By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—Blogging, streaming, podcasts—it’s a brave new world and the BCM/D is marching right in.
Blogging — This year’s annual meeting attendees got the chance to sample some of the new media opportunities this year by blogging. A blog is an online journal. Folks could write what they liked, or didn’t like about the meetings, speakers and other facets of the event. Those comments were published on the BCM/D website for all to read.
Lauren Rodriguez, BCM/D communications manager, set-up and organized the blogging. She said she was surprised at the enthusiasm. Even the BCM/D staff has been a little hesitant to embrace the idea of blogging, she said, but the response at the meeting was good. Many took to the keyboards to let their voices be heard.
“It was a good opportunity to give feedback and share.” Rodriguez said participants had a chance to voice their opinions, good or bad. This year it was all good.
To explore a variety of BCM/D blogs about church planting, church multiplication, Hispanic church planting and more, see “blogroll” on the www.bcmd.org site.
Podcasting — Another new update for BCM/D is podcasting, which is a digital audio file. It’s like a radio show, but unlike mainstream programs, a podcast can fill any niche.
This allows missionaries to share information to churches in a fast, easy format that pastors can just download and listen to anytime they want.
“It multiplies the missionary and makes them more effective,” Rodriguez said. And it stretches those Cooperative Program dollars.
Some podcasts available now are: www.ibcmd.org, which gives people an opportunity to see what’s going on at BCM/D and explains a little more about the convention itself. David Jackson, BCM/D missionary for church multiplication, has a blog with podcasts on his site, http://bcmddavid.wordpress.com.
Redesigned BaptistLIFE — BaptistLIFE online has been totally redesigned. In 2009, readers will receive a printed copy every other month and can check out the online version on the alternate months. There will also be fast breaking news alerts and special “extra features” readers can subscribe to. Sign up today at www.bcmd.org.
Use of Networking Sites — BCM/D also works with websites such as Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. BCM/D stores photos on Flikr to use and share. Most staff members are on Facebook, an Internet networking site that Rodriguez said gives a personal glimpse into missionaries’ lives. There’s even a BCM/D Facebook personality and group site. (Facebook requires an account to access the site. There is no charge). Another site BCM/D uses is Twitter, a simple site that answers the question, “what are you doing?” Check these sites out at: www.flickr.com/photos/bcmd; twitter.com/bcmd and www.facebook.com.
The Future — What’s in the future? More blogs, more podcasting and Streamcasting. Next year, Rodriguez hopes those who can’t make it to the annual meeting can watch it live. If not in 2009, she said, definitely by 2010.
The new media revolution is an incredible way to multiply, maximize ministry and CP dollars and to show where those dollars are being used.
And who knows what lies ahead as we near the end of this decade? Well, God does.