As late as 11 years ago, there were people that would proudly share their research and opinions that the internet was a fad. Sure that was the followed by the Dot Com Bust, but I wonder if any of them think that the internet is a fad now?
Now in our contemporary world, I often laugh when people share their opinion that social media is a fad. Sure the internet and social media will evolve, but their concepts are here to stay. All of that is only true because of the reality they project, the fact that humans are social beings and we like to communicate.
It is really common to see so many people these days that just do no understand the concepts of our new technologies, much less how to use them properly. In the old days of media, the power of communication was held by few, and the media centers had no real need to listen to their audience. Sadly, many organizations are still structured around this old model, but those organizations and business are the ones that will suffer then will be left behind soon, if they are not already.
Most users today are very used to this concept. New media is becoming an old term because the traditional medias are no longer considered separate from the traditional forms of media. Now that the audience has the equal opportunity for a voice, they will never forget and it will be expected.
The hardest thing for some organizations to understand is that we have to earn our relationship with users. Allowing people or an organization into our Facebook or even twitter isn’t anyone’s right. An update from the organization could be right next to an update from a friend’s baby announcement. The conversations and relationships of the digital world are as real as they are in person.
Organizations could build much better relationships if they looked at social media as a never ending cocktail party. Begging for people to listen to you by asking for followers is just as annoying online as it is if someone kept begging you to get them clients at that party. Rather than begging for followers, there is a greater value in building relationships that encourage people to want to tell others about what you do.
People generally respond better to an authentic testimony and recommendation from a trusted friend rather than signing up for the sake of a prize. People that are brided are less likely to build an authentic relationship over those that were personally engaged.
I think a lot of these issues grow out of our impatience. In a world where content is instant and we can exhaustively track and analyze data, we leave little room for patience. True progress will come from patience in forming and earning relationships with users. As Catholics, our true mission is to create these connections that create stronger relationships with Christ rather than building numbers to boast for our own pride and glory.
This idea can be applied to content as well. Our world creates content by the billions. Looking at the numbers, it takes just 2 days to generate as much information as we did from the beginning of time until 2003. With such an overload of information, Catholics must build relationship not through a quantity of content, but by amazing quality that builds up Truth and the kingdom of God.
The next best thing we can do is focus on our specific missions. God calls us each to His specific plan for us. Sometimes that means we need to recognize that not everyone is called to serve the Church by creating content. Other times that means we have to stay focused on our specific missions rather than letting our pride make us over-ambitious to extend outside of our call.
Our mission currently at ACNM is to serve the Church in the Diocese of Austin as best as we can. I ask that you pray for us as we continue work and discern how we can continually improve what we do and help others in their local missions. It can be tempting to work beyond our area, but for now we have plenty to do here. We do appreciate those of you that support us from the outside, and know that we pray for you as well.
If all of this makes sense to you and you feel called to help us locally, talk to us and we’ll discern it together. If you just have suggestions or feedback, then don’t be shy and share it with us. In the words of Twitter, “Join the conversation.” We all have plenty of work ahead of us, and may the Lord give us strength.