More ways to QuakeQuake in the socialscape

ff.gifFor 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!

  • Oh Mar­tin. You raise such inter­est­ing ques­tions. I just spent much of the last week at the FWCC meet­ing talk­ing to peo­ple about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for social net­work­ing — insist­ing on not rein­vent­ing the wheel but look­ing at how we can start to link togeth­er some of the net­works that are thriving.
    You are always about three steps ahead of me, even with­out your train commute.

  • I think I share your frus­tra­tion about the inside dou­ble talk. I think this is a symp­tom of whatever’s plagu­ing the reli­gion and caus­ing it not to grow, the root of which I’ve sensed and try­ing to tease out.

  • Great work Mar­tin, I’ve checked out friend­feed but wasn’t sure whether to use it or not. I’ll look at it again. Sor­ry to have ditched twit­ter, I found it was an extra thing i didn’t need. But, on the oth­er hand, I’ve been able to find more inspi­ra­tion for blog­ging lately.
    Why do you think blog­ging has slowed down? And do you mean that, there are less peo­ple cre­at­ing new blogs, or that less peo­ple with blogs are writing?

  • Mia

    I agree that these are inter­est­ing ques­tions – our meet­ing has just launched a new web­site, which is love­ly and very much need­ed, but it fails to take into account sev­er­al peo­ple who are not ful­ly (or even par­tial­ly) con­nect­ed to the Internet/web. We’ve also gone around and around about com­mit­tee work being done online, and I think have only just man­aged to find a hap­py medi­um (which still threat­ens to spill over from time to time). But it is still com­pli­cat­ed – how can we ask the Spir­it to wait until all Friends are able to meet face to face? And yet, it real­ly is awful­ly easy to hit that Send key with­out ful­ly tak­ing the nec­es­sary time to test a lead­ing. Seems like the same stops that we apply to dis­cern­ing whether a mes­sage is wor­thy of vocal min­istry in MfW could be used online as well, but my guess is that many do not do that. Sor­ry for the ram­ble – this is a hot top­ic with me right now.

  • We had a Zen Bud­dhist stay at our house for a bit and he writes the blog themid​dle​way​.net. One time I was read­ing it and saw this:
    eSang­ha Sit­ting Group
    We’ve start­ed a new exper­i­ment project where a few of us have start­ed ‘sit­ting togeth­er’ online. It’s off to a great start. If you’d like to sit with us, Leave a com­ment and you’ll be invited.
    I will ask him what transpired.

  • Hi Mar­tin,
    I hope Quak­er blog­ging doesn’t slow down, most­ly because it is fas­ci­nat­ing, and part­ly because our own Meta­Pa­gan was based on the idea of Quak­erQuak­er. Meta­Pa­gan is com­ing up to its first birth­day, and seems to be grow­ing. Maybe QQ is just going through a fal­low period.
    I think Face­book is get­ting so like MySpace that it is los­ing its attrac­tion for a lot of peo­ple (also Facebook’s terms and con­di­tions mean that they own the copy­right on stuff you post on there, which is putting a lot of peo­ple off). That’s when efforts like Quak­erQuak­er and Meta­Pa­gan will come into their own, because they are run ethically.
    I’ve start­ed a new Editor’s Picks cat­e­go­ry at Meta­Pa­gan using a mod­er­at­ed group on Ma.gnolia. I gath­er you have a sim­i­lar cat­e­go­ry; how do you do it?