Less Clutter, Less Noise – The Group Blog Project

Less Clutter, Less Noise by Kem MeyerWhen I read Kem Meyer‘s book Less Clutter, Less Noise a couple months ago, so many of the topics addressed in it resonated with me I knew I had to organize a group blog project to discuss it.

With the rise of broadband, smart phones, and social networks, the world has become increasingly noisy and cluttered.  Many of us, in our efforts to keep up with technology and keep people informed, have ended up creating more clutter and more noise for the people we serve.

If we’re going to communicate effectively with people in this always on, distracted, multi-tasking world, we need to understand the people we’re communicating with and adjust our communications strategies accordingly.

I learned a lot by reading Less Clutter, Less Noise on my own, but I’m really looking forward to learning from a lot of very smart, experienced communicators as we go through the book and discuss it chapter by chapter.  Here’s the schedule…

 

Date Chapter Blogger/Blog Twitter
Wed 1/12 1 Ed Cyzewski @edcyzewski
Fri 1/14 2 Brian Beatty @brianbeatty
Mon 1/17 3 Rick Phillips @rickphillips
Wed 1/19 4 Amber Hill @msamberuh
Fri 1/21 5 Thomas Irby @overcommunicate
Mon 1/24 6 Kenny Jahng @godvertiser
Wed 1/26 7 Jeff Christian @jeffchristian
Fri 1/28 8 Steven Fogg @stevefogg
Mon 1/31 9 Gabe Taviano @GabeTaviano
Wed 2/2 10 Adam Hann @adamhann
Fri 2/4 11 Lee Ann Berthiaume @leeannnvc
Mon 2/7 12 Russell Martin @rgmmusic
Wed 2/9 13 Sarah Holbrook @sarahfholbrook
Fri 2/11 14 Jennifer Armitage @outreachgeek
Mon 2/14 15 Lisa Hamilton @lisavictoria
Wed 2/16 Wrap Paul Steinbrueck @PaulSteinbrueck

 

Big thanks to the 14 bloggers who have stepped up to blog about and lead the discussion for a chapter.  We have one spot available after a blogger had to withdraw due to injury (Didn’t know blogging was such a dangerous sport, did you?) Edit 1/11: So, first to comment saying they want chapter 9 is in. Thanks to Gabe Taviano for stepping up to take the guest blogging spot that was open.

While the opportunity to guest blog and lead discussion was limited to 15 people, anyone can participate in this group blog project in several other ways.

  • Get a copy of Less Clutter, Less Noise, read along with us.  (There’s a Kindle edition or one day shipping available from Amazon)
  • Join the discussion on each chapter by reading and posting comments.
  • Blog about what you’re learning on your own blog (post a comment here with a link to your blog post, so others can read/comment on it)
  • Share links to each chapter’s post on Facebook, Twitter, & social bookmarking sites.

So let’s kick this off with a couple of questions…

Discussion

  1. Where are you seeing more clutter and more noise in your own communications or those you receive from others? What effect have you seen it have?
  2. What are you hoping to gain from participating in this project?

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.

37 Responses to “Less Clutter, Less Noise – The Group Blog Project”

  1. We have a huge challenge at Christ Community Church (www.ccclife.org) in that we make no apologies that we are a "full service" church (something for everyone in all stages of life). Some folks feel this gives them license to have their events & initiatives communicated all the time and everywhere. We have had to work diligently to provide appropriate streams of communication that not only elevate the most important things – but provides the right avenue so their audience will actually receive the news. Our hard work is paying off because we are seeing the right audience getting the right message at the right time.

    I am looking to gain insight from other church leaders that will show me that I am not the only one experiencing these types of challenges – I also hope to gain some practical tips that will help refine my current process

  2. I'm game Kem. Thanks for asking!

  3. Forgot I wasn't on Kem's site there for a sec…..LOL. I'm game Paul, if you need someone else.

  4. This comes at THE PERFECT time for me and the people I work with. I've already forwarded it on to others … I can't wait!

  5. Same is true of the ministry we are launching, or even the small group that meets in our home weekly.

    So I am trusting God to use this group and the book to bring insights, practical wisdom, and an ear better attuned to His help in getting the message out and building community.

  6. Our church didn't have a communications department in 2007. We have grown and stretched in many ways and with growth comes challenges. Like Brian Betty, we have a church that is "full service" church (something for everyone in all stages of life). We face challenges with people feeling that their ministry event IS the most important thing going on. What has helped us is to have a good foundation to work with (ie: Communication's Manual) and with that always making sure that communications inside and outside the church connect with our calling. Granger Community Church resources (wiredchurch.com) have also helped us. We have downloaded many of their resources and use them as a plumb-line to make our own manuals and forms. This has simplified the processes greatly and allowed us the freedom to say "no" when things don't align with our calling. This year we are in the process of revamping our website to simplify, simplify, simplify. Kem's book has taught us so much and helped us to see an easier more effective way of communicating outside and inside (especially outside).

    I am hoping to connect with others that have the same passion for communications. The message of Christ is so hopeful to everyone. Sharing ideas is important to me, I have learned so much blogging and connecting in Twitter. I am excited to read people's ideas.

  7. Perfect timing!

    While this is not a church example I just had the noise factor hit me from Amex.

    I ordered some American Express rewards as I have over the years accumlinated quite a few points and decided to treat my wife for her birthday (shhhhsssh she doesn't know yet ;-)

    Anyway I ordered the 3 items from the same person over the phone which was fine, but today I received 3 letters from American Express. The 3 letters were exactly the same and were designed to make me feel special for ordering the rewards, but because Amex's system obviously wasn't designed to cope with ordering multiple items it sent me the same letter (with the product individualised) 3 times.

    What was meant to make me feel special made me feel like they were faking it and had the complete opposite effect. #FAIL

    I think churches have to pay special attention to any automated responses and systems we have place, because while our goal is to connect and help someone take a 'next step' often because someone is slightly outside the box we stuff up which makes them feel like we are faking it to them and don't really care.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jan 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      Interesting example, Steve. I agree that churches have to pay special attention to automated responses because authenticity and honesty are such high values in churches. IMO, while we don't like it when businesses fake it, we kind of expect it. But the slightest bit of faking it in a church feels hypocritical.

  8. I'm very much a simple approach type of guy. I like creating less work on the user/reader/church goer so that they can get the information they need quickly.

    I also love it when the right info gets to the right, intended people. So, I'm looking forward to this project. It will be cool to see how others have taken into practice, or are starting to implement some of Kem's principals.

    It will be also interesting to see how we interpret some of them as well.

  9. I'm really excited about this group blogging concept. This is going to be fun! My interest was more piqued in this from a personal standpoint, as I just feel way too overloaded with "options" for information. I almost want to rewind 15 years to when there just wasn't so much STUFF being thrown at us. Although, relatively, if we talked to ourselves back then we'd probably say we were no less overwhelmed with information. Who knows?

    This is also going to be insightful from a ministry standpoint. My church just launched 5 new campuses on Christmas Eve, and one of our main forms of promotion is through our facebook page, which I am administering. Trying to balance what kinds of things to post and how often is quite the journey. I realized early on that I was just regurgitating a lot of the stuff our main campus was posting, which seemed kind of pointless. What a quick way to get deleted from someone's news feed!

    Anyways, like I said, looking forward to this :)

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jan 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Brent, I think a lot of people are in your situation – trying to figure out how often and what to post to the church Facebook page. I'm kind of surprised, though… it sounds as if you haven't been given any guidance at all. Is that true? I would have expect the communications director to have an overall communications strategy that includes Facebook, so what you're doing on the Facebook page is clear and fits with the overall plan.

      • I think from a traditional communications standpoint, there is a clear strategy, however each campus has sort of been left to their own devices for what they decide to do with social media. I kind of appreciate the freedom I've been given, and I work closely with my campus pastor as to what major things we want to post to facebook, so to be fair I'm not exactly flying blind… Again, this group blogging of Kem's book is going to be extremely helpful!

  10. I work at a church that is starting to get its head around "quiet" communication. We have improved a lot in the past few years. However, we are starting to get to the size in which we need to really build a solid communications (both internal and external) structure. All of our departments need to learn to interact with each other. I'm really looking forward to hearing what the guest bloggers have to say about the last few chapters of "Less Clutter, Less Noise" that deal with this exact problem.

    I'm preparing myself for the greatest group blogging project of all time.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jan 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      "…greatest group blogging project of all time." I like the sound of that. :)

  11. PaulSteinbrueck Jan 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Wayne, those are good questions to be asking.

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