People long for meaningful connections and will pursue them in a multitude of ways. This is at the core of all the social networks - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, LinkedIn, eHarmony, Match.com, et al. Who do I know? And, just as importantly, who knows me?
People are communal beings - we need each other. We also look for meaning in our lives. As these 2 things merge, local churches play a significant role - if they are prepared for it.
Applications and search results are becoming very localized - providing different results for the searcher, depending on their place and time. All organizations need to center their online (searchable) content around their location and their website.
Has your church prepared itself to be a place of community for people seeking meaning in your area? We'll give you an overview of the local search landscape and how you can become a better online neighbor.
Having a web strategy for your church is really a part of having a communications strategy for you church - your website is just one aspect of all your communications media. Even your web strategy will be broken into several components - a website, possibly a Facebook page and a Twitter account, maybe other online channels like YouTube and MySpace.
There are many pieces to your web strategy, but just having all the pieces doesn't mean they all fit together - yet!
Just like shaking the box won't assemble the jigsaw puzzle for you, you need to have a picture of how it will all fit together and then take steps to make it all happen. Today, we'll look at the pieces and the steps in the context of an overall strategy.
1. Having a web presence is no longer a nicety, but a necessity
2. You have limitations, as do the various options for establishing your web presence
3. It's not that difficult or stressful to make a decision, once you know what your choices are
There are lots of ways to communicate online and there are a variety of costs - where should you focus your attention? Where should you start? Website? Facebook? Twitter? Google Sites? Blogspot? Tumblr? YouTube? MySpace?
Well, you get the idea - there are a lot of facets to your online presence and you might want to hear what others have to say about building your online identity and communicating your message.
Once you make the decision to move ahead and build or update your church website, you need to choose the platform you will build it with. What are your choices and how will you make the decisions you are faced with? Here's a look at a baker's dozen of top content management systems and how they compare for church websites and how should you evaluate them.
As someone making an entry to the web for your church or ministry, you might think it rather simple, given the number of easily available tools. Or, you might find it too complex, given the myriad of choices and options you face. In either case, having somewhere to turn for guidance makes your job less challenging.
A logical place to turn is someone who has already done what you are hoping to do and has a similar mission. Larger churches and denominations certainly fit this role and are good starting places. However, they vary greatly in the resources they use and make available on their websites.
Here's an overview of several large denominations and the resources they offer, along with some of their own practices.