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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Amplifying the message via aggregation

In my previous post, I indicated I would explain how “a missions agency could amplify its message beyond traditional Web content by engaging its prospective recruits, donors, and other constituents via social media” and in my subsequent reply to a comment, I promised to do it this weekend. Since the Colts won the football game, I have no more “excuses” stopping me.

Let me preface my remarks by making clear that I am merely outlining a CONCEPT which I have NOT tried to implement YET. To bear much fruit, this approach depends on a number of prospects and donors being active in social media, whether by blogging, tweeting, or otherwise creating user-generated content. I haven’t tried to measure how many people are blogging about a people group or otherwise expressing what God has put “on their heart” via social media. I DO know that this number is growing as more people engage in social media and as it becomes even easier to generate content via a dazzling array of Web 2.0 services. To me (and many others), this is the phenomenon of Web 2.0 which offers so much opportunity!

Let me illustrate the concept with the example of blogging as the means for users to generate content. Only today, I started creating another social media aggregation since the Haiti earthquake happened several days ago while I was busy setting up my course which uses social media for learning. Having gotten my students started, I can now devote some time to assemble user-generated content about the Haiti earthquake. As I do so, I have no doubt I will find many people who have been blogging about Haiti even before this tragedy. Some of these bloggers are NOT (YET) missionaries in Haiti. Those of you who serve with missions agencies which work in Haiti ought to try to do at least the following: comment on their blog posts in order to get to know them and to let them know HOW they can help. When you comment on their posts, be sure to AGGREGATE your comments using BackType. You can see an example of this aggregation in my BackType profile. This aggregation is an example of what I meant when I claimed “a missions agency could amplify its message beyond traditional Web content” especially if many commented on behalf of the same missions agency which can be easily accomplished using BackType with some coordination. Not only would the prospective missions candidates and donors be touched (just ask any blogger how they feel about comments), but the missions agency could also publish these comments as evidence of its heart for Haiti!

As I said earlier, I haven’t (yet) tried this myself because I am not (yet) affiliated with any missions agency. This is a hint that I would welcome the opportunity to help a missions agency with its social media strategy!

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