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Social Media Revolution Video Installment 3

Here’s the latest video installment on the Social Revolution by Socialnomics author Erik Qualman. As with previous video installments… clarifying, thought-provoking, amazing, and maybe a little overwhelming. Well done.

Four Critical Success Factors for Greater Web Relevance (Part 1 of 2)

If you think your website should be more effective… the people you are trying to reach couldn’t agree more.

Technology is an integral part of everyone’s daily lives. Corporate America’s M.O. is to remove the stigma of technology by making solutions that are smarter than ever, yet easier for everyone to benefit from. It’s time we stop looking at technology and the Internet with fear and trepidation, and embrace it as essential to how we do life today. Because Internet technology is moving so fast, you cannot delay making changes to your web offering… everyone must become “faster and earlier adopters” of technology change.

We’ve seen many organizations in panic mode because of the state of their website. Unfortunately, panic can lead to overlooking or short-cutting critical steps in creating a relevant web experience. Through our research, surveying, and experience, we’ve found four critical success factors that must be accounted for. Implement these and you’ll have purpose and confidence… overlook them and you’ll have missed targets and poor returns.

1. Know Your Audience… Intimately. Too often we see organizations creating their website from the inside-out, versus from the outside-in. An inside-out approach will always create a disconnect with your audience because you are prioritizing your agenda rather than speaking to their needs. Imagine if corporate America ignored the voice and expectations from their target audience. It’s foolish to produce any resource in a vacuum… websites included.

Audience Questions:
+ What would make the visitor experience unforgettable and not regrettable?
+ What do members and loyal constituents expect to find and want to find at your site?
+ What are their digital preferences? Smartphone user? IPad/tablet user? Email? Facebook or Twitter (or both)? Audio/Video? Blog reader?
+ What is the vocabulary and messaging that is most comfortable for your audience and fits your culture most closely?
+ How can your brand be introduced with greater clarity, quality, and embrace?

2. Build A Web Strategy Around Audience Needs. You now know your audience expectations, now its time to build a strategy that accomplishes your objectives AND theirs. Too often, churches and ministries bypass the strategic aspect of web development and their end solution shows it. Church communications is more strategic to the successful engagement of more people than ever before, yet churches are simply not being strategic. We’ve found strategy creation helps remove the unknowns on so many levels. The digital landscape today is complex. Don’t make it more complex by not having a digital strategy.

Strategy Considerations:
+ How can you advance your mission and vision for greater impact? How can you reach more people?
+ How can you merge your organizational objectives with the expectations of the end user?
+ How can you prioritize your cultural and content assets to build your brand?
+ How can you provide content that is relevant and habit forming?
+ How can you be relevant and consistent on all devices? How can you be relevant and consistent in social media?
+ What are  industry leading technologies and third-party integrations that can be easily implemented into your site? What content management system fits your budget and the way you communicate? Vimeo or YouTube? Podcasts? Social media? Registration? Online giving and e-transactions?

NEXT POST: Part 2 of 2 on Four Critical Success Factors to Greater Web Relevance?
Content. Content. Content. and Implementing Smarter Web Tools

Social Facelift: Styling Your Facebook Page

Facebook is designed to reflect your uniqueness. From images and videos to likes and status updates, we control our personal “brand”. As an organization on Facebook, you have even more control over the expression of your organization’s brand and culture. Through the use of FBML (Facebook’s custom programming language), you can create customized messaging and experiences that connect with users.

In the past, organizations had been limited to the same “standard” interface design that individual Facebook pages were limited to. However, as various Facebook pages for organizations have been made available (Fan Page, Place Page, Group Page, etc.), your ability to create customized content pages has improved greatly. We’re now working with organizations across the country to style custom Facebook pages that prioritize their organization’s brand and content assets.  These pages can accommodate rich designs and provide links to resources, media, and content within your website (i.e. twitter, vimeo, blogs).

Of course, like many social platforms, there are limitations to the canvas size and functionality, but Facebook’s page styling is a great way to position your brand with clarity and provide a distinctive presence for visitors, friends, fans, likes, and the broader networks residing in FB world.

The DC team will keep you updated on new opportunities to build your reach and your brand in FB.

Related:

http://blogbydc.com/2011/01/24/facebook-behind-the-numbers/

DC & Australia’s Crossway Launch Baptism Site

Australia’s Crossway Baptist Church is one of the largest churches in the country and a leader in innovative ministry. Having previously partnered on the church’s website development, Crossway contacted DC to help with a bold, new initiative to increase the number of Crossway members who had been baptized. The church leadership envisioned an online tool that would take people through a curriculum that would teach about and prepare them for baptism.

Working collaboratively, DC and Crossway built a site that houses the interactive course that people can work on at their own pace and schedule. The site includes a series of videos, lessons, and a personalized way for people to track the progress in their spiritual journey.

Best of all, the church is open to other churches utilizing the site and its resources. For more information, contact Steve Fogg at Crossway.

More:

recommended app of the week: Alfred

Alfred

Ever get tired of having to reach for the mouse every time you need a new application or document? It slows you down, and half the time you can’t find what your looking for anyway. Alfred puts an end to all of this. This app is a must have for anyone wanting to increase efficiency. Plus, people are impressed when you can quickly get around your computer without a mouse.

There are several great apps out there that do the same thing, so feel free to replace “Alfred” with whichever works for you and your platform (Quicksilver for Mac or Launchy for PC, to name a few).

Most computers have their own search features built in, but Alfred has done a great job of making searching for apps and documents simple. Forget multiple clicks of the mouse to find your Firefox browser within the applications or programs folder; simply launch Alfred and type in the letters “FI” and Firefox is at your fingertips, literally.

Here is how it works:

  • Launch Alfred with a keyboard shortcut (for me, its Command-Space, but you can set it to whatever is comfortable for you)
  • Type the first few letters of the name of the app or document you are looking for (for me, “FI” produced Firefox as the first option, but all apps, documents, etc., beginning with “FI” will be offered to you)
  • Use your arrow keys to move up and down the list to select the app or document you want
  • Highlight the app or document you are looking for and press Return

It’s that simple. Ready for more power? Play with the settings and soon you will be using Alfred to search for contact information, launch webpages and much more. I use this little app literally hundreds of times a week. It may take a few weeks to train your hand not to reach for the mouse, but once you do, you will want to throw your mouse away. Try it out and let us know what you think.

recommended app of the week: Wunderlist

Wunderlist Logo

This app is one I found this week that is so good, I had to bump it to the top of the list. Sure, there are hundreds of todo apps out there, and dozens of good ones. I have tried many of them, but when I found Wunderlist, I found a keeper.

We all have scores of information we need to remember and recall every day (questions to be answered, tasks to be completed, etc.), the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but my brain just can’t keep up with them all. Wunderlist is a great app that helps keep all these thoughts organized. It’s elegant, simple to use, and (of course) free.

Wunderlist lets you quickly create todo lists and items, with lots of keyboard shortcuts to help save you time. Once you have created your lists and items, Wunderlist helps you keep track of each day by allowing you to access all the items due Today, Tomorrow, Next 7 Days, Later, and Without a Date. You can even email or print the lists for yourself or others.

Best of all, you list can sync across all you devices (Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPod, iPad, and Android). This means no more jotting down todo items on the back of receipts or relying on memory for that import piece of information.

Check out Wunderlist and let us know what you think.

recommended app of the week: LastPass

LastPass Logo

Continuing the App of the Week conversation, here is another app I couldn’t function without: LastPass.

Passwords are a real hassle. Generally, people fall into two camps:

  • Camp 1: You use the same secure password for every account, which increases your vulnerability should your password ever become compromised.
  • Camp 2: You use some customized form of the same password on each site, which over time, become impossible to remember.

LastPass helps fix all of this. This app installs into any browser and stores all your passwords for you. Now this isn’t anything special, because most browsers have built in password storage capabilities. Where LastPass really stands out is you can install this app on all your browsers across all your devices and then access your passwords from the same source. Plus, if you are on a public machine and need to retrieve a password, you can access your password vault through the LastPass website.

So what does this mean for you. No more generic password for everything, forgetting your password for that site you rarely visit, or storing passwords in unprotected areas (like contact lists) for bad guys to find. Simply download the app, set your master password, store your individual passwords and forget about it. Each time you visit a site that LastPass has your password for, it automatically populates your password for you. It’s as simple as that.

Remember, password protection is a very sensitive topic. One you have installed the app, pay close attention to your settings. Protect yourself by ensuring the LastPass settings have been optimized for your specific usage.