Online 9 Lessons and Carols 2012

Online-Carols 2012 Small copy

Some of you may remember that last year there was an Online Nine Lessons and Carols Service.  This year is no different and Metanoia are involved in it once again.  Check out all of the details over at Nine Lessons and Carols 2012!  Check out the hashtag #onlinecarols2012 too!

I also updated Metanoia’s facebook url so it matches every other online presence we have. Facebook’s original policy of never allowing you to change your name has been relaxed to “OK, we’ll let you change it but only once”.  If you have any links, they may need updating.

http://www.facebook.com/metanoiauk

Discipleship in the Online World

Here are some wise words from CyberSten.  What do you think?  Is the online world fraught with danger?

The Internet – A Basic Human Right?

I was reading an interesting article from the BBC entitled “The myth of free wi-fi”.  I am a tech savvy guy with more computers and iStuff floating around my house than it is possible to use.  To be honest I’m surprised my fridge isn’t wi-fi enabled – perhaps that is my next step.  My thoughts on social media and faith are well documented.  I believe that the internet a shift in the way information flows that is as significant as the invention of the printing press.  So reading an article on open source public wi-fi was right up my street.  However, what caught my attention was this quote from Sam Churchill:

“But it’s a basic requirement these days, just like water and power in a civilised society, that helps people communicate and keep informed.”

We live in a world of serious inequality.  I struggle to reconcile this quote with the picture above.  Having wi-fi in public spaces is a ‘basic requirement’?  If there is one thing that the article has inspired me to do it is “donate some money to water aid“.

Every 60 Seconds on the Internet

Hat Tip @Jesterstudio

Google+

To be honest, I’m not sure how Google+ is going to pan out.  I have made some comments about it in blog posts and I can see some merits and weaknesses. 

I do intend to update my profile on the blog (many of my pages seem to be a little out of date, sorry) but for now, if you want to find me on Google+ I am here.

Guest Blogging at BigBible

I have just had a guest blog published at The Big Bible Project. I explore some of the potential theological ghettos that social networking may lead to.

40 Years of The Internet

So where do we go from here?

The Dangers of Social Media

social media has created a revolution in the 21st Century.  The way in which information is shared via media such as twitter and YouTube has seen a permanent shift from those in control to the decentralised masses.  Content is now judged not upon it’s worth to the establishment as it sells it’s product to the consumer but is now consumer generated for the consumer.  Peer review is not controlled by the few but by the many.  Sites such as Facebook have changed the way in which networks are not only maintained but also created.  People can experience social interaction with their diasporic friends entwining their scattered realities together.

This is broadly speaking a good thing.  However, like many tools it can have it’s misuses.  For some social media is addictive and can lead some people to become disconnected with the real world.  There have been high profile cases where the boundaries of reality and virtuality have been blurred.

So here we have a video that is no doubt going viral as you read these pixels illuminated on the screen before you.  We see someone creating a work of art out of their 152 Facebook friends… today.  Is this the ultimate expression of the love heart tattoo with the ex-girfriends name lovingly etched within it?

The internet is a terminally fickle place with sites being created and destroyed by the amount of attention that they manage to draw as they captivate the collective imagination of the users.  I can only imagine that 5 years ago this would have been a MySpace tattoo that we would now be watching a hasty covered up with the next best website…. perhaps twitter.

Social media as a phenomenon I would expect to stay.  However I expect my social networks to evolve over the course of my life time.  I expect that they will cross platforms and migrate from format to format.  My reality however, I expect to be here for the duration.  My tattooed arms will be with me for as long as I can manage to keep them attached to my torso.  Friendships with grow with new people.  Some old friendships may fade and disappear.  My arms I intend to hang on to.

Twitter Rankings

Lesley has put together the Twurch of England rankings for the month.  Who has been a good tweeter?  Who has been a bad tweeter?  How does the “quality of your interaction” with others rate? 

I find twitter is a fantastic medium for sharing information, resources and ideas.  It is a place for me to interact with the world outside my office even when I am tied to my desk.  It is a place where I have started to make good friendships with people I have never met through our shared common experiences.  I am currently grabbing a couple of seconds to type this whilst listening to a speech by Rowan Williams about fresh expressions in between printing academic articles I need to read for a meeting tomorrow and a PCC meeting this evening.  I better make The Good Doctor her tea as well!!  Social media constantly bombards me with information I can engage with if and when I choose.

I am fascinated by the way the church interacts with this fast changing world in which we find ourselves.  For some it is considered essential interaction with the digital age.  For others it is considered “not the done thing”.  For some, they consider it “essential” interaction whilst simultaneously feeling guilty that it is “time wasting”.  “Essential-interactive-time-wasting”?  How does that work?

Whilst all this virtuality continues to go on, I visited someone in hospital and conversed in the real world.  I dropped another couple of virtual self esteem points in the process. 

Sometimes switching off the targeting computer and blowing up The Death Star is a necessary part of a priestly calling.  Remember that the force will be with you always.

Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape

For a while I’ve been looking at social media as a communication tool.  You will have noticed that I have posted  many blogs about the ways in which the internet can create a sensation that either builds up or destroys its target.  This flash mob video is a great example of how something can spread like wildfire and become a sensation.  However, who can forget the 10 million hits that destroyed United Airline’s reputation?

Above we have a great example of how the internet viral has challenged mainstream communication.  By bringing all of the viral clichés together with the words “Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape”, Smart Water pinpoint two key things:

  1. Viral video clips sell things by word of mouth and recommendation unbelievably well.
  2. We can identify what has worked in the past but it is really difficult to say what will work in the future.  It is a totally deregulated phenomenon and out of the hands of “the man”.  “The man” wants to use it but doesn’t know how.  And if it is used by “the man” people are less likely to pass it on as it stinks of “the man”.