The Next 20 Years
by John Edmiston for Biola Digital
The Next 20 Years
The Big Changes
Digital Mega-Trends
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The Internet has moved from computers to “devices”
People want to “own” content not just read it.
Billions entering from the developing world
Niches: Languages, cultures, local searches, zip codes
Still many low-tech areas / people  simplicity
Validation online comes before interaction offline
Everything will begin online! (Even offline ministry)
Social networks integrated with everything online and
offline to create a vast pool of opinion and “mood”
• Information online, relationships offline
• Discipleship via real-time interaction / chat
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The Immediate Future
• Currently 2.3 billion Internet users and about 6 billion mobile phone
subscribers and increasing 3G penetration average 18% ranging
between 87% (Japan) to 4% (Philippines)
• Almost universal coverage by 2015 mostly on mobile devices
• Africa will open up as fiber-optic cable is rolled out and French & Arabic
sites will grow greatly
• 1 billion plus “Internet new users” to come online as 3G rolls out and
as connectivity efforts such as O3B take effect.
• FM and even short-wave radio chips in mobile phones may lead to a
resurgence of short-wave radio on mobile devices. DRM (Digital Radio
Mondiale) chip. HUGE gospel opportunity & prayer point for Christian
broadcasters.
• However there will still be a big need for simple technologies for the
last, least and lost, and those in very remote areas and for educational
computer centers and icafes.
Devices Will Dominate
• Internet now includes many “non-computer” devices
• 5 billion internet connected devices now, 22 billion by 2020 –
will include TVs, cars, phones, e-readers, tablets, computers,
peripherals, machine-to-machine connections etc.
• Content needs to be able to go from device to device
• Distributed – same content on many different devices – format
wars for the foreseeable future, need to be able to convert
content into many different formats.
• USB3.0 and Intel’s new Light Peak technology will enable v. fast
data transfer (3 to10 GB/sec +) between devices
• Unlocked, free & out-of-copyright content (e.g. Matthew
Henry’s commentary) will be preferred in majority world
• MegaVoice and other MP3 players for developing nations
• Solar-powered and easily recharged devices preferred
The Big Numbers
Acknowledgement
• The next few slides are extracted from a
wonderful 112 slide presentation by Mary
Meeker which you an find online at:
http://www.businessinsider.com/marymeekers-latest-incredibly-insightfulpresentation-about-the-state-of-the-web2012-5#-1
The Big Shake-Up!
You Can….
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You can get saved online
You can get discipled online via Skype
Go to church online & find great sermons online
Study and do your theological degree online
Meet a Christian wife/husband online
Get ordained online and become a Reverend
Start an online ministry & get 501c3 status for it
Write a print-on-demand book and also get it on Kindle
and become famous….
• Send money to orphans in Africa by Paypal and
• Have an online bible college and issue diplomas
• Without ever going to a local church.
The Big Strategies
Keep It Simple
• Most people hate technology but will have to use it and they
don’t want to feel confused, helpless or stupid so keep it
simple and helpful.
• Billions of new users: High usability / clarity / support
• Customer service will be a winning factor esp. as new users
and seniors come online.
• Live chat ( the text chat box on websites) will be very popular.
People want instant interaction with you!
• Some of the “old will become new” : email, search, straight
text web pages, chat rooms, IM and easy to use download
sites etc. You must connect with their Inbox, FB page or
Google / Bing (the 3 places they will go to)
Devices Will Dominate
• Internet now includes many “non-computer” devices
• 5 billion internet connected devices now, 22 billion by 2020 –
will include TVs, cars, phones, e-readers, tablets, computers,
peripherals, machine-to-machine connections etc.
• Content needs to be able to go from device to device
• Distributed – same content on many different devices – format
wars for the foreseeable future, need to be able to convert
content into many different formats.
• USB3.0 and Intel’s new Light Peak technology will enable v. fast
data transfer (3 to10 GB/sec +) between devices
• Unlocked, free & out-of-copyright content (e.g. Matthew
Henry’s commentary) will be preferred in majority world
• MegaVoice and other MP3 players for developing nations
• Solar-powered and easily recharged devices preferred
Language & Location
• People search on websites within their own
language universe
• As new areas get connected HUGE
opportunities to be among the first
websites in a minority language
• Be Unicode / UTF-8 capable
• Local search: 20%-30%+ of all searches
contain a city or zip code
• 7% of searches contain a map.
• Have your zip code, address and MapQuest
info on your main index page
• Join local social networks and get a “feel”
for your city /urban networks
• Relate to GPS equipped devices!!
• Top Ten Internet
Languages
• The importance of
local search
• Small business and
local search
• Local search statistics
Facebook & Culture
• In Asia Facebook penetration is only 5% despite rapid
Internet adoption
• In USA it is 49.9%, Australia 40% most other places
28% (except Africa)
• Privacy concerns and social honor (“face”) concerns
limit penetration in Asia
The Power of E-pinion
• Social networks, ratings & reviews will define credibility: “93
of your friends like Bro. Joe’s Ministry”.
• People validate a product / person /doctrine online first
• Recommendations  Website  Purchase / Action
• Social network  Content Site  Response / Form
• Under-promise and over-deliver: meet expectations so you
always get 4 star to 5 star ratings
• Avoid failure /disappointment, do not launch until ready. One
disappointed person can blog/tweet/FB you into oblivion.
• Build a brand, a following, people who will blog, tweet and FB
message about you. Create passionate fans of your ministry
and get them to post rave reviews.
Online Before Offline
• Things begin ONLINE before they become OFFLINE
• People search online then buy locally. The decision of what
to buy (including church) is made on the Internet
• People search for a church, bible college, Christian concert
online before actually attending – the process begins online
• Recruitment happens via Facebook and social networks
• Doctrinal questions & answers to personal problems are
now investigated online FIRST before asking the pastor,
• The Internet is no longer a tool which is used to increase
offline “brick and mortar” ministries, instead it is the ocean
in which all ministry (both online and offline) must either
sink or swim.
The Future Is DEPTH!
• The Internet presents deep, specialized information well and
can supplement Church by tackling sensitive, personal,
controversial or highly theological topics.
• The Internet will provide the solid content side of discipleship
(Truth) while the Church provides the affective and relational /
cultural context (Love / Grace)
• Online education for church members (say via Moodle)
• Leadership & stewardship training modules online
• “Ask the pastor” online forums using Simple Machines Forum
• Discipleship curriculum that people move through at their own
pace in easy, ordered stages
• Specialized prayer communities online
• Church FAQ – the 100 most asked questions (Cain's wife etc)
Downloads For Devices
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Think DOWNLOADS not pages
Think PRODUCTS not donations
Turn articles into EBOOKS
Turn blogs into MP3s / Podcasts
Transfer-ability / Portability
Viral / Interesting / Useful
Multi-platform / Great Content
Use file-sharing culture for God
Follow-up a contact with a link to a
download, even on FB
PRC / Kindle, Mobi,
Android applications
PDF, PowerPoints, zipped HTML
Torrents, Videos
Use other people’s bandwidth
Useful Programs
• How to create Torrent files
• µTorrent
• Audacity (for MP3 files)
Tutorials / Links
• Building Android apps
• Android developers guide
• W3schools
• How to create an iPhone
web app
Internet Radio / TV
• The success of Hulu, YouTube, Live 365
etc.
• Internet radio should equal
conventional radio in Nth. America by
2016: stats here
• IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is
beginning to get some traction
• Specialized programming is the key –
offer something that generic bland
local commercial radio does not offer
but which still has fans
• Get listed in the specialized search
engines, directories, Itunes, YouTube
etc
• Create a fan page on FB for your
content
• Icecast (MP3 server software
for Internet radio)
• Shoutcast
• Live 365 radio stations
• Starting an internet radio
station
• iTunes podcasts,
• How to submit a podcast to
iTunes
• Podcast Alley
• Livestream.com (launch your
own free Internet TV channel)
• Any Video Convertor Free
• Creating a YouTube channel
Ebooks & P.O.D.
• Ebook sales up 200%+ in 2010 from 1.5% to
5% of market, start of take-off in adoption 
Next Big Thing….
• Turn your articles into PDF file ebooks and
thus into products
• Hard copy format via a print-on-demand
publisher
• Order goes straight to the print-on- demand
publisher who then sends the book out to
the customer (as little as one copy) , you
don’t have to worry about inventory, shipping
etc. Don’t have to go through mainline
publisher editorial acceptance/ rejection
process
• Often 30% author royalty
• Great for manuals/ textbooks/ course
material/ seminars and specialized
theological / missiological topics
• CreateSpace
(Amazon)
• Lightning Source
• Xulon Press
(Christian)
• List of P.O.D
publishers
• MobiPocket Creator
• Calibre Ebook
Converter
Webinars, Conferencing & LMS
• Webinars are now a standard industry
training tool and bandwidth is now
sufficient for many end-users to
benefit from them.
• Much more user-friendly and
affordable
• Desktop sharing of files, PowerPoints
etc.
• Huge potential for personal
evangelism, discipleship, apologetics,
question and answer format etc.
• Leadership meetings and even church
board meetings!
• Project presentations & fundraising
• Free conference calls
• Talking Communities
(Christian)
• GoToMeeting
• Microsoft Live Meeting
• WebEx
• Moodle (LMS w. plugins)
• DEScribe (simple LMS)
Chatty Discipleship
• Chat/ Group Chat/ Instant
messaging / Skype is
becoming a preferred tool for
serious discipleship issues and
discussions
• Combine with Google docs
that can be edited
collaboratively as they I.M.
• Small group size is good for
team meetings, prayer
groups, discipleship groups
• Some debate about security
but seems generally
moderate to OK.
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Skype
Oovoo (video chat)
Google docs
Pidgin (Instant messaging)
Digsby (I.M.)
Miranda (I.M.)
Meebo (web based I.M.)
Groupboard (web-based free
group chat plus whiteboard for your
website or server)
• Chat4Support (commercial)
• StrongDC++ (live chat + files)
Email & SMS
• Most of the Next Billion will start by
using: a) email and
b) SMS text especially on
smartphones at least until the web
surfing experience improves.
• We must move from the known to
the unknown and deliver solutions
that they can intuitively use (at first)
• A revival of simple email based
solutions e.g email based distance
education (e.g. 1990s)
• Email to text (and vice versa) as a
follow-up tool
• Egroups / lists / discussions
• PDF & HTML attachments
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Gammu SMS gateway (free)
Text Magic (email to SMS)
Mailman (email list manager)
MailChimp.com
Email templates in Gmail
HTML Emails with CSS
Creating HTML email
PDF Creator
“Last Mile Technologies”
• Encrypted USB drives and SD cards
• Internet on an intranet, rig up a couple
of 1.5 Tb HDD containing a miniInternet / document library to a server
in a computer center
• Thin clients in a computer center
running via LTSP
• Store and forward email via ham radio
(HF radio)
• Asynchronous technologies – lists,
discussion boards, SimpleMachines
• Poodle – portable moodle and other
portable apps
• Harvestime “bible college in a box” instant institute.
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Poodle
TrueCrypt USB encryption
MAF products
PortableApps.com
LTSP
Thin client icafes
Harvestime (2 yr bible college)
Simple Machines Forum
Email Relay
Store and forward email via HF
CRMF (Papua New Guinea)
Faith Comes by Hearing
Questions To Ask
• Which platforms can we be on and excel in?
(web, mobile, internet radio, IPTV…)
• What devices can we be on? Which formats?
• What languages can we be in?
• Which niches can we occupy?
• How can we reach the billions of new users?
• How can we create simple, positive, un-confusing user experiences and
give world-class real-time support?
• Which social networks should we be part of?
• How can we “amaze” these social networks?
• What are our downloads / products?
• Where are our discipleship conversations happening?
• How can we multiply / leverage our very best content?
• Who are we leaving out? (That we can reasonably include...)
Some Big, Hairy Guesses…
The Connected Transhuman
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Always connected
Chipped, Implanted, Data-Streamed
Genetically engineered
Extra or enhanced bodily senses
Constant virtual reality
Nootropic (mental) acuity from pharmaceuticals
Blend of man, machine and data
Always tracked by GPS
Transactions via swiping and hand gestures
Massive Data / Personalized Data
• The Internet NOW knows you better than you
know yourself and remembers your friends,
your birthday, your tastes in music, clothing
and articles, knows what you browse, and
knows approximately what you know.
• Soon about 200+ private companies will
literally know EVERYTHING about EVERYONE
and will sell this information to any buyer
even including repressive regimes.
Governments Will Be Consumers
• The Market will become far more powerful than
governments which will become mere consumers
of data, money, loans, innovation and of
commodities such as oil.
• Security will become increasingly digital and
increasingly commercial and companies such as
GlimmerGlass and Intrusion will have more
intelligence capacity than governments and
national security will be almost totally
corporatized.
Politicians Will Be Totally Owned By
Companies In The Digital Space
• As E-Pinion increases in power electability will
be a function of the politicians’ digital image
• The power to validate a politician will belong
in the power of a handful of digital reputation
companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Google
and their successors.
Opting Out Will Possibly Be Lethal
• The Market will require total knowledge of
you and will control everything from your food
to your pharmaceuticals.
• Removing a person’s digital identity will be
tantamount to making sustaining life difficult
or even totally impossible
Contact Details
John Edmiston
Chairman & CEO of Cybermissions
www.cybermissions.org
www.globalchristians.org
Email: [email protected]
Skype ID : johnedmiston
Ph: +1-310-549-6791 (Carson, CA - USA)
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The Future Of Internet Ministry