Segmenting social media channels
I’ve created a new Twitter account for this Eyes Right Christian team blog, and am using part of our current WordPress header banner as the Twitter icon. If you’re using Twitter and interested in getting a “heads up” when new content is posted here, please subscribe to the Twitter account @eyesrightblog.Â
I’ve also upgraded the WordPress version of this Eyes Right blog to the latest (2.7.1) version, as well as the Podpress plug-in to its new revision (8.8.1.) For the first time I’ve also installed the free WP plug-in TwitterTools, which I’ve been using over on the ISTEconnects blog and have really liked. TwitterTools can do several things, but the main purpose for which I’ve installed it is to automatically “tweet” out a link anytime there is a new blog post here on Eyes Right. I’m pretty sure the plug-in does NOT send out extra tweets when a post is merely updated, just when it’s published for the first time. I’m going to test this and then comment here on the results. Running multiple WordPress blogs is nice since some of them which don’t get as much traffic (like this one) can serve as sandboxes for updates and new plugin-functionality like this.
One of the main reasons I created this Eyes Right blog several years ago was a sense that I needed to create a separate “space,” or channel, for blog posts which relate specifically to Christian themes and my journey of faith. It’s wonderful to blog on a project like this with others, since it’s a great way to learn together and encourage other Christians to blog about faith issues. I love using social media, and I want to be able to post and share ideas with a great deal of freedom. I have sensed for some time, however, that simply posting things about Bible lessons, Sunday school classes, reflections on different Bible verses, etc. on my main blog would probably turn some people off. I did that initially on my blog “Moving at the Speed of Creativity,” in the category “Christian,” and those 81 posts remain archived there (including a version of my Christian testimony, which I also have linked in the right sidebar of my main blog under “links.”) I certainly do NOT and am not intending by creating these “separate spaces” for Christian-related blog posts wanting to hide my faith in any way under a bushel basket. I’m mindful of Matthew 5: 13-16 which says:
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
As Christian believers, I firmly believe we must share our faith and the reason for our hope and joy with others openly. Sharing our testimony, telling others about our faith and striving together to walk with Jesus each day is something about which we should be intentional and open. This is why I’ve created “segmented social media channels” for posts and ideas relating to Christianity: To hopefully empower myself and others to share our Christian faith.
At the same time we should be bold to declare and share our faith with others in the world, we must avoid bragging about our faith or wearing our faith on our sleeves in a showy fashion. We should not share our faith to attract attention or for prideful, selfish reasons. Matthew 6: 1-8 is instructive in this regard:
Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
I think there is a relatively fine line to walk here. No one has published “the rules” about blogging and sharing your faith online, while simultaneously maintaining a professional career which is separate / different than full-time ministry. I do believe as the laity we are each called to full-time ministry in our own spheres of influence, but that does not mean we should exclusively blog, write and share about themes which touch directly on Christianity, faith, and Christ. The lines to walk carefully appear to me to be:
- Trying to share our faith in visible ways, but creating channels for that sharing to take place so we feel relatively free and open to share and not like we must “hold back” for fear someone else (who is subscribing to a blog for reasons OTHER than hearing Christian messages) will be offended.
- Sharing our faith out of a genuine desire to share our lives and our journeys, and avoid the trap of writing and publishing openly to solicit or win the praise of others. (Like the “hypocrites” Matthew was writing about in the verses above.)
I don’t have these answers, but it seems like a good idea to have these separate channels for Christian-related posts and tweets. What do you think?
If you’re interested in sharing a post here on Eyes Right, please check out the About page of this blog and contact me if you’d like login credentials.
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Test was successful – TwitterTools only posts a link the first time a post is published. Also, I installed the WordPress Mobile 3.0 plugin today as well and tested it– looks good on an iPhone. This auto-detects when a visitor is using a mobile browser and shows them a mobile-friendly version of the site. Nice.