Name-Storming with Social Media and Email
One of the first steps to ministry partner development is figuring out who to contact. We call this namestorming (like brainstorming, but for names… get it? Aren’t we clever?). Where do you keep most of your contact information? In digital form of course! Ministry Partner Development is all about networking, and the best place you have been networking is online.
Let’s think through the different places you can find lists of people you know, and the easiest way to get them out of that place and into MPDx. Remember, this phase is brainstorming. No idea is a bad idea (no name is a bad name). Get them all into your system and then evaluate later. Right now you are GATHERING.
“Between email and facebook, I have a huge contact list!” you say. “How do I whittle it down first?” At this stage, bring in everyone. Remember, we are namestorming. It is much easier (psychologically) to make the decision NOT to contact someone you probably should contact when you are adding contacts. You think, “Should I contact them?” And you start to imagine all the negative scenarios. As a result, you don’t even add them in. However, once they are already in your database, then your decision switches to “Should I delete them?” It is much harder to delete a prospective connection. Trust me, the time will come when you will wish you had more contacts.
So, let’s start with the easiest, email address books. You may want to start by going through your Google contacts and adding everyone that you want to add to MPDX to a group. Or you can easily go through your contacts later and hide everyone you don’t want in mpdx. It is quite easy to import your Google contacts into MPDX. And it is pretty easy to import from other email clients into Google.
Facebook is a goldmine for namestorming. However, there is currently no way to export the information you have there. Here is a tutorial on where to namestorm in Facebook and a possible work around to at least get the names into MPDX.
Twitter usually has people on it that you only connect with on twitter. Though this may not be a huge source it still can bring up people you would have never thought of. Browse through the people who follow you on twitter and add them to your lists.
I KNOW LinkedIn is an awesome place to connect with people, especially about something like MPD. But I just don’t use it. If you do, write up this part of the post for us! And go get your LinkedIn Contacts into MPDx.
ANY WHERE ELSE?
Is there another social media site you are on? Forums or chat rooms? Have you made friends there and connected with people? GO THERE! Add names.