I am working with a church on an upgrade to their web presence. Â Using my strategy framework, we have come down to a choice between two different solutions. The first is the top of the line, “Mercedes-Benz” of church web presence management software. It is expensive (though within the church budget) and feature rich. It will give us the ability to manage our full Internet presence, including integration with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo. On the other hand, we have a lower-end, less expensive solution that will give us a good church web site, but that’s about all. If we want to do the rest of our “Internet presence”, we will have to manage them separately.
It seems obvious to me, at first glance, that we want to go with the first solution. After all, we are now in a “post-web site” world, where we need to be “getting in the stream” of our audience. But I have a real dilemma: the culture of this church is not web-centric. In other words, there is very little excitement, except with just one or two of the staff members working with me on this project, for doing more on the Internet. So is it a good use of church resources to recommend the more expensive, more involved solution? Â The Internet Ministry Framework shows us that a successful online ministry combines equal parts technology, people, and process. So I can recommend the best technology, but if the people are unwilling, can it work? I can develop great processes to use to manage the site and keep it updated and relevant, but if the people are ambivalent, does it make sense?
When I was studying for my information systems doctorate, one of the things we studied was “what exactly is ‘information systems’?” One of the things we looked at was which other fields combined together to make up our field: computer science, business, sociology, and psychology, among others. Going through this process with this church has helped me to understand the psychology side, something I have not had to deal with directly before.
So, what would you do? Would you recommend the best solution, given a high probability that it would site unused? Or would you go for the lower-end solution? Or would you wait and try to change the culture?