social media

Taking Twitter by Storm: Let's get #ThanksPontifex trending on Feb. 28

Pope Benedict Greets the Youth - 1

Matthew Schneider is spearheading an effort to get the hashtag #ThanksPontifex (and it's multilingual equivalents) trending globally on Twitter at 07:45 Rome time, in February 28. On his blog, he offers further details, and gives local times around the world for when you should tweet using this hashtag.

For those of you in St. Louis or otherwise in CST, tweet around 1:00 p.m. on the 28th.

Also in the post are a bunch of sample tweets you may post, in addition to links to services that will allow you to schedule tweets in case you can't tweet during the appropriate time (due to work or some other circumstance).

Pope Benedict XVI joins Twitter as @pontifex

While Pope Benedict has indirectly used Twitter and other forms of online media to promote the faith in the past, he has never had an account on any social network to which he (the royal he—the Papacy) has been personally connected.

Pope Benedict XVI signature on Twitter background

That's going to change as of December 12 (the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe), when he tweets from the new @pontifex account (available there and in other languages at @pontifex_[language code]). The announcement made Twitter's own blog, and is detailed a bit more in this post:

“In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated – as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.”

'Stir' over Facebook comment caused by breach of privacy [Updated x2]

I was disheartened by the following news story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch: 'Mormons: 1. Indonesians: 0' debate post by STL Catholic exec causes stir.

The story notes that Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, a Democrat in the 28th ward in St. Louis, tweeted a comment made by an employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on the employee's personal Facebook wall—which is set to private, and only accessible/visible to the employee's friends. (Note that the same employee has a public Twitter account that she uses for public communications).

Lyda Krewson public tweet about private affairs stltoday

Catholic New Media Conference 2012 - See you there!

I'll be attending the 2012 Catholic New Media Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth from August 29-31; will I see you there? This year will be the largest CNMC yet, with a ton of great speakers and separate tracks for different days of the conference.

CNMC 2012

This year's theme is Marketing Your Message, and the main track of the CNMC Professional Day will be filled with keynote speakers talking about this theme. At the same time, Matthew Warner and I will be leading a Tech Summit, meant for Catholic app and web developers, designers, and Catholic development companies, talking about apps, APIs, web development, and collaboration.

Deleted my Google+ Pages

I've maintained social pages and accounts for the more popular business ventures and websites I run on Facebook and Twitter for a few years now. These pages and accounts have driven a good amount of traffic to my sites (and they would drive more if I put more time into making them more relevant/personal).

When Google+ announced pages similar to Facebook's, I quickly set up a page for each of the same sites. But since I don't have time to manually post and manage each of these pages, they sat dormant since the day I set them up.

Plus, nobody 'circled' any of them.

Plus, nobody's really on Google+ anyways, besides the regular early-adopter crowd that, like me, jumps from new service to new service just to test it out and see what's neat and what's not.

Plus, Google+ doesn't have a real API that provides any value to me. Heck, I can't even have my site post an update to a Google+ page automatically... that's like feature #0 that should be in the API.

Life, Liberty, and Social Media

Found: An interesting article from Gladden J. Pappin on Liberty, Technology, and the Advent of Social Networking. It's a bit tl;dr, but I've read through once, and hope to sit with it a little longer sometime.

The article (and many like it) makes me think a bit about the theme of personhood on the Internet, and how our use and overuse of social media, blogging, etc. in building our own self-image is something about which we must always be cautious.

I recently watched the Star Trek TNG Episodes 'Booby Trap' and 'Galaxy's Child', and while I'm no supporter of the strange philosophies that guide Star Trek morality/ethics, I wonder if we are becoming like Geordi LaForge, who fell in love with a projected image of a person on the holodeck.

#CNMC11 Keynote: Seán Patrick Lovett

Sean Patrick Lovett

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:

Marconi & Vatican Radio

  • Nobel prize winner contacted by the Pope (Pius XI) to help with Vatican communications.
  • He was the inventor/innovator (Steve J.) of the early 1900s.
  • He helped Pius XI set up Vatican Radio (more than 80 years old).
    • VR broadcasts in 40 different languages.
  • VR continues because:
    • Courage and flexibility, no matter what!
    • Only radio station in the world that was denouncing the Nazi regime.
    • Shortwave, to medium wave, to satellite radio, to podcast, etc.
    • Collaborates with Vatican Television ( Live information, integration, etc.

Iconic Images

  • BXVI using iPad to send the first Papal Tweet.
  • JPII sending the first Apostolic Letter via a laptop.
  • "If the Pope can do it, so can we."

The Catholic Church in New Media (#CNMC11)

The Bad, the Good, and Hope - by Matt Warner

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:

The Bad News

  • The Catholic Church is out of control ... of our message.
  • Being overly cautious about our message has been detrimental to our image.
  • Catholics aren't really using Catholic new media; they're not really using old media either...
    • 2% of Catholics follow religious/spiritual material on Facebook.
    • 11% listen to Catholic radio.
    • Reason? Catholics aren't 'not interested in Catholic media' – Catholics aren't interested in their Catholic faith.
  • Technology is not going to bring people back to the Church. YOU are. People are. Needs meaningful relationships.
  • Online Search (we stink)
    • Examples: Jesus (nothing Catholic on the first page), God (nothing Catholic on the first page), "Who is God?"

The Good News

  • Good examples: Catholic Channel, CatholicTV, CTT, CatholiCon,, blogs, etc.
  • Pope Benedict gets it.
  • We are slowly rekindling a missionary spirit.

Keynote: Sr. Ann Flanagan (#CNMC11)

Sr. Anne Flanagan

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:

"Go teach the gospel. We have all been commissioned. What is the next step?" (Sister's introductory haiku).

Blessed James Alberione

  • Has so much to teach us about being evangelizers in a culture of media.
  • He was constantly connecting media ministry with vows in the orders he founded.

Looking at media apostolate in the light of the Angelus

"And she conceived by the Holy Spirit"
  • Everything comes from God.
  • Networks of collaborators (the Pauline family). "The mystical body of St. Paul."
  • Always begin from Bethlehem. (Humble roots).
  • We need to use our imaginations, our hearts and our minds.

From the Word Made Flesh to the Word Gone Digital

by Pat Gohn

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:


  • What's most important is what God's going to say to you tonight—especially as you visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
  • The heart of the New Evangelization is an actual, beating heart—the heart of Jesus, beating with love for us.
  • JPII: An essential characteristic of the New Evangelization is an intimate relationship with Christ.
  • First line of the Catechism:
    • "FATHER,... this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (Jn 17:3)
  • The REAL workshop tonight will be what's said in your heart between you and Jesus during Adoration.
  • The 'New' in the New Evangelization is supposed to be a 'new ardor' in evangelization.
    • For CNMC, the New also represents an innovative dream of what you can do in evangelization.

God's Social Network

  • Where do you fit into God's social network?
    • God has a social network: God is a trinity—these three persons communicate perfectly. "The Network is always up. There are no dropped calls."