Category Archives: Internet

The Killer App

I’ve been wondering what is going to be the Kingdom of God’s killer web app. That is what I want to be involved with, developing something that is so significant and important that it gains significant ground for God.I was IMing with my good friend Dave about this recently and he asked for some help in developing a podcast site called YWAMPodcast.net. Its a site containing a lot of teaching material from YWAM’s history, specifically organised around YWAM’s foundational values. He said that he gets emails every week from people that really appreciate the podcasts and get so much out of it. Dave is focused on education and learning communities and so he really wants to develop this site so that it can be that. I’ll be helping him. Done right, this could be a killer app.YWAMKB.netAnother site that was brought to my attention today was YWAMKB.net. KB stands for knowledge-base. This is an awesome site that YWAM Europe has created to provide a resource for YWAM Bases around the world. It is filled with information and guides on how to lead evangelisation teams or run a school or manage your base effectively. When I saw this site I was blown away with how useful this could be. As I dug deeper I found a lot of information holes that need to be filled, but it’s still amazing.

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Filed under Community, Internet, Kingdom of God, Missions

YWAMConnect.net

A few years ago YWAM launched its own social network called YWAMCOnnect.net.At the time it was a great idea and loads of people signed up, setting up profiles and adding friends etc.I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan. It’s not a very appealing site aesthetically and doesn’t necessarily work that well. It’s become more a news site where YWAMers can keep up to date on news and events, but the social network side appears to be suffering.This network was created to allow YWAMers from around the world to connect and share and initially it was successful (at least I signed up and mess around with it for a bit).

Visiting it once again and looking through the names of members I recognise, most of them are now on Facebook. My assumption is that most of those people are no longer visiting YWAMConnect.net, or they’re not maintaining their profile.And this raises a question: How many “connecting” networks can someone really be a part of? I’m quite happy on Facebook, almost everyone I know is a user and so it works. Do I want to log into more than social network every day? The successful “other” networks are those built around a purpose, for example: Flickr (photos), Velospace (bikes), and  Digg (news and videos). None of these do “connecting” as well as facebook (but probably better then myspace – scoff), but in their specified purpose they are fantastic. Is being a YWAMer enough to make YWAMConnect a go-to location for me? Not really. It is interesting to see who is where and with whom are they working etc, but not that interesting. YWAMConnect could do with a higher purpose.

I still like my CoLabor idea and I think it could be a really useful tool for YWAM. It has a specific purpose, although I do wonder how often people will stay connected once they sign up. Going to have to think of how to help users not only share their vision, but also begin to work together.

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Filed under Facebook, Internet, Missions, Social Networks, Technology

Creating a Social Network

Velospace.orgI found an interesting blog. It’s by Greg Smith, creator of Velospace.org, a social network created to connect bike enthusiasts. In this blog he talks about some of the challenges of creating a social network and offers advice and wisdom on topics ranging from setting rules to advertising. Seems that he’s got some good things to say.  

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Filed under Internet, Social Networks, Technology

Missions and Money

I’m in an interesting place right now. People around me (my wife mainly) have been talking about a new approach to missions. The traditional support network apparently isn’t so much for our generation or for these times. We need to look beyond that and beyond just our financial needs and see how we can connect with the community around us in a way that goes beyond “traditional” ministry. You can only impact so many people during 9-5, cause most of them are at work.. interesting conundrum. Its seems that there is a lot that can be done as you work within smaller communities at work.

The connecting place for me, at least the most obvious, is in the area of web-development. The problem is, and hence my interesting place, is that I have never had actual training in this. I’ve taught myself everything and my knowledge is, i’m sad to say, sketchy. I’m not confident. If I want to find some work with a company, I really need to know my stuff – I literally need to kick ass at what I do (but I don’t).

But, I have been learning PHP, a language that enables you to develop interactive sites that are dynamic. Most blogs and social networks around are built on php. Its a power language. I just don’t know if I have time to get really good at it, or if I should take a crash course!

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Filed under Internet, Missions, PHP

CoLabor – A site to share vision

Colabor logo

One of the problems that we often face, even in Youth With A Mission, is that we have limited resources, there’s only so much that the church gives to missions (and that is a whole different discussion). YWAM is organised in such a way that YWAM ministries can be autonomous, acting on their own, without control or communication. Now, this leads to wonderful growth and  expressions of ministry that are as abundant as they are different. On the negative side this can also lead to different locations and groups focusing their limited resources on the same region or area of the world. For example, two YWAM bases focusing on the same region in Ghana. Why not join forces (and resources) and tackle that place together, benefiting from one another’s experience and different gifts.

Last year I had the idea of creating a website to connect those that are labouring in the same places or fields. It would allow YWAM Bases and/or YWAM Staff to post information about their base, their focuses, the schools they run and their target nations and regions. Using some tagging functions to build a network that reveals connections and indicates to the user whom else shares their same vision and ministry. Communication and contact tools would also be provided to enable users with similar vision and direction to stay in touch, dream together, encourage one-another, and ultimately “co-labour” together (English spelling for my sanity) in gathering the harvest.

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Filed under Internet, Missions, Social Networks, Technology, The Church

Thoughts on Facebook

On friday driving to Chicago, David Gagnon and I spent close to 3 hours talking about the application of technology in the kingdom. One topic of conversation was Facebook. He had been reading about the importance of record-keeping (and the technology that facilitates it) in building of a developing nation’s economy and how important record-keeping is for a college like the University of the Nations. I took his thinking a stage further and applied it to some thoughts I had regarding the social network Facebook.

Facebook is amazing in its tagging functions. You can tag your Photos, videos, comments, and blog posts with the names of other facebook friends. This tagging builds a web of connections between you and your tagged friends that are easy to navigate and discover. If you started facebook very young and were consistent to record your life until you passed away you would leave a detailed record of your friendships and activities over your lifetime. Imagine the joy of examining at your parent’s facebook from their teenage years. What photo’s did they post? What were their status posts? Who were their friends? Imagine what a different picture your kids will have of you in looking back to see what pictures you uploaded and links you posted. 

But the fundamental reason why this is all so awesome is that Facebook, by its record keeping, brings value to the individual’s micro-narrative: each person’s individual story is important, interesting and significant. We are no longer talking about a nation’s or a town’s history, but of a person’s history. I just hope that people don’t get bored and realise how important staying connected could be.

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Filed under Facebook, Internet, Kingdom of God, Social Networks, Technology