A Little Help on my Church 2.0 Article?

Help save my Christmas! I am really struggling with this article. And i need to write it before Christmas for Next-Wave because I SAID I WOULD.

I want to locate the parallels between Web 2.0 and the emerging church (Church 2.0) because there is a lot that both conversations can learn from each other. I want to explore what we are getting from and adding to the conversation. The similarities are startling. I wrote a little on Church 2.0 and went a little further with The Ajax Love of God. But I haven’t nailed it yet. The geeks trying to explain Web 2.0 are also struggling to define it (sounds like the same emerging church definition struggle of 2004) and the criticisms that “Web 2.0 is what the web was supposed to be about in the first place” also ring a bell.

Picture 1

Image (click to enlarge) is from Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 blog which is a good place to start.

Here are some parallels:

– participation, interactivity, pre-emptiveness, emergent behavior, importance of macro and large scale, lightweight teams operating with small budgets, distrust of wikipedia and other self-correcting systems, power of the many, power of the long tail, importance of modularity . . . what else?

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Brodie says:

    andrew – i don’t kno wmuch about this stuff so despite my good intentions I’m not sure I’ve much to contribute. Here’s an article I found helpful on Ajax http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php
    I guess it’s also worth saying something about the negative side of these things. Emerging churches have their own language, meeting places (real and virtual) and hero’s all good for a sence of identity. but what about those on the “outside” or those on the edge who are not initiated? What words might we use to describe them – confused, isolated, mistrustful?
    Trust this is no too off beam of what your trying write and that you get your article done.

  • andrew says:

    and this is exactly what is being said about WEb 2.0 – how to say it without geek language so that everyone gets it?

  • Kester says:

    Prob. way too basic, but the list I posted about on this topic included:
    Radical Decentralization
    Radical Trust / Trust Your Users
    User as contributor
    Rich User Experiences
    Emergent: User behaviour not predetermined
    Small pieces loosely joined
    Harnessing Collective Intelligence
    These I’d picked out from the diagram at this address, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have seen it.
    Happy writing!

  • Ben says:

    Victor Keegan’s column in yesterday Guardian ) makes a similar point about blogging; its still quite a minority interest pursued by a few insiders. That sometimes feels a bit like the E.C. so its great that your thinking about how we it becomes accesible to those on the outside.

  • I’m no expert, but self-determination, or the sense that each person builds what each person needs, seems thematic, though most in emerging movement find community as central, too.

  • Charlie Wear says:

    Hey Andrew,
    Don’t panic, I can wait until the 28th or 29th…
    Charlie 🙂

  • tautoko int. says:

    The similarities of Web 2.0 and the emerging church

    Having spent the last 20 days writing my diploma thesis about knowledge work and social software, I thought a lot about the similarities of web 2.0 and emerging church. Today Andrew asks on his blog about these similarities. So I will try to answer thi…

  • michael lee says:

    We’ve been talking through some of the same things over at Addison Road – Web 2.0 and the ECM seem to be, in many ways, manifestations of the same social value shift, though in radically different realms. You might find some helpful thoughts in our post on Worship 2.0
    It’s grounded on Dick Hart’s (Sxip.com) mantra, that “Open and Simple beats Closed and Complex”, and considers what publishing APIs for the congregated worship event would look like.

  • Goodacre says:

    i don’t claim to know much about this stuff, in fact i claim to know very little, but i’m currently listening to this: http://thoughtcast.org/casts/the-web-20-and-beyond-a-conversation/
    it’s kinda interesting, and in my head at least i can make/feel links between t’internet and emerging church kinda stuff…..
    Happy Christmas, and thanks for the continual source of interesting (mainly) stuff you provide.

  • steve says:

    why not build an article on what church might be from biblical texts rather than the latest sociological manifestation? 🙂

  • nate says:

    I think I am finally starting to wrap my mind around the tecnological side of web 2.0. I think from that side it is about UNIXifying the web.
    Unix achived its remarkable growth and longevity (for a design that was written in 1969 to power most of the internet, apple desktops, handhelds, etc) by making radicaly simple abstractions, providing mechanism instead of implimenting policy, and making lots of small tools instead of swiss army knives.
    I think one of the central halmarks of a Church 2.0 is the emphasis on providing mechanisms instead of making policies. I think this is the praxis vrs theology discussion that is taking place right now.
    The other insight I would offer from the Unix world is that small tools must be designed and prepaired to be loosely joined. Unix included the idea of pipes, that the output of one program, acts as the input to another program. Only programs that expect to read data from pipes, and expect to stream data via pipes, can be loosly joined.
    Put a different way, ants can only exhibit emergent behavior because they have the basic input and output mechanisms to share and process little bits of information. The web is only now exhibiting deep emergent behavior because the feedback tools (trackbacks, blogs, rss, tags, apis) are now available.
    On the subject of Emergent behavior I really wish I could find a online copy of GEB’s Ant Fugue, it makes a really important point. Emergent behavior is expressed at a different level then the specific members. For example in the Ant Fugue, the ant eater has conversations with the ant hill, by eating or not eating specific ants.
    Many of the things bound together as web 2.0, are the same way. I would suggest AJAX, RSS, REST, SOAP, DHTML, etc are all just ants. Just as I would suggest specific churches (in this case I mean geographic collections of people) and church members are just ants. Web 2.0 and The Church 2.0 are expressed at a different level.
    I think many of the things you listed were I/O systems for ants. If you can explain how I/O systems for ants => anthill intelligence. Then you can explain how things we do => The Story of The Church.

  • Canadian anthropologist Grant McCracken has these thoughts on Web 2.0 – http://www.cultureby.com/trilogy/2005/12/internet_20_the.html that may be helpful.

  • andrew says:

    thanks everyone
    and Nate – i have been learning about and teaching on ants in the past two years (Prov 6:6) and their emergAnt behavior.
    Nice to see the techie field also talking about ants.
    Steven Johnson’s book “Emergence” was very helpful in this.
    thanks for the links everyone – i will check them out
    merry christmas

  • Damon Snyder says:

    Pre alpha thoughts on the emerging church and web2.0

    Andrew started a conversation on the parallels between the emerging church and web2.0. I think the similarities are interesting in that they are symptoms or manifestations of the environment they are coming from and how the web2.0 evolution might shed …

  • Greenflame says:

    A is for Apple AJAX

    AJAX seems to be flavour of the month while everyone makes up their lists of what was significant in 2005 or will be in 2006. Rachel mentions it here and here and TallSkinnyKiwi here and here. So for all of…

  • Greenflame says:

    A is for Apple AJAX

    AJAX seems to be flavour of the month while everyone makes up their lists of what was significant in 2005 or will be in 2006. Rachel mentions it here and here and TallSkinnyKiwi here and here. So for all of…

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