We’ve discussed how technology and citizen journalism have evolved during the past few years, and how blogs and wikis have offered real-time reports during emergencies to get the word out to an exponential number of readers (example: Hurricane Katrina). Now it appears the potential viral reach of Web 2.0 and new media technologies is being embraced by the church -- is this religion meets MySpace?
“Church Marketing Sucks” is a blog “to frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate, with uncompromising clarity, the truth of Jesus Christ.” A recent posting discusses how churches can use “MySpace and other social networking sites to connect with people, whether it's connecting your congregants or giving visitors a preview.” There’s also networking site MyChurch and biblical search tool eBible. “We’re really just starting to open up that Pandora’s box of the Bible and social networking,” says Mark Sears, chief executive of Godspeed Computing. For more, check out this Red Herring article.
On a similar note, I just read that the Catholic Archbishop of Boston has started his own blog chronicling his travels “as part of an effort to reach out to modern-day Catholics.” For more, click here. Clearly, religion is putting new technology to work to accomplish something it’s been trying to do for years: recruit new members. This is also a recognition of sorts that social networking’s long reach and strong grasp cannot be ignored. The only question is: can the Web’s most tech savvy social networkers be reached? And what about older members of the church. Will they welcome technology as a way to recruit, communicate with members and converse about services, biblical passagesetc.?