Faith Formation is no longer limited to our ability to attract a crowd or distribute a printed handout (which, of course, to do that… you need a crowd.) And this should challenge our own self-perceptions of what is involved in our ministry.
We are called to be content curators. (Yes, this is not a new argument from this corner of the interwebs.) A content curator is someone who continually seeks and shares materials from the internet specifically to a targeted audience . It is not so much that they create more content to an ever expanding world wide web; but they make sense of all the content that others are creating. One example is what has been going on with the EightDays posts. NCCL has been doing this for years with their own Catechetical Leader e-mails /postings.
Yes, you do this as well every time you “Share” / reTweet something – but here is an invitation to become more strategic and consistent in this practice. How can we seek and share formation posts / videos /podcasts with catechists, core team members, key volunteers? How might we better serve parents though similar efforts at “seek and share?”
I know, I know…. How can we be assured that they will “get it?” Again, you might possibly be over-estimating the abilities of your own transmission of the message via the gathered crowd and/or the printed handout. Technology puts the information out there (hmmm, as in seed sown) and allows the soil to deal with in in their own time and interest.
In the interest of curating content in the area of curating content…. Here are a few tips:
- A Primer: John Roberto offers a strong starting point for someone looking to explore further in this area. Part One Part Tw0 Meanwhile, Karen Shay-Kubiak makes the case for using e-mail effectively and there are many services like FlockNote, Constant Contact, MailChimp, and others to help you out.
- Where the Content? Where is it not??? MIT has over 1600 courses online. We live surrounded by an abundance of content. 20 hours of video are posted every minute. It is estimated that all of the information on the Internet is doubling every 72 hours.
I know where I get mine from…. my twitter account, my facebook account, of course. But I also read over 50 blog / news sources through a feedly account. The sub-categories of feeds I have developed show a diversity of interests: Business Marketing, Catechesis, Church, Church Professional, Family Ministry, News, Schools, and Youth Ministry.
- When do You find the Time? First, I live alone… so I can pursue my advocacies (such as a youth ministry presence on the internet) as I choose. I also do most this stuff in the early mooring (my clock reads 6:17am as I type this) and on a free weekend mornings. I also always attempt towards posting stuff in a manner where it is “scheduled” to go out before it actually posts. I could be incapacitated or dead and my virtual presence would still go on without my assistance- This allows me to be dependable /reliable no matter how insane life gets. The WordPress platform we use here at ProjectYM allows us to schedule and I use FutureTweets to post on Twitter about five times a day, without going on-line constantly throughout the day (denying my employers a full day’s effort)
- Listen and Review Folks will comment on what you are saying. Listen to their reactions. Editors on newspapers do present an editorial viewpoint on how they present content and there is very little difference there with on-line content. What is your editorial perspective? Is that the image you want to present? Does it compliment or hinder you professionally>
As spring move into summer and you plan for fall, how might you expand your own abilities as a curator of content>