Pamela Writes in her article “Mobile Marketing: Look Before You Leap“…
When I got the e-mail announcing a BMW mobile marketing campaign to promote the 3 series, I was pretty excited. I’ve been keeping an eye on mobile marketing for years, and see a lot of potential for the medium.
Then, I actually looked at the BMW campaign. Here’s how it works. You phone a number (703-286-BMW3) on your Internet-enabled mobile phone, and hear a recorded message. Then, you receive a text message on the phone (presumably, caller ID technology allows the company to harvest your phone number). If your phone is capable (my late model, $400 Nokia phone apparently isn’t), you can click the link in the text message to visit the mobile Web site. What I finally had to do was type the fairly lengthy URL into my phone’s Web browser.
What I saw was overwhelmingly underwhelming: several pages of text and a few images. What was missing? Meaningful interactivity, a trivia quiz, for example. Or wireless-specific features, like ring tones and wallpaper. In short, it lacked anything that would have made it appropriate for the medium.
One of the interesting phrases in Pamela’s piece was “meaningful interactivity.” In an email the other day a few youth workers and leaders were talking about the use of sms as a tool to pass on information. The idea’s nothing new, just one look at my mobile bill while I was in a church setting would be a testament to that, but sms’ is more impulsive than interactive, I send sms – sms is read – sms may be responded to.
I’ll have to refer back to the impulsiveness of text messaging in a later post…
One look over at the Big Brother Australia website would show you a number of ways that interactivity has been approached. Viewers / Members / Participants are invited to download images of the housemates, the ring tone of the TV show, games to play, each of these are ways for people to interact with the site and with each other.
Viewers are also asked to participate in the site by viewing the day’s activities from their video phones, by uploading images taken on their phones to the Big Brother Mblog (Mobile blogging) space and also by texting in their votes as to who they would like to vote out of the house. Uploading / downloading / playing / photographing /sharing / voting / listening / watching / participating / voyering…
Steve Taylor in his book “The Out of Bounds Church” writes:
“In our contemporary world, individuals are now choosing to come together for the purpose of finding meaning in their lives; the community has become a tool for the individual.” (pp28)
Is interactivity just another way in which we all connect? Are we resorting to connecting using these resources? Is all the mobile phone / pda / wireless / digital camera culture about being connected?
So, after all of these concepts have been thrown up in the air and land, how do we make sense of the mess?
1. In our youth ministry how much priority have we given to being interactive?
Seriously, how interactive are our youth ministries, our churches, our youth groups? How much interactivity do we allow for? Does too much interactivity leave us with very little control? How much of our interactivity is “meaningful” and how much of it is “superficial”?
2. In our worship how much priority have we given to being interactive?
Are we prepared to allow for live images to be stuck up on the screen during worship, during sermons and songs? Are we really prepared for “meaningful interactivity” in our worship? Are we ready to allow for young people to be involved in the uploading and downloading of our services? Are we prepared to play games, hold quizzes, have fun?
3. In our spirituality how much priority is given to being interactive?
Is our spirituality something that we keep to ourselves, or is it something that we allow the young people and others around us to interact with? How do we open ourselves to being spiritually interactive? Do you pray with others? Do you play with others? Do you learn with others? How do we allow others to affect, encourage, view and experience our spirituality?
4. How much of our theology is based around interactivity?
The theological question… For me the entire Bible is about interactivity, it’s about God’s willingness to be interactive in our lives , it’s about how we are called to be interactive with each other and how the earth and humans are charged with the role of being interactive… Isn’t the incarnation all about interactivity? What about the story of Adam and Eve? Isn’t the great commission all about being interactive? Are we called to be voyers or to be participants? Isn’t the entire bible about interactivity? Filled with quizzes, stories, games, people’s lives, images and songs for people to dance to?
Here’s an idea…
Send people out from your community with the task of sending you via email or via picture messaging 3 images that speak to them of God during the week. Upload each image to the website as the week progresses, use the images during worship on Sunday, swap the images as free wallpapers for people’s phones. The next week ask them to do the same thing, but with a different theme, what makes them happy, images that make them sad, images of friends, images of meals eaten… If people don’t have a digital camera or a camera phone hand them out disposable cameras, get them to take three then to pass the camera to someone else until the roll is taken up, then you can have the photos processed before the next gathering…
Article by: Darren Wright