Great piece in WIRED by Lessig on blogs and poliics
A managed community works about as well as a managed economy. So the challenge is to find a way to build community without the community feeling built.
The article's message is that Open Source is what works. It seems the Church can learn here from the power of the movement in the software world.
...you will absolutely suffocate anything that you're trying to do on the Internet by trying to command and control it...
Part of how the Church, mostly in it's traditonal and established , denominational forms, does "command and control" is in systematically ignoring the open source nature of community. They have Web sites and web developers, but the conversations are lacking becuase they want to control them. The publishers avoid allowing the customers to "talk" about their products because they're afraid someone will trash them. Well, if the shoe fits.......On the otherhand, if the product is worthwhile, wouldn't we WANT to know how people are using it? Wouldn't this be the BEST endorsement, replacing the theological/marketing hype of resources with the stories of how these are actually being used successfully? There has yet to emerge an expectation among the resource producers that this content can become immersed in community, and even, as a result, partly if not largely produced by that community. But this would challenge, seemingly, the leadership.
community can't be broadcast. It gets built not from slick commercials squeezed onto a Web page, but from tools that enable, and thus inspire, hundreds of thousands of people to something that American politics has not seen in many years: hundreds of thousands of people actually doing something.
This again says something to the Church and her institutions. People actually DOING SOMETHING. Linking to efforts being created to address the common causes --- the "breadth" of which was not previously known until previously geographically and socially dispersed "pockets" of individuals discover each other's activities and conversations via Google and such, and then end up working together FTF.