Social Media Spotlight On: The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota

Recently, I have been wanting to work on a series of posts highlighting the efforts of United Methodist annual conferences, Episcopal dioceses, and their affiliated organizations on social media. Today, I’m happy to announce that I’m kicking off this series, with a post on the social media presences of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota!

I have two big reasons for wanting to highlight this particular group first, namely:

  1. They’ve experienced considerable recent growth not just in the number of people reached, but in the number of platforms they use
  2. They have used their social media presences in some creative ways, including ecumenical engagement and sharing content from a variety of sources

And so I’ve been in touch with the person responsible for social media for the Diocese, Dr. Chris Corbin, who has kindly answered several questions regarding the usage of social media in the Diocese.

Continue reading Social Media Spotlight On: The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota

Let’s Talk About Youth, Social Media, and the United Methodist and Episcopal Churches

In the wake of my analysis of UMC annual conferences and TEC dioceses, I’ve been working to compile one brand new spreadsheet (and massively update another) to collect social media data on annual conference/diocesan youth organizations across the United States. Titled “The United Methodist Church in the US – Social Media Presence (Youth)” and “The Episcopal Church in the US – Social Media Presence (Youth)” respectively, I’m hoping to draw more conclusions on how the church is communicating with youth and connecting them to youth-centric events and conference/youth campaigns.

As with my UMC annual conference and TEC diocese spreadsheets, I am tracking social media presences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Each social network has two sheets, one based on the number of likes/followers for the account and one based on membership in the church (the latter being based on either line 16 “CF YOUTH” of each annual conference’s Table I Statistical Report for the United Methodist Church or an estimate based on a combination of the 2016 Table of Statistics and the 2014 “New FACTS” report for the Episcopal Church). Having finished with my compilation of both datasets, I would like to talk about my thoughts on the data, social media outreach, and general engagement of youth by annual conferences.

In the vein of the posts that started it all, I’ll be covering the analysis of the data itself first by denomination. After that, I’ll discuss the differences in how this data can be interpreted as compared to the annual conference/diocesan data.

Continue reading Let’s Talk About Youth, Social Media, and the United Methodist and Episcopal Churches

Why Do I Analyze Data From Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

One of the questions that I’ve gotten the most after my latest post is why I choose to focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when talking about the best ways that annual conferences or dioceses can engage with social media. I recognize that this is a very fair question to pose, given two key points that have been given to back up the question:

  1. It can be incredibly difficult for small groups to maintain three social media presences effectively
  2. There’s a clear disparity in the percentage of users using Twitter as compared to Facebook and Instagram

So today, I’d like to explain briefly why I focus on each network, and why I don’t focus on two other key social media networks, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Continue reading Why Do I Analyze Data From Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

Thoughts On TEC Dioceses and Their Usage of Social Media

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called Some Thoughts On UMC Annual Conferences and Their Usage of Social Media, in which I analyzed a data set that I had been collecting that I called “UMC in the US – Social Media Presence“. Well, at one point, I had the idea that I was going to create a project at Hendrix for both my major and minor that analyzed both UMC annual conferences and Episcopal Church dioceses and did some comparisons and such on the resulting collection of data. However, while I started the Episcopal spreadsheet, I wasn’t able to get the project off the ground, and so I only continued to update the UMC spreadsheet (haphazardly, I will admit). However, I recently revisited the TEC spreadsheet after an email conversation I had with an Episcopalian communicator, and now having just updated the data tonight, I thought I would revisit that UMC post, and a couple of posts that I wrote for UMTOOS, and apply that analysis to the diocesan spreadsheet. So, without further ado…
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A (Slightly) Longer New Year’s Analysis

EDIT: To see the most recent version of the data that I’ve been collecting (and reference in this post), please click here.

For around a year and a half now, I’ve been collecting social media statistics on United Methodist conferences to see the sort of outreach and growth that conferences were experiencing on social media platforms, one of the fastest growing methods of communication. Today, I’d like to briefly look back on the data for 2017.

Continue reading A (Slightly) Longer New Year’s Analysis

Alabama Proves It: We Can (And Need To) Make Change Happen Anywhere

I have to say, I don’t think I’ve watched a Senate race more than I have with Alabama’s recent special election between Roy Moore and Doug Jones. You could not have had two more polar-opposite candidates, and sickeningly, Roy Moore survived politically, with party support, and got a considerable number of votes despite the horrendous and numerous allegations made against him. But it’s not just the fact that a Democrat won a historically conservative state like Alabama, it’s who turned out and what’s so important about him winning. Continue reading Alabama Proves It: We Can (And Need To) Make Change Happen Anywhere

You Can Never Pay Too Much Attention To The Facts

You’ll never have to hear the word “no”
If you keep all your friends on the payroll

—Death Cab for Cutie,
“Good Help (Is So Hard To Find)”

I start with this lyric from a Death Cab for Cutie song because if you ask me, it perfectly captures the current state of politics in our country. And you don’t have to look any further than Thursday night, when I stayed up just a little past my bed time (midnight Denver time) to watch CNN rebroadcast C-SPAN, of all things. Now, while you might find this to not be a shock at all, it really isn’t something that I do on a regular basis (or that CNN does, for that matter). However, what was going on was the final vote on another attempt to fix the healthcare system in the United States. And what many considered to be the last-ditch, no-holds-barred attempt to repeal/replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) failed in what was less of a vote and more of a spectacle now commonplace in our American political system, with a party-line-ish photo finish final tally after months, nay, years of closed-door wranglings and politicking that you’d normally find in a House of Cards episode.

Continue reading You Can Never Pay Too Much Attention To The Facts

UMTOOS and UMTracker: Where Have They Been?

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely coming from one of the UMTracker accounts that have been incredibly quiet lately, and that’s honestly just because of school. I haven’t had the time to write like I had wanted to, plus college just got incredibly busy for me. However! I do have some updates that I can share about UMTOOS and UMTracker, as well as my personal endeavors related to the United Methodist Church:

  • The UMC Conference Social Media spreadsheet just received a big update with new accounts being tracked and big shifts in numbers, and as always it can be found here
    • Related to that, I’ve significantly pared back the data I’m keeping track of for the time being, including the UMC Youth/YPM spreadsheet, until I can develop a more robust way of maintain it (including moving off of Google Sheets)
  • UMTOOS, as you can probably tell, is no more, but fear not, the content has been migrated to my personal blog, and it can be found (with other UM-related content I’ve written about) here
  • I’ve been hard at work in the Mountain Sky Area working as a Communications Intern, and you can find a blog on my work here
    • In addition to the above, I will be giving a presentation on my work in the Mountain Sky Area after the semester starts, and I will be posting more info as it becomes available
  • I recently went on a trip to Washington, DC to take part in a General Board of Church and Society UM Seminar, and my thoughts on that can be found here

If you’ve made it to this far, I do appreciate you taking the time to read all of this! As always, please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.

Until next time,
Jacob