Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Expand Your Territory

In the process of explaining how much he loves to study how people use technology, Scoble offered a gentle challenge to produce a little more original content.

Brian Bailey (the guy who invited me to take a tour of the church) has been "all-Scoble-all-the-time" this week. But, he added comments, and I like his writing style.

He has a ton of interesting stuff he's learned from his work. I can't wait to see if he starts sharing it.

As this post reveals, that may be harder than one would think!

The question I am currently focused on is how can technology professionals within the church world expand our sources of ideas, inspiration, and solutions... our territory? Even within the more cutting-edge organizations, my sense is we still tend to look to our own peers and ignore many opportunities outside of our spheres of influence. At FC, we seek out the best and most creative users of technology (whether web, audio, video, or IT), from Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple to Nickelodeon, MTV, and U2. Why not look to other churches? Primarily because that is not the audience we are trying to reach.

So how do we expand our territory? Weblogs are obviously a great way to stay plugged into culture and media. The more you read and discuss, the more you'll find yourself exposed to new voices and perspectives. We also try to attend conferences outside of the church world to expand our view of what's possible, including South By Southwest, HOW Design, and NAB.

But once we are as up-to-date and hip as we can possibly be, we take part in church-focused conferences that completely ignore this other world, featuring speakers and panels drawn exclusively from our own sphere of influence. Why?

I fully understand the benefit of interacting with peers, sharing common struggles and uncommon solutions as part of a a healthy professional life. Nevertheless, why not have Scoble speak at the next church technology conference? Or Dave Winer? Or any number of experts from the fields listed above? Not to address theology, but to bring views and insights on methodology from the very world we so desperately want to reach.

Assumptions would be challenged, conversations would be started, and our territory would be expanded.

Disclaimer: Brian Bailey works at Fellowship Church. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted.