Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FBC Facebook vs. FBC Google wave

Comparing church models and operations to businesses and platforms appears to be in vogue these days.  I have been no exception; I have talked about the implications of Starbucks, Twitter, and Facebook.  If you are not interested in such comparisons, you should probably stop here.

The following comparison might not be worth making as Google wave is relatively new.  I go through phases of purging people on Facebook.  To be honest, many people are stalkers of Facebook.  Ok, so I went to camp with you once ten years ago.  But we didn't talk then, and we don't talk now.  You friended me on Facebook and I added you cause I am a chump.  We still don't talk on Facebook, so why are we Facebook friends?  This is kind of like a mega church where I see a lot of people with whom I have some kind of loose connect but don't really know more than a dozen or so beyond a superficial level.  So basically, on Facebook, people have e-shrines unto themselves, which their friends could check if they actually cared.  Oh, and there are all those meaningless causes we can sign up for which make us look like we actually know and care about the world but won't get our hands too dirty.  The problem with Facebook, as it relates to church, is that it is simply a big gathering of friends but lacks any direction and mobility in the real world.  Sounds like many churches I know.

Google wave, on the other hand, is a whole different animal.  Organic, collaborative, and participative are three words I would use to describe it.  If you don't have anything to do in the real world, wave is boring.  Try the mega church of FBC Facebook if you just want to lurk.  However, if you have friends, with whom you actually have real connections and need a place to plan and collaborate about how to operate in the real world, then FBC Google wave might be what you are looking for.  You can add people to conversations and edit, text, message, chat, etc in real time!  It is completely free flowing.  There is no one there to control {dominate} the flow of information and communication.  It is open source so that people may freely modify interaction.  It is as if Facebook is suffering from the curse of the sound system.

The main difference between Facebook and Google Wave have to with mission.  One is simply a happy fellowship.  The other only works if it is used by people who are going somewhere.  I tend to get bored fast at the "country club" churches.  There is nothing to do.  If I simply needed something to fill my time every week, I could find a more entertaining group with whom to associate.  I am interested in churches and groups who are "on the go" because we share something in common: the body of Christ is bigger than the individual.

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