Two weeks ago I attended the Social Media course run by the Director of Ministry and Training and the Diocesan PR man. I was already on Facebook. But they taught us how to blog and how to tweet, and encouraged us to tweet our Christmas Day sermons.
So I signed on with WordPress and blogged about my intentions. Then I posted my sermons for the two Sundays and a couple of Christmas reflections. But there has not been much interest, it has to be said, and very little in the way of conversation. It would be helpful to know if people would like to see more of my reflections – or not.
And I created a Twitter account and started tweeting. I found lots of people and organisations to follow – plenty of advice on that from Twitter and recommendations. And a number of people started to follow me, most of whom I knew already, but some surprises, which is great.
I even went out and bought a Nexus 7, so that I could keep in touch out and about. I would love an IPad-thing, but didn’t feel I could afford that. My mobile phone does texts and phone-calls, but doesn’t do emails or internet, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a monthly contract. I have BT Broadband, so I am hoping that the free BT wifi will work for me on the tablet.
I have to say I prefer Twitter to Facebook. I like the short messages. I like seeing news breaking before me. I have followed up some of the pointers and references and have enjoyed many of them.
The downside is the time it takes. I am still new to this game and am trying not to miss anything. I received good advice on this from friends on Christians on the Internet – www.coin.org.uk , which runs a series of email lists, with whom I have been associated for many, many years. My rule of thumb at the moment is that when Twitter starts to interfere with my prayer-time, then I’ve gone too far.
What irritates me most about Twitter are the tweets from Important People which are so obviously done on their behalf by someone else, and which are often banal. There may be those who really love that kind of message, of course, but it’s not something you can have a public conversation about, however much I am tempted to tweet “Who else thinks XXX’s tweets are weak and pointless?” I could be charged with a disciplinary action. And I say this as a member of the team reviewing the Guidelines on the Professional Conduct of the Clergy.
Still early days. But I thought it worth recording my initial experience.