Mobile and Digital

Pump Up Your Mobile Media Ministry
Author: Keith Williams
Published by: Mobile Advance (2013)

What’s the weak link when it comes to mobile media ministry? 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.

For audio and video on mobile phones or tablets to be heard by groups of people, it can help to connect your mobile device to external speakers. This can be via a cable from the phone's 3.5mm headphone socket, or wireless using a Bluetooth connection.

This review on the Mobile Advance website compares 13 speakers available for under $100, and makes recommendations on which might be the best to choose. Even if these specific models are unavailable where you are, there might be something similar available locally. The article will get you thinking on how a mobile device connected to an external speaker can help to make audiovisual Scripture engagement products accessible in group contexts.  [more...]

Published by: Barna Group (2013)

The Millennial generation of young people are known as "digital natives". According to recent research carried out by the Barna Group in the USA:

"the most common way Millennials are blending their faith and technology is through digital reading of Scripture. It’s an escalating trend, considering there are just as many YouVersion (the free Bible phone app) downloads as there are Instagram downloads. And BibleGateway.com has become one of the top Christian websites today."

The research found that:

"Seven out of 10 of practicing Christian Millennials (70%) read Scripture on a screen. One-third of all Millennials says they read sacred Scripture on a phone or online, demonstrating how broadly the digital trends are shaping this generation."

In addition, 38% of practicing Christian Millennials said they search the Internet to verify something a faith leader has said. This might be during a sermon, as many bring their smartphones or tablets to church with them.  [more...]

A brief introduction to mobile ministry and its place in world missions
Author: Keith Williams
Published by: Mobile Ministry Forum

An exciting growth area for Scripture Engagement practitioners is working out how mobile phones can be used around the world to encourage the use of the Scriptures.

This 5-minute video presents an introduction to the possibilities of mobile ministry:  [more...]

How interconnectivity helps us better engage the Bible
Author: Robert C. Crosby
Published by: Christianity Today (June 2012)

"Not only do billions around the world now have access to the Bible online, and not only are many of them actually reading it, they're also actively engaging with the Word of God—and with one another in far flung virtual communities across the planet.

With these trends, the vocabulary of Bible dissemination is changing. For centuries, the buzzword was distribution, with a focus on quantity delivered. The new buzzword is engagement."

In this Christianity Today article, Robert Crosby examines Scripture engagement in the online world of smartphones, tablets and Facebook.

He points to four principles we can learn from online engagement:
Initiative: "Those who start simply, and simply start, rule the new roads."
Responsiveness: "The pulse of online Bible engagement is rapid response and connections."
Frequency: "To try repeatedly is vital in engaging people with Scripture online."
Saturation: "...a constant awareness of reaching broadly—that a small impact on one soul has the potential of reaching thousands more in a short span of time."  [more...]

Author: Ed (One Hundred Fold Consulting)
Published by: Mobile Ministry Forum

A presentation given at the Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation in December 2011, highlighting 7 key trends in the mobile space:

  1. Saturation - It is projected that we'll reach 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions in 2012. That doesn't mean everyone will have a phone, but most will have access, whether with their own phone or through friends and family. In 2011, there were 1 billion mobile broadband subscriptions. 2 billion smartphones are predicted for 2015.
  2. Mini Tablets/e-Readers - These are becoming more affordable, such as the $60 tablets being developed in India for school children.
  3. Operating Systems - Android sales are increasing, although a large proportion of current phones run on Symbian.
  4. Content - New content repositories are being created, such as REAP (SIL), ETEN (Every Tribe Every Nation), TWR's Linguablast and LinguaDMS.
  5. Facebook - Facebook is expected to reach 1 billion users in 2012.
  6. Engagement - There's a desire to encourage and measure engagement with content. It's estimated that 90% users read/watch content, 9% interact with it (e.g. comment/like/share), and 1% create new content.
  7. Security - Complete anonymity doesn't exist. There is an increased ability to monitor people's mobile use. Sharing SD cards and bluetooth transfers are safer in sensitive situations. Some countries are trying to phase out anonymous SIM cards, requiring people to register.

Watch the video in Vimeo...  [more...]

3 Free Mobile Phone Video Converters Compared
Author: David Phillips

How do you get Scripture video into a format that people can watch and share on their mobile phones? You'll need a program that can convert video to 3GP and MP4 file formats.

In this paper, David Phillips compares three video conversion programs: Miksoft’s Mobile Media Converter, Acala 3GP Movies Free, and Any Video Converter.

Choosing the right video file type can take some trial and error with sample phones among your target audience. You might need to distribute mobile phone video in at least two file types. For example, H.263 3GPP (.3gp) video files are used for many low-end phones with small screen sizes and less powerful processors. MPEG-4/H.264 (.mp4 or .3gp) video files are what you'll need for higher-end phones and smartphones (such as the iPhone) which have larger screen sizes and faster processors.

There are all kinds of options to choose from (video and audio codecs, bitrates, frame rate, sampling frequency, screen size, etc.), so it can get complicated. That's why it's good to have a converter program that meets your needs and level of expertise, giving you the options you need but not too many to confuse you.  [more...]