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June 25, 2011


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Good grief.

Here are a few that Mouse would put in place of some of these:

1. Beware of hypercomplexification of words - making up long words to try to express what could be better explained in a simple sentence

2. Radical persona-authentification of online identity - just be yourself

3. Avoid intellectudisembodiment - overanalysing twitter

Does anyone really think about social media in terms of power relationships, authority and social apartheid? I know this was a bit of an academic context, but really.

I can't help thinking that Andrew Graystone, with his big media background, isn't the best person to develop principles for social media use.

The best use of social media is simple. People talk to other people. Ideally with something interesting to say. If it was any more complicated that than, then it wouldn't be so popular.

Pam Smith


Andrew rejects the idea of pseudonimity online. In his online church he uses a pseudonym but easily trackable back to the real person.

Doesn't this just about sum up the impossibility of making up a set of immutable principles to guide people's behaviour in any and every circumstance?

Everyone is pretty easily traceable online if you can be bothered but different people in different circumstances and stages of their development of an online presence need to relate to their online interaction in different ways.

Some environments (such as Second Life) actually force a pseudonym on you, and taking on different personas and identities is part of the environment. If we go into online contexts with a set of principles which we then seek to impose on the environment then aren't we adopting the same methodology as the old style missionaries who sought to Christianize their environments by imposing their own view of what a Christian society should look like rather than attempting to deliver the Gospel in context (and recognise what God may already be doing?)


Andrew Greystone has an obsession with singularity ( not in the sense of the Singularity) -- I always wonder if this marginalises so many communities from xtian discourse eg Gamers, people who live work in virtual worlds, celebrities who wish to remain anonymous etc. Maybe we would be better talking about coherence and congruence and becoming aware of the moral orders that we step into as we - co-construct our identities in --whatever context

Davidwalljones twitter
Flipsy Glitch
Vidz Ah SL
Vidz Aeon SL
Vidz Swashbuckler SL
Teytey Eve Oneline
Flipsy Apple Game Centre
Lorrvid PS network
Skype Davidw-j
David wall-Jones Facebook
Sophian Aon
Teytey Aon
Davidwalljones Empire Avenue

etc etc

now which one of these isn't authentic I will delete:D

Pete Phillips

I'm very sympathetic to the views given so far - I think I need to amend the orginal post and then add some comments my self. Interesting that the comments are made here, but not replicated across other places where I post - e.g. posterous site. Does that invalidate them? What shall I do if an anonymous post comes in???

Pam Smith

Is Vidz Ah the one who cries all the time? You can delete him, he's annoying. :-)

I remember someone at Methodist Towers issued guidance for Methodist ministers in their online interactions a while back which was met with general annoyance. I think part of this may have been that anyone who thinks you can legislate for people's behaviour online is already working from a set of assumptions that don't really hold, one of which being that there is a coherent online environment (whatever we call it) where you CAN legislate.

The recent case of the juror who was jailed for using Facebook to breach the confidentiality of the jury room demonstrates that existing laws apply to our behaviour online as well. Successful defamation cases in the US have shown that pseudonymity doesn't let us off our legal responsibilities. Why do we need a special set of rules for Christians online?

Of course some Christians may use the comparative freedom of the online environment to do things they wouldn't like to own up to in church. But plenty of Christians do things offline that they wouldn't like to own up to in church either!

Anna Blanch

In Andrew's defence and as someone who was in the room as he was speaking through these principles. These were not pronouncements made from on high, but launching points for conversation and reflection to happen.

I don't think this kind of reflection should simply be dismissed as "over-analysis" - many of these points brought to mind situations i've found myself in.

There are some contexts where psuedonymity may be useful or necessary (and helpful), but i think the general point still applies and i've chosen to engage with digital media on that basis.

Once again, i did not hear these as legalistic pronouncements but as a beginning towards a set of principles for how we think about New Media, Digital Culture and "being."

I look forward to Pete's more fleshed out version - and comments. I think this is an important discussion!

Mark Howe

Global village - McLuhan's point was not that we are all one big village. His point was that each person's small village could include individuals from across the globe.

It's not just a pedantic academic point. Commonly used phrases like "THE Internet culture" betray a completely false assumption that "The Internet" means anything at all in sociological terms.

"The Internet" is a way to route information between nodes. It makes as much sense to talk about "Internet Culture" or "Internet Morality" as it does to talk about "UHF Culture" as opposed to "VHF Culture" with respect to televisions.

Pam Smith

In Andrew's defence and as someone who was in the room as he was speaking through these principles. These were not pronouncements made from on high, but launching points for conversation and reflection to happen.

I'm taking that as a given, Anna, but also assuming that if Andrew has put this stuff 'out there' he knows it will take on a life of its own.

On the other hand, if something is presented in an academic or study context then we have to deal with it on that basis and engage with the ideas that have been presented with some rigour, especially if they have are meant to be a started for dialogue.

I've been working in online Christian context for about 7 years now, and unfortunately I can see a neat list like this which appears to offer a solution to a 'problem' of regulating Christians who work online being enthusiastically taken up by people who want to find a way of controlling the activities of others in an environment which they view with suspicion.

I know that this isn't the actual intention of offering this list, hence I think it is actually quite important to engage with it.

I think Andrew would have been fully aware that in order to engage with the material he has offered and develop it, some people will have to disagree with him!

Laura Sykes

For what it's worth, I agree with all that Mouse says.

I suggest that this is at least partly because Mouse and I both treat social media as a means to an end, not an end in itself. We are pragmatists (though of course we operate at different levels - I would not presume to equate myself with Le souris des souris.)

We could also, though, be likened to the bluff man of commonsense who says he does not need to know the molecular structure of the air he breathes in order to benefit from it.

It's a perfectly defensible point of view, but for those also possessed of an insatiable curiosity it is not in itself satisfying. I echo Tennyson:

“Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.”

It is this desire to keep discovering new things that impels me to register for #cnmac11 and its offer of intellectual challenges (as well as the pleasure of meeting other seekers after truth).

Pete Phillips

From Andrew (who's on holiday post #medialit11)

Hi Pete. Could I ask you to post on your blog on my behalf? I'm on holiday so won't be responding. But I'm more than happy to be discussed/critiqued or whatever! This is an exploration, not a pronouncement. I would encourage people to discuss the content as well as the process. And of course to identify themselves if they feel comfortable to do so. In love, Andrew

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