Back in BUILD 2018, Dan from GoChatter joined us at BUILD with an idea to enable churches to customise promo videos for evangelistic courses to go out on their social media. Every year since GoChatter has come back to BUILD with a new idea, feature, or improvement to work with the Kingdom Code community. This year, Jana sat down with Mike Ashelby to talk more about where Go Chatter is at.
Jana Owens (JO):What problem is Go Chatter working to solve? Tell us a bit about Go Chatter…
Mike Ashelby (MA): Go Chatter was founded to help churches find and use great video content, and to connect all the amazing UK content creators with churches whose services and community activities would benefit from great video.
JO:How has BUILD, and the Kingdom Code community, been part of the journey with Go Chatter?
MA: This was our fourth year bringing Go Chatter to Kingdom Code and every year has brought something new. The first year was when the concept of our Custom Videos was brought to life. In subsequent years we’ve been blessed to have input from a range of great developers who have helped us to support the project, from improving our website design, through to making significant optimisation to our AWS web services set up to save us money month-on-month.
We’re a small team, and BUILD has been a kickstart for so many different things; everything we’ve done at the hackathon in previous years has gone on into production, either at the event or shortly thereafter! Everyone who has worked with us has made an impact on our product.
JO:What project did you bring to the hackathon this year and how can people get on board with it?
MA: We brought our new tent-making project. Like Paul made tents to fund his ministry, we need to branch out to use our video technology for a wider market to keep Go Chatter going.
We have recently launched CleverGIFs.com which is a SAAS product allowing anyone to create personalised GIFs for e-mail, increasing click-through and engagement. This year at BUILD we prototyped a WYSIWYG editor for our GIF creator to allow anyone to make their own designs and animations.
JO:What was the benefit of BUILD to your team?
MA: Last year we were able to bring some of our team, who were really excited by being part of such a great room of designers and developers. It can often feel like we’re working on this alone so having a team, working with new people with varying skill sets, is a real highlight of coming to BUILD. It’s so encouraging every year we come, knowing we’re not great alone and loved and supported by the community.
We also worked with someone in the community who is a freelance developer throughout the week, but was keen to give some of his time to support us. We’ve been blessed to have him in our weekly prayer times and I think that we’ve both benefited from the connection and friendship that has grown from our time together.
As we were speaking, Mike expressed the benefit they feel from being connected to the Kingdom Code community. When they see an email come through, hear from a fellow participant, or work through a technical problem with other developers, they know they aren’t alone. There is a strong sense of comradery knowing others are praying for them, and working in a similar vein around them.
Mike, and the team at Go Chatter, would love more support in the coming days. Please keep them in your prayers, or get in touch with them to encourage them and to offer help.
It is great to hear about these beautiful examples of intentionality that can be established outside of the hackathon. Whether that is checking-in and praying for projects that you’ve helped on (or seen across the room), through to getting in touch and continuing to support by giving some hours to help fix a bug. These have all been a huge encouragement to people like Mike and Dan, and a great way that you can continue to support similar projects.
You can read more about the idea of tent making in Acts 18. ↩︎
As Go Chatter has grown, they’ve reached the need for a tent-making venture to sustain their vision for serving the church through evangelistic videos. This year at BUILD, Jana sat down with Mike Ashelby from Go Chatter to talk about the project they came with.
Jana is a UX designer, and part of the leadership of Kingdom Code.