I’m doing a lot more book reading lately, and I post things that occur to me as I read. Amazon could REALLY do with some big-time enhancements and apps to help communities of book readers form and converse. One can go and find comments under nearly all of their books, but there is nothing to enable deeper connection with people who read similar books. They do this with sales, and show us recommendations of books we might like , given our interest in a particular book. Seems this is yet another area where the church communication organizations need to research. Another of those “Social Graph for Theological Communities” issues I am frequently writing and talking about. These generalized community platforms don’t have the experience and knowledge re: theological taxonomies that are needed to build effective Social Graphs that would help us to leverage connections that await all of us in the mounds of data that get captured by Social Graphs of not just Facebook but others who seek to find a winning recipe of data-intensive social insights that need only to be mined by the theologically savvy army of database geeks that HAVE TO EXIST out there but have remained untapped by church technologists.
Archive for the ‘Theoblogical’
I blog because I fancy myself a writer. I blog in an age of Social Media /Twitter because I often desire more than RTs. I want conversation.
I’ve worked lately to improve my comment system and options for readers. I am blogging on a regular basis again. But the comments just aren’t coming. What has happened? Where are people who used to be commenting even back before there were “Comment systems”. I provided an email link. People used it. Then blogs came along ( I began using them in 2002, starting with Dave Winer’s pioneering blog software, Radio Userland. There were comments coming in all the time. (Sadly, I neglected to archive /backup my comments that I amassed during my Radio blog activity. I got the notice, and I filed it away to come back and do , and of course, I forgot. So I deeply regret that.) As Social Media has grown, and people “debate” on Twitter, the responses seem to have dwindled, down to RTs and Likes. The large publishers and news orgs get TONS of comments (and trolls too), and the hugely popular bloggers get them (and the trolls too). But it doesn’t seem to happen anymore on the smaller blogs. I also worry about how it might not be “smaller blogs” and “small traffic blogs” , but that I’ve lost something of my attractiveness for conversation. I try to avoid staying in that place, and determine to keep trying.
even faith-based organizing becomes problematic without the hard theological work of distinguishing liberative faith from status quo faith.
– Joerg Rieger in response to Romand Coles ‘ article: Ecotones and the Arts of Radical Ecclesia and Radical Democracy | Syndicate.
For me, and it seems also for Joerg Rieger, the Occupy Movement provided the church with a model of organizing activism that emphasizes the “with” aspect of advocacy over the “for” (and so , unfortunately too often “Patronizing, we are helping these poor folks as our ministry”).
Rieger refers to the “Theology of the Multitude” (indeed , it is the subtitle of the book) as a key to a “way of being” and embodiment as participants, and as co-learners who are changed (and indeed HAVE BEEN CHANGED” by the people of the Occupy Movement.
Rieger asks a penetrating question of faith-based organizing movements that have forgotten the participatory and mutually transformative nature of the Occupy movement (and by extension, all movements for seeking the Kingdom of God in some corner of the world, on some issue or set of realities that require attention to justice).
a good deal of faith-based organizing leads us right back into the hands of the system
Here is yet another place where Occupy contributed to some healthy theological soul-searching for the church; our relationship to the system, which is theological parlance is “the world”; those “principalities and powers”.
Rieger also articulates something that is THE most frequent critique of Occupy I hear, and one that is undeniable, given it’s eventual relegation to the social and political sidelines. (Notice I didn’t say “death” or “extinction”). What is important here, I think, is that the model of leadership ; the “leaderless movement” is NOT , as many say , doomed to fail, but simply needs to “keep working on” , as Joerg puts it: “the question how alternative power can be organized in sustainable fashion”.
perhaps the Occupy movement was closer to organizing such alternative power than most people realized, judging by the drawn-out efforts to destroy it. – JR
I still believe this.
Indeed postcolonial independence movements—which so often had the redistribution of unjustly concentrated resources, whether of land or minerals, as their core missions— were consistently undermined through political assassinations, foreign interference, and, more recently, the chains of debt-driven structural adjustment programs
Klein, Naomi (2014-09-16). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (p. 454). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
Naomi put her finger here on something that will be the thing that does us in unless a strong movement stops this in its tracks and FAST. The forces “for profit” will panic when their sources for income are threatened. Mosaddegh was one case/threat that has had massive repercussions, creating a a whole generation of understandable backlash against the West, which has come to be associated with this “Savage Capitalism” that creates the reputation which is abhorred by the indigenous Middle Easterners. We hear people say “They hate our freedoms”. It seems they hate “our values” as they see them play out on the international, profit-driven, “D.C. bought-leadership” stage. The Corporate coup d’état. And it continues it’s assault on the environment, and the 99%, and the workers who make the systems go so that their CEOS can continue to extract even more.
Even in that worldwide celebration of the “freeing of Mandela” and the victory of the African National Congress in the election, the economic powers remained in place, and the new political faces succumbed to the forces of accumulated wealth:
Black South Africans won their core legal and electoral battles, but the wealth accumulated under apartheid remained intact, with poverty deepening significantly in the post-apartheid era. 9 —-Klein, Naomi (2014-09-16). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (p. 455). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
We see this at work in the Obama administration re: those forces of “accumulated wealth”. The banks were let off the hook and rewarded in the end, and back at business as usual. The income inequality gap has not been stymied, and the environmental assurances Obama gave have simply not been visible in U.S. policy in international Climate talks. His admonitions of the Chinese seem hollow in the face of the recognition that the adoptions of capitalist principles in China look like and import of all the Extreme Extraction Technologies that have played a disproportionate role in the radical Climate change that is now happening. Postcolonialism has become Global Economy.
Keeping books locked down as they do is keeping Amazon from realizing some really great apps for “Socializing” the discussion of books online. I have been Tweeting and Facebook posting quotes from the books Ive been reading on my Kindle Fire for the past couple years. But I am constantly frustrated by the absence of that SHARE feature on any of the Kindle Readers OTHER than the Kindle devices. I simply prefer to use my PC or Laptop keyboard to share comments, rather than the rather small, and too-oft unresponsive touch screen keyboard of the Kindle Fire.
Why is it that Kindle does not make this feature available in the one place where it makes MORE sense than it does on the “portable device/Kindle reader”?
There seems to be a big gap in the availability of apps for making book discussions and sharing accessible on The Net. It seems to me this is a big lost opportunity. And I’m perplexed as to how, with all it’s power and creativity in the online world, that Amazon has been so absent here. They did introduce the SHARE feature for the Kindle reader devices. But why have the y stopped adding to that idea?
Library Thing made a big splash with their Library collection and entry apps (gave me a use for the Cue Cat software as well, which WIRED mag had sent me years ago when they had this idea for scan codes in magazines for advertisers to link the readers to their websites. Library Thing wrote an app for users to utilize this bar-code scanner to capture the ISBN codes and bring up the data for a book to be entered in to their library collection. Library Thing also made it possible to connect to other users who had the same books, and also to discussions on those books. But the Social connectivity there, as far as I can tell, is lacking other than via forums on the Library Thing website itself.
This takes me back to my days at a denominational Publishing House. Theological books would seem to be VERY fertile ground for online discussion. The directors there were not seeing it. And the bookstore website has only joined the Social Media to the extent of providing “Share” Social Media buttons, but for purposes of people “Sharing” the link to the item, which I think is wishful thinking. People want to talk about the books, not help them sell them (which , ironaically, WOULD be helping them sell them).
This puts me in a state of mind to go look at some of the offerings or attempts out there in building communities based on books. Really surprising how very little there is other than Amazon for good book discussion (other than the Book Review articles that often bring massive trolling, especially if they are on “hot button issues”, or issue that certain theological trolls have selected as their flavor of the day/week/month/year.