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Once we have made it easy for people to access content via mobile media, how do we then help them engage with the content and make them hungry for more?

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I think engagement with content comes when someone who's accessed the information is able to question, discuss, and share that information.  So for mobile content it would be building community, interaction and  feedback into the delivery. Youversion are doing this and others.

For example look at the Foursquare app and somehow, despite the pointlessness I see in "checking in" to various locations - I enjoy doing it, have connections and competitions with other users around the world and locally, receive badges and mayorships for check-ins - all these continue to draw me into the application.  There's probably massive marketing data potential but its invisible to me.

In ministry - we cant rule out facetime discipleship. Can a mobile app prompt those interactions where we are close enough to people to smell them?  8-)

I'm a big fan of unique and consistent content being the catalyst for consistent engagement. However, I'd rather people have a relationship with the content producers than with the content itself, that's more sustainable psychologically.
@CSmythe: You don't need a mobile app to prompt when that close, that's what instinct and the Spirit are for ;)

Off the top of my head here's a few things:


First off, the higher the quality your content is and the more relevant it is the more likely you are to have people come back for more.  Is your media truly enjoyable to the people it is meant for?  The biggest draw for people watching video on mobile is apparently humor- would it be too un-Christian to add humor to our materials (if you ask me God has a really great sense of humor!)? Also, story/narrative rules compared to teaching/apologetics presentation.


Second, although we typically love to make sure to try and answer all the questions in one fell swoop, if you're really looking for engagement perhaps for every question you answer you should raise another.  Entice rather than satisfy.  The TV series "Lost" is a great example of this- it kept people hanging on for five seasons looking for answers to questions they never had until they watched the previous episode.  Plan out your media as a series and always leave your viewer/listener with a hook that will draw them back for the next episode. 


Third is, quite simply, making sure there is an obvious avenue for the listener/viewer to take to continue their interaction with the media, ministry, Church, etc.  If your media does one and two but leaves no clear path for the person to access more and deepen their engagement then all is for naught.  Do you have a website, SMS contact number, etc. given in your media piece?


Fourth, as CSmythe, alludes, there needs to be individuals and community available for the listener/viewer to engage with.  Engagement with the media is great but engagement with the Church is the goal.  If your goal is engagement make sure you have people ready to engage with those that have been drawn in.


Fifth, and finally, I'm challenged learning what is going on with "Transmedia".  The idea behind Transmedia seems to be to create deep engagement through a very strategic/foreplanned integration of web, social media, video, mobile and gaming aspects into one's media project.  I'm here at VSN site today to add to a previous post on the subject and I recommend you check out the links that were up previously as well as the ones I hope to post in just a few.

Gameification is the word for what Campbell is talking about - badges, titles, check-ins, etc. Providing a metaphorical ladder for someone to climb/advance/win. It really is amazing how much more enticing a restaurant becomes when you're only one check-in away from becoming the mayor.

Keith is also right on with the differentiation between enticing and satisfying. This is a fine line to tread when dealing with missiological messages (I belive). There is already so much fraud and deception associate with the Church, that I think it worth mentioning that the enticing message needs to make sure that it isn't writing checks it can't cash. While "Lost" dangled the carrot (actually, they dangled the promise of a dangling carrot) for 5 years, I didn't make the journey. I lasted two seasons before I got frustrated with the lack of resolution.

Keith also makes a great point about the "now what do we do with them?" question. Creating engaging content brings you to the Call To Action. That should lead the user to a broader, deeper, richer experience (engagement with a community, and transmedia channels to provide consistency to the experience).

Antoine, very interesting point. Can you provide an example of how the consumer would be engaged in a relationship with the content producers? The first thing that comes to my mind is the "Choose Your Own Adventure" storytelling style. I agree that what everyone is really looking for (whether conscious of it or not) is authentic relationship. Digital tools have remarkably broadened our access and ability to connect with others, and yet at the same time, have also added a degree of separation that can leave people feeling alienated in the midst of their "crowd."
Choose Your Own Adventure, exactly my thinking as well. Perhaps because I grew up on those and Zencyclopedia Brown I have some bias, but I find that discovery during a journey is a lot better than the dangled carrot effect. There is room for both, but in something like this, it's probably by true that we all speak from some kind of mental model a bit more than something that works overall as a generality.


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