Go Slow and Celebrate

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Design / Faith / Life
Go slow and celebrate

We like Northern Ireland. We have always known it is full of people doing amazing things, but it is hard to start the day with our heads full of negative media about Northern Ireland, slowly but definitely seeping into our view of the world.

These are the opening lines of the beautiful new Northern Ireland publication called Freckle. Cherry wrote about it on Ballymena Today here.

Look at it… say oooh!

Freckle Northern Ireland

Over the past few weeks as we have ran up the ramp that self-employed people navigate before taking a holiday, I have become frustrated with community, people, our town, our country… I could go on! It’s often too easy for me to be cynical and times of stress or busyness bring out the worst traits of this in me.

As I’ve been reading Freckle and seeing the wonderful online reactions of readers, I’ve been fired up to shake off the cynicism and celebrate the good things around us. I’ve needed to remind myself of what we are doing here in Ballymena day-by-day through our work.

When I say we… I’m referring to a team of like-minded people here in Ballymena who have an awful lot in common with the ethos and passion that we’ve been reading about in Freckle.

Assisting small businesses with every aspect of their birth and growth, helping them get online, design, print, online content, direction, vision… encouraging community among these businesses, sharing and celebrating news and information via Ballymena Today. There is technology behind all of these things and people who maintain it. There is also admin, paperwork and procedures required to keep everything organised.

I only carry out a small part of this… our team is amazing and at the heart of what we are doing, we want to affect our town and community positively. But we aren’t done yet, there’s still lots to do and lots to share.

Freckle say ‘Go slow and celebrate.’

Amen to that… and thank you to Freckle for inspiring and challenging us. They have created something wonderful.

The boy who didn’t die or go to heaven

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Books / Faith

This has been buzzing around the web for the last couple of days… here are the words of Alex Malarkey who claimed he had died and visited heaven.

By the way, his book sold millions of copies… millions!

An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short. I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible. It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible… not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.
In Christ, Alex Malarkey.

Read the full Huffington Post article here.

I feel a little sorry for Alex to be honest… we’ve all told lies to get attention from people, perhaps not on this grand scale but, he is only 16 and the injuries he sustained all those years ago will affect him for the rest of his life. He fabcricated this as a child after suffering a huge physical trauma. That’s massively sad even though it does not in any way excuse the lies. The Malarkey family will always be the people who lied about heaven and profited [for a time] from gullible christians the world over.

But, here’s the thing… book publishers, book sellers and christians have sucked up an awful lot of similar stories in recent years with an alarming lack of discernment. And for what? Money? Book sales? Fame?

The ‘christian book industry’ needs to take a long hard look at itself!

Your Digital Media Solution should be slow

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A social media strategy for your business! A dedicated town centre digital media solution… whatever way you are labelling your plans and ideas, a slow disciplined approach is best.

Slow… because it takes time but also because you need to really think about what you are doing. Simple right?

Spend the time it takes to do social media properly, or don’t even bother being there. It’s a truly valuable marketing channel that deserves your time and brain-power. You need to be disciplined and make time to plan everything from content generation right through to time for communication – which is still the most important thing of course! Always, always make sure you have a valid case for being present on a platform, time is precious, and many a business has lost it in social media.

Read the full article Social Media Marketing is Painstakingly Slow here.

Why am I saying this?

Our input into Ballymena Today is charged with a belief that you can’t rush these things. There’s no quick fix. The same goes for Coffee Northern Ireland and every other business and organisation whose social media and online content we are involved with managing and producing.

We write about Ballymena because we love our town and believe that it’s beneficial and effective to do so. We aren’t just winging it… same goes for Coffee NI… and the others.

I’ve been around this thing for a really long time and making a lasting impact that really influences and changes things… well, that takes time!