When God’s Will Conflicts With Facebook Algorithms

Several months back I undertook an overhaul of our Facebook presence atMarriage Matters. Trying to tap into that perfect stream of increased engagement while maintaining the vision placed on our hearts was a challenge.

But what wasn’t a challenge is giving you a free gift. It saved our marriage and millions of others. Don’t worry, it’s waiting for you at the end of this piece. God bless you!

SMATGW

Sure, we could follow the traditional social media models by boosting posts, paying for ads and hawking new likes like a nightclub sidewalk caller. But, we’ve committed to doing SMATGW (social media according to God’s will.) No need to Google it, I just made that up. But we really did say we’d do only as He led us to do.

Now, God’s got nothing against digging into the insights section of our Marriage Matters’ page, so I hunkered down and accessed every bit of data I could gain short of applying for a FISA warrant (too soon?)

It showed me the best times to post were in the evenings when our friends were most active. Next, the data drilled into the types of posts that gained the most engagement and traction. Finally, it showed us that resorting to the traditional models for social media growth would be more productive in growing our presence.

It’s a Funny Thing

Even before I started my quest for uncovering the secrets locked within our Facebook account, God began sharing a word with us. He wanted us to begin going live on Marriage Matters to share the secrets of His word.

Once I worked out the technology needed to pre-schedule shows, insert slides, images and other video capture devices into the course of a live broadcast, we were ready to roll. Then God got very specific in His word. He wanted us to go live three times each week, and here’s the kicker, at 6:30.

Oh, that’s 6:30 in the AM!!!!

You see the funny thing, we’re night owls who work until about 3 or 4 in the morning while it’s quiet and no one is texting, emailing or calling. Peaceful, silent solitude. So surely, God was kidding when He said that. I mean really, go live at 6:30 in the morning? Who does that?

Giving God A Hand

We’ve been guilty of trying to give God a hand at having His will get done. Impatience has been one thing we’ve worked on and have mostly begun to wait on the Lord. The 16th chapter of Genesis became very profound during this period. God promised Sarah and Abraham a child, but after 10 years, they were still empty nesters.

Sarah decided to help God out by giving her servant, Hagar to Abraham to conceive a child and therefore allow God to save face by delivering that promised child to her husband. Well, that didn’t really work out too well.

So here we are a few thousand years later and guess what?

We figured God had to be kidding about the early morning time slot. Besides, I’d just completed an in-depth analytical analysis of our Facebook data. The earliest optimal time to post anything was at and after 5:00pm. So we decided to compromise.

We shot, recorded and edited three great episodes. Complete with intro, outro, title screens and subtitles. I loaded them up on Marriage Matters and scheduled one each for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30AM.

BAM, my work was done.

Second Chances

That first Monday, I woke up around 10:00am, anxious to see the show’s reach, comments, likes, loves and shares. I washed my face and slipped on my readers so I could soak it all in. I was ready to spend the morning responding to the overload of questions and comments.

You know the outcome, right? There was one like and it was Leah, who had tagged it while I was washing my face. I thought it was because it was the first show. It would catch on by Friday. The Wednesday and Friday shows aired as scheduled, but with even worse results.

It had to have been because God’s will conflicted with the Facebook algorithm. I knew the crack of dawn wasn’t the right time. I became hurt and resentful over the weekend. How could we have invested all of that time and effort into the very material God led us to share, only to have it fade into the nothingness that it arrived in.

Sarah, Hagar and Abraham were placed on my heart, and I knew what God was showing me. I was disobedient, even in a desire to “help,” I failed to follow SMATGW because I decided to:

  1. Lean on my own understanding (Facebook data)
  2. Impose my will (Sleep way past 6:30am)
  3. Prideful look (Airing an edited version instead of raw and live.)

In God’s mercy, He showed me that although the trio were all complicit in failing to wait upon His promise, that they were still blessed and God’s promise was fulfilled. Hagar’s son Ishmael became the start of a great nation, Sarah’s son, Isaac led the tribes of Israel to rise as promised and Abraham is the father of many generations.

Despite our human frailty, God gives grace and blessings. But, what about the live show?

In Our Obedience

By the next Monday, God had shown me it had nothing to do with social media presence or increased engagement. It wasn’t even about sharing His word on marriage. God wanted my servant, sacrificial heart to step out on faith and do as He asked me to do.

He didn’t need an earful of data and best social media practices. It was simply a question of was I willing to sacrifice for His will. Was I willing to sacrifice “me” time to dedicate to preparing the script, verses and slides the night before, and be ready to air at 6:30am?

I was so sorry that weekend and felt ashamed for trying to help Him out, when the lesson He wanted to share with His son wasn’t about the way, but only about His will.

Prime Time

I’ll tell you that it’s not always a halo and a choir of angels trumpeting onto do God’s will. That Monday, we drug each other out of bed while trying to steal naps in between brushing teeth, turning on lights and setting up what we like to call, “The Studio.”

With puffy eyes and no idea if the technology would work, we hit the “Start Streaming” button and BAM, we were live.It didn’t matter that we’d only had 2 hours of sleep, or that no one commented or even viewed the show. We were in God’s will.

We repeated that sleepy, sluggish scenario again on Wednesday and then Friday. We’ve done this the last 3 weeks, and while our work and family schedules don’t allow us to go to bed much earlier, we’re still thankful to be in His will. We smack the alarms a few times, hug while praying and then get to work with SMATGW.

I’d love to tell you in less than a month, our live morning Facebook show has gone viral and changed millions of lives. We can’t, not yet, but what we can share is the friends who join us in the morning are a blessing to us and the emails about how they love watching while getting ready for their day has blessed them.

Witness Rewards

The greatest reward for our early morning prime-time special is the love we share with each other while promoting a God-centered marriage covenant model. Leah and I have grown so close since we began, and although we were close before, this opportunity has drawn us into a deeper understanding of God’s word and will.

There is sometimes a fear or hesitation in sharing your testimony in public. No, our marriage wasn’t perfect and it almost ended before it began, but we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We flat refused to quit on each other, but that required we give each other up to God. He made the changes in us that saved us.

So, while I still do enjoy digging into data, we’re going to stick to the SMATGW approach. We pray you’ll decide to join us in our prime-time slot, but take heart. If you’re not a morning bird either, you can catch every episode at your convenience.

We’re Here

Facebook

YouTube

Website

Newsletter

Our Gift To You

This is the course presented by our pastor, Jimmy Evans of MarriageToday. The course is yours for free and is in a secure, online environment for you and your spouse to enjoy.

Click HERE and begin your 100% guarantee of a stronger, divorce-free marriage.

Let’s make divorce a dirty word,

Scott & Leah Silverii

If you enjoyed When God’s Will Conflicts With Facebook Algorithms please leave a comment and share.

FIT@50 / week 12

2015-06-01 08.20.11

FIT@50 \ week 12

Social Media: Social

I’ve been asked why I post what I do to social media. It’s simple—to be social. The value is to operationalize the term “social.” It’s what you chose to present to the world. I have no agenda, or master plan—I just enjoy people.

It’s encouraging to know people who are connected through social media. I always try to meet them in person if possible. You’d be surprised how amazing some of them can be on the other side of the computer’s screen.

Talk about amazing – last week while at the hospital, so many folks knew Max from Facebook. It’s a blessing to see their faces light up and kind words accompany friendly gestures.

As a dad, it’s wonderful to see your son touch lives, even without an ability to verbalize his thoughts. That’s the true aspect of social media – being able to convey your message. Max communicates love and kindness through his full-face smiles and double thumbs up poses.

What message do you convey – virtually or in person? It’s your message to manage-make it count.

Do good,
Scott

Ferguson & Public Engagement | What are they good for?

media

What’s the best time to plant a tree?

– 30 years ago.

What’s the next best time to plant a tree?

– Today

In general, law enforcement has made for horrible horticulturalists. We’ve not tilled the soil of community engagement as a practice. Now we wonder why no one understands us.

When an incident like Ferguson erupts, the pundits hurry to fend off allegations from a civilian population incessantly asking for answers. I’ve had so many tell how they’ve unfriended people on social media streams because of the content post-grand jury decision.

When a public service organization adopts a “No Comment” paradigm over the course of a few centuries, is it any wonder why questions and misinformation arises during societal flash points. While operational confidentiality is vital to an agency’s mission, the majority of daily operations and information processed by law enforcement fail to meet the level of classified materials.

Social media allows public agencies an opportunity to manage their own message. If an agency fails or refuses to engage in the often free mediums available for informing people, then they should expect to face the accusations of pent up frustrations.

This is a great opportunity for Chiefs and Sheriff’s to re-examine their public relations practices. It has to be more substantial than a few handshakes with kids at the high school ball game. An ongoing, open dialogue with the community we swore to serve builds bridges and breaks down walls.

A few suggestions:

  1. Balance the “official” tone of agency social media accounts. If you want the public to relate to the humanity of your officers, then present them as such.
  2. Not every public event has to be public. People distinguish “photo ops” from sincere neighborhood engagements.
  3. Proactively pursue the media for establishing mutual credibility. Yes, mutual.
  4. Ensure the designated “Voice and Face” of your agency is representative not only of the community, but of the vision and ideals for serving the public.
  5. When wrong, say “I’m sorry.”
  6. When right, give credit to the persons responsible. Whether it’s the rookie cop or the shop owner who dialed it in, give legitimate thanks.
  7. Don’t wait until a crisis to introduce yourself to the public you vowed to protect.
  8. Don’t take it person. Negative public comments are born out of the frustrations of not being heard. Re-evaluate practices to ensure you’ve not shut your community out.
  9. When times get tough, don’t be a prick.
  10. In all situations, be yourself – a single human being placed in extraordinary circumstances trying to handle unimaginable calamities. People understand if you trip, and if you do, refer back to #9.

Ferguson & Public Engagement | What are they good for?

Us versus Them | A Ferguson Outcome

If Not Us, Who?

“If Not Us, Who?”

“If Not Us, Who?”

My heart weighs heavy in this week before the important decisions contemplated by a civilian grand jury in another state. After nearly 25 years of serving my community and country, I see the potential for an occupationalrevolution. The potential for substantially significant cultural change. While most revolutions are spurned through violence, this cannot be one of them.

Soon, events born in violence will again effect this country. Not just for today, but years to come. Regardless what you think of the decisions made by a civilian body, it’s critical to understand we are a nation of laws. You have the privilege (thank you military) to disagree with them, but not the right to break them.

The cultural evolution of expectations leading us away from the tenets of our founding fathers and the Constitution has left America in a state of moral and ethical conflict between knowing the laws, versus respecting the application of those laws.

Trapped in that conflict is the individual police officer. Empowered by the State to serve and protect, they’re also emasculated by that same State. Policies, regulations and public expectations factor heavily into each individual decision that police officer must make. Whether its writing a parking ticket or taking someone’s life.

The only constant in this equation is that not reacting is not an option for the police officer. An oath was sworn to with right hands raised. While truth, honor and sacrifice may have lost its significance to some, it’s still the reason that police officer leaves his family for duty.

They report for duty knowing that at any moment conflict may arise. It matters not if that conflict involves the braggart who claims to pay their salary, or the kid who marvels at the sun beaming off the rookies badge. The police officer swore to an oath, and no matter how human frailty may creep into that police officer’s singular decision at that one moment in their life, they and every police officer will be judged by that one moment.

When the decision is made to react to that conflict, despite the universal burden of knowing every eye is and will be upon you, a decision is made. It’s an unbelievable responsibility to take another person’s property, their freedom or their life. It’s one the police officer doesn’t take lightly. Most suffer lifetimes over a single or collection of decisions made at that point of conflict.

Yes, my heart is heavy on this eve before these decisions will be rendered. So many innocent people will be cast into a situation originally acted out on a single street in an unfamiliar town in an unknown part of the country.

It’s easy to sit back and criticize those who’ve sworn to protect others. Those officers who wear more scars on the inside than the critics have curses for their efforts, will thanklessly continue to report for their honored duty.

It’s easy to roar like a lion behind the keyboard. But when the time comes to be a lion; honestly, honorably and selflessly be that lion – to quiet accusing words without action or justification and do something for someone unknown for the greater good – will you?

There’s a reason a unified team of lions is called a PRIDE. Stay proud of your service BLUE – If Not Us, Who?

Us versus Them | A Ferguson Outcome

Us versus Them | A Ferguson Outcome

Chief in Prayer

Us versus Them:

Sunday I shared the burden on my spirit in anticipation of the grand jury decision, “If Not Us, Who?” (https://www.facebook.com/CopsWritingCrime) It wasn’t about an outcome. It was that our nation rallied on either side of the issue based not on facts and evidence, but on historical perspective. Truth is, there’s more than one narrative to American history.

Just before turning off the news, I received a private message. Simply, it read – We Won! In clarity, I saw this wasn’t about black versus white as much as it was us versus them.

Let me be very clear – the “THEM” I refer to are the law enforcement officers believing it was a victory for the policing fraternity. A victory, such as a sporting event, would infer that policing was affirmed as being the better of the two.

Our occupational isolationism manifests itself against the communities we swore to serve. If we can’t share our feelings with the ones we love, then how do we sincerely show empathy to a community? Doubt it? We’re killing ourselves with alcoholism, divorce, domestic violence, PTSD and suicide.

As a Fraternity, we should engage in honest dialogue. Thousands of cops have shared feeling the same way, but are fearful to speak up because of reprisal from the Brotherhood. What type of brother’s keeper allows their peer to suffer in such silence over the cause of public service?

Let’s take this opportunity to examine why we’re fundamentally disconnected from the people we serve. Is it because we’re rooted in the old-school traditions of secrecy? Do we lean on the myth of being special and protected by the sacred canopy of public safety? Lets fix us, so we can competently serve those who most need our help.

In closing, I believe that the “us versus them” paradigm is dangerous for policing a populace. I don’t believe however, that the “us versus them” in policing is negative. The US who seeks a better, more society-linked policing model must no longer tolerate the THEM who still believe the Thin Blue Line is used to separate cops from community.

We do good work, now lets work to do good,
Scott

Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Tom Kelly, general manager of IDEO, the world-renowned design firm, likes to quote French novelist Marcel Proust, who famously said, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” What goes for novelists goes for leaders searching to craft a novel strategy for their company, a new product for their customers, or a better way to organize their employees. In a world that never stops changing, great leaders never stop learning.

Today, the challenge for leaders at every level is no longer just to out-hustle, out-muscle, and out-maneuver the competition. It is to out-think the competition in ways big and small, to develop a unique point of view about the future and help your organization get there before anyone else does. Which is why a defining challenge of leadership is whether you can answer a question that is as simple as it is powerful: Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Of course, learning new things is all about exposing yourself to new ideas. So if you want to learn faster, you’ve got to think differently about where new ideas come from. Here are a few ideas I’ve developed over the years about what turns leaders into learners — three “habits of mind” that will help you keep learning as fast as the world is changing.

First, the best leaders (and learners) have the widest field of vision.
After Steve Jobs died, I, like everyone else, read and watched as much as I could about his life and work. One of my favorite sources of insights was an old PBS documentary called “Triumph of the Nerds,” in which luminaries of Silicon Valley talked about what inspired their innovations. As Jobs talked about the original Macintosh computer, he talked less about semiconductors and software than he did about painting, music, and art.

“Ultimately it [creativity] comes down to taste,” he explained. “It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then trying to bring those things in to what you’re doing…I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

Translation: You’re not going to learn faster (or deeper) than everyone else if you seek inspiration from the same sources as everyone else. Educators know that we learn the most when we encounter people, experiences, and ideas that are the least like us. And yet, we spend most of our time with people and in places that are the most like us — our old colleagues, our familiar offices, our reassuring neighborhoods. If you want to learn faster, look and live more broadly.

Second, and more tactically, the best source of new ideas in your field can be old ideas from unrelated fields. A few months ago, after I gave a talk about innovation to a gathering of executives from the world of food retailing, one frustrated member of the audience asked for some advice about dealing with her boss. “My boss likes to say, ‘I want a totally new idea — and three examples of where that idea has worked before.’” The audience roared in recognition of the oxymoronic absurdity of the boss’s sentiment, as did I.

But then I got to thinking…Often, it turns out, a powerful source of “totally new” ideas in one industry can be standard operating procedures from another industry — well-established practices that look downright revolutionary when you simply move them from one place to another.

For example, leaders at Lexus identified all sorts of new ideas to reshape the customer experience for luxury cars by searching for clues at brands such as Four Seasons and Apple — companies that were great at what they did, even though what they did had nothing to do with automobiles. Physicians and administrators from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children redesigned many of their surgical procedures by studying how Ferrari’s Formula One racing team handled pit stops.

Sure, there’s always a place for R&D as research & development. But there’s also a place for R&D as rip-off and duplicate. Ideas that are routine in one industry can be revolutionary when they migrate to another industry, especially when they challenge the prevailing assumptions and conventional wisdom that have come to define so many industries.

Finally, and most personally, successful learners work hard not to be loners.
These days, the most powerful insights often come from the most unexpected places — the hidden genius locked inside your company, the collective genius of customers, suppliers, and other smart people who would be eager to teach you what they know if you simply asked for their insights. But tapping this learning resource requires a new leadership mindset — enough ambition to address tough problems, enough humility to be willing to learn from everyone you encounter. Nobody alone learns as quickly as everybody together.

We all want to be better leaders. And the best leaders, it turns out, are the most insatiable learners. How are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

80-bill-taylor

William C. Taylor is cofounder of Fast Company magazine and author of Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. Follow him on Twitter at @practicallyrad.

Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Blessed with new friends along the way

John Kerry has been a vital volunteer in promoting our Thibodaux Police Department’s social media strategy.
Blessed with new friends along the way