Jeff Jarvis blogs today about the AOL purchase of Huffington Post. Why he likes that deal for AOL is something that brings me to segway into my hopes/frustrations for how church organizations need to be more â€œformer audienceâ€ savvy. IOW, be the enabler of Citizen Media, Citizen theological reflection, and Citizen led online conversation.
The New York Times or Washington Post are still too tied to their views of themselves as the founts of all fonts; as far as they may have come, the HuffPo model remains a populist leap too far. TV is is wrapped up in its makeup.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, et al all see themselves as platforms for othersâ€™ content, not content themselves.
Yes! And who should, more so than the church, be involved in such a move to â€œthe former audienceâ€? Dan Gillmor, in his writings on Citizen Media, tells us that the â€œformer audenceâ€ is us. We are â€œformerâ€ because we are moving out of the passive consumer mode of media intake, and toward the â€œactive contentâ€ mode of the journalist (what Gillmor calls â€œActiveMediaâ€ and has titled his latest book) and curator (â€œcuratingâ€ that takes place naturally as we draw on one anotherâ€™s insights and interact with the news rather than simply receive it.
What HuffPo and Arianna bring is a new cultural understanding of media that is built around the value of curation, the power of peers, the link economy, passion as an asset, and celebrity as a currency.
I see some valuable insights here for us as the church. It sets on what I think is the correct path as faithful stewards of media. The â€œActiveMediaâ€ approach; the â€œlink economyâ€, which is empowered by peers, and â€œcelebrityâ€ (our theological mentors) also empowered by the ActiveMedia fuel. Weâ€™ll have to come up with a different term for the church context other thanâ€celebrityâ€; something that implies and recognizes the increased effectiveness discovered by those â€œleader/celebrities/mentorsâ€ in that mode Gillmor calls â€œActiveMediaâ€.