In past years, my wife Delma and I look for another 'great idea'. This year was no different.
In 2008 at our first ARPA conference held in Brisbane, the one big idea we came away with was ensuring that our web site exhibited a mixture of static and video presentations. Today we have approximately half and half. A by-product of this 'insight' has been the Australian Missionary News IPTV.
In 2009 the ARPA conference was held in Sydney, and we hit on the idea of changing the name of our weekly Email to the 'E-Blast'. Many considered the title 'more than appropriate' with my rapid fire communication techniques. It has now become a hallmark.
It was therefore with much anticipation that we attended the 2010 ARPA conference in Hobart, and we were not disappointed as we now have another fresh way to help communicate better to our support network.
A number of seminars illustrated that the nature of Twitter and Facebook and other social networking systems, shows the humble Email to be rather cumbersome. How therefore might Christian media, Churches or Mission agencies handle a situation where Emails are frequently 'not read' (at least in detail)? Too often they are seen to be too long (in this new paradigm of minimisation).
I for one can relate to this. It occurs every day in my own office. From the responses during the seminar, many people felt the same. A phone call usually needs to be made to the person you emailed, to ensure that your message gets attention. And in the reverse situation, I receive so many emails that unless the subject matter really catches my attention, I will not open and read something that may be just time-wasting.
The emphasis of these seminars was for each person to find their own fresh paradigm in "Maximising Retention and Minimising Content".
In our case, the people in our network are the financial and interested supporters who receive the weekly 'E-Blast' and / or the monthly Newsletter.
The 'big idea' from 2010 is that our 'E-Blast' now directs traffic (one hyperlink) to our existing 'Update Blog'. Our exiting 'Update Blog' carries photographs, each with a short explanatory caption.
Hyperlinks to other references and stories will now be part of Update Blog entries.
We feel very positive about the outcomes of this new approach, particularly that, because the Update Blog is web based, it is available 24/7 to our network members; and conversely, we are able to make updates when we are away on Mission. This will relieve the time pressure when we get home, when there are inevitably 101 other urgent matters to attend to.
To view our update blog - http://regularupdatesonournews.blogspot.com/