In the last few years a number of new private church community networks have been introduced into the market in addition to the development of numerous social networking sites. In January 2009, Unconventional Method began to design research to explore what churches are doing effectively online in this area and help shape the understanding of how churches can use the internet to gather, disciple and build community. From January 27 through February, almost 1,000 people participated in an exploratory survey examining what churches are doing with social and community networks.
Phase I research began to frame the landscape & attitudes in this space. In this research we examined questions such as:
In Phase II of the project, we will be expanding on many of the issues raised in the initial research. Through a more in‐depth survey and targeted phone interviews, we hope to develop a better understand how pervasive the use of these web applications is and how churches are approaching community and social networks.
We will gather data on usage, experiences, satisfaction, behavior, preferences, perceptions, and demographics. We will go beyond traditional metrics in order determine how these tools promote activities that are central to being Christian and being the church. Our aim is to both help bring clarity and guidance for churches to pursue excellence online while providing market intelligence that will help the developers of these applications improve their sales and products.