Publishing video to explain and show your event is a great way to connect to your audience. Using your smartphone, tablet, or Flip video camera is an easy way to capture your video. Planning for success includes understanding the capabilities and limitations of these recording devices and how to overcome them.
Smartphones and Tablets: Most mobile device users take decent HD video. Most mobile devices capture poor sound, because the internal microphone is not powerful. Having said that, we always use what we have, because the worst camera ever is the one you don’t have with you. The major challenges while shooting are stability and lighting. This article offers easy-to-read, common-sense tips for lighting and stability, as well as overcoming the limitations of your camera’s sensors:
Convention deputies and anyone tweeting about convention will use a personal accounts, not our diocesan twitter account @diofw. We want a lot of voices tweeting!
Getting Started: At twitter.com, create an account, select a username, and in your profile, upload a photo that looks like you. In your account settings, do NOT protect your tweets (you may change that in a month).
Connect with the diocese: search for and follow @diofw. @diofw will add all tweeters in our deputation to a public, subscribable twitter list: @diofw/GC77. The list aggregate our voices. Other people can subscribe to it. Here’s how! to subscribe to/follow other people’s lists:
At the start (starting now): Start listening to the conversation! Search #gc77 in the twitter search box. Follow people you want to hear more from, find other hashtags that interest you #episcopal #tweeps. Learn how to retweet (RT), reply & mention (@reply & @mention), send a direct message (DM), subscribe to a list. Go to twitter help https://support.twitter.com/ and search for an unfamilar term.
Contribute to convention dialogue: When we are tweeting about General Convention, we will use the hashtag #CG77 in every tweet. Every. Single. Time. In fact, lead with it, so you don’t forget (voice of experience).
What are hashtags? Hashtags, indicated by the hash or pound mark “#” provide a way to track messages associated with a topic; think of them as a keyword to search for. Consider your target audience when using hashtags; they are there for tracking, not for fluff, although that does not inhibit creativity! Use #gc77 for information related to the 2012 Episcopal General Convention. See what hashtags others are using, either from twitter or using a web service like (twittterfall.com) – you will see #churchgrowth #drama #budget #conventionprobs #PHOD
“Dang!” you exclaim when you grapple with the fact that Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters. You’ll get the hang of it without looking like a teenager; most of it is phonetic, so moving your lips helps.
Best Practices: One of the best uses of Twitter is to tweet about blog entries, with a “topical tease to read” introduction and a shortened URL link to your blog entry. Typical URL shorteners are bit.ly http://bitly.com/ and goo.gl http://goo.gl/ Copy the shortened URL into your tweet, so it looks like this: “Light bulb ON at #gc77 lunch http://goo.gl/9agxG & now I undrstand the lingo”
Use #diofw if you want us to track your comments there or track comments about us.
Handy Tips: Consider a handy service called Twitterfall at twitterfall.com. In Twitterfall’s searches box, type #gc77 and “add” it. You can change the color scheme if you like, making searches and lists different colors. Add list @diofw/gc77 and @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. Updates come every 30 seconds or so. Many find that tracking #episcopal is overwhelming!
What other handy tips do you have to share about Twitter for General Convention?
The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church brings the opportunity for participants to share so much of their experiences in the governance of TEC and the shaping of the future of the church. And it is vital to do so, in ways perhaps unfamiliar to many. It’s insufficient in 2012 to simply go home and write a 2-page article and publish it along with the rest of your July news and email or snail-mail it to your normal recipients. Yes, by all means, do that, but do more, and do it during General Convention.
The “more” is important. It is vital to the life of our church in a time that we so clearly need to grow and reach further, especially to younger audiences, ones that will become the leadership of our church. It is vital to help “folks at home” understand the topics and discussions and decisions that shape our church. It is important that we do this in a social context, because that’s where our reach is both strategic and effective.
It is heartening that so many dioceses have launched their convention publishing initiatives and sites, realizing why social media coverage is so important now:
Social networking has twice the click-throughs as email, reaching more of your audience.
Conversation about a subject engages more people than reporting about a subject.
Pictures and videos elicit more engagement than other forms of digital publication.
Social networking is a powerhouse for encouraging online engagement, improving and driving how people connect to your information.
When people feel more connected, they participate more and give more.
When we embrace and follow a new model of engagement and conversation, while not abandoning less timely, traditionally authoritative ones, we won’t leave any listeners behind, and we’ll grow new ones. It’s win-win.
Serious nonprofits use the social web in intentional ways, not as a gimicky playground, but as part of a larger communications strategy, driven by solid content. Add to the content. Be social at General Convention, on social media, perhaps in ways that are new to you. Check in using Facebook or Foursquare so your peeps know you made it. Blog; perhaps enjoy the brevity of Tumblr. Post to Facebook, and Tweet about it all with hashtag #gc77. By all means, point us to your blogging on Twitter using #gc77 and a link shortened with bitly.com or goo.gl. Pin your good visual stuff, and tag it so we can find it. Add your ideas to the commentary every way you can.
The Church will be richer for the experiences and information you share in a timely manner and in newer ways.