Virtual Help

What I’m Learning about 360 Video and Virtual Reality

I’ve been obsessed with Virtual Reality (VR) since the first time I put on Oculus Rift VR Goggles for the first time about 2 years ago. Shortly after that Google released Google Cardboard and it seemed that VR would be here before we knew it. Adoption and development of this technology has been slower than I anticipated, but it makes sense as the ability to create VR experiences has been so challenging. More than ever I believe VR is going to be HUUUUGE (said with Donald Trump voice)! I just think it’s going to take longer than I anticipated.

I’ve purchased and given away several Google cardboard devices over the past 2 years and made my first big purchase with a 360 video camera in January. I bought the Insta360 nano from Amazon for 2 primary reasons:

  1. Simplicity – I love how it connected to my iPhone and could be uploaded easily from my mobile device and directly to Facebook or YouTube
  2. Affordability – not only was the device easy to use, it was also one of the least expensive devices on the market

Since buying the device I’ve helped Insta360 in their sales as I’ve had several friends see my pictures and videos asking where they can get one of these cool cameras. The quality of these videos has been much better than I expected and the simplicity to upload the videos to Facebook and YouTube has been even easier than I anticipated. I’ve yet to try and edit any videos, but the capturing and distributing has been awesome! The reception to the videos has also been pretty great.

Here are a few of the key things that I’m learning about this new technology:

  • 360 Video is Captivating – the wow factor of these videos has been incredible, especially when people view them through VR googles.
  • Anyone is now able to create 360 videos – as easy as it is to create 360 videos today, it will be even easier tomorrow.
  • Not All Video Should be shot in 360 – while it’s interesting for many experiences, it is not optimal for many if not most video experiences. With 360 video it is harder to control the focal point when you are trying to tell a story.
  • Shorter Videos are best for 360 viewing experiences – currently the VR viewing experiences can be nauseating for most and a long experience is not ideal. I think this will change for experiences like sporting events and even church services, but like mobile video, I’m finding that shorter is better when it comes to VR videos.

All in all, I am more excited than ever about this medium and think ministries need to be paying attention to this space. I believe in the next couple of years many churches will offer a VR worship experience both On-Demand and Live. Beyond worship experiences I believe VR will be an incredible opportunity for Bible reading, Holy Land tours, gospel presentations and more. It’s a consuming media engagement experience with seemingly limitless opportunities for creativity and innovation.

3 Questions with Christina Dodson

For more than a year friends have been encouraging me to hire an Executive Assistant for my growing consulting business.  I blew them off for 2 primary reasons: 1) this was a side business and not something I was even fully committed to and 2) I didn't think I could justify the cost. 

I was wrong on both.  While my business is not my primary focus (my role at Community Bible Church is), it is very important and something I'm very committed to.  By hiring an Executive Assistant I have been able to better serve my business clients while also better serving Community Bible Church as I'm less distracted managing the details of my business.  When it comes to justifying the cost, I couldn't be more wrong.  After just 3 months of having an Executive Assistant, I can very honestly say that I cannot afford not to have an Executive Assistant.  In just 3 months the business has already grown tremendously as I have been able to work out of my strengths and focus on the things I'm most passionate about and gifted in.  

I want to encourage you to consider hiring an Executive Assistant and I can't recommend eaHELP more.  It honestly is quite affordable and you can start with an EA for just 5 hours/week.  That's where I started and in week 2 we increased to 10 hours and in month 2 we increased to 15.  The value is through the roof and my only regret is not hiring an Executive Assistant sooner! 

Here are 3 questions I recently asked my Executive Assistant, Christina:

As a new mom and soon to be church planter's wife, how does a new job fit into a seemingly crazy schedule?

It actually works extremely well! Mostly because Nils is so flexible with me and recognizes that God and family comes first. Additionally, a lot of our team works odd hours so it ends up flowing great! On a typical work day for me I am able to get a couple hours of work done in the early morning while my little one naps or swings contently in her swing (Praise the Lord for technology/machines!). Then I check on a few things in the afternoon on my iPhone in between juggling other things. And then I typically work for another hour or so at night after my little one goes to bed at night. 

Technology truly is a blessing! Working virtually has worked so well for my family and I. 

 

How did you find eaHELP and what has been your experience in becoming a Virtual Executive Assistant through this growing company?

My husband was actually the one who found eaHELP while reading Michael Hyatt's blog. After reading up about Virtual Assistants, he thought I'd be awesome at it and that it would be a great fit for our family. It was a very rigorous application process. After several interviews and questionaries I had to complete a two week assessment period where they sent me numerous projects that I had complete with excellence in a timely manner in order to be hired. 

Now that I've been with the company for a few months, I fall more in love with it everyday. The staff at eaHELP are amazing and so attentive. And the tools and resources they provide are incredible. I feel like I have learned more about administration in the last few months through the VEA community than I have in my entire administrative career! 

And probably the most amazing thing about eaHELP is their client/VEA matching process. They take great care in placing clients with the right VEAs and vice versa. Nils could not have been a better fit of a client for me and I'm pretty sure he'd say the same about me! 

 

Having experienced my world for just a couple months, what advice would you give to church leaders who are considering hiring a Virtual Executive Assistant?

Just do it! As church leaders you need us and we need you! You need time back in your day to focus on big picture stuff and we have the time and skills to take care of the details so that you can. And you'd be amazed at what an admin can do. When Nils first hired me he had a vision of me taking care of 2 specific projects for him and only 2 short months later that list is more like 15-20 and ever growing! So fun! 

And we (VEAs) need you too- it is such a service to us to be hired. It is such a blessing to be able to work virtually so that I can be home and invest in my daughter and watch her grow. Not all VEAs are Moms, but regardless of a VEAs situation the flexibility to be able to work from anywhere is awesome!