Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
Connect with him online.
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Connected-Church-A-Tech-Guide-For-Church-Leaders-and-Parishioners/ Brad West

    Great article and points. The common issue I find is the resistance to change. I try to explain to people that these new types of media allow us new avenues which we never had before. If you look at most parishes today, the bulletin is the main mechanism for communication. That’s all we had before. But today we can relieve the burden from relying so heavily on that particular avenue, and utilize the web to get information out. Plus it’s cheaper, more effective, and more efficient.

  • http://catholiclane.com Mary Kochan–Catholic Lane

    Excellent thoughts here. It is true that the new media does not have a level playing field right now. Having worked in online media for a decade and now as editor-in-chief of an up and coming website, Catholic Lane, I see first hand the struggles of this environment where terrific Catholic writers have to “give away” their content for the sake of creating name recognition and in the hope that at some point they can sell a book or get speaking engagements to make a pittance. But the problem of lack of support is not merely an institutional problem; lay Catholics in general do not give the kind of support to media producers that Protesants do. Protestants are avid consumers of faith-related books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs. If we could just figure out the why of that and how to overcome it, it would change everything.

    • http://catholicservant.com Craig

      @Mary

      As I former Protestant…I absolutely agree. The fact remains that they are ‘beating’ Catholics in the area of media.

      – Book sales
      – CD sales
      – DVD sales

      The ‘worst’ part is that the production quality surpasses much of what the Catholics create. As a musician, it’s ridiculous how much better the selection and quality is of Protestant music.

      I’m not sure how many Catholics are aware of this divide. There tends to be a closed-loop navel-gazing trend in Catholic culture that doesn’t know what’s going on out there.

      I’m painting with broad strokes here of course. Bringing souls to Jesus Christ is the Mission…and if Protestants assist in that, awesome…we should not be greedy, they are not OUR souls to begin with.

      The bigger issue as I see it, is the lack of Catholic identity in our culture which, when properly nurtured, brings forth the great fruits of beautiful art, music…and potentially outstanding blogs, videos, etc.

      Practice and rigorous exercise is the only way to excel in any subject. It’s my belief that if/when Catholics start creating great content…the rest will come with it.

      • http://catholicservant.com Craig

        For anyone that’s interested…a great Protestant site that is hugely successful with the younger folks is http://relevantmagazine.com

        There are many elements of their product that Catholic media should be emulating.

  • http://www.catholiconexpo.com Daniel Kedinger

    Thanks for the nod Craig…although I would say that CatholiCon Expo’s goal is actually to unite Old and New Media. The event will have sacred chant and liturgy as well many discussions on old media issues to highlight that the Church Herself speeks deeply through many forms of communication.

    We think that New Media is awesome but that it has the potential to aid and elevate Old Media to a new place in the digital continent. Now more than ever people have multiple avenues to reach the People of God and we can’t ignore things like radio and TV. I agree though that there are some big struggles with the two camps of people though in that some fear change or other’s don’t understand how things have been. Thanks again for the mention and we hope to see you there!

    God Bless,
    Daniel Kedinger

    catholiconexpo.com

  • http://www.techreligious.com Frank

    I think the key to the Church “getting” new media is understanding that the two-way street it creates is an important tool for ministry. That is, social media is NOT a new way of broadcasting information OUT into the world, but rather opens up channels of back and forth communication, giving pastoral leaders an unprecedented ability to be in dialogue with the faithful. As a former campus minister, the “data” I had access to about the students I served was vital information that helped me (I hope) be a much better servant and minister. While it was sobering, at times, to read (or see pictures) about what students were up to outside of the times they were involved in the campus ministry activities, getting a “full” picture into their lives was invaluable to my ability to respond to their spiritual needs. In short, social media made me a better campus minister. Blogs and youtube and Facebook certainly open up channels for church leaders to put their message out in new and effective ways, but we new media advocates must promote with equal enthusiasm its ability to take information in about the world we hope to serve that we otherwise might never know.
    Frank // techreligious.com

    ps….thanks for inspiring my next blog post!