Wednesday, June 3, 2009

3 Reasons Twitter is for Missionaries

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm HUGE into missions, missionaries, and everything that surrounds them. But, as anyone who's connected with missions will tell you, communication is not always the missionary's strong suit. It's not that they don't try, it's just that they're so busy and so far away that communication tends to slow down over time.

It's a two-way street too though. People back home tend to slowly forget not remember the missionaries they support financially and via prayer.

Enter Twitter.

Twitter is missionary's newest, bestest, most user-friendly communicate-with-your-supporters tool that web 2.0 has ever given us.

I know you're thinking, "Well what about MySpace and Facebook." MySpace and Facebook require two things many missionaries don't have in great supply: 1) time and 2) reliable high-speed internet.

1. Twitter Requires Minimal Time Committment
Facebook, as we all know, is basically designed to be a giant hole into which you throw as many waking hours as possible each day. Facebook is good, but unless you have time time to devote to it, the user experience is not all that beneficial. And unless you're a 13 year old girl, MySpace just isn't where you need to be anymore. Its time has passed.

2. Grab a Cell Phone and Go!
I've known missionaries from all over the world. Some of them have great high-speed internet connections, and others have to crank a generator to keep the computer functioning and only get dial-up internet from time to time. Thus Facebook may work for some missionaries, but twitter only needs an internet connection for the setup and maintenance. The rest can be done via cell phone and nowadays cell phones are as pervasive as Coca-cola.

3. Short Frequent Updates
Many times missionaries work for hours on update newsletters at the end of the month trying to remember everyone they talked to and how much time they spent doing this or that. With Twitter you're constantly updating supporters about what you're doing. So when newsletter time comes around, they can focus on the big stuff and point people to twitter to get the day-to-day updates.

Don't get me wrong, Twitter has some pretty glaring problems. For example, why aren't there groups? Or maybe a "Follow this conversation" option between two people? And it is notorious for showing the "Fail Whale" when the servers are overloaded.

But Twitter can be a missionary's best friend and a lifeline to friends and supporters back home.

Also, it's totally cool.

If you haven't already done so,! Shout out to @txfilmgeek for bouncing around these ideas about missionaries and twitter over coffee the other night!

1 comment:

Stealth said...

Twitter uses hashtags for a "group" type effect. ;)

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