Category Archives: Mobile Media

Writing Your Own NFC Tags

NFC tags with phone

For those folks looking at person-to-person (p2p) transmission methods, NFC has held a lot of potential, especially when you get past the payments processing end of the conversation. NFC – near-field communications – is something that some feature and smartphones have which enables them to transfer, read, and even write data to tags, which can be read by other devices. What is read/written can be as simple as contact information, or as complicated as a means to shutting on/off functionality.

Over at All About Symbian, there’s a detailed guide on the subject of writing NFC tags, with some good points about what works and doesn’t work from the perspective of Windows Phone devices.

However, one of the lowest-tech and simplest uses for NFC though is in a phone picking up information from a ‘tag’, usually embedded in a poster/sticker, in a business card or badge. The tag is indicated with a logo or arrow or other instruction and you tap the appropriate bit of your NFC-equipped phone to the tag.

And, as you’ll have seen from the idea picking up steam in the Android world from manufacturers like Sony and Samsung, this information doesn’t have to be a URL or contact data, it can also be (admittedly platform specific) shortcut to an application or setting. The other really important thing to note is that any NFC-equipped smartphone can not only read from NFC tags, it can also program them, at least it can when equipped with the right application.

Check out this guide, and even look into using NFC tags for various items in personal and organizational use. Just looking at the image attached to this post, it might make sense to do some “swag” which has writable NFC tags built-in that folks can overwrite and explore other usages with. A scenario that comes to mind is the NFC bracelet – have a branded bracelet for the upcoming MMF Consultation, but then a writable NFC tag enclosed that allows participants to either put a link to their presentation materials, contact information, or something else which might be worth the quick connect.

What might you do with NFC tags and their devices? The limits are your imagination.

Ofcom Researches UK Children’s Use of Media & Digital

Ben Evans posted about an Ofcom study that looks at children and how they have evolved in using digital devices and media on them. There are lots of nuggets here worth hanging some mobile ministry strategy considerations on. Here are a few of those graphics:

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 17.19.53.png

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 17.22.51.png

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 17.27.56.png

Check out the rest of the post, and a link to the study, at Ben Evans’s website.

You might also want to look into subscribing to Ben Evans’s newsletter. There’s nothing like it and its worth the kind of content discussions you only get from one of the leaders in this space.

Case Study and Comment from Mobile Ministry Course

A number of persons have written in over the year asking about various aspects of the two mobile ministry courses that have been on deck. With the CLA course on pause , the MMF/Cybermissions Mobile Ministry Course has been able to target the #mobmin audience with a unique and decent offering. And as such, there are discussions and comments that come forth that don’t always make their way into press clippings. For example, the following case study was posted as a discussion response to the question:

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of these social media platforms (for Christian ministry) – in your particular area?

Here’s that answer, posted from one of our friends at a large media ministry:

I work at a global level so it is difficult to address this week’s discussion topic specification “in your particular area.” So I thought I would pick a particular part of the world where others in the course might think it would be challenging to use social media and share how it is being used effectively and discuss the advantages and disadvantages in this particular area.

Our Digital Strategies leader in Eastern and Southern Africa did not receive the memo that internet strategies and social media do not work effectively in Africa! He is building very effective strategies employing internet-based strategies, particularly social media-based strategies.

Facebook Jesus is the latest strategy and has been run effectively in Ethiopia and Rwanda and will soon be launched in South Africa. Facebook Jesus is an evangelistic strategy mobilizing students and young professionals in a one-week focused effort to influence their Facebook friends with the gospel. Using African communal cultural concepts, people gather in groups for several hours and work together to post videos, stories, poems, Bible verses, and other content on their Facebook pages and interact with their friends who show interest. They pray together for interested friends. They celebrate together for those who respond. They repeat this for several days.

An info graphic gives an overview of the week [click here]

32 people contacted 1006 friends with a total reach of 77,531 engaged users and a viral reach of 195,020 people. (Note: engaged users and viral reach are Facebook social media terms helping measure the impact of the campaign and are based on Likes and Comments.)

Since Ethiopians tend to be friends with Ethiopians, the impact of this week of social media outreach is staggering.

Miheret Tilahun, the Digital Strategies leader for Eastern & Southern Africa, has written and collected guest posts on how to run effectective Facebook Jesus evangelistic campaigns. He has not yet collected these into a specific category so you will have to browse through his website at His site is full of excellent tips on how to engage and mobilize people for a Facebook Jesus campaign, how to train online missionaries, what to put on your Facebook page, how to followup, and many other tips.

The Facebook Jesus strategy was taught as part of the recent Ubuntu National Student Conference in Durban, South Africa. You can watch this video of the excitement of some conferees, including a pastor invited as a conference speaker:

Discussion about internet ministry starts around the 3 minute mark in the video.

Here are some comments I transcribed from the video:

  • Social media is a new mission field
  • By being intentional and using the tools that exist on the internet, I can do much more [evangelism and discipleship] than I am doing currently.
  • Social media evangelism is something I hadn’t heard much about before. It’s a very unreached area. It’s something most believers are not aware of. It seems more effective.
  • I was affected by how much I use Facebook and even become an online missionary. It is something I had never thought about. I have a lot of friends on my Facebook page but I hadn’t seriously thought about ways to seriously impact them effectively.

Some advantages of Facebook include: Africans who use Facebook tend to be younger and rising leaders. They are willing to take risks and to try new strategies.

Disadvantages continue to be technological limitations.

There’s a lot to be explored and discovered as the mobile ministry field grows wider and deeper. Courses like the Mobile Ministry Course help individuals and organizations get there. Don’t look past what these can offer for you. And if you have something to contribute, come on in and do so.

Mobile Advance Reviews Portable Speakers

Portable Speakers  Front

We’ve stated many times that mobile has three parts: devices, services, and experiences. And its easy to see that the mobile itself is a device, and pushes some services. But, part of that also includes the accessories that you use alongside those devices to extend the experience of what you do on/with your mobile. Our good friends over at Mobile Advance have recently taken a look at several portable speakers. Here’s a snippet of that review:

When it comes to actually showing mobile media, the weak link is your mobile device’s speaker. Unfortunately, most phone speakers are very weak and far too many tablets have underpowered speakers that, even worse, are positioned facing away from the viewer. When you are showing someone a ministry video with one of these devices and you add in city traffic, crying babies other common distractions the person viewing it oftentimes will have to choose between listening to the audio with the mobile device next to their ear or watching the video without being able to fully hear and understand what is going on.

Read the rest over at Mobile Advance.

Introduced to the Lightstream Gospel Sharing System

Did you catch what was posted on #mobmin Twitter yesterday

We’ve talked about various ways to share the Gospel via mobile devices, and highlighted some of the groups which are doing innovative things in this space. Here’s one example of this from the folks at Renew Outreach. Haven’t gotten a full play with it yet… that will happen soon. For now, just think about what it means to carry a hotspot and a number of connectors for various types of mobile devices, along with Bluetooth connectivity options. Pretty neat stuff.

And here I was doing it all these years from my mobile phone with a server to host the content. Goes to show that with companies behind a movement, innovative and neat things can happen.

A Few Items in the Tabs

For a little more than a month now, I’ve been using a Chromebook. And ironically, during the same time, I’ve been collecting a ton of links to post. Collecting because many of these were supposed to be published, but you know… there’s that issue with the main website. Ah well, here’s my attempt to cull a few things and point to a few happenings.

Some days ago, the folks at Pew Religion & Public Life published some of the questions from a religious knowledge survey they did. They postured this as a religious knowledge quiz in its own right. It’s pretty easy, but don’t be like me and get one wrong.

I’ve not really figured out exactly how to describe it, but the NSA/Snowden situation is a pretty major one that effects current and future prospects for mobile ministry (#mobmin). Of one of the things I’m thinking about is how we clothe ourselves with data, and what that makes evident in our dealings in ministry and beyond. Alan Moore put this part of the conversation in better words than I can (at this point); here’s his piece: Are We Naked Without Data: Edward Snowden Asks A Big Question.

Logos has a mobile education suite. For those of you looking at expanding your use of their content libraries, this makes a lot of sense. For those looking for something a bit more packaged and aren’t using Logos, this also isn’t bad. Gosh, and all the work I do to pull all of this together on various mobile devices… look how far things have evolved.

I’ve often talked about mobile opportunities that demonstrate living by the Gospel, not simply preaching/teaching it. MAMA – the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action – looks to be an excellent example of this. I really wish that I could say that other ministries are taking part with this (I’m sure there are a few), but this is the kind of approach that’s widely missing in my neck of the developed world.

We’ve got that discount code for Mobilista Rockstars – find out how to get it.

That’s all the tabs for now. Please keep MMM in your prayers. I’ve got a few trips coming, and looks like one of them is in major jeopardy for not happening. The site’s getting worked on, and things are being fleshed out here. And… well, there’s always more to come. Stay tuned.