I just got my marching orders for my job at our regional Winter Conference. For the past 7 conferences running I have been the “coffeehouse guy” which makes me sound like a barista. In reality, I covered the content portion of the coffeehouse, which morphed over time to become the “Global Village” portion of the conference. For a tour of the global village last year, check this out.
This year, I told them that my old job worked great as a single guy, but as a married guy, (and then a guy with a wife and child) my job of staying up all hours of the night became such that I was not giving it or my family the attention that both deserved. So I’ve passed off that job into more capable hands, and am embarking on a job role that I am extremely excited about:
That’s the unofficial name of my new role, but it pretty well describes what I aim to bring to the conference. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being a twit.
The more official name of my new role is “Online Experience Coordinator.” The reality is that students increasingly live their lives in front of a computer screen, a mobile telephone screen, and in the online “world.” While I think there is a real sense in which isolation (a functional anti-gospel) occurs online, I also am convinced that students living in a virtual world can (and are starting to) find real connections online that lead to life-change offline.
Our heart is not to give the students a distraction from what goes on at the conference, but to give them a way to further participate in the conference in ways that have been impossible in the past. People are willing to say things online that they aren’t willing to say to your face. While that’s not always a good thing, at the same time it is a great way to gauge how God is moving in the students, as it is actually happening. Instead of having to wait to hear how God is moving days, weeks and months after the fact, we will get a real picture of what He is doing right in front of us.
How are we going to do that?(all of these are works-in-progress)
- live chat rooms (during non-meeting times, with a potential for “answer now” times during meetings)
- twitter hashtag #crutru09 (the conference theme is “Encountering Christ the Truth” this year)
- official twitter account for the conference
- 2 live blogs of the conference, including pre-conference news and events. One blog will be primarily a window-in for parents, ministry partners, and other non-participants-who-are-still-interested, and the other will be geared for the students, and potentially run by the students.
- Live webcast of certain portions of the conference.
- Facebook fan page.
- Youtube account for the conference.
- BlogTalk radio channel for broadcasting—complete with easy sharing—of conference content.
- Other as-yet-undetermined interactive online things.