Posted by Ray Majoran
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about my concerns with Godwitter.com (which as of last week, is no longer in existence). My two main points were:
A. The church in general can’t seem to come up with its own creative ideas.
B. By building these types of communities, we segregate ourselves from the very people we are called to get into relationship with.
A few days later someone named Jason left the following comment on that post:
“RAY - so what you're saying is that what's wrong with Godwitter is what's wrong with eletricurrent and the xpirimental blog, right?”
I won’t lie - this comment got my back up a bit. But after chatting it over with some of the team here, in spite of the sarcastic tone of the comment, we wanted to honor our commitment to openness in our conversations on this blog and so I asked Jason to clarify his comment so we could better understand exactly what the comparisons were that he was making between Godwitter and Electricurrent/Xpiritmental. I presume that he doesn’t have a problem with the first part of my argument since we’re a creative firm and a big part of Xpiritmental is all about encouraging high-quality design (e.g. check out our free desktops). So his comment must have to do with the idea of Christians segregating themselves into communities.
Unfortunately, after a number of days we never heard back from Jason and so while I still want to respond and deal with what I think are some pretty major misunderstandings about who we are and the difference between Xpiritmental and Godwitter, I can’t be sure that I’m fully addressing Jason’s concern. So, I’m leaning on Jason’s good graces as I try to respond. I also want to be forthcoming in explaining that although the words in the two posts that make up this response are indeed “my” response to Jason, I did talk these things over with the team here and have them edit this post in order to keep myself accountable to responding in a helpful manner.
But, Jason’s comment does tell me that there is at least one person out there that doesn’t fully understand who we are and what we do and if there’s one, there’s probably others so I felt like it was worth my time to respond in a new blog post in hopes that it helps our audience get better acquainted with us. I’ll address Jason’s question in a second post, but for now I want to highlight one quick lesson from this experience that will undoubtedly help you all as you seek to contribute to online communities.
As far as blog etiquette is concerned, it’s always bad form to simply leave a challenging question on a blog and then not stick around to be part of the conversation after. In Jason’s defense, we don’t currently have an email notification service set up to alert him that a comment was added to that post (something we’re hoping to add soon), so we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt here.
But this does remind me of the importance of recognizing that the best way to be a help to an organization, especially if your post or comment are challenging, is to stick around long enough to see the conversation through. Otherwise, the feedback just comes off as the kind of thing that simply deserves to be ignored.