From Small Pieces. Loosely Joined (p.49):
Consider the three places – Adbusters, NetBaby, and RageBoy’s site – on the Myrtle site that we explored. What do they really have in common? One is a political site, one is a game spot for children, and one is an idiosyncratic collection of essays by a writer with too much personality for his own good. All that holds them together is that someone at Myrtle found them interesting. For that reason alone, the three sites have been placed near one another, creating a small virtual village of sorts. On the Web, nearness is created by interest. | the Amazon link to Small Pieces
There is something here for Churches to take notice and "think upon" as a key strategy for making their Webs more like "being at Church" (in a good way). Weinberger talks about surfing a reccommended link, and finds links to other things while there. The "serendipity" happens as a sort of "guided" tour of the interests and humor of the Web author, taking him through some anti-advertising writings, an amusing game site, and RageBoy's well written rants. The variety gives a flavor of that Web author in a very unique way.
For a Church to have "voice", it seems that Weblogs naturally lead the writer to give such "tours" ; it is a sort of map of ideas and moods. It is an avenue of self-expression. Links often give a taste of a way the author feels at the moment, or to something thatthey consider important and want us to also experience it. What better example do we have of the Testimony. Weblogs, via their propensity to link, effectively communicate a variety that is at once artistic (self -expressive) and informational. It is a "shortcut to the psyche" that is often used when the writer wants to say something, but perhaps just wants to note it and give the reader a way to experience the thing that has caused an idea or a reaction to meerge in the writer, or as the "source" of a written comment or opinion. It's a new way of providing a context to a communication of some importance to the author (else they would not have bothered even to link it or comment upon it).
Churches need to be investigating NOW what can be accomplished by providing weblog services, to add to the communication mix. If the Church is interested in "connecting people", and they expend all this energy in "traditional small group development", much of which misses the mark, how is this avenue to "connecting people" getting missed?