Networking the word
Brother Karekin, our single-handed pr/organization machine, writes me:
good news... Bob Edgar blasted his 100,000 person email list today with our PR piece from last week -- National Council of Churches -- i've fielded about a dozen requests for info today
Great news! Excellent work, Brother. We had a sticky start raising consciousness, and to a great extent, it's Brother Karekin's single-minded dedication that's pulled more publicity through.
I've been talking in the past week to a lot of people about what we're learning from the experience of trying to publicize the Values Conference. Some of the most intense discussions come from talking to Kaliya Hamlin, who will speak on networking at the conference. Kaliya notes that while progressive Christians on the web all go to static webpages and all sign their blogs up for webrings that point readers to other sites, there are no ways of circulating news and information. No email lists attached to the webrings; no news pages for what the entire movement is doing; no major 'meet-up' sites for the movement to tell each other about local meetings.
I should add, that this is exactly what the budding CrossLeft is trying to set up. Although so far, i think we have *one* event posted on our calendar!! it's also been somewhat enabled by sites like Belief.net and StreetProphets which have more active online forums for discussion of current events.
But *most* activism and information sharing is still coordinated through denominationally-focussed static webpages; the Methodists don't talk to the Episcopalians or the UCC, and only a very tech-savvy individual with a lot of time figures out how to talk to all of them!
Kaliya argues, This is another thing the Religious Right has figured out how to do already. They can disseminate news across a network rapidly because their network is designed for information and event sharing, not just for blasting individual opinions to a single blog's readers.
My hope is that attendees at the conference will take a lot away from what Kaliya says. We'll be posting her paper here on CrossLeft, and (hopefully) podcasting her talk as well as others from the conference. I'd love to see a consciousness-raising moment of big vision spreading from the conference through the progressive Christian movement at large.