Thursday, June 2, 2011


This article in usatoday fascinates me... Read it here. Yesterday I spent some time at the skatepark. I often wonder why, considering the only shredding I'm doing these days is my finger... (Don't worry Veritas softball team, I'm hoping I'll be good to go for tonight):
All the talk with the locals here at the Iowa City skatepark revolved around youtube drama. So I thought the timing of this youtube article was interesting. Everyone in the world with a computer, camera, and internet connection has access to this "gold rush".

Some quotes...

"Interacting with your audience through video is unquestionably a new dimension for TV as we know it, and people are inventing new content formats all the time...YouTube has democratized the concept of the professional"

"What [consumers] do care about, however, is being entertained, and in that sense we're in a new Gold Rush era..."

I wonder what this means for the church. Here are a few common responses...
1. Fortress... by creating our own subculture. Because we all know God needs his own "tube" and social networking site.
2. Withdraw... by cutting the internet cable
3. Engage... by being the most innovative and creative in a way that reflects God.

What does #3 look like? I'm not sure. Ideas?


Chris Saldanha said...

Honestly, I don't know if the church can really engage the youtube crowd. If you watch the "successful" videos or channels, it's incredibly broad, mindless fluff.

I believe the church can use it as a great vehicle for those within the church, but I just don't know how you can purposefully engage an audience that's really seeking escapism.

Jason said...

Chris makes a really good point, but I hope there may be more to the youtube genre than just the mindless stuff.

As people move more and more away from cable tv towards internet based entertainment I think more serious tv or something with substance will become a bigger part of youtube.

I know that there are a lot of sermons, religious debates and apologetics videos on youtube and if you read the comments, there are many atheists and other non-christians watching them. Plus, many of the videos have video responses, creating sort of an online debate. It's a real marketplace of ideas, just like Athens was in the 1st Century (see Acts 17:21).

Also, what about Gospel presentations and lessons on the basics of Christianity available in every language under the sun on youtube? That would be amazing! There are so many unreached parts of the world where people don't know any Christians but have access to youtube!

It would also be great to see some comedy channels on youtube that are clean and actually thoughtful, and there's enough talent in the church to do a great job of that if someone thought it was important and owned it.

James Pusey said...

I think as this whole YouTube 2.0 thing continues to develop we're going to see a lot more depth and breadth of content. Undoubtedly most of YouTube will continue to just get dumber, but I also think there will be channels that achieve "success" by creating very compelling, thought-provoking, inspiring and well-produced material. I have to believe that the church can do a lot better than just posting their sermons - a vibrant, interesting video presence would be an easy way to introduce people to the church and give those in the church a place to share their gifts. If you've got a really funny group of guys with an idea, let them run with it and make a video. If you've got a guy who has a specific message to teach that maybe doesn't warrant a Sunday sermon, help him make a video. Same goes for poetry, songwriting, even painting or something like that - I see it being a potentially awesome way to unite the church and engage the culture. The key, as in any artistic endeavor, is going to be quality control, and having a high standard of excellence for anything you produce.