How churches should view the CNN YouTube Debate

Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative or something in between, here are five things those involved with their church and/or charity’s online presence should observe and learn from the CNN YouTube Debate:

  1. Format
  2. Flow
  3. Focus
  4. Failures
  5. Feasibility
Format – note of how questions were asked and answered, for example:
  • How are the questions delivered to the candidates?
  • How are they delivered to one’s computer?
  • Did CNN / YouTube take time to ‘clean-up’ the questions in terms of sound levels, video quality and the framing of faces, etc?
  • Were all the questions delivered as ‘talking heads’ – or were allowances made for ‘examples’ or other visual aspects that either fine-tuned or slanted the question?
  • What type of questions were taken?
  • What type of hardware is employed?
Flow – While I know we’re dealing with professional politicians and journalists …
  • were there any hiccups?
  • long gaps between queries and responses?
  • delays in question loading/delivery?
  • was an intermediary required to ‘translate’ or re-frame some of the questions?
Focus – Where is/was the focus?
  • what did you find yourself looking at the most?
  • what did you find distracting?
  • did anything ‘jump’ out at you at any time?
  • what went unnoticed?
  • not that you’d know now, but later, what did you miss?
Failures – Is there anything we can learn from things that flopped?
  • what didn’t seem to work?
  • what seemed forced, stilted and/or disingenuously canned?
  • what were some obvious foibles and fumbles?
  • which aspect was the cause of the failure, something technical or non-technical?
Feasibility – Can the YouTube approach be scaled/applied as …
  • a gathering of Biblical scholars at a seminary to answer questions?
  • a gathering of pastors within a given city to answer questions?
  • a gathering of missions in the field answering questions?
  • a gathering of representatives at a given denominational convention to answer questions?
  • a visual FAQ … aggregated and accumulated over time and answered by church staff as they occur?

Again folks, this is all about understanding the emerging disruptive technologies around us and understanding if we can leverage this to better attract seekers and support members by means of our church and/or charity’s web presence.

Take notes, think outside the box – bring in your ideas as comments here and we’ll discuss.

Below are some additional articles I read while putting this piece together: