The future of LISM based on your feedback (1 of 2)

Topic / Blogging

On New Year’s Eve I asked how I can make LISM more valuable for you in 2010 and I’m glad I did because 70 of you gave me a lot of very helpful feedback!

Here’s an overview of some of your input, my responses, and reader demographics on this site. I would love to hear your response to all of these items in the comments below!


How long have you been a subscriber of LISM?

I asked this question to see if there were any trends in how questions were answered among newer subscribers as opposed to those who have been around for a while. The answers and comments were all pretty diverse, so nothing really to report there. The number of newer people who responded to the survey compared to the number of long-time subscribers is pretty reflective on how the site has grown over the past several years (i.e. there weren’t many subscribers 2 and 3 years ago).

Is youth ministry your career?

How long have you been in youth ministry?

Both of these surprised me! The main demographic of youth workers I have in mind when I generate content is the new youth worker (2 years or less) who is the main volunteer at a church with no paid youth worker. The secondary demographic I have in mind are paid youth workers who are new to youth ministry. To see that 64% of you are paid full-time and that 65% of you have been in youth ministry for 6 years or more makes me scratch my head a bit. I wasn’t writing for you! lol I feel like my content is a bit remedial for people who have been serving in that kind of a capacity for that long.

But regardless of what I had in mind, it is what it is. QUESTION: Should I start gearing my content more for you youth ministry veterans who have been doing this for 10+ years? I’m humbled you would even consider this site worth reading! Wow.

Where is your youth ministry located?

This site has a lot of international visitors thanks to some decent Google rankings, so I was curious to know if I should start focusing more on youth ministry from a global perspective. To be honest, I’m glad the large majority of readers are from the US because I know almost nothing about international youth ministry. How to work with teens in India, Africa and the Philippines is something I’d definitely have to outsource to someone more knowledgeable than myself.

This chart shows me that, while I have a decent amount of international traffic, almost none of it converts into subscribers, probably because the content is geared solely toward American teens? While it would be cool to help our international brothers and sisters in youth ministry, I feel that mixing international content in with the normal LISM stuff would dilute the focus here too much, but doing a separate youth ministry blog that focuses on that un-resourced demographic would be cool, maybe as a subdomain here or something. QUESTION: Anyone know someone abroad who would be excited and qualified to blog here about international youth ministry?

How do you prefer to consume content?

Aww man, I was hoping video would be much higher because it’s so much fun! Plus, I don’t have to worry about spelling, grammer, punctuation, and all that crud. Oh well. Good ol’ text it is, then… for now.

Which existing features of LISM could bless you most in 2010?

Freebie Friday and my normal blog posts are out front pretty strong together, twice as far as everything else, which are all somewhat close. It appears that there is value in it all, but that I should focus more on writing content than continuing the different features and series here. My tension is that I try to limit my posts to one a day, which only leaves 2, sometimes 3, days to publish unique “featured” posts.

Right now I have 56 blog drafts waiting to be published eventually. Some of them have been there for over a year and are probably out of date and irrelevant by now. QUESTION: I have enough that I could publish two posts a day for a while, which would be fine for you RSS subscribers, but might feel like spam for you email subscribers. What do you think?

What kind of content would be most helpful to you and your ministry this year

Looks like I could write about anything and someone somewhere would be happy. I appreciate the flexibility! Although, I definitely am more excited about guest posts here at LISM than the rest of you are. I’m probably gonna push that direction a bit more than you guys indicated just because I really value having other voices and perspectives on this site. The tagline for LISM is, “Conversations among those passionate for teenagers,” hence LIVE YM Talk and the youth ministry mentorships. Guest blog posts fit right in with that focus. (If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, check out my guidelines and tips for how to make that happen.)

Tomorrow, answers to your questions and comments

There were several common questions that you all asked in the comments section of the survey. Tomorrow I’ll do my best to respond to a lot of your anonymous feedback and the future of Life In Student Ministry.

Posted on January 19, 2010

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