The shift from blogs to email newsletters

Ironic that you’re reading this on my blog…

Almost every writer or artist I know has a newsletter. One way to understand this boom is that as social media has siloed off chunks of the open web, sucking up attention, the energy that was once put into blogging has now shifted to email.

— Read on www.wired.com/story/future-book-is-here-but-not-what-we-expected/

Vannevar Bush’s 1945 essay “As We May Think” on information overload, curation, and open-access science.

Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.

— Read on www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/10/11/vannevar_bush_s_1945_essay_as_we_may_think_on_information_overload_curation.html

Church prep for the economic downturn

Economic forecasts are pointing to a rocky 2019 and 2020 for the global economy due to a variety of causes. Pre-2007, the thinking was that nonprofits, charities, and churches were more “Recession Proof” than enterprise or commercial ventures due to the patterns of previous economic downturns and market corrections. While giving from individuals and foundations dipped, they didn’t suffer dramatic drops and tended to hold steady in giving amounts compared to previous years.

However, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 taught us a different lesson as outlined in the report below. We’re seeing a global remapping of the economic system towards software and algorithms that defies previous statistics and models about the severity of downturns. If we do see an economic slow down or correction, I’m sure we’ll see a troubling situation for many charities, nonprofits and especially churches more kin to 2008 than 1972.

Not only is the economy itself transforming globally, but the religious landscape in the United States is certainly seeing a complete transformation such as the decline of traditional denomination membership numbers, fewer giving dollars from individuals and foundations, and the rise of the “Nones” the correlates with the decline of the perceived role of the church in American society.

Now is the time to start planning for the eventual economic downturn, whether it happens in 2019 or 2021. Churches of all sizes and shapes and histories need to be prepping and planning ahead with concrete fundraising and marketing strategies and are certainly not “too big to fail.”

Even if so, though, what’s good for the industry as a whole is going to be bad for a whole lot of individual companies. Enterprises will tighten their belts, and experimental initiatives with potential long-term value but no immediate bottom-line benefit will be among the first on the chopping block. Consumers will guard their wallets more carefully, and will be ever less likely to pay for your app and/or click on your ad. And everyone will deleverage and/or hoard their cash reserves like dragons, just in case, which means less money for new or struggling companies.

Here comes the downturn – TechCrunch

Nonprofits have faced a two-fold dilemma. On the one hand, they are facing high and growing levels of demand from individuals and families who are struggling in this down economy and in need of their services. On the other hand, the nonprofits find themselves with decreased resources as individual and corporate giving and federal and state funding decline. Who is affected the most? Service-based and Faith-based organizations.

The Impact of the “Great Recession” on the Financial Resources of Nonprofit Organizations

Facebook’s Internal Politics and External Ramifications

Mr. Kaplan balked when briefed on internal Facebook research that found right-leaning users tended to be more polarized, or less exposed to different points of view, than those on the left, according to people familiar with the analysis. That internal research tracks with the findings of academic studies.

— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/facebooks-lonely-conservative-takes-on-a-power-position-11545570000

Why people quit Facebook

Eric Baumer, an assistant computer science professor at Lehigh University, has found in his research on Facebook “non-use” that people who cite concerns about data privacy in relation to corporations or the government as their main reason for quitting are likely to stay away from the site. Meanwhile, those who wanted privacy from people they know online are more likely to return. “Oftentimes questions about why people should delete their Facebook accounts are framed in terms of privacy,” Baumer said. “However, that single word glosses over a lot of complexity.”

— Read on slate.com/technology/2018/12/delete-facebook-movement-lessons-on-quitting.html

Mary’s ‘Magnificat’ in the Bible is revolutionary — so evangelicals silence it

I certainly had never heard of the term “Magnificat” until college. It’s difficult to divorce biblical passages such as these from contemporary politics when we are in a season of listening to footsteps. Good read in these closing days of Advent 2018:

Why has this song been forgotten, or trimmed, for so many people who grew up evangelical? It could be a byproduct of the Reformation, which caused Protestants to devalue Mary in reaction to Catholic theology. Or a lack of familiarity with liturgy, and an emphasis on other texts. Or perhaps the song doesn’t sound like good news if you are well fed, or rich, or in a position of power and might — or if you benefit from systems that oppress. How does the Magnificat feel if you aren’t one of the lowly, if you aren’t as vulnerable and humble as Mary?

— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2018/12/20/marys-magnificat-bible-is-revolutionary-so-evangelicals-silence-it/