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Catholic New Media Celebration Updates

by Ian on August 7, 2010

(Will be updated throughout the day)

Setup: Got a ride to the conference with Dan Burke of Catholic.net and apologist Mark Shea.

Morning blessing: That display I hauled all the way here? Useless. I left the two main connectors at home. Fortunately, our table is in the one place in the building where I could tape our banners to the wall!

9am: Opening welcome by Mac from Catholics in a Small Town did a hilarious intro to the SQPN family of podcasts.

Opening prayer by Fr. Roderick, SQPN founder.

Morning keynote : Fr. Robert Reed, president of Catholic.tv - St. Paul - "Wrap yourself in humility and serve one another."

As you present the Gospel it must be "sweet, neat and deep". We must also not forget to feed our own faith.

All of these efforts are pointing to one goal - salvation.

Announced the launch of the iCatholic.com digimag. Also found in the Apple store.

Blogger Session: Lisa Hendey introducing Thomas Peters of American Papist. He'll be talking about activism in the blogosphere.

  • Our Faith guides how and what we should use activism.
  • "Creative minorities shape culture." Pope Benedict
  • Lay Catholics must lead Catholic activism.
  • Used the phrase "when I was younger." He's only 24/5. I think Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at 27.
  • He started being an activist almost by accident. Used an offensive ad from Kayak as an example of Catholic activism. Got ad pulled same day he blogged about it.
  • Companies and politicians can ignore individuals but they can't ignore hundreds of thousands of united Catholics publicly.
  • Anti-Catholicism is last acceptable prejudice.
  • We need missionaries on the digital continent.
  • We must marshal our numbers into a unified voice.

Q & A:
How to respond to "the priest scandal makes anything you say irrelevant." - Phillip Jenkins has a series of articles putting things in perspective.

How to keep things positive - always remember that you are part of a family and things can't be assumed. Let readers know that criticism is out of love.

How to deal with the combox - moderate but don't get into a comment war.

Blogger Session 2: Sarah Rheinhart

Longest blogging - Bilikfamily.com 10yrs!

Divided into groups. Grab basket of stuff to help come up with blog ideas.

- How to evangelize college kids
- 6 degrees of JPII
- Music reviews

Community
Blogging is more than just writing, you need to read other blogs and sometimes get into conversation.

Content
Find a topic and a purpose.

Catechesis
We are sharing the Faith with both other Catholics and complete strangers. Do we share the Faith in a way that is attractive?

Discernment is needed when blogging - are we spending our time doing what we are responsible for?

How to be part of the community?

Participate in other blogs.
Use other social networks.
Allow easy commenting.

Lunch Mark Shea sleeps in pagan temples!

Afternoon Keynote: Lino Ruli (long I)

Dad quit job, took Lino from high school and joined circus.

News anchor interviewed him, finished high school, majored in communication (what the dumb jocks did) and the news anchor from his past got him a tv internship.

Got a masters in theo but wanted to be in media but avoided it because "the media is evil."

Moved to Rome to be in the midst of the Faith.

Went back to MN and took a job in televised Catholic media and eventually produced his own show.

Tried to be a reporter, tried to be the morning host at Relevant Radio and was lousy but they wanted to hire him anyway - the Church needs to be more discriminating in those who do media production. Hire professionals to do the right jobs so the message is actually inspirational.

Make sure you can describe your audience and always write to that audience.

Produced Champions of Faith and then was asked to start the Sirius Catholic channel but Cardinal Egan rejected his show twice before saying that he didn't like it but he wasn't the audience and Lino got the job.

His audience is "the Howard Stern croud." Be real. Don't play holier than thou.

Afternoon Blogging Panel
Jeff Geirling
Sr. Ann
Mark Shea
Sarah Rheinhart
Tom Peters
Danielle Bean
Rachel Balducci

How to be authentic?
Jeff - interact and answer questions
Sr. Ann - remember that people are reading your site for a reason - they are the fish in the deep

Question to Mark Shea - what do you do spiritually to prepare you for blogging?
Morning and Evening prayer, praying rosary, contemplation
Tom Peters - exorcists have a prayer team when they are working. The internet has a lot of bad stuff, get a prayer team behind you as you "exorcise" the internet.

How to deal with crossed expectations?
Danielle - had to remind commentors that the other people are real people and don't deserve to be mistreated.
Rachel - as a poster or commentor you are representing the Faith.
Mark - level of vitriol allowed depends on the type of blog you want. "An enemy is just a friend who wants to kill you."

How to deal with anonymous comments?
Sr. Ann - some people are scared to post a question with a real name.
Mark - some filtering is needed

Jeff - depends on the type of blog. Personal blog doesn't like bad comments. Lol Saints make sure you have a reason to post what you post.

Danielle - some people are just not going to like you.

Are you bloggers or writers?
Mark - writing is my job, blogging is that thing I do.
Danielle - my old posts were actually quality writing but newer posts tend to be linkier and more instant gratification. This isn't necessarily a good thing.
Mark - Dickens was a serial blogger - he would go listen to crowds comment on his serial stories as they were posted by papers.
Tom - worried that the sound bite culture is hurting our culture. Long posts aren't bad but they need to be good and deserve the time to be written well. Segment long posts or use bold paragraph headers to improve readability.

How to generate readership and market?
Rachel - network with other bloggers, prove your quality, writing about boys was therapy.
Tom - instant fame is unlikely. Get noticed by Catholic portals that have traffic - let like - topic bloggers know that you have a post they may like.
Mark - from old media - write a query letter. Send the most interesting thing you can and send it to another blogger you want to notice you.
Sr. Ann - use Twitter to let others know about your blog.
Jeff - get input and content ideas from others who know what they are doing.
Sarah - the goal is to change people, not obsess about stats.
Danielle - don't forget that you have a real life to live before what's online.
Rachel - the pious style is a stumbling block to Catholics who want to speak to the modern world - Flannery O'Conner.
Sr. Ann - gave quote from DSP founder about young people and media in conversion - 1920

Endnote Speech Cardinal Sean O'Malley

Talking about his work in media. Started a Spanish language paper in DC.

When made bishop of St. Thomas he started a newspaper and a cable station. Had to have 24 hrs worth of programming so he would loop EWTN three times a day with some local programming mixed in.

The Pilot (archdiocese of Boston) is the oldest Catholic paper in US, now on Kindle.

When he went to Rome to take possession of Santa Maria della Victoria his staff convinced him to blog while he was there.

The blog got 3.5 million visits in a week. He still is blogging.

Blogging is a great way to let the world know about God's love.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie August 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

Ian,
I am super impressed by your ability to blog so much via Blackberry! I have written whole posts with mine, but still prefer using my computer. Oh, and you mentioned the terrible camera on your BB on the other post – AMEN to that! I went to a concert last night aWI State Fair and the photos were terrible, especially because I had to use zoom. Sigh…

Reply

Ian August 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm

The zoom is REALLY pathetic. See you next year!

Reply

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