Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Twitter
My sister posted this to my Facebook Wall. For some odd reason, it made her think of me…
My reply was:
No way! You’ve got to tweet it, post twitpic images, update your Facebook status, check into Four Square friends to see if any of your friends are in the building too, post a video of the fire to YouTube and do a blog post discussing your thoughts on the cause of the fire and the general lack of safety in the building, and THEN exit!
But it did make me laugh, (and think). Truth me told, I might try to pull off a tweet on my way out of the building. (If I could do so safely, of course! And if I could do so without endangering anyone else, of course!)
But do we tweet and facebook too much? Certainly! I sometimes wonder if when Jesus returns, Christians will miss it because they will all be looking down at their cell phones Tweeting:
Jesus is here! #secondcoming Betcha wish you’d accepted Him? #heaven #hell #salvation #toolate #John316
Jesus will be yelling, “Hey! Look up! I’m here, time to put the cell phones down!”
Ten bucks, there is no Internet or cell coverage in heaven. We’ll have to just walk around actually talk to each other.
What a concept.
Social Media and Kids from a Conflicted Social Media Junky
by Karl Bastian (a.k.a. Kidologist)
See at the bottom how to WIN A FREE BOOK
and Download the Complete Kidology Report
on Social Media and Kids that includes additional authors.
I both love social media and fear it. I can’t attack it too much or I’d be a hypocrite I have over 10,000 “tweets” so far, and nearing 1000 friends on Facebook, but why do I still feel so lonely? Social networking is a part of my daily – O.K., let’s be honest, moment by moment, life! I do not, not, think it is an addiction or bad for me! (I could quit any time I wanted to, right? I just don’t want to!)
Quite to the contrary, it has given me yet another avenue to amplify the message God has given me to share. Unlike many who live their lives like a pin-ball game bouncing through life from one opportunity to another with no clear game plan, I sought God for a very specific Life Mission at age nineteen and have had a laser focus on that Mission ever since. It is written and defined and has enabled me to say “no” to many good things and focus on the Great my entire life and ministry (not that I haven’t gotten distracted and needed to get back on course at times!).
Social Networking has enabled me to expand this Mission into spheres that otherwise I could have never reached, and on a daily basis during idle moments that other wise could have been wasted… Relaxing? Reading? Enjoying my family or praying or… There I go again… the internal struggle erupts! But would I truly be doing those noble things every time I tweeted or updated by Facebook status? The simple answer is no. Social networking has enriched my life with friendships I would have never made until heaven! Now heaven will be a grand Tweet-Up!
But enter children into the conversation, and the conversation shifts. Is it good for them? Unfortunately, folks, there is an element of surrender here. Frankly, we can’t stem this tide – only steer it. Let’s look at it from a different or historical angle. How many teenagers DIE annually driving cars? Do we ban them from driving? Perhaps we should! Unfortunately, that will never happen. You, like them, were destined to drive. My preschooler is already talking about when he will get to drive. In fact, all he wanted for his fifth birthday last month was a REAL Jeep. So we rented one for a day and I taught him how to control the wiper blades and turn signals and let him sit on my lap and steer around the block. My own dad understood both the dangers of driving and the inevitability that the son he loved would soon be on the road without him. Once of the best things he did was take me out and teach me, not only how to drive, but how to slide and spin and control a skid. He had me memorize, “When you are spinning, you are not out of control, you have only lost the ability to stop.” This saved my life years later when my wife and I spun out of control on the highway in winter on the highway. As we crossed the center line spinning with a semi-truck plowing toward us and cars spinning in all directions off the road I yelled at my wife, “I AM NOT OUT OF CONTROL! I HAVE ONLY LOST THE ABILITY TO STOP!” And I control spun the vehicle in front of and around the semi, and back to the correct side of the highway, all while spinning. While God had a lot to do with it, for sure – my dad had trained me for this event, and saved our lives.
The point? Today kids are driving Social Media! We cannot prevent it. We would be fools to think we could stop it. They are in the drivers seat. But we can, and MUST prepare them for the spins and wipe outs ahead. They will listen to our wisdom and advice, and we can give them the guidance and protections they need to keep them safe. We can teach them to put it down. We can give them limits. We can help them find balance and foster real relationships outside of 140 characters and digits and keyboards. We can show them sunshine and go for walks and plan outings and plan in-person socials. We can help them stay real and remind them that we care and make sure they know they don’t need to turn to anonymous sources when they need companionship, counsel or help.
- Karl Bastian, Founder of Kidology.org
This is my portion of a complete Kidology Report featuring several authors. Download the entire report and then add your own input in the Kidology Forum.
You can also WIN A FREE BOOK by Jim Weidmann of Heritage Builders just by adding your comments in the discussion forum. So let me know your thoughts on Kids and Social Media. Details in the forum discussion thread.
The full report is HERE and the discussion is HERE. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic!
Please read the next three sentence slowly and thoughtfully:
Relationships can’t be measured.
Relationships can’t be quantified.
Relationships can’t be R.O.I.ed
I’m getting really weary of reading articles like this one that talk about the value of Twitter in terms of whether people click on them or “ReTweet” them as though they are a waste of time otherwise. So what if only 29% of tweets are “acted” upon and of those only 6% are “retweeted” or if 71% of tweets have a “shelf life” of one hour and get no “reaction?” They were never intended to be works of literature to last the ages. They were intended to be flashes of data sent out to those who might be watching and might be following who might find it interesting.
I’m on Twitter because I value relationship with people not geographically close to me. It provides a stream of humor, links, photos and information of a nature Facebook simply can’t.
Society has gotten obsessed with “making money” on Twitter. As one who DOES make money on Twitter – I still do not primarily see it as a money maker, nor is that WHY I am on Twitter. The money I make via Twitter is merely as a side benefit because of the increased presence my company has because of Twitter.
I know it works because as soon we launch a new Twitter account, sales will increase. Case in point, this week I launched the ToyBoxTales twitter account – but it proved all the “experts” wrong, as the account had NO click throughs and NO retweets (other than the few I did myself with other accounts) and yet sales spiked as soon as that account launched.
Should I write an eBook on making money on Twitter? No.
Quite the opposite. I think too many people are ONLY trying to make money on Twitter and have forgotten it original purpose. Yes, Twitter can be used for communicating resources and products you have that have been forgotten – get the word out there. Go for it!
But the vast majority of what I Tweet is just personal stuff – fun stuff – humorous things I experience, stuff I’d laugh with a friend about, things I find interesting, new blog posts, so I share with my “friends” that are following me, my friends all over the world. I allow Kidology folks (and anyone else for that matter) who wants to see the “man behind Kidology.org” a little more personally, to follow me on Twitter.
It backfires sometimes – they don’t like things I say politically sometimes, so I’ve chilled out there and set up a separate political Twitter account for that. (No, I won’t say what it is, you’ll just have to figure that out on your own, some have.)
But for all these articles that only measure Twitter success by click throughs and retweets:
THEY ARE WRONG. Twitter success is not limited to click throughs and retweets and “actions taken upon tweets.” This is near sighted and shallow thinking.
But, of course, it is because it is all they can measure. Think about it, if actions were all you could measure, why would anyone advertise in a magazine? You can’t click on a magazine ad? And I’ve advertised in a magazine and put a discount code or offer thinking that would give me measurement and gotten ZERO results – did that mean the magazine ad was useless? No. That would be faulty thinking too.
Magazine ads are visual advertising. They get your brand under the eyes of viewers. They get you into their consciousness. They say you are successful. They say you are innovative. Your message – if done well – will stick in their head and alter their thinking. It will cause reaction in your competitors. It works. And it pecks away at their misconceptions.
Twitter is the same way. People read them. Over and over they read about your company. They get to know you. They learn about you. They change their perception about you. As they interact with you, perceptions can change. As they DO click through they will gain insights into you, but even if they don’t, they see you making an effort to be relational – to reach out.
I also know as a user, I read over a hundred tweets a day (at least) and “act” on very few, but am influenced by many, and enjoy many – and have deepened many relationships as a result. Many of my friends I read daily, even if I don’t actually “talk” to them every day, I’m aware of what’s going on in their life. Often, as a Christian, I stop to pray for them. That’s an action that never makes a chart! But certainly impacts them!
Twitter works best when you focus on what you give TO it, not what you get FROM it.
You have to decide to contribute to it consistently. When you do that, in turn, you benefit. But otherwise, you are just a consumer or focused on results, and you’ll never be satisfied. When focused on what you can share and contribute – you enrich others and indirectly benefit as a result. I meet people all the time who let me know they enjoy my tweeter feed, and I’m always surprised because they have NEVER responded or retweeted. But the relationship is there nonetheless. That’s the key.
But as a business tweeter, here is another aspect to consider, if YOU click through, retweet, respond – if YOU are relational, then you show yourself to be relational, to care – to be engaged with your audience.
Twitter isn’t about click throughs and retweets. Twitter is about relationships.
It is about talking to your customers and to those who have an interest in you. Duh, that is why they choose to follow you – they have an interest in you at some level. It may be a one direction conversation for a long time – you talking at them, but talk. They are reading. Yes, they will miss a lot of your tweets, that’s the nature of the beast, but keep talking, keep tweeting. It’s like sending messages into space and hoping they get picked up someday. But the more followers you have – they DO get picked up, and read – and you ARE being read, even if no one “acts” on them.
So all these experts who measure effectiveness by click throughs and retweets – don’t listen to them, because you can’t measure relationships on action.
Imagine life before Twitter. YOU HAD NO WAY TO TALK TO THESE PEOPLE! Now you have a direct connection to their commuters, their cell phones, iPads and a growing number of other reading devices.
The purpose of Twitter isn’t to make money. It is to engage in a relationship with your friends, family — oh, and customers too. Keep it in that order.
Yes, you can make money. But if that is first, you will give up. Because you will be focused on that and will be disappointed and trying to make the numbers work – and the numbers won’t add up,
…because you can’t fit relationships into charts and graphs.
But if you focus on relationships, you will love Twitter! Because it connects you to PEOPLE every day, all over the world you share common interests with you. And then your company will get some benefit on the side.
It’s all about focus. Focus on People and Relationships and you will always come out ahead and satisfied.
Related: Why Twitter?
Michael n Karl, er, Karl n Micheal!
Now there is an easy and uniquely visual way for you to connect with others in children’s ministry who live near you. You’ve long been able to interact with your “kidmin” peers in the free Kidology.org Forums or on sites like CM Connect, but a discussion forum doesn’t easily help you know where people live – and more importantly, who lives near YOU!
But now, Micheal Chanley, the same mega-networker and innovator who created CM Connect has done it again, this time creating IMAKIDMIN.com, a site specifically designed to help those in children’s ministry find who lives near them. And like CM Connect, it is completely free to the users.
You can list yourself on the main map page, but also on the blog page, twitter page and facebook page too. Eventually there will be individual maps for each state as the population of the site grows, a few states have already been launched.
HOWEVER – I’m most excited to announce an IMAKIDMIN KIDOLOGY PAGE where Kidology Members can list themselves so that Kidology Folks can network and find out where each other live as well.
Here is a cool historical image of what the Kidology Imakidmin Map looked like blank, as it is already filling in! We even have a global map below this USA Map since we have members all over the world.
So visit: www.kidology.org/imakidmin and sign up and find out what other Kidology Members live near you! And if they aren’t too far, plan a get together to visit each others churches and network and share ideas and encourage each other. After all, that is the ultimate purpose of this site, that we get off the web and get together in person. I can’t wait for my first IN PERSON MEETING that came about as a result of IMAKIDMIN.com
Next entries »
O.K., I’d like to follow up on my post yesterday, Had the F-Bomb Dropped On Ya Lately, with a sample of how I witness via Twitter. I’ll admit, I don’t often do this with my @Kidologist account, I have a less “public” persona I usually do this with, (as I also do for getting political) as people sometimes get offended by politics or witnessing and I like to protect Kidology from “the man” behind Kidology sometimes! (Since some people have a hard time separating the two!)
Anyway – recently I got to witness to an atheist – and I get jazzed when I have a positive encounter. Now, that doesn’t mean I converted him, it means I had an encounter where I didn’t offend him! Because I believe many Christians do harm to Christ by be offensive in their witness. Granted, some will say, the Gospel is by nature offensive – I understand that, sinners are by definition in rebellion against God, but that doesn’t mean we need push them further away by being obnoxious!
Anyway, since this conversation happened on my well known Twitter account, @Kidologist, I thought I’d go ahead and preserve it here, and also break it down and explain what I’m trying to do int he process. Keep in mind, these are small bites – you are limited to 140 characters, and you know you only have a short time to engage the conversation isn’t going to last long, and your goal ISN’T conversion on Twitter – it is to change someone’s deep rooted impression of either God or Christians. And that is extremely difficult to do in 140 characters and a few tweets – but I believe we CAN do it. Both as Christians (and in the political arena as well.)
I love engaging in the arena of ideas.
So, here is a SAMPLE OF MY CONVERSATION WITH A VERY ANTI-GOD ATHEIST. I will not give his user name, out of respect, and so as not to draw attention to his site, or draw his wrath to mine, but to give you an idea of his passion against God, his icon is GOD with a circle around it and a slash through God’s name, and the motto on the site is: (repeated over and over on the background)
“Believing Bullpoop* Doesn’t Make it True” (*Obviously, I have changed a word here)
This prompted me to respond to him, in defense of my God, and open a dialogue. Here is our entire conversation, to give you an idea of how I engage non-believers. It ended positively:
NOTE: If you are not familiar with Twitter, @username means the comment is directed at the person, so @atheistuser means I was directing the comment at the atheist (though it was public) and @kidologist means he was replying publicly to me
(This is reverse order, since on Twitter, newest would be at the top)
@atheistuser* if “believing bullpoop doesn’t make it come true” – neither does denying or making fun of it make it not true. truth just is.
Here I am inviting conversation – yes, it is bait. I’m quite aware of it. But if someone were to say “Your wife is ugly” or “Your kids is stupid” would you not defend them? A few weeks ago I twittered a quote:
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This was my chance to act on that principle.
@kidologist “Truth just is” what? Religious dogma? Faith claims? Wishful thinking? The Holy Bible? Koran? Book of Mormon? Bullpoop?
Here the real dilemma of our age comes to light – pluralism. If we are honest, it is a valid concern.
@kidologist Bullpoop? Did you actually say bullpoop? As I’ve said before, all bullpoop talk, aka god talk, is cognitively meaningless.
This is a little ironic for him to say, that all “god talk is cognitively meaningless” when on his site, he demonstrates quite strong cognitive skill in talking about God! He quotes many famous people’s thoughts about God from modern times back to founding fathers (if they are negative) and points out many of the horrible atrocities of the Catholic Church that any Christian today would agree were terrible and that led to the Reformation and when what we would call “true Christians” had to go into hiding because the official church had become a political system and no longer God’s institution – though he probably isn’t interested in genuine church history at this point in his life. As I often tell people, 99% of the time, atheists are people who have been hurt by Christians. What they complain about are usually not their real beef so to argue about what they talk about is a waste of time. That’s not really what made them an atheist – though it’s keeping them there now.
@atheistuser* what I mean is, our opinion doesn’t change Truth. 2+2=4 regardless if we think it is 5 or 7 or 143. It is still 4. Good day.
Here I try to address the world view issue of absolute truth – I tried to define absolute truth in 140 characters. My “Good Day” was a hint that I would let it go, if he really didn’t want to engage with me. I’d drop it unless he wanted to continue. I gave him an out. If he doesn’t reply, we are done and can blame me, but if he keeps it going, it is by his own invitation. He will have tossed the ball to me, so he can’t be mad at me.
@atheistuser* Absolute Truth can be discovered. Unfortunately, not in 140 characters nor in thru debate. I hope in time you will discover it
Again, I give a hope that Truth can be discovered, but I say I don’t want to argue, I hint that the path to discover is elsewhere, and offer to close the conversation unless he reopens it, which he does.
@kidologist If your God lived in my town I would throw bricks through his windows. Try reading your Bible. You’ll understand.
He shows his hand, his issue is with the Bible, or how its been taught or applied in his life. His background is Christian. Probably Catholic. I got that in 140 characters. He isn’t a pure atheist. He is a hurt religious child, perhaps spiritually abused. Christian parents even. Minister’s kid maybe! So I aim for the wounded heart.
@atheistuser* I am sorry if your experience with some Christians has not been positive – i hope in time your experience with God can be.
I apologize. And I redirect from people to God. I try to draw a distinction between the people he is angry at and the God who he shouldn’t be. I want him to know that God didn’t do the things that have led him make a hateful anti-God website. That the God who He hates probably hates whatever he experienced as much as he does.
@atheistuser* All I can say is, there are answers, but they aren’t found through arguing or nitpicking your valid concerns.
He expected me to argue with him, like so many obnoxious Christians have in the past, and I want to be the one who doesn’t bother. No cosmological argument. No teleological. No ontological here. No Bible verses. No “God said it, that settles it” And the killer – I called his concerns “valid” – he may have reread that a few times.
@atheistuser* you obviously have a bone to pick for some reason – whatever it is, I am sorry for whatever caused it. sincerely sorry.
I was glad I had the characters to add the “sincerely sorry” because I really am sorry for whatever in his past has led him to hate God so much. I want to find the Christians who turned him off from God and show them what he has become – and energy he puts in to turning others away from God and show them what they did. I blame them. He will be held responsible for his own actions, but I blame them for not showing this man God’s real love.
@kidologist Just how do you define “Absolute Truth”? And how can you ever be sure you are right about it?
The venom is gone. Now he is just talking to me. And asking a legitimate question. It’s 1 Peter 3:15 time!
@atheistuser* I define “Absolute Truth” as that which is true regardless of whether we find it or not, admitting that I too could be wrong!
Some Christians won’t like me saying “I too could be wrong” – but from the perspective of the one I’m talking to, this is important honesty, and ultimately, of course, it is true! Of course, I don’t think I am wrong! And neither does he. But if I expect him to even consider the remotest possibility that he is wrong – I need to be willing to do the same. If I am stubborn and insist on me being 100% right, how hypocritical to judge him for thinking the same of himself!
@kidologist I was raised to be Roman Catholic. Fortunately, I survived that period of my life when I was not allowed to think for myself.
My suspicion confirmed. Not only the religion of his youth, but deeper, that he feels he wasn’t allowed to think for himself. He felt brainwashed. His questions were not answered. His objections were not explored. He doubts were not addressed. He was not allowed to wander so that he could come to God on his own terms when he was ready. So when he finally could break away he RAN and wants to free as many others as possible. I hardly blame him!
@atheistuser* those are fair questions with no easy answers. I’m sorry you were not allowed to think for yourself. I was.
Again, like “valid” I want him to know, those are “fair questions” – something he wasn’t told as a child. I’m not intimidated by tough questions. You can be a Christian and have tough unanswered questions. Some are never answered! That’s O.K.
Again, I apologize.
And I let him know, I was allowed to think for myself. I argued with my dad over theology. We still disagree on some things. Some issues, I still don’t know where he stands. Why? Because he wanted me to form my own opinions based on Scripture and my own ideas, and not chose a position based on what “dad thinks.” He had to write a theological position paper for a church position once and let me look through it, but wouldn’t let me have a copy for that very reason. (even though I wanted a copy!)
@atheistuser* can I ever be absolutely sure? For me, I have concluded that Christianity (not Catholicism) is the most reasonable explanation
This was a tough one. I didn’t want to say, “no.” So I answered this way, that Christianity is the most reasonable explanation for the questions of life. Am I absolutely sure? Whew. That’s a tough one. How would you answer that?
@atheistuser* Ultimately, I’d rather be wrong and die and be dust, than be like you and be wrong and stand before God. grace beats atheism 2me
I hope he thinks about this one. If I’m wrong I lose nothing. If he is wrong, he loses everything. I become dust. He goes to hell. There’s a big difference between the two.
@atheistuser* thanks for listening, i hope i have not offended. i have many friends who believe as you do, and we enjoy friendly discussions
This was my conclusion. My olive branch – the end of my mini-twitter sermon. I wondered how he would respond. The next day, I got my answer:
@kidologist No offense taken. Friendly discussions are best. Wish there was more of that today between people on matters of religion & gods.
Victory. Not sure if I provoked any deep thought – but I pray that his exchanges with me at least were a good experience and let him know that there are Christians who care. I may try to talk to him again in time. So I ReTweeted (RT) his final tweet and ended with “we agree on that”
RT @atheistuser* Friendly discussions are best. Wish there was more of that today between people on matters of religion // we agree on that!
How are you engaging non-believers? We can’t just witness to those who come into a church! We need to find ways to engage those who are farthest from the Cross. One of my ways is on Twitter with my missionary Twitter accounts you’ll never know that follow many people who will never have a #kidmin hashtage in their tweets, and that is by design!
*username has been changed