Organizers for the Synod’s 2013 National Youth Gathering, to be held July 1-5 in San Antonio, are inviting all LCMS congregation members to take part in a live Twitter event on the Gathering’s opening day.
“Tweets of love and support” may be sent to the Youth Gathering using the hashtag #LLtogether anytime on Monday, July 1, and those messages will be streamed onto the large video screens as participants enter the Alamodome. “Live Love(d)” is the theme of the Gathering.
These Twitter messages “will serve as encouragement for participants and serve as a visual reminder to them that they are not alone, [that] they have an entire body of believers behind them, praying for their experience,” explained Seth Hinz, social-media manager for the Gathering.
To track conversation and participate, the main hashtag for the Gathering is #liveloved13.
“Our goal for on-site engagement is to nurture conversations throughout the day,” Hinz told Reporter. Social posts sent throughout the day, he said, will guide participants through the daily themes in preparation for breakout sessions and Mass Events.
Throughout the convention center, digital kiosks will provide a visual display of the ongoing social-media conversation.
“Tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts and Gathering messages will be filtered, moderated and presented via these kiosks,” Hinz said, to create “a rich, diverse and engaging experience, all while utilizing the social platforms that youth readily embrace.”
A variety of digital content — including live streaming of daily “Mass Events,” a daily-overview blog and an archive of videos developed by the on-site video team — will be available at lcmsgathering.com.
Also available for the first time is a “Gathering App” — an electronic mobile application with information and updates for the Gathering. To learn more, see the Gathering website above.
“We are excited to explore the power of social media at this year’s Gathering,” said Hinz. “Fully embracing social [media] will provide leaders with the opportunity to shape and guide conversations through the theme of ‘Live Love(d).’ Real-time engagement with and between participants will offer a level of engagement that has not been available before.
“Opening the door to the social world will also give participants an opportunity to show their creative side as we curate photos and posts throughout the day.”
Selected “top photos” and “top posts” will be featured on the Gathering website, Hinz said, to “provide folks at home a view into the day’s activities.”