Earlier on I posted some photos took while experimenting while on recent holidays. I did a fair bit of mucking around with my iPhone during the week. I also shot a bunch of time-lapses while camping at Lake Glenbawn.
I believe that there is no point shooting stuff if it is just going to sit on your hard drive for eternity. So I though I would just give the eight of them away. You can use them for what ever you want. I would love it if you could let me know if you use them, just so I can see the cool videos you will make.
Download link is below.
Timelapse Pack #1
556.1 MB (9 files)
Presence // Dan Stevers
O Come All Ye Faithless // Dan Stevers
Christmas Intro // Motion worship
Christmas@Crossway 2012 // Crossway Baptist Church
While I was doing exams for college, America re-elected Barack Obama as their president.
I noticed that Obama’s twitter team – just like they did in 2009 – implemented some pretty cool typographical design to get their message across.
Here are some that caught my eye.
Each year at Moore College there is an event called the Moore College Annual Lectures (AMCL for short, or #AMCL if you are on twitter).
Since I became part of a Student Group, which helps the college promotes itself, we have been looking at ways of making AMCL more accessible for people who either can’t get to Newtown to hear the lectures or those who live outside of Sydney/Australia.
Last night our efforts culminated in the first ever live video broadcast of the college. This year Rev Chris Green from Oak Hill College, London is giving lectures of Preaching. His first lecture from last night is available here.
[Disclaimer: I actually quite like John Piper. I have learnt much of his teaching of the bible. The title of this is a shameless attempt to get you to a) click the link to this post and then to b) read this post]
The other day I wrote a post, about how Christian organisations could use digital and social media. I thought it would be a good idea for me to write something, kind of as a follow up, about how you could use twitter as an individual.
I have been on twitter for 3 years. In that time I have sent over 5000 tweets. I got a twitter account because it was something new, and another way to keep in touch with friends. If you are on twitter, your story might be similar. At first I didn’t really know what twitter was even for. I had facebook, it was 2009, facebook was kind of a big deal.
In those three years I have seen lots of different ways that people use twitter. Firstly, I don’t think there is a set way to use twitter, but there are some different approaches that I think are better, especially in relation for how Christians use twitter.
With that in mind, I think I have seen five main ways that Christians use twitter.
First: Using twitter for broadcast
This approach is often taken by pastors of large churches, mostly from the United States. Im specifically thinking about John Piper & Mark Driscoll among others. This approach often has very limited one-on-one engagement. Most of these people have over 50,000 followers, which can make one-on-one engagement difficult. These people generally use twitter to broadcast their events, publicise the release of their new book or to write daily reflections. Given their influence and follower count this could be a good way to use twitter as one-on-one engagement is hard and very time consuming.
With everything there are exceptions. In this case, the exception to this is Ed Stetzer. He has 54,000 followers, and on the most part he is really good at engaging with people who mention him. Ed recently came to Moore College to give a lecture on how churches can engage their members in meaningful ministry. There were lots of tweets going back and forth between Ed and some of the students at Moore College. Some of it was people thanking him for the lecture, some was just humour. Regardless of the content, he responded, either giving thanks for the feedback or joining in with joke that was made. Ed took the time to engage with, and learn from those who had taken the time to engage with him and his content.
Second: Using twitter as facebook.
The second approach is this: people use a feature in either facebook or twitter which automatically cross posts to either platform.
It works like this: If you post something on facebook, facebook will automatically post that status update to twitter. There is also a feature in twitter which can cross post your tweet to facebook. This approach makes using social media a little easier. Just like the first approach, this approach often means that engagement with others is limited. In many ways it is similar to the first approach. People broadcast what they want, but because they are only really using one platform, their engagement with BOTH platforms are limited. If I am already friends with you Facebook, why should I bother following you on twitter? The content will be the same.
Third: Not using your twitter account at all.
The third approach is fairly simple. You set up a twitter account a while ago, you sent some tweets, then you stopped sending tweets. No engagement because you aren’t actually using the account anymore. Fairly simple.
Fourth: Using twitter to engage with other Christians.
The people who take this fourth approach usually like to use twitter, and they have seen the benefits that it has for building friendships and community. They send tweets around the topics of Live sermon tweets, things that are happening in their lives e.g ‘my train is running late today’ & ‘thankful for a great catch up with a good friend today’, posting bible verses from apps like the ESV iPhone app to talking about sport, food and music they like.
These people generally enjoy a high level of engagement with Christian brothers and sisters. Usually around the topics I mentioned above. These people usually follow Christians alone, and are followed by Christians alone.
Fifth: Using twitter to engage with everyone.
This last approach contains almost everything from approach four. The main difference is that there is a much wider scope of the topics that they will tweet about. This is particularly powerful because they enable the Christian voice to be heard in a space in which it might not be heard otherwise. These broader topics might include the current poker machine debate, the legislation to get SRE (Special religious education) out of public schools (in NSW) or they might be able to speak into Gay marriage debates and engage helpfully with people on the issue.
If done correctly this person follows plenty of Non-Christian people, and in-turn, they are followed by lots of non-christian people. They are able to keep up with how people, yes people, are currently thinking about the world. Which will help as this person seeks to practice apologetics. The person using the fifth approach is usually in tune with political temperature of their region, and they engage on a wide range of issues with a wide range of people. Even people they disagree with.
How I use twitter:
I think the fifth approach is the best way for Christian people to be involved on twitter. Personally I actually follow more Non-Christian people than Christian. This is because of a few reasons. I think alot of Christians use twitter for broadcast, plenty of Christians also do the facebook cross post thing and lots of Christians don’t use their twitter accounts at all.
These approaches usually mean that Christians don’t generally engage with anyone in a meaningful way. I’m all about using twitter to engage with people and I think that twitter presents a huge opportunity to engage with real people about real issues. I love having the opportunity to engage with people that I might not of been able to otherwise.
Recently I got to have lunch with someone who I only know through interaction on twitter. This person wasn’t a Christian, and over lunch we got to chat about his family, politics and then Jesus. It was a conversation that would not of happened if I hadn’t of engaged with him like a normal person on twitter first. If I hadn’t of shown interest in him as a person first.
I have heard of lots of examples just like this. Gospel conversations happening through interaction and engagement through twitter.
The temptation for Christians is to rubbish the possibilities of technology, or to simply ignore the possibilities all together. This could because they don’t even see the possibilities of what this technology could achieve. Technology has a huge possibility for furthering the message of Jesus. Christians need to make sure they are not a barrier to that happening.
So at this point, I want to encourage you to think about how you are going to use twitter. I would like to encourage you to think abut how you can use things like twitter better. To use twitter within your means. To use twitter realistically. If you aren’t John Piper don’t use twitter like John Piper.
If you are someone who would like to know more about how you can use Digital and Social media, some of us at Moore College are planning on running some Digital Ministry training workshops over the course of the year. If you’re a minister and would like to attend a student-run workshop, we’d love to have you.
You can register your interest on the form below:
Recently, I inadvertently started a passionate discussion around the topic of tweeting during sermons with this tweet.
This morning John Woodhouse is continuing his series in 1 Timothy. You can follow tweets at #MTCchapel – esv.to/1Tim6.11-16. ~ @stevenst
If you want to, you can read all about it here.
In this post I wanted to outline some of the back story and strategy around how my college uses social and digital avenues to further the gospel and the appearance of our college. I don’t write this so you will think we are doing digital and social really well. As you will see further down, we are just having some fun and trying new things. I write this so that you might feel encouraged to try some new things at your church or organization.
On a personal note. If you are serving as a pastor or minister in a Church, I believe you need to have a plan about how you will engage and approach the areas of social and digital media. If you church doesn’t have a plan, it can lead to un-welcomed and un-engaged people. I have found this, this and this to be very helpful as i have done some thinking about these topics. The plan at your church might be to not engage in these ways. I think that is actually fine, I’m thankful that you have given it thought.
Anyway, back on topic. I go to Moore College. Our twitter handle is @moorecollege if you want to follow us. The twitter account is run by a team of students and faculty. Our team is made up of @thebiblebasher, @const500, @delantyj, @timmyclemens, @WatchmanJames, @katiebolton and myself (@stevenst). The account was started on the 21st of April 2009 by ‘all around nice guy’ Dave (@davemiers).
First the back story.
Each year Moore College participates in an event which we call Moore Mission. Simply put, groups of students and faculty are sent out to various parts of Australia (and occasionally the world) to partner with churches in running local missions that proclaim Jesus.
In the past (up until 2011) there had been fairly good engagement individually on social networks about mission. The social networks that were implemented were the student run mission blog and individual peoples use of twitter. The topics of the tweets included things like prayer requests, encouraging stories of people learning about Jesus and some included personal tweets about things that individual students were learning from their experiences. While this engagement was good, it had no real traction in the wider college community. This lack of traction was partly due to the college not utilising its social networks to raise the profile of the exciting things that were happening during the mission and therefore the profile of the college.
It left some of us (students and faculty) asking the questions like, ‘Why we didn’t utilise these networks better?’, ‘Why were there no re-tweets from the college account’. These questions continued which lead some of us to another question, ‘How can we do things differently moving forward?’
Second, The strategy.
What happened after was the identification of several students who had professional backgrounds in digital and social media. This group were given the ok to try some new things on the web with the hope of a) increasing the online presence of the college and its activities, b) give a glimpse of the day-to-day college experience and the great things God has blessed students with; as well as the work He is doing through Moore College, and c) explore new ways of using digital and social media with a view to educating others about these things by example and formal training sessions.
While these aims may broaden in the future, this is what we are currently trying to do and we’re having fun asking ‘How can we use technology for the glory of God and the building-up of His Kingdom?’.
The article I linked to at the beginning of this post related to something we tried to do 2 weeks ago. It was related to the use of twitter to write notes and reflections from sermons and other activities where teaching is involved. While there has been some passionate discussion around this topic, I see it as a positive that people in Sydney are starting to think about how social and digital media can be used by churches. I say Sydney, because, for some reason, we seem to be a little behind the rest of the world on this stuff. If you are a pastor or a ministry leader, can I encourage you to think about the areas of social and digital media? Even if you decide that you wont use it. A non existent twitter account is better than one that is never used.
If you feel like you need some help in these areas, we are planning on running some Digital Ministry training workshops over the course of the year. If you’re a minister and would like to attend a student-run workshop, we’d love to have you.
You can register your interest on the form below:
I own all three of the Angry Birds games on my iPhone, and I think they are quite enjoyable. I am in no way addicted to playing it, but I know others who probably are.
AYTM have recently done a study into the addiction of Angry Birds and they put together a handy infographic to show their results to people like me who like pictures. You can find the original post here.
I’m doing something that I don’t normally do, I am asking you for a favor. If you like things that are designed nicely, it might even interest you.
Recently I started a discussion with a good friend of mine about design and social media. We came to some realisations. One of them being the reality that decently designed stuff is pretty unattainable for the ‘little guys’. The little guys being individuals, churches and small businesses. Good quality design these days can be expensive, and for good reason, but the problem is that it then pushes it out of reach of the ‘little guys’.
What has been bourn out of this has been a new design ‘company’. We are calling ourselves Tyro Designs, and we are hoping that we can help in some way. We have started Tyro to help people get online (individuals, bloggers, musicians, etc) and to help people with offline visual design (posters, books, powerpoints, resumés, etc).
If you’re in this boat and would like some good quality design for less (most probably even free!) head over to the website and sign-up to find out when we launch the site. Additionally, you can like our facebook page and follow us on twitter.
The internet is a busy place. Sometimes it can be too busy. Technology is also a busy and ever changing industry. As soon as new technology gets released people seem to just start talking about the technology that will come along afterwards.
I felt this about a year ago when the iPhone 4 was released. As soon as it released, people started to talk about the iPhone 5. Which might be released in the coming weeks.
If you don’t have your head constantly in technology websites, you can miss stuff. Even more if you didn’t understand the technology in the first place.
If you are confused, it’s ok, there is some help. The ABC has put together a handy little website called “Technology Explained” to help out people who want to get caught up on where technology is up to. Below is a video about social media, and you can look at some more here.
I use the internet for alot of things. Every day I use the net for things like this website, facebook, twitter and all of my college resources are available on the net.
The other day I was reflecting on what it would look like if the internet got shut off. The internet is free and open right? Well maybe not.
Any good website owner will have analytics attached to it. These analytics will give them vital information about the people who visit that website. It tells you how long they spent at your site and how many pages they looked at, along with 100′s of other things.
With so much communication moving away from just websites, to now incorporating stuff like facebook and twitter, the challenge has appeared as to how to analyse data from these services. You need good data so that you can make good decisions about how you or your organisation use that service etc. This is where a handy app called TwitSprout enters the scene.
But first a story.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a tweet from a friend which was advertising the beta test of a new twitter service. I’m normally dubious of advertising on social media, but the tweet read; I’m one of the first in line for the “One Page Twitter Dashboard” from #TwitSprout. Join me bit.ly/JoinBeta via @TwitSprout.
I was immediately hooked, firstly I could be one of the first people in the world to test out a new twitter service, and with a name like twitsprout, how could I refuse?
I clicked the link, quickly put my details into their webpage. I was kindly told that it would take a little while for my stats to grow, but that they would be watered and looked after by the team at TwitSprout. Nice!
I hadn’t really thought that much about it until this morning, when I received an email saying that, “your seeds have finally sprouted!”. My twitter stats were ready.
I clicked the link, and I was presented with an awesome page of analytics for my twitter account. I realised that I tweet the most on Thursdays, and the least on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After seeing this, It completely made sense, Tuesday and Wednesdays are my two busiest days of the week, with Thursdays being alot less busy. It also gave me a neat graph of my followers and people I am following. It’s a really neatly laid out page, with heaps of useful info.
Then a little box popped out of the bottom of the webpage. It was a guy called Dan. Dan is the CEO of TwitSprout. Dan was offering me help in understanding the data that I had just been presented with, an awesome thing, because not everyone knows alot about reading graphs. Even though these graphs are super easy to understand.
Dan was also asking my opinion about things that I would like to see added to TwitSprout in the future. I said it would be cool to have some stats on re-tweets, and he thought it was also an excellent idea.
To sum up, today ive been shocked by 2 things.
- That someone has actually made a really good, accessible and understandable twitter analytics application.
- That the CEO of this (little) company has made the time and invested the effort to not only speak to his users individually about what they would like to see in the future, but to walk them through their own stats. Both rare, and helpful.
I love football. Some people call it soccer, but these people don’t usually know that it is mostly called football by people all over the world.
I also love the world cup, even more since Australia has been in it.
The world cup isn’t just about the football though, it’s also about the advertising and sponsorship. Mostly because of the money available through selling t-shirts and TV ad space.
Last year Nike made this awesome ad for the world cup. It’s called ‘Write the future’. The basic premise is, that you need to command what your future will look like. You can have success or you can have failure. Sadly most of the players in this ad never really achieved success during the world cup. This lead to the phrase ‘Write the future curse’ to be used.
Regardless, it is still an awesome ad. I like to call it ‘The three minutes of awesome’. Enjoy.
Osama was killed this year. This is a video about another guy who they are dubbing as Osama 2.0.
Scary stuff, give it watch.
This week my favourite TV show, Hungry Beast ended. Probably forever. But in their final show, they excelled themselves.
This story about Stuxnet was an eye opener for me.
I hope it might do the same for you.
I find videos really helpful. I love what you can learn from a video. You can get alot of information across in a short amount of time.
I’m a Christian, and I like to pray to God. I believe that because of Jesus, I can now pray to God like he is my father. This video was shown at the end of Hungry Beast this past wednesday night. It is asking the question, “What do you pray for?”.
I really liked it, I hope you do too.
Crying is a powerful thing. It can convey joy, heartache and sadness. You might cry alot, you might cry a little. But in your life, there will probably be a time when you cry about something.
Most of my crying has been done though listening to people tell me about the difficulties and injustice that they have experienced. Ive also cried about hearing good news. Day I married Kirsty was such a happy and joyous day that I almost cried. And every time my sister comes home for holidays, I’m so happy to see her, I tear up a little bit.
I also cried once at the end of The Chipmunk Adventure. Mostly because I didn’t want it to end, but also because I was only 4 years old.
Watch this video, it’s about crying.
I don’t know about you, but my Wife and I love to have people over to our home. We often have our friends over to our house for dinner or afternoon tea. Being open and welcoming to others is something that both of our families exampled to both of us as we were growing up. So, to Kirsty and I it is just a normal thing that we do, and because we learnt heaps of stuff from our parents, we don’t find it that difficult.
You might fall into the category of not quite knowing what to do, or why you should even be hospitable to others.
If this is you, then I want to commend a great website to you. Its called Practising Hospitality, and it is run by two friends of ours, Calum and Alice Henderson. Kirsty and I met Calum and Alice a few years ago while we were all leading on Kiama Beach Mission. Ive found their website incredibly helpful in thinking about being hospitable to others. From how to cook a roast, to how you should approach food allergies, to what kind of music should you play when guests are over. (Salmon Hater might of made it into the 2002 hottest 100, but it is never a good option for dinner parties)
So check out their website, you might even enjoy it.
You can also follow them on twitter @practisinghosp
Over a week ago Osama Bin Laden was killed.
I simply give you this video, Death of a very rich man.
Continuing in the theme of cool videos this week, I thought I would post something that is mildly educational. Unless you have been living on mars for the last few years, you would know that the world has had a bit of a crisis with its money. And if you are anything like me, you don’t really understand how it all happened. Well this neat video should explain everything to you.The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.
I’m on holidays this week, so I’ve been having a little down time. This also means that i spend alot of my time on the web looking for cool things to watch.
Motion graphics are especially good for passing the time, and there is usually heaps of that out there to look at. Sites like motionographer.com and Vimeo are great ‘one stop shops’ for really well done videos. But the video below comes from a little closer to home.
On the ABC 2 years ago a great show started up. It is called Hungry Beast and it was started to give a group of budding journos and graphic design freaks, free reign over creating a show that people would like. Well I really like it, and this is one of my favourite videos they have produced. It’s about google, enjoy!
This week has been a weird one. Kirsty and I spent most of this week in bed sick with some kind of winter lurgy. I know its autumn, but still we were sick. Along with trying to keep up to date with college work, my mind wandered several times.
This involved several attempts at trying to get 3 stars on every level of both Angry Bird games, trying to complete a season in Formula 1 2010 and looking around the web for some cool websites to entertain me.
I came across a website called Qwiki. Basically speaking, a normal wikipedia entry is pretty plain, in most cases they contain only text, and one or two images. What the warlocks over at Qwiki do is turn those plain text entries into an interactive movie slideshow thingy.
Seriously, have a look, and you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Or not talking about.
I heard recently that “if it isn’t online, then it doesn’t exist”. While being wrong, the phrase is also right.
One of the things I’m responsible for at my new church has been developing a new web presence for them. Something worthy enough that you would be proud of it enough to actually want to show someone. Still with me?
We meet in a school hall, and have very strong ties to the school in which we meet. We are running various community events during this year, and in the essence of the quote above. To exist, we needed to get online, and quick.
Anyway, I thought I would share it with you. There are still a few things to iron out with it, but here it is.
I introduce to you. St Ives Family Church online.
I wanted to share with you a project I did for Christ Church St Ives last year, when I was working in the office as a Graphic Designer.
Christ Church has a threefold strategy for doing church, these are Connect, Grow and Serve.
I had the opportunity last year of putting together 7 video testimonies of some members of Christ Church. Each one of the focused on one particular element of the Connect, Grow, Serve framework. This video is of a guy called James, James is a good friend of mine. It was great to put this video together, documenting how God had been working in his life to Grow him. Enjoy.
I love videos. I think they have a unique place in the realm of communication. I also love them because they are able to capture your imagination in a way that no other media can quite do.
This morning I want to show you an awesome video that a motion graphic studio called Charlex has produced, seriously just watch it.