Marlin commented that with web 2.0, “it is only leaders / self-starters that mingle there. Most people still prefer f2f. But for lonely leaders that strive for like-mindedness that they often don't find in church, web 2.0 is a great place to connect.” I agree yet there’s more.
For me, I like the web community more and more (google, gmail, del.icio.us, firefox, blogs - especially photoblogs - etc. - not myspace). I think Marlin’s statement regarding who will value web 2.0 will always be true but less so if the technical knowledge gap many of us have could be closed a little. For example, I typically do not read my own blog so I do not always notice comments. Is there a notifier? How do I reply and how would the commenter know I replied? Other examples are simple composition items such as; I cannot figure out how to post my picture. I've added a jpg url in settings but I suspect that I have previously modified the template source code so that now the picture does not show. Plus simple things like indenting, bullets, etc.. Lack of easy control of these things hinder the desire to use this form of community. Yet as Marlin notes, the determined will press on – and I’m determined.
In the end, I suppose that's why so many Christians prefer the public space, i.e., going to "church" on Sunday rather than small group or things of that nature. The public space allows connecting yet maintains a sense of safety through anonymity with the added bonus of requiring the least amount of effort. As a church leader, the challenge for me is to value that but also work to (1) break down barriers in the other spaces and (2) affect the culture in a way that passion for these spaces increases. So I guess it is good that I am struggling with technology; it reminds me daily of what others feel as they attempt to connect through forms that seem foreign to them.