Podcast Episode 28 - What's Coming Soon
(you may have heard about these if you were at RX2017 or watched the first session, which is free at https://www.rockrms.com/rxcontent)
One facet of our Accessibility core value is making sure that churches can get up and running - a big part of that for most churches is importing existing data. So we're developing Slingshot. There are two halves; the "vacuuming" part that goes into your existing database and exports as much of the existing data as possible, and the unpacking part that will be available in Rock v7, that imports much of the data into Rock. Not everything will come over, and things fit into Rock differently than in the old system, but much of the typical core needs around people, contributions and attendance history will usually come over. Spark has built the unpacking part, and the first vacuum for Church Community Builder, and we're relying on partners to build other vacuums for other systems. A whitepaper is available for more information on developing more "vacuums" at https://rockrms.blob.core.windows.net/resources/recipes/Slingshot.pdf
We are working on integrating with FrontPorch, who are industry leaders in WiFi. This project will help augment what you know about people and note when people come onto your campus. It links Rock to most enterprise-grade WiFi systems (Ruckus is a common example), and uses a Rock page as the captive portal for that system so that you can personalize content to that person. Also, since it knows which "zone" they're in on your campus and has the power of Lava and the smarts of your Rock Calendars, it can show them content relevant to what they're probably there for. On the admin side, this might look like another badge indicating when this person is actually on your campus, and you might build something that looks at the interaction and presence events stored in the database for a person, but however it looks it will be another "tool" in your toolbox for guaging how engaged a person is with your ministry.
Spark Data Initiative:
This project that we're working on is a suite of tools being made available for you to be able to append additional information and intelligence to your Rock data. Some of these work with external paid services, so they'll be optional and paid add-ons, but we want to give you easy access to anything which will help your ministry.
- SmartyStreets has given free access to their services to the Rock community, requesting that Spark manage the keys to this, so that's one example (this is in v7).
- We are working on bringing you the ability to link your data to a service called Personics (created by Axiom). This dataset is used by most marketers already, and they keep information on every household in the US. It provides information on household dynamics, such as single/married, kids/no kids, rural/urban area, affluence level, etc. The strength of knowing this data is in being able to analyze an entire campus and see how representative it is compared to your city/area. Or to look at an entire group type in Rock (Small Groups, for instance), and see if you're missing a demographic that is otherwise well represented in the community - it will help your ministry leaders tailor their messaging based on who you're targeting, etc.
- Also, we're working on allowing you to link your data to a national change of address database, so you can link your households and trigger a Rock event when someone moves. Perhaps if you see they moved a great distance you want to inactivate their records, or help them find a church in their new area, or link them to your online campus, etc. If they are still in town, maybe you want to have Rock update their address automatically since they're unlikely to remember to tell your church that they moved.
Rock Labs: (We discussed this in the first video of the second day of RX2017, which is also available for free)
We want to have churches be able to collaborate with each other, and with us, on things that will really help ministries move the Kingdom forward. True collaboration, not sharing after the fact. So we've created Rock Labs (https://www.rockrms.com/RockLabs/Application) where people can go into a kind of lab environment and research, experiment, and develop together. Many of us in the tech world understand what tools are out there, but we need to find out what the needs of ministries are so that we can help meet the needs. This isn't a place just for developers- we need the community to talk with their pastors and ask these questions, then bring back the answers and collaborate with others on what it would mean to meet these needs, as one example. This isn't a place for a "drive by" dropping of ideas- we're looking for people to sign up for this community who are willing to take the time to really work with everyone else in the lab, get messy, and really do deep dives into this collaboration. If the intersection of your heart, and time available on your calendar, lands in this area of Rock Labs, we're looking for you! The team also talked about a few features that will be coming to Rock core out of the Labs already, so don't miss this portion of the podcast.
Pledge drive 2018
Many people ask us what our need is to kind of have a goal to meet. But with the community doubling and tripling unbelievably quickly, our team has to grow with that. So if we give a hard goal, that might change by the next podcast. So what we've come to realize is that we need 85% of churches who are using Rock to be donating. If that number stays consistent, then our work can stay consistent with the quality and growth needed. Right now 56 churches have been donating to Rock, and this represents about 41% of the churches who have told us they're using Rock. So we're having to take time that we'd rather be spending on the projects we just told you about, as well as v7 which everyone wants to come obviously, and do other work to make sure the lights stay on at our office. So what we need right now, is just to know what your church's plan for 2018 is. Please fill out a pledge at https://www.rockrms.com/pledge
and let us know how much work we will get to do on core in 2018!Sponsors
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