Do You Use LBS Services?

Today’s question and discussion around LBS technology. Do you use it? From Wikipedia: A location-based service (LBS) is an information and entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device.

80 days ago (after 2 years of debating it), I joined Foursquare. I travel a lot and wish I had joined sooner. I’m usually an early adopter, but it took me a while to get on board with an LBS (location-based service). Very recently, I also joined Gowalla, but don’t use it regularly.

From Wikipedia: LBS services can be used in a variety of contexts, such as health, work, personal life, etc. LBS services include services to identify a location of a person or object, such as discovering the nearest banking cash machine or the whereabouts of a friend or employee. LBS services include parcel tracking and vehicle tracking services. LBS can include mobile commerce when taking the form of coupons or advertising directed at customers based on their current location.

My social media marketing company (GTK Solutions) utilizes these tools for our clients, so I wanted to know what we were offering people. I see the value for businesses offering loyalty-based incentives and think it’s great. I also realize you can see friends that have checked in at a restaurant, store or business and know they’re there and stop by and surprise them. Each Sunday, I see several people check in to churches around the country.

I’m curious: Do you use an LBS service? Why or why not? If so, which one and what do you like about it? Do you see uses for churches in this area of mobile technology?

Do You Have An Online Strategy?

A lot of churches are online – maybe they have a website, maybe a Facebook page, maybe a Twitter account – BUT do you actually have a strategy for how you’ll use these tools? Have you given ownership to and empowered volunteers in your church to be active on Facebook and present on Twitter?

If you’re on Facebook and Twitter, are you simply a broadcast model of making announcements or are your fostering community and starting discussions? Do you have a mobile strategy? I’ve blogged about the need for having a mobile strategy before and will blog more about it in the future.

My friend, Tony Steward (Online Community Pastor at, said that they have a 3 phase strategy. Note the order: 1. Facebook 2. Mobile 3. The church website – They put more focus, attention and priority in Facebook than their church website. I think that’s wise.

How are you using online tools in your ministry?