Archives For mobile technology

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?

SeacoastMobile

In July of 2008 I was speaking to a group of Church leaders in Santa Cruz, California. I held my phone (this was just before I got my iPhone) up in my hand and I said, “This is the future.”

It’s been a year and a half and mobile technology is the “now”, not the future. My friend, Bobby Gruenwald, Innovation Pastor at LifeChurch.tv, constantly encourages his staff to think global and mobile – global and mobile.

I’m currently working with churches and organizations on helping them to create, dream and plan strategies around mobile technology. Your people are constantly becoming one with their phone (for good or bad) and it’s a reality that we need to be intentional about speaking their language. Again, as I’ve said before: we are digital missionaries.

As you know, I work often as a Secret Shopper/Mystery Worshiper. The first thing I check is the church’s website. The second thing I do is pull up their website on my iPhone. I have recommended several times that church’s follow the lead of Seacoast Church and get a mobile version of their website. I applaud and praise Seacoast for blazing a trail in this area. My hat’s off to my friend Shawn Wood and his team. Well done! If you have your phone handy (and I know you do) – pull up Seacoast’s website on it.

My church (and many others) send out text messages to attenders and members that opt in. My church also encourages you to text in questions and decisions that you may make as a response to the message. Many churches are utilizing text and SMS during services as an interactive piece. As I’ve blogged about before, many churches are using the free service from YouVersion Live.

I’ll be talking more in the near future about other mobile strategies and tools. In the meantime, if you and your church would like to strategize and put together a comprehensive plan that includes Web 2.0 tools, mobile technology, social media and social networking – give me a shout. My only goal is to help and equip you to speak the language of the people you’re trying to reach (digital missionaries).