What will 2014 bring to organizations and individuals engaged in leveraging technology for Digital Missions?
We’re still as excited as ever by efforts to grab hold of strategic technologies that will hasten the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Continuous change has become the norm, and in 2014 anyone broadcasting the gospel faces more disruptive threats and innovative opportunities.
Understanding what’s ahead can help you develop plans, programs and initiatives. Here are my top trends for where Digital Missions is headed in 2014.
Rise of visual storytelling through video
We talk a lot in this space about telling the story of ways that God is active in people’s lives. The trend started in churches using short, concise videos featuring real people and the remarkable stories they have to tell.
Look for new varieties and lengths of this type of content from an expanding number of creators and broadcasters.
Custom videos and specific outreach objectives will be used as a way to bring more visitors to mission oriented websites, get them to focus on the message in multiple ways (visually, audibly, etc.), and to increase the amount of time spent on your website.
Broadcasters won’t just tell people about the work of the gospel they will use video to SHOW them.
Screen convergence means gospel TV everywhere
Screen convergence is here, almost. People are using multiple screens for the same activities. New products are coming to market with this trend mind.
Google unveiled Chromecast in 2013. Plug it into one of your TV’s HDMI ports, and you can fling videos and other content from your laptop, tablet or phone to the big screen, no wires involved. Google is revealing big plans for its little streaming stick including: more apps, ability to stream user content from the cloud, international release, an open software development kit (SDK), and more.
Chromecast was named Time Magazine’s Top Gadget of 2013.
This is an important innovation for developers of Christian Internet TV. From a variety of interconnected devices, it allows people to access sites capable of distributing multiple channels of programming with streaming video through IP networks.
2014 could be the year when everyone has multiple video-capable platforms and that means broadcasters will be able to target them with creative messages seamlessly across multiple devices.
Reaching into connected cars
Experts are saying that the tipping point for the connected car could be come in 2014.
New technology will allow cars to read Facebook and Twitter alerts aloud, access 7,000 web-based radio stations worldwide, and offer personalized RSS news feeds. The 4G LTE pipeline will bring faster downloads and high-definition video streaming using in-vehicle WiFi hotspot.
Vehicles will connect as seamlessly with the Internet as their smart phones and tablets. The car radio is gone. The connected car will function like a giant, moving smart phone, say the experts.
Broadcasters need to start thinking now about how to interact with people in the car with their smartphone and other devices. How will you use new technologies to attract people to a gospel message? And not just the driver, but everyone in the car using media.
Platform diversification reduces exposure to risk
Broadcasters will expand their use of mainstream media platforms to expose audiences to the gospel and Scriptural tenets. They also face risks that their programming or advertising which celebrates biblical fidelity will run up against the content policies of companies that rule the Internet’s walled gardens.
A platform diversification strategy helps you address threats to filter the things you broadcast about the Bible or Jesus Christ.
The strategy includes building your own delivery service, or leveraging the power of video and audio platforms, creating unrestricted ministry experiences from your own site.
2014 is shaping up to be a landmark year for solutions that spiritually connect people with digital messages. Digital Missions is changing so fast, there will be no time for complacency.