> @StickyJesus 14) demystifying: content gathering

RSS readerIn celebration of Internet Evangelism Month, this is the fourteenth in a 15-part blog project discussing the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

I have been going back and forth with myself for a while now about starting a blog. Do I want to step away from the safety and comfort of writing in the discussions tab of my Facebook fan page? Will I stick with it? Will anyone read what I have to say? And my biggest fear: Will I run out of things to say?

Well, according to file 14 of @stickyJesus, “The fear of coming up empty is a common one”.

Who knew there even were such things as RSS buttons, feeders, readers, and aggregators?! Probably everyone except me, but I feel as if I have a whole workshop full of tools now! I feel very confident that I can start a blog now and keep it interesting, entertaining, and consistent. RSS technology is also very appealing to me because I am…well…easily distracted. What was that? Oh, yes. The Land of Shiny Things. It gets me every time. I am encouraged that I will be able to sit down out my computer and do what I came to do without getting sucked into wasting ridiculous amounts of time checking out this season’s most amazing shoes, who’s cheating who, and Lady Gaga’s latest…ahem…”outfit”.

This is a new journey for me. Thanks to all of the good information in this file, I have a plan laid out in my head how I am going to begin my content gathering and use that content. However, I am very curious to know:

  1. Am I the only one of us that didn’t know about RSS technology?
  2. What RSS reader do you use?
  3. What type of content do you gather and are you interested in?
  4. How has this technology been useful to you in your content gathering?

@StickyJesus 13) demystifying: blogging" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/06/01/stickyjesus-13-demystifying-blogging/">13) demystifying: blogging <– @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/02/introducing-stickyjesus-group-blog-project/">@StickyJesus project –> @StickyJesus 15) you: a witness" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/06/06/stickyjesus-15-you-a-witness/">15) you: a witness

Christie is mom to two crazy-wonderful kids and one dog that can't hold her licker. She is crazy about her cowboy preacher, who is also her husband, and considers herself to be the worst preacher's wife ever. You can find Christie's fan page on Facebook: The Worst Preacher's Wife Ever and she is on Twitter: @mizweatherby.

16 Responses to “> @StickyJesus 14) demystifying: content gathering”

  1. First of all Christie – I encourage you to go ahead and start your blog. Commit it all to Him and ministry you never expected will start to happen. Check out the women at Leading and Loving it: http://www.leadingandlovingit.com/
    I know some of them personally and they are the REAL deal. I bet you find a great connection with Lori and the team. I hope you are encouraged by what you see them doing!

    I use google reader – but candidly – I have my true 'favorites' sent directly to my email. I use the reader to collect and browse, but I am not as faithful to it as other people I know. When I meet interesting people on twitter, I check out their links and if something sticks – I decide to either subscribe to my email or reader. I also subcribe to a few friends that have their own paper.li. If you find someone you really like that's doing one of these papers – they often are aggregating the kind of content you enjoy. You can find out more about those here: http://paper.li/

    My final fun place to go for content: StumbUpon. You sign up, select the categories that interest you, pop on the site, and then it directs random articles to you everytime you hit the stumble button. Everything on there is viral so if you love something – you can immediately share it. I go in there about once a week and just have fun.

    I love to gather, but I love giving what I find away even more!

    Great Job Christie – thanks for reviewing this chapter and getting the conversation started.

    • Wow. Thanks, Tami! I will definitely be checking out Leading and Loving it and StumbUpon. I am so excited and encouraged!

  2. PaulSteinbrueck Jun 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Hi Christie, thanks for writing today's post!

    For those who may not be familiar with RSS, there's a great little video called "RSS in Plain English" that explains it well on this page http://blog.ourchurch.com/what-is-rss/

    I've been a big proponent of using an RSS feed reader for years, but because of Twitter I have all but stopped using mine. Not only can I follow my favorite bloggers on Twitter to get their posts, but I know I'll see other great content because the people I follow on Twitter will retweet the best of the best from other blogs I don't read.

    • Very cool, Paul. Plain English is just what I need. :) Also, Twitter amazes me every day. You know we recently moved? We don't have television now and I was thinking "YIKES! What about the news?!" I pretty much haven't missed a thing thanks to Twitter.

      • PaulSteinbrueck Jun 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

        I don't watch TV news anymore either and I only get a newspaper on Sunday. I used to check news sites like cnn.com on a regular basis, but now I just count on the people I follow to tweet something if it's important. It hasn't failed me yet. Of course, I guess I don't know what I may have missed. :)

  3. yeah I don't use my RSS feed (use google reader btw) to actually gather content. There are a dozen blogs or so that I like to keep tabs on and that I'll check out via my feed but the ones that I really love I'll catch on twitter. New content I just see what my friends on facebook and twitter are posting.

    Another idea is what Dan King did with wednesday trendsdays. Check out the google trending topics and see why people are looking up these particular items.

    • That is a very interesting idea about Wednesday Trendsdays! I like that! Maybe that's an idea to keep me focused, too. Kinda have a theme or idea for each day. That way I have an idea of what i will be preparing for but it keeps things switched up too. What do you think about that?

      • I like that idea – although whenever I try it I get bored (soooooo totally lacking discipline). I think I've had four or five different day themes from Short&sweet on friday to super commentary monday's. But it also doesn't take a lot to be more disciplined than me lol. In other words, I really like the idea, i've just never been able to do it myself :-)

      • PaulSteinbrueck Jun 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

        I think the idea of having a theme for a certain day is a good one. One of the most important components to growing the community around a blog is consistency. People come back to a blog because they like what you gave them and want more of it. So, if you say every Wednesday we're going to talk about X, the people who are interested in that are going to look forward to it.

        Theme days usually have a shelf-life, though, as you may exhaust a certain topic or get tired of that specific style.

  4. I see the RSS feed icon online everywhere, but it was like Greek to me- I was clueless. I appreciate the breakdown that File 14 provides of the RSS feed, and I plan to try it.

    As for content, since I began this blog project, I have a new found joy for reading -period. Now when I read, or my approach to reading is, I want to fill up, so when I'm called to pour out-online and offline- I am ready. Just this week, I began taking inventory of all the wonderful books(content) I have that were collecting dust, or serving as a coaster for my glass of lemonade! :-). Last night, I dusted off a book called "More Jesus, Less Religion"; the title alone would make for an interesting blog discussion.

    Christie, I,too, am learning about blogging and I plan to take the leap and commit to it – let's encourage each other :-).

    Great post :-)

  5. You should start a blog! I never even thought about if I would have enough content when I started my blog. Of course mine has evolved over the past 4 1/2 years. I started it out for myself and still that's one of the main reasons I blog. It helps me process things. If God uses it to reach other people then that's great, but for me I have to write for myself. I also give myself permission to take time off when I need to. I don't do well if I put myself under pressure. I use Google Reader to subscribe to blogs, but I rarely use it anymore. Most of the blogs I want to read I also follow on twitter and catch the links to their new posts there.

    • mizweatherby Jun 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      I totally understand about writing for yourself, Amy. Are there other things besides blogs that you read or subscribe to that help you gather content?

  6. I use Google Reader. I also use ReadItLater for random long posts (or articles, or news articles) that I can read "on the go" on my iPhone.

    I never thought of using my Twitter feed, but I'm not as tied to it and so I'd miss new posts that way. Besides, a lot of the blogs I read I don't follow on Twitter (and I'm not even sure they all tweet).

    I'll have to check out Stumblupon. I'd heard of it but now that someone's explained it :)

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