Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Social Media Divide

This past Saturday afternoon I was priviledged to be among 50 invited guests from the archdiocese of Montreal to speak on the future of Catholic Social media.  In reality, how can we, the english Catholic community continue to tell our story, which is at once relevant but also takes into consideration the past history in print, The Catholic Times Newspaper which by the way is independant.  What flowed from the conversion was, in my opinion a much larger issue, and that is exactly who is this community?  We can no longer call ourselves 'Irish' now can we?  Ironically my former pastor brought up that point, and though he and I disagree on nearly every theological point, his assessment of this new reality was right on the mark.

Where do we begin?  Well, for one thing, the internet must be the medium used to advance the New Evangelization.  Print, (if it is kept..) can only be an extention of a greater online reality.  News travels fast, and though one can make a argument that Facebook and Twitter are passing fads, one cannot deny the reality of the Social media.  Any company that is relevant, has an entire staff dedicated to online search engine optimization, key words and social media delivery.  To 'ping' an article or a bit of news as soon as it is delivered.  The debate seems fairly simple, remake the Catholic Times by streamilining it online, so that news is instant, not a month old.  There is a financial question, The Times simply cannot continue to print, and while there would be an initial start up cost to a website, we can still exhaust many different free avenues to start up while at the same time moneytizing the site.  Case in point,..the blog you are reading.  The obstacles however,..old people!  God bless them, but sadly even old Yeller had to be put down.  Its not that elderly people can't learn, it is just that they choose not to.  (Unless of course its a new scratch lottery ticket machine!).   To be fair, that generation deserves print, perhaps a collection of the best articles in a digest type of magazine that comes out seasonally, but to invest in a monthly newspaper is no longer feasible.  While I understand that some older people generally wait for their print newspaper to come out, they need to know, that these are not decisions done in malice, that sometimes very hard business decisions need to be made, not against certain people, but so the avenue of Catholic media can continue and grow.  We moved beyond VCR's to Tevo, beyond analog to digital, ...Its just the next logical step...

From a personal standpoint, it was throught the online community that most of my generation who practice their Faith were introduced to actually learning it.  At times, the diocesan newspaper was nothing more than a mouthpiece for the 'spirit of VII' poltergeist promoting syrupy stories, a leftist agenda and absolutely no call to action.  As that little old lady from the commercials in the 80s used to say,..'Where's the beef?!?'  Sooo, the JPII generation when we wanted to be fed, by passed the out of date models and headed straight for the Vatican website, straight for Catholic Answers, EWTN, and recently Real Catholic TV...The internet and social media is now producing a generation of fervent believers, ready to defend the Church and ALL Her teachings!  Our Lord has a sense of humour, because, while some of the older folks, the social justice kind, want to keep their independant diocesan newspaper, you can look them in the eyes, and plead your case on their level,..'But trees will die?  I thought you were so pro-environment Sister McRainforest?'  Muahahahahaha....God is good!

St Isidore of Seville,..................ora pro nobis! 

1 comment:

Young Canadian RC Male said...

Hello Optimus,

One of my other blogs pointed out an initiative on the Vatican's part to secure a domain name to sort of "authenticate" major religious authorities and institutions. I posted my thoughts here in this post:


When I did I thought back to this post, because like you and I, we are of the "wired" generation, and sadly, the hierarchy "just doesn't get" why we are the way we are, or where we learnt the faith if not in school (or worse they shake their heads because we didn't lol!). Take a read, and I hope you are okay with taking part of this post for my posting, cause it points our validly that we are of the "Generation of Online Faith" so to speak. Of course you have the right for me to take down what I used if you have issue. Pax, YCRCM.