About the Author
Shelby Meyerhoff

Twitter lists for Unitarian Universalists

Today Twitter made its new list feature widely available. This feature allows individual users to create lists of their favorite Twitter feeds related to particular topics. Lists are identified by both the user name of the Twitterer that created the list and the subject to which the list relates. (For example, @uua/uu-congregations is a list of Unitarian Universalist congregations, created by the UUA).

I was delighted to see when I logged into the @uua Twitter account this afternoon that twelve lists had already been created that include the @uua feed (thanks, fellow Unitarian Universalist Twitterers!) The  Twitter lists that include @uua have subjects like “unitarian-universalists,” “uu-orgs,” “spiritual-inspirational,” and “news-sources,” which gives you a sense of the different topics around which lists can be constructed and through which Twitters can come across Unitarian Universalist feeds.

The @uua account is now host to several lists as well, which are intended to serve as a quick reference for Twitterers searching for certain types of Unitarian Universalist feeds. The @uua lists are@uua/uu-congregations, @uua/uua-programs-and-offices, and @uua/uua-related-organizations

I’m hopeful that Unitarian Universalist lists (and lists on related topics) will provide opportunities for seekers on Twitter to discover our faith and for Unitarian Universalists on Twitter to continue to connect with one another.

If you only have 15 minutes a day to learn about new media…

Keeping up with news and ideas about new media can be time-consuming.  The number and complexity of new media tools is daunting and there is an overwhelming amount of new media advice being offered online.

Here are a few of the online resources I’ve found that helpful in learning about new media without spending excessive money or time:

  • Quick and Dirty Tips from the Digital Marketer. True to its name, this weekly podcast provides advice that is concise, easy-to-understand, and practical.
  • Another of my favorite podcasts is Net@Night, which provides a weekly review of news about new media and usually spotlights one or two new tools or products. The episodes are a bit long, but I find it easy to skip those sections in which I’m not interested.
  • The blog Faith and Web: A Church Web Diva’s Musings is written by Anna Belle Leiserson, a Unitarian Universalist who has served on the UUA’s General Assembly web team and who is one of the webmasters at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville in Tennessee. Anna Belle’s knowledge of technology and her experience working on her congregation’s website make her blog a valuable and unique resource. She doesn’t post frequently, but the archives provide plenty of material.
  • When I was first learning about blogging several years ago, ProBlogger was one of my go-to websites for advice. Looking at it right now, it seems very crowded with advertisements and posts about blog monetization. But the general, introductory posts may still be quite helpful for blogging newbies; they can be found by starting at ProBlogger’s “Blogging Tips for Beginners” page.

Tim Griffin, the UUA online communications manager, has two more suggestions for resources to help Unitarian Universalists interested in new media:

What other resources are missing from our lists? Where do you go to learn about Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other new media?

Q: Are there UU radio programs and podcasts?

A: Yes!

Sermon podcasts are perhaps the most common type of audio programming produced by our congregations. My conservative estimate is that at least 100 of our congregations are podcasting their sermons; the true number may be far higher!

There are also Unitarian Universalist programs that feature original content designed specifically for the audio format and distributed on the radio and/or online. Here are some notable examples:

First Parish in Duxbury has a radio program called “The Spiritual Life” in which Unitarian Universalists are interviewed about different topics related to our Unitarian Universalist movement today. This radio program is broadcast on Sunday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on WATD, 95.9 FM.

LifeNow! Radio by the First Unitarian and the First Universalist Churches of Rochester, NY, offers reflections and interviews on spiritual issues. LifeNow! is hosted by Rev. Kaaren Anderson, co-minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, and often features other reporters and guests.

A relative newcomer to the Unitarian Universalist podcast scene, “Be Spiritual” features interviews with Unitarian Universalists about their spiritual journeys and other topics. The host is Gary Lerude.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Canandaigua was connected with a radio program called “Liberal Religious Hour.” The host of that program, Rev. Carl Thitchener, died in 2008.

A Different View by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Surprise, AZ, examines religious and political topics in a conversational format. The show is hosted by Rev. Dr. Walter F. Wieder, the congregation’s minister, and Jeff Young.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Central Midwest District Podcast provides lay leadership resources, including workshop recordings, addressing issues in congregational life. The podcast is produced by the media team of the Central Midwest District.

Another type of audio content is recordings of written publications. Unitarian Universalist examples  include the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Quest podcast and the UU World recordings.