We're not about global connection, we're about local engagement.
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The most creative entry in our recent Birthday Video Contest came from Imad. Rather than film himself, he used the wacky video animation from Xtranormal to talk about the Table. He shares how he found a substitute for nursery duty, gave away some dirt and prayed for missionaries.
Watch Imad's video:
Notifications can be the lifeblood of a social network. Recently, we rolled out push notifications for iOS and now we have just rolled out the new notifications interface for the web platform. We think you will really like the improvements. They make interacting with notifications more delightful and editing your settings dead simple.
Here are the changes in a nutshell.
New Notifications View
- Displays people's images, gives context to the content and the entire bar is "clickable" so it is easier to get to the content.
- Multiple notifications for the same content collapse so you won't be flooded with a bunch of notifications for the same thing.
- Unread notifications turn "read" automatically and drop off after new notifications are added. This way, you don't have to keep up on a queue. Less work and more fun!
- For any type of content and location, choose between receiving nothing, only the highlights or everything.
- If you are more of a power user, you can still adjust notification settings for every piece of content. We have upgraded this interface as well.
That's about it. We hope you like the changes an in the future these settings will also include the daily and weekly digest options we are currently working on.
As kids we learn how to share, but somehow we forget by the time we grow up. As a result our homes are packed with stuff we rarely use. Maybe we use it a few times a year or just once and then never again. Maybe it's time to start sharing again.
Here's how to do it:
- Take Stock: Walk around your house with a digital camera and take pictures of stuff you'd be willing to let someone else use: Tools, camping equipment, media (books/DVDs/video games), sports equipment, baby stuff, etc. (see 10 Ways the Serve App Can Get You Sharing). You don't need to collect stuff, you're just cataloging what you have available to share.
- Post It: Add those items to the Serve App. Include details and any helpful info.
- Start Sharing: As people respond and ask to borrow your stuff, coordinate and make it happen. The easiest thing to do is start bringing requested items to church on Sunday so nobody has to make an extra trip.
It's time for the church to bring back sharing.
Adding interests to your profile is an easy way to connect with others and find people who like the same stuff as you.
Here are the top 10 most popular interests on the Table:
If you haven't added interests to your profile, do it today. Here's a quick overview of the benefits of adding your interests.
The Table's Serve App is encouraging sharing and helping like we see in Acts 2. Join us for next week's Round Table webinar as we'll talk about making the most of the Serve App in your church. It's a simple way to make volunteer needs known and share stuff. We’ll talk about how to encourage a sharing movement that is both biblical and counter-cultural. We’ll look at examples, ways to use the Serve App and ways to encourage its use.
Register now: How Can I Help?, Wednesday, May 16 at 3 p.m. CDT.
Last week our Executive Director Ken Finsaas and Customer Service Guru Caleb Rotach headed to Texas for the 2012 Dynamic Church Conference. In addition to manning the Table booth and connecting with our users, Ken and Caleb did two hour-long presentations. They had the chance to share our new prayer video and hear stories face to face from our users (we love stories!).
The team behind the Dynamic Church Conference and the Fellowship One church management software even gave us a show of support as Jeff Hook, general manager of Fellowship Technologies, a part of Active Network, strongly re-affirmed the strategic partnership between the Table Project and Fellowship One speaking of the Table as "our social strategy."
It was a fun week and a good chance to share the Table with churches.
The Table is designed to be a private, local community. While nothing online is 100% private, the Table offers smaller community that's more local, more connected, more trusting and more private than what you'll find on Facebook.
That means you can open up. Go ahead, be brave. Share your struggles with your small group. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip or sharing secrets, it's about opening up a little bit more. Not to tell the world and have people gather around and gawk, but to get help, to rely on our fellow believers to support us.
- Open Up: Share your struggles with your fellow believers. Ask your church for prayer about a sensitive issue that you wouldn't post for the world to see. It's not about gossip, sharing secrets or one-upmanship, it's about being the body of Christ and supporting one another. We've heard stories of how amazing it can be.
- Keep it Small: You can use groups to share your sensitive info with a select few that you trust. Your whole church doesn't need to know the ins and outs of your current trial to pray for you, but maybe you share more details with your small group so they can better support you.
- Post Anonymously: If you're really worried about privacy, you can always post a prayer request anonymously. You lose out on some of that relationship-building goodness (nobody will know it's you, so they can't come up and give you encouragement on Sunday morning), but you still get prayer.
Take advantage of the privacy inherent in the Table and open up to your fellow church members.
The Table Project is not about global connection, we're about local engagement.
But now that local engagement can happen globally: The Table is now available worldwide.
When we launched publicly in 2011 the Table was only available in the United States. We've made some tweaks and cleared some technical hurdles and now churches anywhere in the world can use the Table (assuming they have Internet access and what not).
Check out the Table and sign up your church today.
Note: We want to be clear that while we are making the Table available internationally for the global church, it is not optimized for local use. It's only in English, it's not localized and since we're based in the United States and follow U.S. laws, we may not comply with local privacy or other laws.
In the future we do hope to offer a localized version of the Table that's multilingual and fully global (if you'd like to help with that effort, you can sign up here). But for now the best we can do is at least make the Table available. Also, since we are a nonprofit and make the Table available for free, donations are always appreciated.
Those caveats aside, we're excited to offer the Table globally. We hope you're ready to slay anonymity, champion prayer and squash apathy. Around the world.
Our closets, basements, garages and storage units are packed with stuff we don't really need. Some of it's junk (your broken TV? Come on, get rid of it!), but there's a lot useful stuff in there that someone else could use. If you're never going to use it, maybe it's time to give it away.
You can use the Table's Serve App to post stuff you're willing to give away (read more about how the Serve App works). Not only are you cleaning out your own stuff, but you're helping somebody else out. Plus, the Table is a smaller, safer community than Craigslist, so you don't have to worry about the creepy stories.
Here's how to do it:
- What have you got?: Go through your closets, basement, storage unit, junk drawer—whatever—and see what you have that you don't really need. Grab a digital camera or phone equipped with a camera and take some pics.
- Post It: Add that stuff to the Serve App. Post the photo and any helpful details. We've seen all kinds of stuff posted—a laptop, rose bushes, old Christmas decorations, furniture, even dirt. Remember that one person's trash is another person's treasure.
- Give It Away: As people respond, connect to hand off your stuff. You can always meet up at church and save an extra a trip.
Your junk pile just got smaller and you met someone else's need. Everybody wins.
We've had a few press mentions recently, including Outreach Magazine and Mission Frontiers.
The Table was featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Outreach magazine. We were one of five resources highlighted in a piece titled "What can technology do for you?" Check us out:
(Click to view a larger version)
We were also mentioned in an article in the May-June 2012 issue of Missions Frontiers magazine about the Global Great Commission Network, where we're adapting the Table for missions agencies.