When my ho-hum tweet went viral

Let me clarify from the start what I mean by “viral” in this blog post. After all, it’s a bit of a subjective term. I’m not talking selfie-at-the-Oscars viral. I simply mean to say that this particular tweet of mine has garnered more retweets and favorites than anything I’ve ever tweeted from any account I’ve managed.

It so happens that this tweet was sent from my personal account, and it was in response to the news that the TV show Agents of Shield had been picked up for another season. Kathy and I both really like the show, so I tweeted a simple acknowledgement to the announcement.

It’s a rather measured response, really. It’s not like I used 42 praise hand emojis and 30 exclamation marks.

You’ll note that I mentioned the official Agents of Shield Twitter account in my tweet. Well, whoever manages that account saw my tweet and decided to retweet it to their followers. All 585,000 of them.

And then my phone exploded. I have it set to alert me when someone retweets or favorites one of my tweets, which usually isn’t too often. As I write this post my tweet has been favorited 266 times and retweeted 68 times, most of which occurred in the first two hours after I first posted it. My Twitter ads dashboard tells me that this tweet has had 50,546 “impressions” (meaning it’s been seen that many times by other users) and 679 “engagements” (indicating how often someone interacted with that tweet in some way).

In the eight years I’ve been using Twitter none of my clever quips, my self-promotional links, or my endorsements of others ever boomed like this, including the ones I spent considerable time crafting until they were just right. It serves as a reminder to me that no matter how much strategy and planning you put into a social media presence sometimes it’s just dumb luck that leads to a moment of success.

Harvest Episode 02: A Film Two Years in the Making

Two weeks ago the second episode of Harvest, the film series on discipleship of which I’m the executive producer, was released to the world. This episode focuses on how discipleship is the vehicle for reaching the nations with the Gospel. It’s taught by Dave Wirgau who uses a little-known tool called the Archer illustration, drawn out on screen, to explain his lesson. Dave discipled me for over four years when I lived in Tallahassee, and I still remember when he first showed me this illustration as a sophomore at FSU.

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Turning 31

Yesterday my coworkers in the Collegiate office surprised me with a little birthday celebration, held a day early since we all are off work today for Good Friday. As we ate our cupcakes (mine gluten-free) I was asked two questions: What were some highlights from the past year, and what were some of my goals for this coming year?

Back when I turned 30 Kathy and I had only been living in Colorado for a couple months. I was still trying to figure out my new job and Kathy was still searching for one. Neither one of us really knew anyone in the state. The townhouse we just leased didn’t quite feel like home yet. And if I was feeling bold and turned off Google Maps I had a tendency to get lost just driving around town.

The whole “we live in Colorado now” thing was still surreal and, at times, stressful and lonely. We knew this would be the case when we decided to move, but it didn’t make it any easier.

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Creating the Topical Memory System Lite

Yesterday we released an April Fools Day post for CampusNavs.org, the national website for The Navigators collegiate ministry. This year I wrote a spoof on the Topical Memory System (TMS), the tool Navigators use to help them memorize Scripture. The original TMS has 60 verses, each one paired with a topic to help a person recall and use those verses when needed. Memorizing Scripture isn’t an easy discipline, and it’s something I have heard college students lament over for years. So, with that in mind, this year I wrote that the Navs had released a new Scripture memory resource called the Topical Memory System Lite, composed exclusively with the shortest verses in the Bible.

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Win a copy of “The Wrong Jesus” from Campus Navs

UPDATE: This giveaway has ended.

I’m the director of communications for The Navigators collegiate ministry. Right now on our website we’re running a giveaway for the book “The Wrong Jesus” by Greg Monette. I wanted to bring the giveaway to the attention of my blog readers and offer you a chance to win as well.

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