I know that blog posts about the Church and online media/phenomenon don’t get many replies here, but I post them anyways because that’s an area I’m interested in.
So here’s Internet theorist Clay Shirky (remember him from the What the Church can Learn from Wikipedia series?) talking about the the effect of amateurization and what institutions can do to respond to it…and *I* think it has parallels in the church. Check out the video and read specific quotes after the jump:
Here’s a striking quote for me. Shirky is talking about the advance of online media options and interaction, but I think it parallels the church too:
When you open up new capability, then the average quality decreases. But that happened with the printing press. Prior to the printing press, the only written works which were obsessively copied were Plato, Aristotle, [hand]-copied by monks. When the printing press came along, the quality of the average book actually fell because now lots of people could be writers. So this is the absolutely normal pattern for new media….the way you get out of that is if the increase in abundance is so enormous that the absolute amount of good stuff increases.
[Thus I believe] we are living through the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race.
In short, mass amateurization of an industry certainly reduces the quality of the industry (think blogger ethics v. journalism standards), but because it’s en masse the amount of good stuff increases. So while any idiot with a keyboard can post something online, there are brilliant people who can now reflect online too. So while the overall quality of the written word has gone down in recent years thanks to txting, IM, and blogs…the sheer amount of good contributions have gone up…if you can wade through the garbage, that is!
I see elements of this in the Church today:
In short, the Church is also reeling from the effect of mass amateurization. At the denominational, ecclesiastical, and local church level, the rising tide of “amateur” embodiments threatens the viability of the institutional church. Thus the question lingers… More tomorrow; what are your thoughts today?
In short, the Church is also reeling from the effect of mass amateurization. At the denominational, ecclesiastical, and local church level, the rising tide of “amateur” embodiments threatens the viability of the institutional church.
Thus the question lingers…
More tomorrow; what are your thoughts today?