A presentation given at the Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation in December 2011, highlighting 7 key trends in the mobile space:
- 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.
- Mini Tablets/e-Readers - These are becoming more affordable, such as the $60 tablets being developed in India for school children.
- Operating Systems - Android sales are increasing, although a large proportion of current phones run on Symbian.
- Content - New content repositories are being created, such as REAP (SIL), ETEN (Every Tribe Every Nation), TWR's Linguablast and LinguaDMS.
- Facebook - Facebook is expected to reach 1 billion users in 2012.
- 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.
- 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...]
The issue of non-readers is an issue for all countries, as we see reading declining even in countries with high literacy rates. It has been estimated that in some African countries printed scripture only reaches around ten percent of the population. The challenge is therefore to develop translations that are relevant to the media, productions that are appropriate, and distribution systems for scripture that reach the non-reading population.
Viggo Søgaard argues for the kinds of Bible translation needed for non-reading populations, conforming to "the rules and requirements of spoken rather than written language". He describes the differences between oral and written communication and highlights some of the areas translators need to pay attention to when producing translations for audio media (emphasis, direct speech, intonation, context information). [more...]
"Make a big effort to understand the full meaning of the text... Try to put yourself in the shoes of your character. Think of their character, their temperament, their behaviour. What do they like? What don’t they like?"
This is a list of advice for narrators and actors working on audio products for promoting Scripture Engagement. These could be dramatised Bible portions or Scripture relevance dramas.
The advice comes from a drama team with many years of experience in producing radio programmes in West Africa. [more...]
Africa by Radio is a body of Christian broadcasters unified by an agreed strategy, supporting God’s plan for Africa. We are committed to seeing that every man, woman and child in Africa is provided the opportunity to turn on a radio and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way and language they can understand, so they can become responsible members of His Church.
It is useful for those involved in Scripture Engagement in Africa to maintain links with Africa By Radio, to encourage a healthly partnership with radio stations around the contintent in broadcasting Scripture.
Here are some of the points made by the group leader:
- Hearing God's Word is more important that just being told about it.
- The audio player gives access to the Bible to those who cannot read.
- In the local language, listeners get the message straight and it doesn't need interpretation.
- Listeners have the opportunity to ask questions, as the group hears from each individual about what they found in the Bible story. It's an open forum, with a 'chairman' to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to share.
"We know that just because someone has a printed Bible doesn’t mean they will use it. After the novelty has worn off, how can we encourage people to go on listening and engaging with God’s Word with their audio player?"
In recent years we’ve seen the launch of a number of multi-purpose digital audio players, designed for contexts without easy access to electricity: such as the MegaVoice Ambassador, the Saber, the Papyrus and the Audibible. They can contain hours of audio Scripture, songs, teaching, Bible stories, or whatever audio content you choose.
Suppose you had 10 of them, or 100, or 1,000? What would you do with them? Not only would you need to decide what to put on them, but you would also need to think about how people will get hold of them and put them to use.
This brief article describes 9 ideas for putting audio players to use, including listening groups, audio libraries, tools for pastors and evangelists, new communities and translation testing. [more...]
"Good News" is an evangelistic Bible teaching audio-visual. It presents a quick Bible overview from Creation to Christ's resurrection in 20 pictures, with a further 20 pictures of basic teaching on the Christian Life.
The "Look, Listen and Live" series of 8 audio-visuals gives studies of Old Testament characters, the life of Jesus, and the young Church. There are 24 pictures in each book.
"The Living Christ" series of Bible pictures illustrates the Life of Christ, from Creation to His second coming. [more...]
"When it comes to audio and video products, the mobile phone can be an effective method of getting the Scriptures to people... who then pass them on to other people... who then pass them on to other people..."
This article discusses some of the implications of mobile phone technology for encouraging the sharing of audio/video Scripture products. Questions raised include:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the best Scripture products for the phone?
- How will people get their first copy of the media files which they can then share with their friends?
- Are there any copyright issues involved?
- How could mobile phone technology become an obstacle to people engaging seriously with God’s Word?
- What are the most positive aspects of using mobile phones for Scripture distribution?
YouVersion and OneHope have teamed together to develop The Bible App for Kids, "designed specifically to engage children with stories from the Bible". It's available for free download for Android and iOS mobile devices. It was installed more than 450,000 times by people on its launch day.
The app comes with six interactive Bible stories:
- In the Beginning (Creation of the world)
- The First Sin (The fall)
- The First Christmas Gift (Jesus is born)
- Through the Roof (Jesus heals a paralyzed man)
- It is Finished! (The cross)
- A Happy Sunday (The empty tomb)
More are promised in the future.
Each story has seven or eight colorful pictures with text, narration and background music. Touching different items on a picture makes them come to life, such as letting the paralyzed man down from the roof or seeing him get up and leap for joy. There is treasure to collect and questions to answer along the way. [more...]
In the Jump Into the Word blog, Lawson Murray asks how the digital age will influence Bible engagement.
He makes a list of possible effects:
- "the Bible will be read in multiple formats in an ever emerging variety of forms on a growing range of devices
- availability and access to different Bible versions and translations will continue to increase
- greater access to audio Bibles and podcasts may help us become better “hearers” of the Word
- sharing thoughts and insights about the Bible may increase due to social networks like facebook and Linkedin
- interactive software programs/systems, hypertext, blogs, posts and webinars uniquely facilitate biblical study and reflection
- sharing favourite or meaningful verses will increase due to texting and tweeting
- the individual’s opportunity and capacity to understand and interpret the Scriptures will increase
- missions could prosper because nations closed to the Gospel will find it more difficult to restrict the availability of biblical texts
- the Scriptures are readily available in any language or translation to anyone on earth with a smart phone
- Scripture memorization may decline because Google, Bible Gateway, You Version and such make it easy to look up a passage or text
- people will become significantly less likely to buy printed copies of the Bible
- reading Scripture within a contemplative framework may decline
- sequential reading will decline due to the fact that reading on the web develops inclinations to skip around, dip and dabble, browse or scan information
- tendencies to read the Bible in short fast bursts will increase
- concentration and meditation on the Scriptures will suffer because of what Cory Doctorow has called “an ecosystem of interruption technologies” (animations, hyperlinks, live feeds, pop-ups and so on)
- qualitative depth of reading will be sacrificed for reading geared to a quantitative scope
- e-books may augment a predisposition to uncouple content from form which may lead to tendencies to view the Scriptures as something detached from their incarnational form – the textual equivalent of Cartesian dualism
- the role of the local church in the transmission and interpretation of the Scriptures will decline"