It’s interesting to see the new trends and fashions forming in a world with social media. A recent article in the NZ Herald (http://bit.ly/smnetwin) pointed to discussions by leading technology experts about the benefit of the Internet. The story title gives away the finding of the research: ‘Internet hailed as ‘net win’ for humanity.’
There has also been a lot of press lately surrounding Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and creator of Facebook, on privacy issues and concerns relating to his website. He has been quoted as saying that the more information we share, the better, and that this is the way in which the world is heading.
Zuckerberg’s view represents one extreme on the social sharing continuum – i.e. share everything with everyone. However, this does not mean that his view is the only valid one, nor is Facebook the only technology in this space.
Yammer is another social network but, in contrast to Facebook, it limits visibility of information posted on the site to members of a specific email domain. So, for example, if you wanted to partake in the NZ Catholic network, you would need to log in with an @nzcatholic.org.nz address.
This, in effect, represents the other end of the spectrum to Zuckerberg’s goals – one of ‘walled gardens’ where slightly more controlled sharing and conversations can take place. Even Facebook was originally built around restricting the audience (to college students), while Twitter, for example, has pretty much always been open.
The point here is that as we enter these online communities, it is important to remember that they are not all created equal, and our conversations and content should be tailored appropriately. However, all of them create opportunities to witness our Faith and spread the Good News…you might just have to look a bit closer to find them.