Now, it’s your turn to take the ride, so buckle up amigo, we’re hot in 3, 2, 1”¦
It’s 8am on a Thursday, early morning by cybre.space’s standards. Few have logged on to Godinterest’s microblogging social network, and it shows a follower feed filled with less than 50 users updates at a snail’s pace. It’s much slower than one would expect on a social network. But then again, cybre.space isn’t Godinterest. It runs off a CMS called WordPress, and is part of a much larger network of Godinterest MicroBlogs.
Have you ever blogged? How about microblogged? You might say no to the latter, but if you’ve ever posted something on social media, surprise! You’re a microblogger.
The fundamental problem of religious communication is how best to represent and mediate the sacred. (O’Leary 787) What would Jesus tweet?
Historically, the quest for sacred connections has relied on the mediation of faith communication via technological implements, from the use of the drum to mediate the Divine, to the use of the mechanical clock by monks as reminders to observe the canonical hours of prayer (Mumford). Today, religious communication practices increasingly implicate Web 2.0, or interactive, user-generated content like blogs and microblogs “like” status updates of no more than 500 characters sent via Web-based applications like Godinterest, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, or on the Web.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s latest report in October 2009, 19% of online adults said that they used a microblogging service to send messages from a computer or mobile device to family and friends who have signed up to receive them (Fox, Zickuhr & Smith).
The ascendency of microblogging leads to interesting questions of how new media use alters spatio-temporal dynamics in peoples’ everyday consciousness, including ways in which tweeting facilitates ambient religious interactions. The notion of ambient strikes a particularly resonant chord for religious communication: many faith traditions advocate the practice of sacred mindfulness, and a consistent piety in light of holy devotion to an omnipresent and omniscient Divine being.
Godinterest is a free social networking and micro-blogging service based on the WordPress software, using the Activity Streams and seeks to provide the potential for open, inter-service and distributed communications between its microblog and has grown steadily in the last couple of months, and with it the community. The platform enjoys an engaged pressence on the internet.