Brian Keaney

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I don’t want to know how big his testicle was

Now I’m not one of the legions of Dan Shaughnessy haters out there, but every now and then you just have to ask yourself what the hell he was thinking.  Then you ask his editor what he was thinking.

Seriously, CHB? A story about cups?  I can do without the knowlege of what Youklis has in his pants, thank you very much, or the size of Beltre’s testicle.  There must be something happening at Fort Myers.  It can’t be this dull.

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This blows my mind

I was recently asked to opine on my three favorite social media tools.  Number two on my list was Google Reader.  Here’s why:

Now that is a pretty cool trick (and I love the old school NES controller), but how does it make me a fan of Google Reader? Because without it, I never would have discovered this video.

Most social media let friends recommend items to you.  If  I am friends with you then there is a good chance that I’m interested in the same things you are.  I learn, read, and see plenty of interesting things that are recommended by my friends on social networks.

Google Reader also lets you share items of interest with your friends and contacts through email, Reader’s own sharing system, Twitter, and the like.  However, it also goes  one step further.  It learns about the things I enjoy – both from the feeds I follow and the items I mark as liking – and uses that data to find other, similar items out there on the web.

Then, when I have a couple minutes to kill, I check out my recommended items.  With Reader the success rate of the items I read is much, much higher than on other social media sites.  I have a friend who specializes in 17th century French theology.  That really isn’t my thing, but her links still pop up in my Facebook news feed.   It’s not a perfect match.  With Reader, it is.  At least it’s a lot better.

The recommended items feed is how I came across this amazing illusion.  I don’t spend much time browsing YouTube, and I never would have found it on my own, but I’m glad I did.  Both this illusion, and the service that brought it to me, blows my mind.

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Jesus was a party animal, and other things I learned on blogs

For those of us with an interest in social media, we know that it is here right now.  For those of us immersed in it, however, it helps to remember that not everyone is.  My grandfather says with great pride that he wouldn’t even know how to turn a computer on.  He’s being slightly facetious, but just last week I saw a woman at Staples struggling to use a fax machine.  We are now several generations beyond the fax machine, but there are still those left behind.

There are plenty who get it, though.  At my alma mater, the Campus Minister has a blog and a Facebook account.  He will usually  post his homilies on the blog, and this week he began with an account of how he is using social media to keep tabs on his flock.

Recently I saw a facebook announcement for a 5 keg party and I thought to myself ….. that’s a lot of beer.

(Sometimes people obviously forget that when they “friend me” I see all of their status updates.)

Like any good fisherman, Fr. Bob goes to where the fish are.  When you are dealing with college students, the fish are on Facebook.  He’s not the only one.  On Twitter, the person I am most proud to be followed by is His Holiness the Dalai Llama (@OHHDLInfo).  Not to be outdone, the Pope is on YouTube.  Plenty of other religious leaders are also increasingly turning to social media to engage and evangelize.

I can no longer stand in the back of St. Vincent’s Chapel and listen to Fr. Bob preach any more than I can listen to the Pope at the Vatican or the Dalai Llama in Asia.  Through social media I can continue to be enriched by their teachings, however.  How else would I have known that Jesus was an even bigger party animal than my classmates?  As Fr. Bob told the students,

Being an inquisitive soul, I asked myself how many gallons 5 kegs would make?

The incredible internet told me that each keg has 15.5 gallons so 5 kegs is 77.5 gallons of beer

It sounds like a lot but a five keg party has nothing on the wedding feast of Cana.

With his first miracle Jesus made 120 gallons or 444 bottles of wine…That’s a real lot of wine.

You have to reach your audience where they are.  That means both in a place (Facebook)  and with a message (keg parties) that they can understand.  Fr. Bob gets it.  If only more did.

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