Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Strong Ties

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by JEL

People read the Gospels for many reasons, but often because they want things to change. They want the world to be a kinder, more tolerant place. They want to transform themselves. They want justice and love where none exists.

We live in a world of social media. Facebook and Twitter are now ubiquitous, but are they good tools for social change? Malcolm Gladwell, in his New Yorker piece “Small Change,” argues compellingly that they are not. Social media is great for quickly building large networks of people that have only “loose ties” to one another. All the major social progress has been accomplished, in contrast, by well organized hierarchical structures where members have very strong ties to one another personally. Social media, he says:

“is simply a form of organizing which favors weak-tie connections that give us access to information over the strong-tie connections that help us persevere in the face of danger. It shifts our energies from organizations that promote strategic and disciplined activity and toward those which promote resilience and adaptability. It makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact.”

Like all of Gladwell’s articles, it is a great read. You’ll also learn what a logistical marvel Martin Luther King, Jr. was.

Getting the Word Out

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by JEL

A few weeks ago we posted about the Pope urging clergy to use the new social media tools to reach their parishioners. Now, a new tool has launched to help all church leaders digitally reach their flocks. SendingWord “digitally distributes scripture passages and church news. Simply input content to share with your congregation or specific ministry, and we’ll electronically send the messages to members’ chosen communication method: email, text message, phone call, Facebook or Twitter.”

Their press release had this interesting tidbit:

“Studies show that few religious followers turn to the physical Bible–an essential component of Christianity–daily. The recent surge of digital technology development removes barriers, enabling streamlined and convenient access to relevant content: a logical platform for daily religious integration.”

Walking the walk

Monday, January 25th, 2010 by PJM

Yesterday the Vatican celebrated “World Communications Day.” I have to admit that I hadn’t marked it on my calendar, but I came across this article about the speech given by Pope Benedict XVI. (The speech can be found here.) Essentially, the Pope asked Catholic priests to embrace new digital technologies to reach out to a wider audience. I particularly liked this quote:

A pastoral presence in the world of digital communications, precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, non-believers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute.

The article mentions that the Pope is no slouch in maintaining on online presence. Check out the Pope2You website. The Vatican has a YouTube page, a Facebook profile, and even an iPod app.