I saw this tweet on my twitter stream this morning:
From my buddy @brynn "â€œSocialâ€ canâ€™t be solved by an algorithm" much respect http://bit.ly/5Jj71X #SxD
And it caught my eye, since it seemed to be a promising post on what I have been feeling is a crucial piece of what services like Twitter can make available to us: the intelligence of a group. The question asked by the paper linked to at the end of this quote is something the church should recognize as a theological statement re: what â€œBody of Christâ€ might mean in a networked world: Do our friends make you smarter? Youâ€™d better believe it, and youâ€™d better recognize it.
Another benefit of using social network information in conjunction with search is that a services can begin to â€œlearnâ€ which of your friends have expertise or knowledge about certain topics. Then when you search for those topics, people from your network who may have relevant knowledge could be made available to you. Itâ€™s still unknown how visible searchers want other people to be in the search interface. People may only appear as a search result listing, linking to their profile or email address; or they could appear as a direct contact, like through an instant messaging window on the same page as the search results. Either way, the point is that direct person-to-person conversations can greatly supplement an information discovery process (as we pointed out in the â€œDo your friends make you smarter?â€ paper).
I have been focusing my searching of late on finding some people who are working on behalf of the church that are interested in exploring the effect of Social Media and its tools upon the notion of community, and specifically, what kind of community the church represents in this context. We need to ask the kinds of questions like this Web Developer/Envisioner John Saddington : how [do] we engage redemptively in a new and exciting online landscape and culture [?]. Whatever may be our theological differences, John asks this question in a way I want to remember: Engage Redemptively. Just as the Church turns swords into plowshares, the tools it wields are utilized REDEMPTIVELY. Social Media rightly emphasizes and highlights the power of the group; to encourage collaboration and pooling of our learnings about our culture, which enables us to effectively speak and be REDEMPTIVELY in that culture. Do our fellow Christians make us smarter? Yes!