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
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
Been enjoying some interesting conversation over on twitter. I can’t quote it because it involves the F-bomb – but some non-believers ended up being followed by the @Kidology twitter account probably due to using some key words such as “kids” and “church” in the same tweet – and ended up tweeting about how “sick” we were for “brain washing” kids and “making a business” out of it.
As I tried to engage one of these folks, just to apologize and let them know we’d ‘unfollow’ them, we eneded up getting into a public conversation about God, atheism and the pointlessness of prayer, etc. One of them (not the one who dropped the F-bomb) claims to be a “well adjusted free thinking atheist.” Not sure what she is “well adjusted” from. Perhaps, adjusted from life without God, since she mentioned giving up on God 30 years ago since He never answered her prayer. Made me sad. I wonder what she prayed for? I also wonder what she is free of? She mentioned be guilt-free? That also made me sad. I don’t know if some Christians have imposed guilt on her for sins they see in her life or some life-style overlooking their own sins? Or perhaps she just perceives this. If I’ve learned anything in my journey, it is that Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet. Or maybe she feels a sense of guilt knowing she is not in line with her Creator’s design for her life? I wish she understood that the most beautiful thing about the Christian Faith is that we can walk GUILT FREE because of Jesus. That our God doesn’t point His finger at us, He points at Jesus who came to die for our sin and take the punishment for our sin away from us, not judge us for it.
She mentioned that she was disappointed that her prayer of years ago wasn’t answered. I don’t know what that prayer was for. But I do know that God answers prayer. In small and in huge dramatic ways. I’ve experienced it many times. Millions have. Apparently she had not. Why? Of course, I can’t answer that – especially not knowing what she prayed for, but I do know that God answers prayer for His children differently than He does for those who have not yet surrendered to Him. It’s like the difference between a kid asking his own parents for something, and asking a parent in a house down the street. A neighbor parent might give you something – but your own parent has an obligation to provide for you. When you are just a creation of God – you live on His block – He often will help you out, but when you become His child, things change – I wish so much this woman would understand that were she to give her life to God, to give God a chance, to become one of His children, the floodgates would open, and her prayers would have the ear of a Father, not just of her Creator
Nevertheless, I was sad to hear of her disappointment with God and therefore choice of Atheism. But it was understandable. You can’t argue someone to faith – you can only graciously hope to guide them to be open to what God might what to show them, if they will be open to experiencing it. If they aren’t, there is nothing you can really do. No one was every argued into the Christian Faith.
Sometimes I wonder if it is worth engaging in discussions on twitter or facebook or blogs with atheists or non-believers… does it really do any good? Can I really change their minds? Probably not.
But if I don’t answer – if I don’t try – do I really believe what I believe? And if I leave a question unanswered – too I give the impression that there is no answer? So I try. Too many Christians don’t even try. Or they just quote Bible verses or preach back at them with meaningless arguments that I think just tick them off or at least annoy them. I’m sure I have in my sincere attempts. Though I try to use compassion and logic rather than spouting off Bible verses. What good is quoting a Bible verse if they don’t believe the Bible? You and I may have studied the historicity of the Bible and understand why it is reliable – “God said it, I believe it” works for us, but when you don’t even believe God exists, the source is in doubt.
Instead, they need someone to answer them with a little more compassion. I told this woman not to give up on God – that even in the silence, God still cares. And I admitted that answer sucks. I think non-Christians need to hear that kind of honesty from us because I think sometimes we are afraid to admit it. The truth sucks sometimes. God doesn’t always answer our prayers. Sometimes He seems distant.
And so, some people, give up. Like this lady on twitter. They give up on Him and decide instead to be “well adjusted free thinking atheists.” She gave up, 30 years ago. How do we invite her back? We engage her. I probably failed. Did I bring her a step closer? Maybe. Maybe not.
I have no idea if I handled this right. But at least I’m engaging the lost. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our Christian circles and loss sight of WHY we do what it is that we do – to reach the lost.
And so I ask you – when was the last time you had the F-bomb dropped on you? Maybe that’s a good sign you are on Enemy territory? Every time it happens to me over the years I realize, I’m engaged in the battle!
At least this woman with her unanswered prayer of 30 years ago, who has learned to adjust to life without God was reminded today through a chance tweet that God does care, He does love her, and He does want to know her.
And I prayed for her. I guess both she and I will find out 1,000 years from now whether anyone heard my prayer.
Follow @Kidology on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/kidology
Follow me on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/kidologist or @Kidologist
My life online is changing. I used to blog a lot more than I do now. I love my blog and I do have people bug me to “blog more” – but the reality I connect in other ways, and I do have this other little site where over 20,000 people come each and every day, so when I am starring at my laptop wondering what to blog about, there is a part of me that says, “why blog? you don’t need a blog.” But my blog gives me an outlet for posts that don’t quite fit on Kidology – either they are CM related or are more personal. So in the spirit of both blogging, and why it is harder to blog lately, I’ll reflect on:
HOW HAS MY LIFE ONLINE CHANGED?
#1 My iPhone has changed online life for me! Dramatically. I do Facebook and Twitter almost exclusively from my iPhone. Seriously, when I’m at my computer, I have WORK to do! I can even do WordPress blogging from my iPhone, but haven’t found the practical need to do som, maybe I should try that more – for personal outings. I really want to blog more – I need to figure out how to do this, whichout it becoming a duty or obligation.
First, some thoughts on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and WHY I BROKE THE LINK BETWEEN THE TWO. I probably just lost half my audience! But the rest, have been asking.
Since I started on Facebook, I had my “Tweets” (Twitter status updates) automatically update my Facebook status. Why? Because I was first and foremost a Twitter user and Facebook was an afterthought – it was something for college kids, right? But I had an account because underneath this aging body, I’m still that young Moody student, right? Times are changing, Facebook is now made up of MORE OVER 35 PEOPLE than college kids (much to their frustration!) and becoming the #1 networking site in the world. (could ultimately be a blog killer) I ended up slowing down my Twitter use because I didn’t want to be overwhelming my Facebook status with every little Twitter update – which tend to me more trivial and more links; news feeds, marketing, and twitter conversation. Now, thanks to Selective Twitter Status (a Facebook Ap) by ending my Tweets in #fb I can selectively decide which Tweets end up as my Facebook status and only change my FB status 1-3 times a day, where as I may tweet 10-20 times a day.
I AVOID FACEBOOK on the computer because I rather hate it. Please don’t invite me to groups and causes I ignore them all, and please don’t take it personally. If you invite me to be a Fan of starving children on the moon and I ignore it, it isn’t because I don’t care about starving children on the moon, it is that being a fan of them won’t feed them, it will give me more email and things to click every day. They get fed by people feeding them, and if you are feeding them, GOD BLESS YOU, I too am devoting to giving to and supporting charities and have founded one myself.
Facebook is for networking with people – and I use it exclusively for that – and I LOVE THE iPHONE APP because that is ALL IT DOES. No groups, no causes, no games, no snowballs, no pokes, none of the stupid Facebook stuff, just Friends, Status, and Messages. Ahhhh, the good stuff. I love my friends and family, all of them! (Even the ones I have no idea who they are!)
Be my friend at: www.facebook.com/karl.bastian
Now that I have freed my Twitter from the question, “Do I really want this on my Facebook page too?” I feel liberated again! I can tweet anything at any time, and the fun has returned! When I see something that makes me laugh, snap a pic, and tweet it. When I’m irritated, rant to the world. If a company gives bad services, finally there is consequence, with instant feedback to the world, interaction with friends and family, checking in on others, twitter is just fun and fills idle moments. Yes, there are times to just turn off the iPhone and enjoy your family or a quiet moment, and I do, no worries. But when you are fueling the car, or stuck by the train, the only option you had in the past was the radio. Twitter puts my in charge of my loose time. (I don’t like calling it ‘free’ time, because often it isn’t ‘free’ it’s costly, but it I’m not able to spend it the way I’d prefer to!) Follow me at www.twitter.com/kidologist
And in case you are the last to finally hear about it, we finally got the ALL NEW Kidology.org launched, and besides the personal excitement over it, I am loving the new dynamically loaded home page so I am CONSTANTLY checking the home page for what is the latest discussions in the forum and jumping to chime in. My personal interaction in the forum has probably soared – which is probably a good thing since I’m the creator of the website!
I also have a new “From the Kidologist” spot on the home page (also posts and archives here on my blog) that I’ve enjoyed updating) that gives me an opportunity to talk directly to the visitors to Kidology.org, granted, IF they scroll down on the home page. I put my spot “below the fold” intentionally as I’m not the most important thing, but I am glad to have a place on the home page so that it’s a little more prominent.
You know, we DO have a free membership now! Join at: www.kidology.org/join
I leave shopping online to my wife! She is the expert there. But I do find Froogle.com to be a huge time saver! When I do need to find something fast and still want to save!
That me online!
So that’s how I spend my time online now – (not counting e-mail) – networking on Facebook and Twitter and contributing to Kidology.org. How do you spend your time online?
I’m writing this from a hospital bed in Aurora, IL after having a stent put into my heart that saved my life!
The full story is here if you missed all the updates on Twitter and Facebook!
Yes, I was twittering (which updated facebook) during the whole thing, and live blogged to give more detail than you can in status updates. It was really quite amazing that due to today’s technology I literally had more people praying for me probably than your average church prayer line – for those scratching their heads that I would twitter while having a heart attack, let me first say,
A) I didn’t technically have a heart attack (explained in blog post)
B) I was never in great pain, just enough pain in my chest to know something was wrong and decided the smart thing was to go straight to ER and
C) I really truly believe in the power of prayer and wanted to get the word out so that I’d have prayer for myself and family during the critical hours when it mattered most. I never really felt dread or fear, though I had a sober understanding that this was indeed serious – and yet really felt peace that I was in God’s hands and that He was walking me through the steps to address this.
Did you know if you hold your breath the
white line on the monitor will go flat?
If I were to add a D) it is that a big part of me is wired to want to encourage others and remind others that God is in control – thats easy to say when everything is going hunky dorey – (good) – but I wanted to show that even when our life is in danger (literally) there is always reason to laugh, enjoy life and savor the moments – even if our time to say so could be soon over. My twitter updates were intended to show that there can be moments of joy and reasons to smile even in the midst of hard times. You can’t say it if you don’t live it!
I asked not to be “put under” during the procedure because this is my LIFE and as long as I am alive – i want to LIVE every moment of it, even those moments that should be scary. I gotta tell you, its very sobering when they have you remove everything you own and you watch them put it all in plastic bags. (I hid my iPhone under my leg, I wanted to take it in with me – my link to all my friends and family!)
It was amazing to watch on a screen what the surgeon was doing inside my heart! The funny thing was later, even though I was never “out” or asleep, I couldn’t remember the journey from the surgery room to ICU. I finally asked my nurse if I had indeed been out because there were some details of the day I couldn’t remember and she said that they did give me a drug that caused short term memory loss! Wow! I asked if I can get that at Walgreens, that could come in handy in life! In fact, that might come in handy in pastoral counseling too! “Just take this, and soon you’ll forget all about it.” I’ll have to look into that. (My wife probably thinks I already take that it on a daily basis!)
One of the cool things was getting to meet a fellow Twittering in person, @scotthodge who I was hoping to meet today anyway, since I was doing the children’s services at this church at 3,5 and 7pm after the massive egg hunt this morning. Well, I did get to meet him, but not as I planned; he visited me in the hospital! It meant a lot since I was too far away for most friends/family to come visit, and I know he’s in the midst of Easter weekend! Even a pastor enjoys a pastoral visit! (Our pastor from our previous church did call too and offer to come, but we told him it was too far from Easter-eve, but that was very nice too!) Of course, my wife DID come while my awesome sister took Luke for the entire day!
I am now staying over night but it looks like I’ll get to go home tomorrow. Please pray for my sweet wife, I know this is harder on her than me!
I was able to get my friend, Jonny Magic, to take the shows I had the rest of today as he was in town to perform with me tomorrow, but pray for the church I was supposed to be at tomorrow – they’ve got a lot of entertainers, so they should be fine, but I was doing their preschool program so they’ve got to make adjustments. I have a pretty good excuse, but I still feel bad!
Going to sleep now – just wanted to let some friends and prayer partners know the scoop.
Why do I Twitter? I get asked that a lot. And I seem to stumble around for an answer because there isn’t just one simple answer, so I usually just say “to keep connected with remote friends.” Which is a big part of the reason, but I thought I’d try to expound a little on why it is I have posted over 1000 “tweets” to my Twitter page. Someone recently asked me what the ministry benefits were. I’d probably have to honestly say none, or not much. It’s not about ministry. It’s more about interpersonal relationships.
Here I will try to explain what Twitter is, how you Twitter and lastly WHY Twitter.
WHAT IS TWITTER?
It would help first of all, to try and explain what Twitter is. First of all, it is found here: www.twitter.com. And if you know a Twitter-er’s username, you can simple put it after the domain, such as mine is: www.twitter.com/kidologist. Users can customize their page with a background as well as the color scheme of the page. And their Twitter profile icon of course.
But what IS Twitter? It is a micro-blog whose posts are made up not only of your own, but of those you are “following.” It is similar to a blog except that your posts are limited to 140 characters or less. So you can’t get too wordy. And like a blog, your most recent post is at the top of the page. But what makes it unique is that the post of anyone you choose to follow also appear on your Twitter page. So your Twitter page becomes not only a mini-blog of what you are doing, but a news feed on what your friends (or whoever you are following, they don’t have to be friends, as I’ll get into below) are doing or thinking or posting.
As you can see in the image above, as of this morning, I am following 65 people. 109 are following me and I’ve posted 1208 “Tweets” so far. That means that whenever any of those 65 people post, it appears in my Twitter and anything I post, 109 people are blessed or bothered with what I posted. And I’ve sent 1208 such messages to whoever was following me at the time!
HOW DO YOU READ & POST TO TWITTER?
The key to the success of Twitter’s growth, is that there are MANY ways to post and read the posts that appear on your page. You can simply use the webpage interface, but that is the least used method for me. I have a desktop application called Twifferrific. It can be on top of all windows, minimized, and set to check at intervals I choose and actually “tweet” like a bird when someone posts. A screen shot of it is to the right.
You can also post via text message to your phone.
You can also have your facebook status post to your Twitter. (I do that in reverse, anything I post to Twitter becomes my Facebook Status.)
But I do most of my Twittering directly from my iPhone using a variety of applications, each has its advantages.
If you are an iPhone user try Twinkle, it allows you to also see people who are nearby and Twittering. I tend to use Twittelator the most and love how you can include pictures taken on your iPhone so I paid $4.99 for Twittelator Pro which bosted of extra features and the ability to have multiple accounts, and it flat out doesn’t work and I can’t get my $5 back. Every time I open it is says “Server load error, unable to load Tweets, try again later.” And its been over a month. OK, rant over. Don’t waste your $5 like I did.
With the iPhone application, (showing Twittelator here) you have many more options than the website, or at least, easier and faster to access such as:
But my favorite thing about Twittelor (and Twinkle can do it too, but crashes often) is attach pictures from my iPhone picture library OR simply take and attach a picture:
Then you simply type your message and post!
(note: iPhone changes your spelling a lot,
like: Twitteding, I didn’t type that!)
To most users, the image will look like a link from Twicpic.com and they can click on it to go view it. When Twittelator Pro works, it actually displays the picture IN the Tweet, which was why I wanted the $5 version, to just show the picture and skip the clicking and waiting to view just to see a picture wasn’t worth the wait to see. (see link at the beginning of my first post)
You can see the picture of my laptop I just Twittered here. Curious if these pictures will remain hosted “forever” or if there is a time limit, no one seems to know.
BUT WHY TWITTER?
That, indeed, is the question. Yes, Twittering takes time to post and to read, and can become a bit of an addiction. So what is the value in it? Why bother? Why should YOU Twitter? Here are some of my reasons.
- It’s fun. Hey, it’s O.K. to have fun, not everything has to have a profound ministry purpose!
- It fills idle time. When you are stuck somewhere bored, communicating with friends is just a text message or iPhone away.
- It’s fast. Calling a friend takes time. It’s important, but a Tweet to a friend is a fast easy way to let them know you are thinking about them, praying for them, that they matter to you.
- Keep up with friends. I have a bunch of friends around the country that without Twitter I’d only see or talk to once or twice a year, perhaps at a conference. But because Tom Bump, Todd McKeever, Larry Shallenberger, Henry Zonio, Dave Truit and others Twitter, I get to be a small part of their daily life and know what they are dong. If I only see them once a year the conversation goes, “How’s it been?” They answer, “Great!” But with Twitter I know about the ins and outs of their daily lives and can ask more specific questions about the kids, the job, or whatever.
- Monitor your staff. Know what your employees are really doing during the work day. Ha! Just put that in as a joke to see if my staff read this. They all have flexible hours and most are part time, so I’m just razzin’ them!
- Get to know new friends. When I make new friends at a conference or somewhere, like Ken Wheeler, Twitter is a way that we can get to know each other and keep in touch. Otherwise, those infant friendships might not get the chance to grow.
- Keep a pulse on the world, politics and even people unlike you. By following people unlike me, I get glimpses into how other people see the world. I’ve had some people comment that not all my followers (which I can’t control) or those I follow are Christians. Yes, I’ve even seen bad words appear in my Twitter! (oh, no!) If someone gets too offensive, you can block them. (It’s a little tedious as there is no system to how your followers are listed, that I can tell.) But I don’t just follow people who I agree with or who see the world like me. I want to be IN the world (not OF it!) and following people unlike me when it comes to religion or politics is good exposure. I’m trying to reach these people, and it starts with listening.
- Argue Politics. As a passionate American, I am very engaged politically. Sometimes that annoys people – which baffles me – as to be a true American you ought to care and be engaged in politics. Not that our hope is in politics, but they do matter and impact our lives, freedom and economy. You can follow streams of political posts here: http://election.twitter.com and I’ve picked up some people I follow there. Warning, most Twitters are pro-Obama and the venom and nastiness can be shocking if you aren’t used to it. Sad but true. Go be a light. (regardless of your political leanings)
- Save links and quotes. I use Twitter as a way to save links and quotes I like. Sometimes I come across something cool or funny or helpful or insighful on the Internet and I just Twitter it and then mark it as a favorite. Going back through your favorites later can be like an electronic scrap book
- Follow / Broadcast Live Events. When friends get to be places you can’t be, they can Twitter and let you experience a taste of it, like a friend recently did at a McCain Palin rally and like I will at the Chicago Marathon this Sunday or at various CM conferences. When my wife went on a trip across the country with her parents, she Twittered their progress and pictures for me and the little back home. We got to feel a little less lonely and could picture where she was along the trip. It was great to get those glimpses into her days while she was away from us.
- Entertain and brighten people’s day. If you are like me, you enjoy telling jokes or looking at life through a humorous lense. Twitter allows you to share those funny moments. Normally, it would be pretty lame when you see someone to say, “last week the toilet bowl handle broke and I had to reach in the water to flush.” But as a live Twitter its funny, as every one can picture you doing this, as it JUST happened. Or like one I saw this morning, “Unless someone actually invented a real flux capacitor, I’m pretty sure I need a new watch battery.”
- Communicate with friends. Twitter also allows back and forth communication, either publicly or privately. If you start a post with @kidologist than I and everyone knows the comment is directed at me, though anyone can read and enjoy it. If you put a “d” before it: d @kidologist than only I will get the message. This can be fun. One time I Twittered, “Where should I go to lunch today?” and there were a bunch of @kidologist replies/suggestions. While they were all to me, others got to see the suggestions. A bunch of people separated by hundreds of miles and time zones all collaborated on my lunch destination. (Taco Bell won) That is a part of what makes Twitter unique.
- See what’s new on Kidology.org That’s right! One of the best ways to see what is new on Kidology (or other sites that publish to a Twitter account) is to follow www.Twitter.com/kidology as you will get notified when new things post to Kidology. It’s now one of the main ways I click into discussions and see new posts!
There are other reasons I’m sure I’ll think of after I publish this, and please gives yours in comments. But Twittering is a fun way to interact and stay connected with a wide variety of people from literally all over the world, instantly.
Try it, you’ll like it.