Today concludes the two week time line for the experiment in Methodist social media exposure. There were 759 views of the YouTube video promoting Reclaiming the Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today There were 44 hits to the video when I discovered it and posted it on the Methodist blogosphere. At the end of the first week there were 619 views. This means that the momentum slowed down significantly after the first week as there were 140 views in the second week. (On the other hand, that is still more than three times as many views as the video had in its first six months of existence.)
I am not exactly sure what to make of the results. I think the experimented would have been more successful if the video that was circulated had not been promoting a book generally, and promoting a book I co-authored more particularly. I noticed comments on several blogs that expressed that they were disappointed to find at the end of the video that it was just promoting another book. (Though I was also surprised that so many people seemed to feel that United Methodists have so much information out there about their books. I have tended to feel the other way, that not very many people know about United Methodist publications outside of a very committed group.) I was also a bit disappointed that the views of the video decreased so rapidly in the second week.
On the other hand, I was surprised that more than 25 bloggers linked to the video in some way on their blog. And I do think it is significant that simply passing on a video was able to revive a video that was basically dead on YouTube. A change from 44 views in 6 months to 715 views in 2 weeks is a significant change. I think that this experiment does show that there exists a significant group of Methodists who are willing to work together in some capacity to raise awareness and get the word out. The big question is: Get the word out about what? Over the last few weeks I have found myself dreaming about the ways that the blogosphere could be used as a resource for helping to better get the Wesleyan message out there – not just to other Methodists, but more deeply into the emerging church and other places where meaningful conversations are happening about what it means to be a Christian, how to live faithfully, the meaning of life, etc.
As I indicated in the original post about this experiment, I will write a letter to the folks at Discipleship Resources and the General Board of Discipleship letting them know about the experiment and encouraging them to think about ways to use the internet as a means of communication and ways to work with Methodists who already have a presence and audience on the web. I will pass on any response that is appropriate to publicly communicate.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts about the experiment? Do you see anything more than this can point to or lead to?