Thursday, January 9, 2014

The New UCC Profile Process Part 2: A Web Link Strategy

Me, according to Vizify. Vizify is an easy to use website that enables you to consolidate your web links, but it might not be your best option...

The New UCC Profile process will go live in just three short weeks, on January 31, 2014. I am blogging about my experience using the new process. (Check out my first post for an overview and review of the process.) Because I am not currently able to actually work with the online form, in the meantime I'm blogging about gathering and preparing materials for putting my profile together. I'm going to start with what is probably the most difficult step--creating web content for the weblinks section of the Profile. This section is optional, but strongly encouraged. As time goes on, I suspect that the weblinks section will become more and more important to search committees. At this time it is probably just something that will give you a little extra "edge" in the search process--if you provide your links in a well-thought-out way.

My current plan is to provide one link on my Profile that will lead to all other links. You may choose to use multiple links, but I think it is best to use as few links as absolutely necessary to provide access to all the web content that you want to provide to search committees.  There are various options for doing this. In this post I am only going to deal with options for consolidating your web links. In a future post I will provide suggestions about actual web content you might want to add (such as YouTube videos of sermons, Podcasts, etc.). I am only going to present options that I have actually tried. I have no doubt that there are many other options.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a popular networking website. Stylistically it is fairly similar to the new UCC profile--minus the networking aspect. I maintain an online resume and some visual portfolios at LinkedIn. It is fairly easy to put together a LinkedIn Profile. The visual profiles are easy to use, but it is so similar to the new Profile that I think most UCC Pastors will not want to add this link to theirs.
Vizify: Vizify is an easy-to-use do-it-yourself website maker. The free version allows you to create a page with an address based on your name ( You can add photos to personalize it and the way it consolidates all of your web links on a single visually-interesting page makes it a great option for Pastors who have not worked much with creating websites. If you haven't done so already I'd encourage you to check it out--it's easy to use and free. 
WordPress: WordPress is a popular tool for creating websites and blogs. It requires some specialized computer skills (or the aid of someone who has such skills), but it gives you access to an incredible array of themes for websites, many of which are free. You will need to choose (and pay for) a web host for your site, but once it is set up it is fairly easy to add and change content. 
Blogger: My current site is a blog at Blogger, which is a free, easy-to-use blog website that provides a variety of styles of templates. It is also possible to download your own background images. The style I use is called "Magazine."  Because I have a fairly uncommon last name I found it easy to secure a good name for my site, but The Reverend John Smith might have a problem, since many blog names on blogger are already taken.
Facebook:  Facebook gives you all the options you really need for a professional website to compliment your Profile. Although Facebook discourages it, many individuals maintain separate personal and professional Facebook pages. 

Regardless of whether you provide one web link or multiple links on your Profile, the really important thing is to provide relevant content through your links. In my next post I will talk about some things to consider in providing web content through your Profile.

This is part 2 of a series of posts about the new UCC Profile process. Read part 1, which provides an review and overview of the process here.

Part 3, in which I discuss pitfalls to avoid in providing links to web content, can be found here.
I blog, therefore I am. If you liked this post and want some food for thought about church ministry, check out If you or anyone you know is looking to hire a new Pastor, check out my professional profile blog at
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