Sunday, December 24, 2006

Social Communications - Inter Mirifica

On this Xmas eve, I was having a skypecast with with some people from the Jesuit Communication Project (JCP). They stated, much to my realization, that Social Communications started with the religious organizations a long time ago.

Huh?

Inter Mirifica is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Media of Social Communications. It was approved by a vote of 1,960 to 164 of the bishops assembled, and promulgated on December 4, 1963 by Pope Paul VI. The title, taken from the first line of the document (as is customary with significant Catholic documents), is Latin for 'Among the Wonderful'.

The term Social Communication or Social Communications, apart from its more general use, has become the preferred term with agencies and consultants - but let's face it, all communication is social but not all communication is a 'socially benefit'.

Stowe Boyd has been writing allot on the social tools and social networking but I wonder what he thinks about how religion has been using these tools lately. My Jesuit friends are convinced that these new tools will bring about the social awareness that's been missing of late. And they say that they are leading the pack of the Web 2.0ers.

IdolChatter is a good example. It sits over in BlogHeaven which list religious blogs from all sides. IdolChatter twists and turns religion into today's news - and it is effective.

Why am I on this? As most of you know, I work for the UN and have been trying to get these people up to speed on the development and economic impact of social tools. Too many of the agencies focus on technology and forget that 'social' means 'people' - that people have to be integrated in the decision making. Examples abound but still been a very difficult sell.

Why?

Because they are still trying to use what they have. What we have to remember is that a large percentage of these organization - private and public - are still getting use to leveraging a simple website. It's a interesting situation. Web 2.0 is still a distant dream.


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