The Words of the Marianov Family
Mr. Yulian Marianov, is teaching members how to create blogs that are an effective means of witnessing online. He is conducting his class over www.iunificationist.net, an online meetinghouse for members. What follows are some explanations from Yulian that should give our readers a sense of what the class covered in the beginning and some of the skills the students are acquiring in their quest to use the internet as a means of guiding people out of the spiritual wilderness.
I have around thirty blogs in the Bulgarian language. Each day, somewhere between one thousand and twelve thousand non-members read my articles about True Father. More than half a million read them each year, but this year I reached four hundred thousand visits just in the first four months. Isn't that amazing? At any moment, day or night, people are reading. It's as if I'm teaching lectures nonstop without the expense of travel or time. The internet brings this educational material directly into people's homes around the world. Only the truth can transform people's lives. Only the truth can liberate their original minds. Only the truth can align us with God and spark a revolution of conscience, and only then is a revolution of heart possible.
Here is one good example, which I am paraphrasing from what one person sent me in Bulgarian. She was searching for the truth everywhere and had read many religious texts, but nothing made her feel complete. Then, one morning, she happened to find my pages in Bulgarian. She started reading. In the course of a year, she read hundreds of articles about our ideas and history. For the first time, she felt with all her heart that she had found the truth. A sense of joy that she had never felt before overwhelmed her. For the first time, a spiritual teaching made her feel love toward all people and all the creation. She was studying by herself, reading my articles on the internet. Only after a year did she get in touch with me.
Our mission is education -- transforming the world through the power of the word, inspiring a revolution of heart and conscience. People lead improper lives and make wrong choices because their understanding of right and wrong is incorrect. As the Divine Principle clarifies, we have to first learn the truth, believe it and then practice it in order to be transformed as true people.
Because of the Fall, our conscience does not work properly. The truth revealed today is to correct that. But how is the whole world to learn the truth? We cannot expect them to change without having true knowledge. Where do people go first to find information? The internet. Whatever they want to know about, they just type it into Google.
"The good news is that the
Internet is bringing us closer than we ever thought possible to make
learning -- of all kinds, at all levels, any time, any place, any
pace -- a practical reality for every man, woman, and
Web-Based Education Commission
Explaining how readers are drawn to continue reading is not easy. When I write an article, I see what curiosity or questions it evokes in non-member readers, and then I will write an article in response to what they want to know and make a link. But, more internally, you have to understand the psychology of education, how human concepts are formed and how information builds based on previous concepts. Spiritually, so to speak, each article creates an image in a reader's mind. The reader needs many more images until they combine to show the whole puzzle.
Readers already have many inappropriate concepts and incorrect information in their minds (about relationships, sex, love, families, parenting, history, religion, Rev. Moon...). Of course, this inaccurate information leads them to improper conclusions and erroneous actions. When I come across these incorrect concepts, I provide good research and enough information so people can see the right, principled, point of view. It's all about having the right information. If one has the right data, he can always find his way to the right conclusion. As I wrote in one article, in my studies I discovered an alarming fact.
We haven't caused the truth to appear through Google. I feel it is my responsibility to make the truth available in an easy to understand, clear form, so that people can gradually study from home.
Internet outreach is extremely exciting. Every day thousands of new people are reading. Every day makes new victories and breakthroughs possible. That more than a million Bulgarians have read these articles about True Father is difficult to comprehend, even for me. Even long ago, I could see that hundreds of outside people started promoting these articles by themselves. These non-members were the most inspired by materials about True Father.
In the last ten months, things have changed even more, since some readers have contacted me with direct requests to become members, sharing how inspired they are about all True Father does and aims to do. In the last two months, I started sharing with our worldwide membership some of my stories and my deep sense that God wants many of us to use this power of the internet to support the realization of Cheon Guk by 2012. Immediately many members wanted to join the online course that I teach to learn to do it themselves. You cannot imagine how great a joy it is for me to see with what great enthusiasm some of them want to share God's word.
I cannot help feeling how urgently God is crying out for us to do something about the vilification of our movement on the internet. I am determined to start changing that, as I changed it in the Bulgarian language. I know how to do it, and if we work together, it's just a matter of time and dedication.
Now, online, I'm teaching more than forty students how to do it themselves. I teach them based on their own practice. They have simple assignments to complete each week. Each assignment is designed to teach a number of specific and important skills and techniques. The real teaching takes place when I begin giving them feedback, leading them to improve their work until it is attractive and effective material for witnessing.
In the first lesson, the students had two writing assignments. First, they had to take the essence of one of Father's speeches and then learn to use Google to search for more information on the topic Father was speaking about.
Next, they had to find what Father has done that is related to the issue. They searched the internet to find what others have said about that issue and to find quotations from famous people about it.
To support them with a second article I wrote some examples based on the material of one of the students. The student had written about Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. I asked him to add something similar about True Father, but in this example, I did it instead of him. I showed them ways they can mix a short historic overview of an issue, curious facts, and quotations of famous people to create a more interesting article. I left the article unfinished so that they can more easily understand the process. It still needs quotations from Father's Peace Message that describe his main vision of peace, which we covered in a previous assignment. A comparison is needed with what other peacemakers have said or done. A bit of research is also called for in order to improve the key words. It needs a catchy topic name and an introduction related to the blog's purpose or the audience it is targeting.
Thus, from the very start I want the students to pay attention to the key words they use. I want them to learn how to do research using Google and I want to help them cut off from their sectarian way of writing one-sided, sweet, boring stuff, which is neither interesting to the outside world nor to members.
Don't get the wrong impression. I'm not expecting everyone to be a writer, but students can still find a few interesting items of information from here and there.
The other lessons teach them entirely different skills and knowledge -- design, tracking, promoting and so on. Each lesson is designed to be easily finished in a week, or even a day. The actual speed depends on the student. At the end, they will have overseen the whole process of witnessing online.
For anyone who registers (free of charge) at iunificationist.org, here are some links to further articles from my class about online outreach:
How to write effectively on the internet: iunificationist.org/profiles/blogs/web-witnessing-words-have
We should re-write all information on the internet: iunificationist.org/profiles/blogs/let-the-truth-germinate-we
Our message can reach to people: iunificationistorg/profiles/blogs/ web-outreach-our-message-can
Fight the negativity about Father on the internet: iunificationist.org/profiles/blogs/ fight-the-negativity-in
The Power of Internet: Testimony of my spiritual daughter:
iunificationist.org/profiles/blogs/the-power-of-internet Results of web witnessing -- astonishing!: Runificationist.org / profiles/blogs /results-of-web-witnessing