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    Entries in social media (9)


    A Social Network Christmas

    Considering this has received over one million views, I'm late to the party. But this video has set the tone for our look at the Christmas story in the Student Ministry at UBC, and is incredibly well done. Take a look.


    Around the Web :: Lutheran Insulter, Lent, and the Pope

    I can't help but laugh at Luther.  Perhaps spendings some time with the Lutheran Insulter will help me be more bold when challenging others.

    Gizmodo deemed the Pope's Twitter handle spam-like, bizzarre, and "the worst of all time."  I tend to agree.

    And finally, Christianity Today posted an analysis of what people gave up for Lent in 2012, according to Twitter.



    Connect 13/52

    I like connecting with friends, family, readers, thinkers, influencers, allies, interlocutors, fans (what?), students, mentors, theologians, tech geeks, and more.  Let's connect.

    The best writing comes from a confluence of ideas.  The community of friends, family, and thinkers that I encounter through books, articles, social media, etc. helps me to grow as a writer, thinker, and teacher.  If you're reading, I want to know you're out there.  I want to engage with you, learn from you, and benefit from your input.  And then I want to pass what I learn on to others.

    And if you find something here you enjoy, something that energizes or excites you, I invite you to share it with your friends, family, and sphere of influence.

    Let's connect.


    Can Social Technologies Substitute for Face to Face Interaction?

    Jonah Lehrer of Wired Magazine was published online at the Wall Street Journal on the tail end of last week asking, Can Online Social Networks Replace Real Socialzing?  The question is not new.  But with the advent of Google+, a network whose values Lehrer extolls, the question is worth revisiting.  Carefully noting how Google+ differs from Facebook and other social media services, Lehrer invites his readers to consider our expectations for social technologies and how they factor in assessing relationships, whether they be for work or play.  Lehrer makes the following conclusions:

    For too long, we’ve imagined technology as a potential substitute for our analog life, as if the phone or Google+ might let us avoid the hassle of getting together in person.

    But that won’t happen anytime soon: There is simply too much value in face-to-face contact, in all the body language and implicit information that doesn’t translate to the Internet. . . . Perhaps that’s why Google+ traffic is already declining and the number of American Facebook users has contracted in recent months.

    These limitations suggest that the winner of the social network wars won’t be the network that feels the most realistic. Instead of being a substitute for old-fashioned socializing, this network will focus on becoming a better supplement, amplifying the advantages of talking in person.

    For years now, we’ve been searching for a technological cure for the inefficiencies of offline interaction. It would be so convenient, after all, if we didn’t have to travel to conferences or commute to the office or meet up with friends. But those inefficiencies are necessary. We can’t fix them because they aren’t broken.

    The final two sentences struck me as a profound admission.  Face to face interaction and the intricacies of language "aren't broken" and are "necessary".  The physical spaces we create for community, for work, for common venture, for conversation, and for mutual care should be valued for what they are, invaluable occasions wherein life can be shared and common bonds are established.

    While churches and other ministries continue to explore how social technologies can be leveraged, I hope that the very gift of face to face interaction and physical presence are not forgotten.


    Google+ :: Are You On Board?

    Like others in my network, a Google+ invite came my way this past week, first courtesy of Tony Morgan, and later from Andrew Conard.  Soon thereafter, friends began adding me to "circles", and email notifications began to light up my inbox.  As someone interested in tech, and as an avid fan of social media, I began doing some research.

    Harvard Business Review's Joshua Gans was among those I consulted.  His impressions are largely negative.  In his estimation, Google+ offers nothing new at all, and because Google has orchestrated a progressive, invitation only roll out, the network has lacked adequate population to make the network attractive.  Interaction, at this stage, is not taking place, at least for Gans.  And if this doesn't change quickly, Gans notes that this could lead to quick abandonment of the site, and a return to other social media services that already have an existing base and a clearly established purpose.

    Evaluating the level of activity, Gans writes:

    Having done lots of set-up, I waited to see what happened. The answer to that was: not much. For Google+ to work, it has to be populated. Specifically, it has to be populated with people the user is interested in. As it is early days, that crucial feature isn't there.

    This (lack of) network effect could do Google+ in if it can't get a virtuous cycle going. So the question is whether Google+ has the potential to attract a large enough network.

    It shouldn't be a surprise that many of the leading Christian technophiles have been jumping on board with Google+.  One of my friends, Andrew Conard, even asked his network to weigh in on whether he should dump Facebook or Twitter, transferring his energies to Google+.

    As I began poking my way around the service, several questions came to mind.  First, is Google+ different from existing social media services?  Does it add something to my social media world that I do not presently have?  Does it improve upon the existing services?  Is there a reason to establish a presence on Google+?

    Are you on board with Google+?  If so, what are you thoughts?  If not, would you consider setting up shop with Google in addition to the services you already use?