No Longer a Whiny Two Year Old

crying toddlerLast Sunday the Christian Web Trends blog turned 3.  Whohoo!  In 3 years we’ve posted hundreds of articles to help Christians better use the Internet in their churches, schools, businesses and ministries.  Hopefully we’ve written a few things that have helped you personally.

Over the past year or so, I feel like CWT has become something of an island.  We’ve usually posted one original article a week having to do with the area of ministry or technology OCC was focused on for that month.  We haven’t done much to engage the world outside of OurChurch.Com.  And in general comments and interaction have declined.  Boooo.

So, starting today we are making some changes to breath new life into Christian Web Trends to make it more interesting, engaging, and cutting edge.  We also want to become a bigger part of the broader conversation about how to best use Internet technology in ministry.  So, here’s the plan…

1) More frequent, shorter posts.  Instead of one long post a week, expect several shorter posts on varying topics.  We might even post more than once in a day.  (Oooohhhh, only really cool blogs do that.)

(BTW, if you’re worried about getting inundated with blog notification emails, we will probably only email 1 or 2 blog posts a week.  If you want instant notification of all blog posts, subscribe to the RSS feed.  You should use an RSS feed reader anyway. ;)

2) Posts about current news.  When Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc do something noteworthy or when we hear about a Christian organization doing something innovative, we’ll write about it and kick off a discussion of how it affects you.

3) Engage the blogosphere.  We read a lot of other insightful blogs.  Some focus exclusively on ministry and technology like we do.  Others are more tangential like those that focus on evangelism, spiritual issues, communication, and search engine optimization but occasionally write stuff relevant to our conversation. Look for us to comment on their blogs and blog about their blogs.

4) Guest bloggers.  I don’t want to be the only conversation starter here.  So, I invite you to step up to the mic and talk.  What ministry/tech issues are on your mind?  What are you seeing?  Reading?

Note to future guest blogger – please keep in mind that the focus of this blog is ministry and technology.  We’ve had guest bloggers send us stuff on oddly unrelated topics from the rapture to research on teen sexual experimentation.  Go figure.

5) Clean up.  I’ll try to clean up the look of the blog a bit.  Cut down the long list of categories and archives?

6) Go deep.  Just because there’s something new and cool we can do online doesn’t mean we necessarily should.  Sometimes we’ve got to take a step back and ask ourselves the deeper spiritual questions.  Why are we doing this?  Does this really honor God and help people?

7) Lighten up.  While there’s time for deep, there’s also gotta be time to joke around. We’ve been way too serious lately.  How about if we discuss ministry/tech issues and have fun doing it?

8) Get funky.  Honestly, I have no idea what this means other than that we’re going to be creative and take some chances.  We’ll experiment with some social networking tools.  Maybe we’ll try an audio podcast, or I’ll let you watch live via web cam as I type up a blog article (wouldn’t that be amazingly boring?)  Maybe we’ll form a band and do a world tour.

So, what do you think of these changes?  What would you change?  What would you add or get rid of?

We really, really, really want to know what you think.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

9 Responses to “No Longer a Whiny Two Year Old”

  1. I would make it less obvious that you have a vested interest to sell your website services.

    As you engage your audience through blogging, trust is built and your services would be the first your readers would turn to if they are not already customers.

    Looking forward to the changes!

  2. Hey! Who won the most hit contest you had going sometime back? We never heard anymore about it.

  3. Change is good, for the LORD knows what HE is doing. It would do well
    for your blogs, to relate more unto “that which the LORD is now doing”

    to see things not “as they appear” but how they relate to what the LORD has said. Ye full know well, there are no “new things” in HIS sight, for His Word
    has told us all things.

    “For all things were made by Him, there was no thing made, that wasn’t made by Him.” It is fine to touch on things which “appear new” such as “new techs”
    but would your writer put these things in the perspective as seen by the
    Holy Spirit?
    Your site, and your staff have been a blessing to me and shall continue to be so, I am simply asking for more perspective as to what the LORD is doing with
    all things as well as all men.
    For none “fall outside of His Holy Jurisdiction” the Word says (proverbs -”all
    the ways of man are wrought in Him”

    Bless You – Stephen Monday http://www.truth-witness.com

  4. Don, thanks for the comment. I agree that we have at times allowed the blog to become a platform for promoting OurChurch.Com services. I want to move away from that. We’ll still mention OCC when it’s relevant to the conversation, but I want to move the conversation to be more about ministry and the web.

  5. Wish you well.

    The underlying principle of captive blogs and discussion forums is ‘consistency to purpose’. I am already involved in such fora notably aviation and christian writers’ inhouse moral support agenda exchanges. They are indispensable for their professional input ever so for beginners in Web tool profeciency.

    As long as the OCC blog forum does not resemble a spider web or windmill spoke, specialization on tech matters would certainly help the ordinary Christian even as the laptop comes of age to replace the PC.

    Keep the spirit.

    (Mombasa – Kenya)

  6. Sharon, we haven’t done a hit contest that I can remember. Maybe you’re thinking of the Login to Win contest we did in January???

    If so we posted the announced the winners in the forums:
    http://forums.ourchurch.com/viewtopic.php?p=19850

  7. Hello, and thank you for this. I Really like number (6). Getting my diving gear! Going deep doesn’t mean losing your sense of humor. Who was more deep than Jesus? And even God laughs! Just my two cents for what it’s worth :)

    We all should step back at times and reflect on what we do. You do an excellent job, keep up the good work. What’s the use if God doesn’t get the glory?

    Good questions, thank you for the reflection.

    Jaa K.

  8. Thanks Jaa K – I’ll stop by the local dive shop after work today. ;)

  9. Hi Paul,

    I have some good ideas for a guest blog post concerning the "Wisdom of Gods Word." I can think of no thing more valuable than the insight that Gods Word gives us so that we may over come the world, and not allow ourselves to become ensnared within it's web of deceit. Let me know what you think concerning this.

    By the way, great work here – please continue.