What are some Tips for Online Moderators?

I came across this neat article posted by @FaithOnlineHQ on Twitter. I see huge insight here into the need for immediate, personal contact in an environment that is so abstract.

This system can be implemented pretty easily now through may of the church-broadcasting systems’ chat functions.

Yet I wonder if there’s broader potential here in the future? We wouldn’t want to diminish or substitute in-person engagement when services are live again… but maybe through an app it could be a supplement for submitting prayer requests or feedback on events in real time, or something else. Thoughts on the pros/cons?

Online worship is different than in-person for so many ways. Not the least of which is the way you can use the space to be more interactive than you would a traditional service.

This does seem to be the biggest change…a traditional in person service tends to be one-way whereas online it is not just interactive, it can be multi-way. You could be texting/talking with multiple friends or people in the room with ideas, questions and more. You can also ask questions of whoever is speaking or asking for an “Amen” from everyone else watching with you (which I suppose happened in person as well).

I think what’s different is in that in-person, looking at your phone could be culturally considered an inappropriate distraction. Online, you’re expected to be on your computer or phone and to have access to many more things simultaneously, which creates different cultural expectations.

I don’t know if that cultural barrier needs to remain when we have in-person experiences, but we would have to figure out a new etiquette that could appropriately include digital real-time interactions.

I’ve been thinking over this a bit and one possibility would be leadership acknowledging and then guiding the process. It could even be something semi-formal like working segments into any given gathering for “phones up” and “phones down,” just giving a clear signal community expectation.

Now CLEARLY that would have to be handled delicately, but my point is that the question might benefit from a bit more obvious social guidance.