computing magazine describes how to create a memorable and engaging Web site that will connect your volunteers and members and encourage involvement.
http://www.ccmag.com/2008_11/ccmag2008_11acs.pdf

A church can use simple blog software:
http://stgregoryschurch.typepad.com/stblogorys/

MultiSocial Media.com: The Twitter Survival Guide, among other resources:
http://multisocialmedia.com/ttsgusp/ttsg.html

“The Social Media Guide at  “www.mashable.com:  has lots of how-to and explainer articles about all social networking sites.

The New Connectivity: How Internet Innovations Are Changing the Way We Do Church
http://www.alban.org/conversation.aspx?id=6512

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Filed under communication, convention, jim de la, Uncategorized, web 2.0

Report causes a stir but it’s not really news

The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Communications may finally be making enough noise to make the Episcopal Church Center in New York pay attention.

In its report to this summer’s General Convention, the commission plainly says what most Episcopal Communicators have known for a while. The church’s Office of Communications is dysfunctional and is showing few signs it will get better any time soon.

The report, published in the 2009 General Convention’s “Blue Book,” has been recently noticed by some conservative bloggers who are calling it a “highly critical” and “stunning” report pointing to internal power struggles within the church.

While the report was critical, it wasn’t malicious. Nor was it breaking news to most of us. The report was, however, spot on in its assessment of the situation.

In a nutshell, the department was left leaderless for way too long. Personnel issues were allowed to fester needlessly. The department has isolated itself from the rest of the denomination’s communications community by in many cases refusing to seek advice before making major decisions, or, asking for advice and repeatedly ignoring it.

The Standing Commission also observes their mission has been “severely hampered” when its budget was reduced to zero at the 2006 convention.

The national office also continues to totally ignore the Commission’s request for information, particularly what the church is spending on Episcopal Church communications, program expenses or information technology costs.

The report also expresses much-needed support for communications on a diocesan and parish level, noting that short-sighted budget cuts are thinning the ranks of both publications and personnel, neither of which the church can really afford.

They submit several good resolutions, including creating a position of technology czar, to encourage data sharing within the church and a call for a communications technology audit.

Let’s hope the newly hired director of communications, Ann Rudig, will take the report seriously and move to solve these issues quickly.

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Filed under CCAB, communication, episcopal, SCECC, TEC