Why all the “sudden” Social interest by the church on the Web? #wiredchurch

Rosenberg asks what I’ve been saying to church orgs for quite some time (before Facebook,  I was asking same questions every time the organizations would put out PR like “we’re listening” or do “focus groups”.

The web itself is the original social network. Why would you ask reporters to connect with your readers on Facebook if you aren’t already encouraging them to do the same thing in the comments on your own website? If your comments have become a free-fire zone, why don’t you do something about it? If you’ve hired a “social media manager,” great — but why didn’t you hire people to manage your own comments space?

Why journalists should think twice about Facebook — Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard

It also seems likely that so many “go out and set up shop on Facebook” because of a  lack of actually prioritizing the “Social Web” in the first place.  Now that there’s this “let the experts do it for us” example in Facebook,  the rush to set up “our page” and “be there” where all those cars are driving through that one huge boulevard,  why not put up our own billboard?  That’s a problem in itself when it comes to church organizations.  We aren’t exactly setting a “brand” out there for “exposure” in competition with other companies and organizations.  We claim to be about the “community”,  and offering something that comes as a result of gathering, contemplating, sharing our lives with each other.   And Facebook doesn’t really give us specific enough “social spaces” for our kind of community.  it doesn’t know about categories of concerns that make churches and theological  communities unique.  Facebook’s “Social  Graph” can do no real analysis for us,  other than as a generic “container” of “discussion” that can just as easily contain ANY discussions about anything.  And then all of that happens in THEIR “SILO”.  They don’t know how to do any specialized theological “linking” or what to  do with the knowledge that certain people  LIKE this and LIKE THAT. 

The point of the Rosenberg piece  is that organizations (in his case,  news organizations)  need to have been doing this already.  Facebook is not going to make them automatically adept at being online community leaders.  Putting all this on Facebook’s turf only outsources what should be the church’s domain.  I’ve heard specialists tell a church organization that they looked at the “Facebook offerings” of that organization and that it looked like it had been set up and then “left to its  own  devices”.  This matches what was  in the Rosenberg piece.  And my experience thus far on Facebook is that church folks are not really shy about using their real names along with rancorous debate.  And so we’re back to what it takes  from us.  We’re back to what we invest in it just as we expect  from Sunday School teachers.  We expect more than just a classroom to meet in. 


About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

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