Friends, please check out my blog (monteleerice.wordpress.com) that I just thoroughly revamped!
What prompted me to do this, is my current reading through Thomas Oord’s just published edited volume, Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media: Advice, Tips, and Testimonials (SacraSage Press, 2017). I myself am one of 91 contributors to this work, most of whom have established themselves as influential thought-leaders in their respective fields.
Each contributor narrates how they began using social media, key breakthroughs they experienced through it, and lessons they’ve learned on how to use it most effectively. Let me say that I am finding these essays altogether— intensely edifying (often in a very spiritually profound manner), immensely practical, very readable, and seminally ground-breaking.
In my own essay (“Missional Theology”), I share a bit autobiographically, as all contributors were asked to do so. I share how I first got initiated into social media; including how I began this blog in 2007. Over the years however, I have been far more active on Facebook. Having been reading through some of the essays however, I found myself prompted to immediately revamp my online presence and all my existing social media sites, including this one. I just did this today!
I will continue working on revamping all my existing and potentially new social media platforms. While historically, I have not done much with my blog, I see this now changing. I envision doing quite a bit more posting, yet recognise the need to do so as efficiently and streamlined as possible. So I was really prompted to revamp it, hoping that with these changes, it is more inviting and purposeful, both for myself and potential visitors/readers.
So, the revamping aim that I undertook today, and will continue to do as I see needful, is five-fold:
- To improve my online presentation across all my platforms, so that I may best “brand” myself according to my calling, vocation, mission and vision, and in manners most filial to these aims.
- To integrate as much as possible, all my social media platforms for a more streamlined, hassle-free, and efficient execution of online postings and engagement with others.
In other words, to as integrate them all together, into one inter-feeding online presence and platform.
- To better utilise the platforms for more effective networking aims.
- To better utilise the platforms in manners that may best foster movement towards my life, career/vocational, and ministerial aspirations.
- To best utilise the platforms in manners that best minister something good to whomever encounters whatever I post online.
So the varied online platforms I have today revamped and integrated as much as possible, are:
My blog: monteleerice.wordpress.com
Let me mention two quotes from the book, one from my own essay, and one from another.
Let’s begin with me!
In one section of my essay, I suggest that “social media has functioned in ways that not only illustrates the global Body of Christ as a global network, but moreover as a globally net-working community” (p. 356)
But in my conclusion I also discuss the bane of social media. I reflect on its demonstrated capacity to evoke toxic behaviours, such as online addiction and discordant online behaviour. Yet, I then state:
“Nonetheless, I strongly believe that social media even more comprises, great promise towards fostering human community, locally and globally, in manners congruent with the Christian vision of human community.”
So rather than refraining fro social media, I go on to say:
“So our better response is to continually reflect on how we may best foster social media practices and the technology itself towards the moral curve of new creation. I believe we should also do so, recognising within it an important ‘seed of the gospel’: namely, the human thirst for community.” Therefore, “be social media friendly: go ahead and ‘friend’ all kinds of people! For by doing so, you really are touching the world; and who knows? You just might make someone’s day— even across the planet!” (p. 360)
Let me share also two quotes from Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson’s “Rabbinic Studies” chapter. While I have read several chapters thus far, and have benefited from each, so far I enjoy his the most!
The first quote refers to the postmodern age we live in, and the “catch-all” spirituality it generates, which has much to do with so much open and immediate access people have to a variety of spiritualise and religious teachings:
“What has surprised me about the response to these various postings [referring to an interreligious website he contributes to] is just how thirsty people are for spiritual content that is nuanced, which presents integrated thinking/feeling/spirit, and opens access to ancient wisdom without dogma. We live in an extraordinary age, one in which people are willing to accept helpful wisdom regardless of its source. No longer do people allow themselves to be siloed within one exclusive tradition or stream, instead people around the world are willing to learn from the tradition with which they identify, and also from select individuals of other streams if the wisdom they offer is affirming for human thriving.” (p. 20)
The second quote is Artson’s conclusion. Here he summaries several brief tips. Here, three things stand out to me. As much as possible, if we’re making posting for sake of hopefully edifying, impacting or influencing readers, we should as much as possible mix four ingredients into those postings:
- Visual imagery
- Spiritual depth
- Regularity at it
- Keep developing skills in or an understanding of aesthetics. Strive for beauty. These are the requisite elements for provoking people to read what we write.
“People are drawn to illustrations, not just words. So use art, colors, photos, and find visually completing ways to supplement any verbal message.
Speak not to the particulars of dogma, but to the flowing humanity that such dogma clothes. Let people experience a deeper humanity because of exposure to your perspective and insights.
A single or sporadic post is worth no more than not posting at all. It is all about flow – regular, predictable, and ongoing. People will creation space to await your gift if they know they can count on its quality and its frequency.
Longer isn’t better.
Don’t be afraid to consult with people who know about staging, theatrics, and drama. We are all actors on a cosmic stage.” (p. 21)
Bradley Shavit Artson, “Rabbinic Studies,” in Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media: Advice, Tips, and Testimonials, ed. Thomas Oord (San Diego, CA: SacraSage Press, 2017), pp. 19-22.
Anyone using social media for ministry purposes and/or networking, needs to get a copy of this book! Get it now! Go to Amazon, you’ll note it’s still one of the top sellers amongst the Religious Education books.