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Innovative Media Hub provides round-the-clock look at Episcopal Church General Convention 2009

May 8, 2009

You will be able to follow, watch, understand, experience and enjoy the Episcopal Church’s General Convention 2009 no matter where you are, thanks to an innovative addition to this year’s event, the Media Hub.

Produced and presented by the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, the Media Hub will utilize cutting edge technology to deliver the full story of the almost two-week event.

General Convention 2009 (GC09) will be held July 8 – 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California (Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles).

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention, held every three years, is the bicameral governing body of the church. General Convention, the second largest legislative body in the world, is comprised of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 members, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay representatives from the 110 dioceses, at over 700 members.

Videos, blogging, twitter, flickr, and live webcasting will enable a transparent, round-the-clock look at General Conventions.

“The Media Hub provides a way for telling the story of General Convention in real time,” explained Mike Collins, director of digital media. “I like that we are taking social media and applying it to the Episcopal Church.”

“The Media Hub will help make the work of our church and the legislative process more transparent,” commented Chris Clement, web developer.

The Media Hub

Seven distinct areas will be delineated on the Media Hub: calendar, video stream, flickr photos, activity area, legislative tracker, twitter feed, and resources.

The first is the complete calendar of events, detailing the daily GC09 schedule as well as special events during both the day and evening hours. “On each item in the calendar,” Collins explained, “there will be an icon to indicate if the event will be covered live, or if video on-demand is available.”

The largest area will be the live video stream of many wide-reaching events occurring GC09, such as briefings, legislative hearings, and special events. “The live stream will vary every day,” Collins explained, “but the programming will all be listed in the calendar.”

There will also be a library of videos on-demand, including all the sermons presented at the Daily Eucharists.

Another area, the flickr photos, will feature snapshots of the widespread aspects of life at GC09. Continually updated, flickr will be a log of everyone’s experiences at GC09. Deputies, alternates, bishops and visitors will be able to easily upload their own photos to this site at the Church Center booth in the exhibit hall.

“This gives a glimpse of everyone’s personal experience,” Clement said.

The Activity area will aggregate content that is relative to GC09 from a wide array of sources, including Episcopal News Service; articles from diocesan publications, religious and secular press; comments from people on Twitter and Facebook; and other sources.

“This is where we’ll be watching the pulse of the hub,” Clement added.

The legislative tracker will enable viewers to follow the life of a resolution and ties directly into the actions and votes of GC09 through the GC database.

Media Hub’s twitter feed will be a source for announcements. “It’s our way for letting people know offsite or in the hall when an event is about to begin, if a room has changed, when something goes live,” Collins explained. “We can quickly communicate with the entire General Convention and those watching offsite.”

The final area, the resource section, will list links to maps, things to do in Anaheim, directions, and other pertinent info.

Other features

A special feature of the Media Hub will be photos featuring high definition panoramic photos of the General Convention.

Collins also reported that work is underway to make the Media Hub bilingual and with close caption for the hearing impaired.

The Media Hub will go live shortly before General Convention, tentatively July 1.

“I am most excited about our partnership with Bit Gravity and the live video that we will be offering while at General Convention,” noted Clement.

“It’s the hippest thing the church has ever produced,” Clement quipped.

Follow the Media Hub at tecmediahub09.

The Episcopal Church, with 110 dioceses in 15 nations, is a member province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer