What I Watched and Read, January 2019

2019 is here and along with comes some interesting choices for watching and reading. It seems that a lot of the big buzz this month was over both of the Fyre Festival documentaries. One produced by Netflix and another from Hulu.

In short, I think the Hulu documentary was better at asking the larger story of what happens when you take social media to its logical conclusion. At the same time the Netflix documentary has better footage from the event and seems to be more polished (Note that Jerry Media served as a producer of the documentary. They’re the company behind the social media marketing of the Festival. So of course Netflix had access to more behind the scenes footage.)

Here’s what I watched and read in January.

Movies I Watched this Month

  • ”Alpha Go” Surprisingly moving. Paints a good picture of the limits of artificial intelligence.
  • ”Jiro Dreams of Sushi” Unbelievable dedication.
  • ”Fyre” Absolutely stressful to watch. Of the two documentaries on this fiasco, this is the better of the two.
  • ”Fyre Fraud” Not as good as the Netflix one, however it gives you a sense of history behind the whole operation.

Books I Read this Month

TV I Watched this Month

How Far Out Should You Plan Your Church's Marketing?

I love to plan ahead and get a good idea of what the future looks like. However, when you work at a church there are so many moving parts, that it's difficult to plan anything of substance.

In this episode, I'm going to walk you through what a reasonable timeline is when you're planning your church's marketing. The goal here is to give you a good sense of what is achievable when you're working with a church.

Kara Swisher Rewrites Mark Zuckerberg’s Op-Ed

Kara Swisher, writing for the New York Times regarding Mark Zuckerberg’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:

But the post was essentially the greatest hits that we have heard Mr. Zuckerberg sing for a while now. He focused on the enormous advertising system that powers Facebook, while ignoring almost entirely the news from the last disastrous year, including Russian abuse of the platform, sloppy management of data, recent revelations that the company throws some pretty sharp elbows when it needs to, and more. You kind of get why Mr. Zuckerberg would want to forget it all.

Should I be annoyed by this? One person who favors Mr. Zuckerberg told me no, pointing out that the media is irked when he says nothing and even more bothered when he says something, so he cannot win whatever he does.

O.K., so instead of just criticizing, I thought I would help him with his piece, given I do this for a living and he does not, by rewriting his work. Here goes:

Kara’s piece is funny, but more importantly, it shows how much Mark Zuckerberg has to go before he can be seen as someone who truly understands what kind of havoc they’ve created.

Facebook continues to be tone deaf when it comes to answering people’s real concerns about their platform. I would more have more respect if the just came out and said: “We sell access to you, you’ll never see a dime of it, and that won’t change anytime soon.”

Three Questions to Ask Before You Spend Your Church's Money

Today we’re talking about what you need to think about before you spend the church’s money on communications resources. If you’re like most people who work or volunteer at a church, you can get a large number of emails and ads promising you amazing results if you just a certain product.

In this episode, I’m going to give you a three-question framework that you can use before you make any purchases for your church. It’s a set of questions that I wish I had when I was starting out doing communications for my church.