For any bleeding edge Web 2.0 Quakers out there, there’s now a QuakerQuaker FriendFeed account to go along with its Twitter account. Both accounts simply spit out the QuakerQuaker RSS feed but there might be some practical uses. I actually follow QQ primary by Twitter these days and those who don’t mind annoying IM pop-ups could get instant alerts.
Web 2.0 everywhere man Robert Scoble recently posted that many of his conversations and comments have moved away from his blog and over to FriendFeed. I don’t see that occurring anytime soon with QQ but I’ll set the accounts up and see what happens. I’ve hooked my own Twitter and FriendFeed accounts up with QuakerQuaker, so that’s one way I’m cross-linking with this possible overlay of QQ.
For what it’s worth I’ve always assumed that QQ is relatively temporary, an initial meeting ground for a network of online Friends that will continue to expand into different forms. I’m hoping we can pick the best media to use and not just jump on the latest trends. As far as the Religious Society of Friends is concerned, I’d say the two most important tests of a new media is it’s ability to outreach to new people and its utility in helping to construct a shared vision of spiritual renewal.
On these test, Facebook has been a complete failure. So many promising bloggers have disappeared and seem to spend their online time swapping suggestive messages on Facebook (find a hotel room folks) or share animated gifs with 257 of their closed “friends.” Quaker Friends tend to be a clannish bunch and Facebook has really fed into that (unfortunate) part of our persona. Blogging seemed to be resuscitating the idea of the “Public Friend,” someone who was willing to share their Quaker identity with the general public. That’s still happening but it seems to have slowed down quite a bit. I’m not ready to close my own Facebook account but I would like to see Friends really think about which social media we spend our time on. Friends have always been adapting – railroads, newspapers, frequently flier miles have all affected how we communicate with each other and the outside world. Computer networking is just the latest wrinkle.
As a personal aside, the worst thing to happen to my Quaker blogging has been the lack of a commute (except for a short hop to do some Haddonfield web design a few times a week). I’m no longer stranded on a train for hours a week with nothing to do but read the journal of Samuel Bownas or throw open my laptop to write about the latest idea that flits through my head. Ah the travails of telecommuting!