Archive for January, 2011
I have tried to use a stylus with my iPad before and I was disappointed with the experience. My first experience was with a Pogo Sketch stylus (on left). It was very light weight and had a fabric tip. The biggest problem for me was that it felt like trying to write with a mushy Q-Tip! The fabric tip flexed back and forth as I pressed on the screen and it always felt like it was going to come off the body. Straight up…I hated it. It didn’t simulate the writing experience for me at all and as a result I gave up on it by the end of the second day of use.
This week though, the Griffin Stylus for iPad (on right) has made me a believer! This is a completely different experience from the Pogo. First, the Griffin Stylus is much heavier than the Pogo. It feels more like having a pen in your hand which helps more than I thought it would. It is a bit longer too which makes it fit my hand better. The biggest difference is the tip. Instead of a mushy fabric, the Griffin Stylus has a soft rubber tip. When you push down it flexes, but it feels firmer to me than the fabric of the Pogo. The tip doesn’t shift from side to side like the Pogo did for me so I feel like it is more precise. Now don’t misunderstand. These tools are a but like writing with a dull crayon, but the Griffin gives me a better feel and more precision.
Where I like using the stylus the most is in drawing apps, but I also like using for highlighting text in the Kindle app, drawing diagrams in Penultimate and Circus Ponies Notebook, and even selecting individual words in Logos for further study. All in all, I believe I am hooked. I see myself using this stylus more and more. If you want a usable, good feeling stylus that closely simulates the actual writing experience check out the Griffin Stylus for iPad. It is worth a close look. Now I just have to figure out how not to misplace it!
Lifeway Research just released a new survey (two actually) on the use of websites and social media by churches. Over 1000 “protestant” congregations were included in the survey. The first report addressed churches use of websites. Here are some of the basic findings:
- 78% have a website
- Less than half use their website for interactive purposes
- 43% get and distribute prayer requests from members
- 39% for registering people for events and activities
- 91% provide information to potential visitors (although the survey doesn’t specify what type of information. I would think worship times and driving directions would be enough to qualify as a yes here)
- 79% provide information for the congregation
- 57% use their website to encourage increased attendance and involvement
- 52% solicit interest or volunteer opportunities
How often these churches update information on their websites was also addressed.
- 40% update information once a week
- 15% update more than once a week
- 42% update once a month or less
- 7% update their website once a year or less (yikes!)
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research stated, “Many churches are using their website like a Yellow Pages ad characterized by basic information and infrequent updates. This is in sharp contrast with churches that use their website like a bustling church receptionist registering people for upcoming events, collecting prayer requests and obtaining volunteers”
SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE
A second survey addressed churches use of social media tools. Here are some basic statistic reported from that survey:
- 47% of churches actively use Facebook
- 40% do not use any social networking tools at all
The size of the church and its location dramatically affect the use of social media tools:
- 81% of congregations with 500 or more (avg. worship attendance) use social media tools
- 27% of congregations with 49 or less use it
- 49% with 50-99 attendees, 46% with 100-199 attendees, and 56% with 200-499 attendees use Facebook as well
- 57% of suburban and 54% of large-city churches use Facebook
- 46% of small-city congregations and 39% of rural churches are on Facebook
Some interesting numbers are reported as to who these churches are trying to reach on Facebook.
- 73% use social networking for interacting with the congregation
- 70% for distributing news and information in an “outbound only” manner
- 52% for fostering member-to-member interaction
- 41% for managing the congregation’s ministry groups
- 62% use social networking to interact with individuals outside the congregation
Curtis Simmons, vice president for marketing and community at Fellowship Technologies stated;
“Social networking tools have become an integral part of most people’s daily lives and relationships. If churches desire to connect with their congregation and community in meaningful ways, then they need to establish a strategy for actively engaging in the social media conversation. Thousands of individuals are sharing support and encouragement through these tools. The church needs to be an active participant in these conversations and connections.”
Additionally, 1000 “pastors” were surveyed with nearly half (46%) personally using Facebook, 16% using a personal blog and 6% using Twitter. 84% use email to send information to groups.
These surveys confirm that many churches are reaching out through these digital technologies. Is your congregation taking advantage of today’s tools to expand its audience and reach more people with the gospel? If so share with us what you are doing and how you are doing it.