[forthright] 15 Minutes of Fame Down to 5

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 21:14:44 -0300
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

The Internet water cooler for Christians.
http://fellowshiproom.org
 

COLUMN: FINAL PHASE

15 Minutes of Fame Down to 5
  by J. Randal Matheny, editor

In 1968 Andy Warhol said that everyone would have 15
minutes of fame. It was a criticism of the modern
fascination with celebrities and the ever-moving lens
of the television camera.

Today, the fifteen minutes has been reduced to five.

Twitter/1 is an Internet miniblog host whose members
may post individual text messages of up to 140
characters. Other members can sign up to read another's
posts. But with many "friends," as Twitter calls them,
the stream of posts moves quickly.

How fast does a Twitter stream move? How long does it
take an individual post to move out of a person's
stream? One researcher says, "we now know the answer
is just a brief five minutes."/2

Catching people's attention is like shooting at a
moving target. Ironically, one of the suggestions of
the Internet gurus is not merely to repeat messages,
but to build relationships.

Strange as it may sound, the Internet is a personal and
personable medium.

The lesson should not be lost on Christians. The Gospel
Blimp story needs updating, but the lesson is the same.
Those who rely on mass media and impersonal means of
evangelism are missing the real opportunities. Even
with media, the issue is to use them to connect with
people, build bridges and establish relationships so
that the message of Christ may be shared.

How to do that in a wired world?

1. Engage people.

   Don't just fire messages out to the world, but
   invite questions and comments, engage in dialogue,
   seek opinions, draw people out. Social networks are
   the rage, and no wonder: it's where people hook up.
   Christians avoid such networks like Facebook because
   of the dangers, when they should be using them,
   purposefully, for the gospel.

2. Stay the course.

   Consider the use of media, and especially electronic
   media, a long-term approach, not a one-shot attempt.
   Relationships, like Rome, are not built in a day.
   That means frequency and consistency are essential.
   A weblog updated, say, once a month, will make no
   impact.

3. Use a fork, not a spear.

   Use the multi-pronged approach, rather than
   depending on a single venue. One medium reinforces
   the other.

4. Know the strengths and weakness of each medium.

   Twitter, for example, demands a special style of
   writing. Fit the message to the medium. One
   Brazilian brother thought humor was out of place in
   a sermon or lesson on spiritual things. Without it
   on the Internet, however, one won't last long.

5. Establish your model, and know your parameters.

   In any medium, one must match the objectives to the
   possibilities offered. Electronic media like the
   Internet demands new approaches, new ways of
   working. The challenge is to fit the eternal gospel
   into yet another earthen vessel.

Paul said he became all things to all people, "so that
by all means I may save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22 NET).
That should apply to Internet users as well.

Invest in getting the word out to people today where
they are, with their short attention span. Build the
bridges, know the people, work the media.

Because five minutes isn't enough to tell someone about
the cross of Jesus Christ.
_______
1/ http://twitter.com
2/
http://www.fuelinteractive.com/blog/2009/03/the-life-and-times-of-a-twitte.cfm

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