(FYI - For those of you looking for the presentations from Saturdays Conference - read the post and scroll down!) A big thank you to all of you who attended my sessions at the Christian New Media Conference on Saturday at City University, and a massive thank you to all who have contributed thoughts, ideas, comments and criticisms to the blog in the past 12 months as we have sought to explore together how we act out our faith in this changing time of communication, community and media. I am very proud to have picked up the 'Best Newcomer' gong at "The Bloggies" - the awards section of #CNMAC10 (Christian New Media Awards and Conference 2010) - but I really have you guys to thank for it.
At the conference on Saturday I explored how the Recommendation Economy is changing the way we create public persona's for ourselves, by sharing our likes, dislikes and recommendations with one another online and how this will not only effect the way we spread the message of Jesus, of our churches and organisations and our own opinions through the web.
One of the keys to understanding the impact of the recommendation economy for the Church is understanding how it is affecting the way people come to "know and be known" - how we understand our place in the world through the exchange of information with one another. I think this is an interesting way to look at what community (that often overused word) really is. Community should always be a place where we are coming to know others and be known by them.
The recommendation economy is having real implications for the way we live our lives, with so many of us spending increasing amounts of time online as we migrate other communications and media consumption to the web, we inevitably begin to seek out community in this changing world. We have an innate need to search out others who share our likes, values and beliefs, for it is only in a context of community that we understand our place in the world - and I would argue that this is our default state of being, because it's God's default also.
We clearly see in scripture that God in three persons lives out his own existence in community, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit loving one another in the purest of senses, and that when God put Adam in the garden, his primary purpose was to share that state of knowing and being known with us, his people.
So is it any wonder that this evolving world of social media is so appealing to us at a human level? Do we not see in this place of technology, communication and ideas a reflection of the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? Do we not see ourselves seeking out other to know and be known?