Live from NRB Proclaim 19 | Episode 30

Tune in to the most recent episode of the Future.Bible Podcast with Kenny Jahng and DJ Chuang. In this episode, Kenny and DJ discuss their experience from the NRB Conference they are attending in Anaheim, California. Kenny and DJ share a few things that they have spotted at the conference with the listeners!

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TRANSCRIPTION:

Kenny Jahng:    Hey, welcome friends. This is Kenny Jahng host of Future.Bible program and my other co-host right next to me luckily side by side physically the same location. DJ Chuang in the house. Welcome to the program.

DJ Chuang:    Thank you. Thanks for the warm welcome and that makes us co-host. Oh, that’s right. And we still looked like we’re side by side on the screen, but we’re actually like physically together.

Kenny Jahng:    Which is quite different than our normal interactions on this podcast.

DJ Chuang:    It means I can smell and not just hear and see.

Kenny Jahng:    Another sense. Well we are here together in Anaheim for good purpose. Why don’t you tell our listeners what we are doing here at the Anaheim Convention Center?

DJ Chuang:    Yes. This year’s National Religious Broadcasting International Christian Media Industry Convention is here in Anaheim. Usually it’s in Nashville. And we are here representing the American Bible Society and the .Bible registry, which is a brand new top level domain on the internet that allows you to have a stronger brand and a memorable web address that ends in .Bible. So instead of a .com or .org and there’s .network and .media, but there’s .Church. And then there’s .Bible. And there’s no stronger word that provokes an emotional engagement than the word Bible, right?

Kenny Jahng:    Right. Of course.

DJ Chuang:    Use that for your advantage.

Kenny Jahng:    To your advantage. So we are here with about 2,500 other people this week. And then, just side note, tomorrow is the start of WonderCon in the same space. We’ve been warned by the leadership here that we should witness well tomorrow. We’ll be on our best behavior. As it’s basically a comic con, right?

DJ Chuang:    It’s another iteration of comic con. It’s a whole family of different conferences and this one’s called WonderCon.

Kenny Jahng:    So we’ve got a large comic con like conference. But this is the largest Christian media conference in the country, convening people from the radio, television, and new media industries. And that’s why we’re here.

DJ Chuang:    And film. Film is a big deal. So every day to have one or two screenings at new films that are coming up. So that’s very exciting. And they just had a big announcement last night, Kingdom coming or something. Is it like the whole new studio kind of thing. And, even though I’ve come to this conference three or four years now, I still haven’t figured out this whole industry thing because it’s pretty complicated.

Kenny Jahng:    Absolutely.

DJ Chuang:    It’s not quite like the internet where they have rules and regulations, although they probably do, but it’s just much more layered and nuanced than my little brain can handle.

Kenny Jahng:    Well, I can tell you at the end of the day, it is fun meeting a lot of these people and learning about the projects that are coming out to the public in the months ahead. For sure. Now, one of the things I’d love to talk, about today is just to give a highlight in terms of a foreshadowing what’s coming down the pike. Some of the themes that we’ve seen in this conference. I have two in particular that I’ve picked on and picked up on and I’d love to hear your thoughts, Dj, because you’ve got eagle eyes also from a futurist pattern recognition point of view. But one, I’ll just start today’s discussion is, I’m seeing pickup on the VR AR front, which I did not expect walking into this conference in particular. But in the faith based space, it seems like there has been some significant traction on this front. In fact, the booth we’re sitting right behind us is a VR immersive experience. There’s one right in front of us. We’re looking at another one where there’s a VR experience about the seven different miracles of Jesus. And then there’s one or two others in this exhibit hall as well. I’m actually pretty surprised. What about you? Is that something that you expected or as catching you off guard that there’s so much technology development in this space or surrounding Bible, Bible study, etc?

DJ Chuang:    Yes. Now that you mention it, it is quite a surprise. And I know, I think of, because this is a conference that’s been around for 75 years, there’s a lot of institutional history and there’s a lot of investment. And so the digital aspect of this industry isn’t quite where we swim in. And so one of the other things that I’ve noticed is just how new podcasting is to this media world.

Kenny Jahng:    Have you heard about podcasting? We have to get started on podcasting. It seems like they’re almost, so this conference is broken into different verticals, right? Television industry read it. It seems like every vertical is talking about podcasting somehow. There’s speakers on the agenda in almost every quarter, including the Digital Media Summit itself.

DJ Chuang:    Tell us about the Digital Media Summit happening tomorrow. Although, when we’re going to show this video, it’s going to be when?

Kenny Jahng:    It will be after tomorrow.

DJ Chuang:    So while we’re recording this before on the eve of the Digital Media Summit.

Kenny Jahng:    So NRB is a multi-day experience. One of the days typically has been dedicated to a summit surrounding digital media. Digital Media Summit this year is on the last day of the conference, Friday. So we’re anticipating what’s going to happen tomorrow, but basically we’ve got an agenda morning and afternoon sessions full of speakers on various topics.

Kenny Jahng:    I’m actually excited to be part of the Digital Media Summit this year because I think the speakers that they’ve curated this year is much more contemporary and upfront than in years past in particular. And we actually know a bunch of the speakers personally and so it’s going to be a fun day.

DJ Chuang:    And I hear you’re going to have a front row seat.

Kenny Jahng:    Yes, I’ve been asked. It’s an honor. I’ve been asked by the committee to emcee the entire day and so that’s the question of what’s going to happen throughout the day. If we can keep the show on track, keep everyone comfortable, you know, safe and sound to get them out the door when they need to.

DJ Chuang:    So you said you had two things you noticed.

Kenny Jahng:    Well, second one was podcasting.

DJ Chuang:    I took one of yours.

Kenny Jahng:    Then there must be a third. I wonder what the third, there was a third I was thinking of before, but it escapes my mind right now. So, VR technology, I think that’s really interesting. The podcasting, I think is interesting. I do think podcasting is something that’s taking advantage of the publishing arbitrage that our generation culture right now for the moment definitely is having. If you go back and listen to the interview that we had with Rob Walch of Libsyn, which is a major or the largest podcasting director of platform out there, he talks about if you recall the fact that there isn’t a comeback or rise of podcasts and there’s just this historic, slow linear rise of growth, right? It hasn’t been up and down. It hasn’t been a Yoyo, but it just seems that it keeps the new cycle keeps bringing it back to make it sound like it’s either a new thing or it’s, it’s a recurring thing, which I find humorous that people discover it once in a while and it becomes the forefront.

DJ Chuang:    I think it’s related to what we’re experiencing in .com that it’s, it takes a good number of years for something to get to mainstream and awareness. So I know you and me, cause the Kenny’s prodding, we started the episode of the podcast in 2012 called Social Media Church. That’s very early when podcasting was still kind of like, what does that blah, blah, blah. And then, I think it accelerated when smartphones and 4G came on the scene because then you just stream the podcasts instead of downloading and syncing and all the awkward things you used to have to do. Well .Bible just launched in March of 2016 and as we talk now, it’s march of 2019. That’s only three years in two years. So, it feels like it’s going to take five or six years to really hit our stride. And so thank you for being interested in what we’re a part of the conversation and we would love to tell your stories of how .Bible makes a difference.

Kenny Jahng:    It’s now one of the things that has been encouraging is that we’ve been meeting with other potential partners, vendors here, exhibitors, and we come across one or two that have already purchased the .Bible before even the need to introduce it, educate them, etc. That’s been refreshing that the work that we’ve been doing so far for the last couple of years is now at a point where it’s preceding the word or the steps that we’re taking in meeting new people.

DJ Chuang:    Yes. And so, rather than just saying, “hey, buy a .Bible domain. Hey, tell a friend about .Bible and that the internet has expanded. And just that would be a real helpful thing to stay on the leading edge of what’s happening as well as being a partner with us. Right.

Kenny Jahng:    So I recall now the third trend, which is actually, I don’t know how to constantly, it’s either negative trend or an absence of thing. The pattern recognition I’ve found here is, I’m surprised coming to the conference this year in particular that there aren’t more vendors or talk about social media advertising. We’ve gone to a point where organic reach for most organizations have plummeted down to close to Facebook zero, as we call it. And that the education of the market is pretty up to date and current that the expectations for most nonprofit people that we’ve been talking to today, understand that you’re not going to get, if you got 34, we were talking to Jesus daily, right? The Jesus Daily Group, that there’s 34 million followers on Facebook, but there’s all these disclaimers that keeps on saying “look, that doesn’t mean I’m getting 34 million impressions on any content I put, that in fact, it’s much less”, so the education has caught up. Yet there isn’t that much talk here or resourcing or platforming of speakers who are talking about how to use paid advertising to the advantage. And you would think that this industry in particular would eat that up or that’s a sore need for them.

DJ Chuang:    It is a sore need. And I think the biggest things that the industry is aware of and is tackling as distribution and marketing. So the industry does know they have to spend a lot of money on marketing. I have a piece of paper behind this laptop right now that’s for a new movie that’s coming out in a couple of weeks and it says $500,000 they’re going to spend on marketing. I mean, you know what $100,000 can do with digital marketing? And the world has spent 500,000 on Prin radio and this other thing that’s just kind of fizzles. Unbelievable.

Kenny Jahng:    It’s unbelievable. Absolutely. One of those things that I noticed, which was interesting. There’s at least two companies that I know that are exhibited here that our pre launch phase for a new social network. I wonder if you’d love to talk about that. It’s interesting to see that there is this a recurring thing we see keep on popping up over the years, that there are other innovators out there, entrepreneurs trying to build walled gardens for social media that Christians can actually populate and congregate amongst themselves. What are your thoughts on that?

DJ Chuang:    I’m surprised and it confounds me the variety and diversity of faith based initiatives that this convention gathers. So it’s not just a wide theological spectrum. There’s a wide variety of how people live and present their faith. And so some of them come once and we don’t see them again. And with these, I still have a difficult time seeing what the next social network is going to be.

Kenny Jahng:    Now. One thing I think that’s interesting to know though, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this is, actually was fortunate enough for you to introduce me to one or two of them at the show and as I discussed their business model and the reasons and the feature benefits that they offered potential users. What’s interesting this time around I think is a reflection of our culture and society that the tip of the sword for both war was related to censorship and freedom to be able to discuss your own political views in a safe manner. And so I found that interesting that this reincarnation of this idea of we need a walled garden for Christians to talk to each other without disturbance from the outside world. This time, the problem, the pain point that they’re trying to solve with this walled garden is a safe place that we can have. I guess it’s almost like religious liberty or political liberty and saying whatever we want, which as you know, Facebook has gotten into hot waters for, because that has cost a lot of trouble for Facebook users.

DJ Chuang:    Actually that fits the history of this national religious broadcasters. It came out of a conviction and a desire to pull their best practices to make sure that religious freedom would be maintained on the air radio and television. Even now we’re kind of come full circle again. Now it’s a thing on the internet that we want that freedom of religion and how we practice to be freely shared.

Kenny Jahng:    The name of the conferences called Proclaim, right. It’s a harking back to the original purpose of why we’re gathering here as Christian communicators. That is interesting. I thought that’s a fourth little nugget platter recognition here.

DJ Chuang:    Yes. The thought that came to my mind I’ll conclude this way, I think there’s cheaper ways to do that then to launch a social network. But that’s just me. I like to do things on the cheap way.

Kenny Jahng:    And not just cheaper, but there are existing resources out ther can you accomplish the same goals with things that are freely available as well.

Kenny Jahng:    What do you think? We’d love to hear your comments because this is a big discussion topic, potentially. Please put your comments below. We’d love to hear from you, direct message or in the comments of what your thoughts are on this type of topic of a religious freedom, political freedom in social media. Is there a need for us to have a walled garden for faith based people of faith to be able to talk to each other about these types of issues in a circumstance where there’s no censorship, there’s no moderation. And what are the upsides and downsides of that type of scenario? We’d love to have you comment below and let us know what your thoughts are if this, if that resonates with you or if not. I think from just a polling point of view, from a focus group point of view, I’d be very curious what our listeners actually think about these type of resources that are popping up again.

Kenny Jahng:    So it sounds like it’s time to wrap up the show today. Do you have any parting words or thoughts as we close out the second to last day here at NRB in Anaheim?

DJ Chuang:    Well it’s been great to be with you again in Anaheim this time. And the weather’s been great. The new environment has been a fun.

Kenny Jahng:    Shout out to the rest of our team. We’ve got Pat Walker here, one of the best from headquarters all the way in Philadelphia flew out and did a fantastic job taking care of you and me and making sure we’re in line keeping us in order. The .Bible team really has fun when we are traveling out and about meeting. You guys, the people of the interwebs as we call it so that you turned from internet friends to IRL, in real life friends here as well.

DJ Chuang:    So I’m really looking forward to the after show, after the Digital Media Summit because to tell you all the conversation that we had.

Kenny Jahng:    Absolutely will have to do a recap episode after the Digital Media Summit. So thank you again for everybody to chime in in the comments below and thank you for following along the journey and listening to this episode and the rest of them. If you have any questions and I’ll just do this one. Pull up, if you go to our website, Future.Bible, you can get access to exclusive interviews that we’ve had with most of the speakers that will be speaking on Friday at the Digital Media Summit. So if you don’t want to pay $900 for a ticket, you got access to the speakers on our website on at Future.Bible. Dj, thanks for being with me today.

DJ Chuang:    Hey, great being with you always.

Kenny Jahng:    So we’ll check out here next time here on the Future.Bible podcast.

HIGHLIGHTS:

04:05 I’m seeing pickup on the VR AR front, which I did not expect walking into this conference in particular. But in the faith based space, it seems like there has been some significant traction on this front. In fact, the booth we’re sitting right behind us is a VR immersive experience. There’s one right in front of us. We’re looking at another one where there’s a VR experience about the seven different miracles of Jesus. And then there’s one or two others in this exhibit hall as well. I’m actually pretty surprised.

08:21 I think it’s related to what we’re experiencing in .com that it’s, it takes a good number of years for something to get to mainstream and awareness. So I know you and me, cause the Kenny’s prodding, we started the episode of the podcast in 2012 called Social Media Church. That’s very, very early when podcasting was still kind of like, what does that blah, blah, blah. And then, I think it accelerated when smartphones and 4G came on the scene because then you just stream the podcasts instead of downloading and syncing and all the awkward things you used to have to do. Well .Bible just launched in March of 2016 and as we talk now, it’s march of 2019. That’s only three years in two years. So, it feels like it’s going to take five or six years to really hit our stride. And so thank you for being interested in what we’re a part of the conversation and we would love to tell your stories of how .Bible makes a difference.

10:30 I’m surprised coming to the conference this year in particular that there aren’t more vendors or talk about social media advertising. We’ve gone to a point where organic reach for most organizations have plummeted down to close to Facebook zero, as we call it. And that the education of the market is pretty up to date and current that the expectations for most nonprofit people that we’ve been talking to today, understand that you’re not going to get, if you got 34, we were talking to Jesus daily, right? The Jesus Daily Group, that there’s 34 million followers on Facebook, but there’s all these disclaimers that keeps on saying “look, that doesn’t mean I’m getting 34 million impressions on any content I put, that in fact, it’s much less”, so the education has caught up. Yet there isn’t that much talk here or resourcing or platforming of speakers who are talking about how to use paid advertising to the advantage. And you would think that this industry in particular would eat that up or that’s a sore need for them.

12:18 Absolutely. One of those things that I noticed, which was interesting. There’s at least two companies that I know that are exhibited here that our pre launch phase for a new social network. I wonder if you’d love to talk about that. It’s interesting to see that there is this a recurring thing we see keep on popping up over the years, that there are other innovators out there, entrepreneurs trying to build walled gardens for social media that Christians can actually populate and congregate amongst themselves. What are your thoughts on that?

13:43 One thing I think that’s interesting to know though, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this is, actually was fortunate enough for you to introduce me to  one or two of them at the show and as I discussed their business model and the reasons and the feature benefits that they offered potential users. What’s interesting this time around I think is a reflection of our culture and society that the tip of the sword for both war was related to censorship and freedom to be able to discuss your own political views in a safe manner. And so I found that interesting that this reincarnation of this idea of we need a walled garden for Christians to talk to each other without disturbance from the outside world. This time, the problem, the pain point that they’re trying to solve with this walled garden is a safe place that we can have. I guess it’s almost like religious liberty or political liberty and saying whatever we want, which as you know, Facebook has gotten into hot waters for, because that has cost a lot of trouble for Facebook users.


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