The Story of Today: An Interview with @drbexl for #CNMAC12

As we look forward to #CNMAC12 this Saturday, let’s find out what Dr Bex Lewis is thinking about for the final session at 4.30pm in the main hall:

A engaging and interactive session to round off the day. Hear from our 3 reporters what they feel the conference has been saying. Vote on the key issues of the day, see the Twitterfall decoded and there will be a few surprises too.

Who are you, what do you do, and how do you come to be speaking at #CNMAC12? What’s your personal ‘story’?

I’m a member of the CODEC team, at St John’s College, University of Durham, with the title of ‘Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning’. With a background in historical communications – I wrote the history for the Keep Calm and Carry On poster as part of my PhD – I am passionate about helping Christians be a positive presence in the digital world, and project manage ‘The Big Bible Project’, which has just received funding from The Jerusalem Trust til 2015… and I’ve just made the big move to Durham (from Winchester), where I’ve bought my first house!

I have over 15 years of experience in the digital environment, am the Director of ‘Digital Fingerprint’, a social media consultancy, whose clients include the Church of England. As well as a ‘digital resident’, I am a polymath, which means that I have multiple interests, and so have been involved in many different spheres. I was particularly influenced by undertaking the LICC Toolbox course – let’s do away with the sacred/secular divide, stop deifying ‘religious leaders’, and all play our part in seeking to live for God 24/7. I am involved in organizing the conference, and like to ‘demonstrate by doing’ what could be possible… see the final session of the conference!

Can you give us a ‘sneak peak’ into the story of your session at #CNMAC12?

After lunch, I’m looking forward to weaving a story through a range of tools with Bryony Taylor – we enjoyed an evening over a box of chocolates preparing that. It’s in the ‘jump-start’ session, so intended particularly for those who unconfident in social media, but there should be some tools of interest all. We’re leaving most of Facebook and Twitter to Matt & Adam Brooks, but we’ve got a couple of thoughts on those tools.

A rather more exciting – but potentially terrifying – session is that I’m pulling together the end of the day. Previously we’ve had keynote speakers, but when we’ve fully engaged online/offline on a conference such as this one, we can get pretty tired! We’ve also been seeking ways to ensure that the conference pulls on a range of voices, including those who many not commonly be heard (who knows, they may do a whole session next year!), so it’s a session mixing up 3 great commentators, a range of videos (so please look out for @hels_bels_1 & @drbexl who will be popping up all over the place with video cameras to capture thoughts throughout the day), and pulling in thoughts/questions from the Twitter stream … so be thinking of your questions throughout the day.

What is the best ‘good news story’ to come out of your journey as a disciple? What keeps you going when times are hard?

Every day there are new stories, and I’m learning to appreciate the smaller things on the journey, rather than sitting and ‘waiting for a miracle’ to sort out the challenges that exists simply because of being human. A couple of years ago I had an A4 diary, and wrote/drew at least one thing I was thankful for every day. I really think that helped put me in a positive frame of mind, and I’m inspired by Jenni Osborne’s #3goodthings to think about doing something similar online (as it’s the space I spend a lot of my time). Having recently moved, messages, tweets and smiles from friends online and offline is incredibly encouraging.

We’re working on the @bigbible project. How do you think the (stories in the) Bible can inform what we do online, in whatever sense?

As we grow in our knowledge of the Bible, we continue to wrestle with what that means in our whole lives, which includes the digital environment. There’s always something new to learn, and I often feel that ‘the more I learn the less I know’, and I’m always looking for new ways to embed the Bible in my whole life – a God-infused life – and anticipate that that will be reflected in my online life as much as any other.

Outside of your own session, what are you most looking forward to at #CNMAC12?

I have enjoyed every year at the conference, so much good content, and always enjoy meeting the people that I tweet with, especially once you can put a face to the name. Definitely looking forward to getting more competent with a video camera too…

See full conference agenda.

About drbexl

Life Explorer, academia/learning, Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach. Twitter: @drbexl @digitalfprint, @ww2poster @bigbible