Catholics in New Media: Jeff Geerling
BY Matthew Warner
| Posted 7/2/10 at 7:20 PM
Jeff Geerling is the creator of LOLSaints, Open Source Catholic, LifeIsAPrayer.com (including some excellent photography) and Catholic News Live. He is also now officially the Director of the newly formed Office of Web Development for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
“The Office of Web Development works to help the Archdiocese of Saint Louis evangelize and proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus Christ through technological means, primarily via the Archdiocesan website, but also through social media and other means of the new evangelization. We exist to help other Archdiocesan agencies, parishes, organizations, and ministries be bold proclaimers of the Word through the Internet.”
I finally met Jeff Geerling in person last year at the 2009 CNMC in San Antonio, TX. He’s a super nice guy and very sharp. One of those fellas you know is goin’ places. I always get a great comfort and hope when I meet people like Jeff working in an official capacity for the Church. And It’s been exciting to watch what he’s been doing to help the Archdiocese of St. Louis bloom into another great model of diocesan New Media Evangelization.
I was able to ask him a few quick questions today regarding his new position:
Me: How big of a deal is it that your diocese has created this Office of Web Development?
Jeff: I think a lot of dioceses are just now beginning to realize the importance of their online presence, and most still don’t have dedicated staff for online development and communications. I think it’s very encouraging that our diocese, along with two or three others so far (Knoxville, Boston, etc.), is working to develop their online evangelization efforts with more dedication.
Me: In addition to all of the work that goes in to building and managing the many different Archdiocesan-related websites, will your office be reaching out or providing resources for other parts of the diocese?
Jeff: Yes, we will be providing training and tools to help agencies and parishes effectively utilize social media and their own websites for online evangelization and ministry.
Me: What do you hope to accomplish in this new role in the coming year? 5 years?
Jeff: I hope the Archdiocese of St. Louis can help show other dioceses how to effectively use a website and presences on many different social networks to proclaim the Gospel and communicate with members of the faithful. In the next five years, some big things are coming…
Additionally - through the Archdiocese - Mr. Geerling is working on a Wiki for Catholic web developers and social media users. Some of the work on it is already underway. I will definitely be keeping an eye on that!
Keep up the great work, Jeff! I have no doubt we’ll be hearing more from you in the coming years.
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