Thursday, November 21, 2013

Twitter and Shifting Authority

There are five traits of networked religion.  The five are convergent practice: personalized blending of information and rituals; multi-site reality: embedded online-offline connections; networked community: loosely bounded social networks; storied identity: fluid and dynamic identity construction; shifting authority: simultaneous empowerment and challenge of authority (Networked Society).  
My case study was on the top 10 Christian leaders (Church Leaders).  I asked questions like: do the top 10 Christian leaders all tweet on the same topic?  Do they all tweet the same amount?  Are they all trying to tweet to a certain audience?  I believe that shifting authority best represents my case study.  Shifting authority focuses on the rise of new religious gatekeepers, spokespeople and authority structures online.  Twitter allows anyone to be a religious tweeter and to have authority online.  Shifting authority also says leaders seek to solidify their position in new sources like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest to legitimize and influence.  Twitter is a place that many people can put their beliefs about Christianity, or their religion online.   I think the best example of this is a tweet from Terry Storch on September 24th.  Storch tweeted, “The people you comfort determine the level of excellence you achieve.”@leadershipfreak - Removing the Lid on Your Org attached was a link to a lid.  Terry Storch is not very well known but is a top Twitter leader.  Like shifting authority says, Twitter can help bring a new religious gatekeeper.  Twitter can provide a place for people to tweet 140 characters to influence or legitimize people on their beliefs.  
Campbell, Heidi.  ( November 9, 2011).  Understanding the Relationship between Religion Online and Offline in a Networked Society.  Oxford Journal.  Retrieved: November 18, 2013.  

Church Top 100 Christian Leaders to Follow on Twitter.  

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