Friday, December 31, 2010

Masonic Technology: Call Em' All

During the past year, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut began an initiative that encouraged their lodges to use a technology called "Call Em All". Call Em All is a service that allows a admin user to set up a call list of phone numbers and record a single message. The service then calls all the numbers on the list and plays the recorded message. Our Grand Lodge paid for the accounts for all the lodges in Connecticut and automatically set up their call lists based on the lodges' membership roll.

The lodges can use this service to record messages to go out to all of it's members. Examples of this includes:

  • Stated Communication Reminders
  • Master's Messages
  • Event Announcements
  • Funeral Notifications
  • Monthly Birthday Lists
  • Calendar Updates
  • Masonic Education

This list of ideas is by no means comprehensive. There are tons of ways that lodges could use this service. Lodges within our Grand Jurisdiction have been using it for several months now and many lodges are seeing an increase in meeting attendance and activity.

For lodges outside of my Grand Jurisdiction, who do not have the service automatically paid for, the service is relatively inexpensive and costs between five and ten cents a call, which is far cheaper than printing and mailing a notice. There are also bulk rates for the same list if used several times a month. More information on pricing can be found here.

This service is a great way to reduce costs and to reach out to members that do not have standard electronic communication, such as email. If a receiver of a call doesn't wish to receive more notifications, the recording has an option to opt out of additional calls.

My lodge has been using Call Em All for about two months now and we plan to use it heavily in the coming year. What other purposes could we use this for? I'd love to hear some additional ideas.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

New Year - New Purpose

For those of you who are long time readers of Masonic Renaissance, you'll recall the previously tackled topics of this blog; technology, leadership, and educational resources, all from the perspective of a Masonic Lodge.

With the advent of the new year, I hope to reinvigorate this blog. The topics of the blog will remain the same and most of the format will stay the same. However, the purpose of the blog will be slightly altered.

Previously, I wrote this blog with the intent that the audience was the whole of the Masonic Fraternity and specifically, the like-minded brothers who wanted to breath new life into their dusty halls. This was a great exercise, where I was able to experiment with some new ideas and get great feedback from brothers around the globe.

In April, I will be installed as a District Deputy of the 4th Masonic District in Connecticut. Our incoming Grand Master is a prolific Masonic Leader and wants to use his District Deputies to assist lodges in generating new programs, fostering Masonic Education and using technology to their advantage. In an effort to assist my local lodges in my jurisdiction, I plan to focus the audience of this blog specifically to them and align my topics with the initiatives our Grand Master is promoting.

Overall, this won't change the blog very much, but it will mean more frequent posting. The blog will still cover the same topics and will aim to help Masonic Lodges to grow and prosper. The specific ideas that I will be promoting for the lodges I work directly with can just as easily be used by lodges around the globe.

I also hope to use the blog to promote the happenings around the district and to chronicle my travels. For the past two years, I've accompanied my predecessor, Right Worshipful Ted Doolittle, on this travels throughout the district as Associate Grand Marshal and I've seen some really wonderful programs. These programs should be shared, so that other lodges can adopt them and adapt them.

I truly look forward to beginning this next leg of my Masonic journey and I sincerely hope that the readers of this blog will enjoy virtually traveling with me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Technology Experiment: Blogging from the iPad

It's been a while since I last posted on this blog. Unfortunately, the past year has been extremely busy in my Masonic, personal and vocational lives, which has made it difficult to add content. However, I do plan on reactivating this blog in the near future. The new focus of the blog will be to help brethren, both locally and around the globe, to find Masonic resources on the web and to identify technologies that could assist with enriching the Masonic experience. I'll have more information on this initiative and the reason behind it in a follow-up post.

One of the new tools that I hope to employ with helping me to become a more active blogger is my iPad. Today, I downloaded some software for my iPad that should help me post on-the-go easier. This is the first post using this software and I hope it makes it to it's intended destination.

One of the cool features of this software is being able to see the location of the post. If I was at a lodge meeting and there was something important occurring, I could add a post and the location of the event will appear. Right now, I'm in a cabin in the woods during my vacation.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Abner Ln,Killingworth,United States