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Web 2.0 powering Atheism 2.0?

Brian

The guys over at BusinessLogs.com (who run the popular 9rules blog network) suggest in a recent post that Web 2.0 sites like Digg.com and YouTube are powering a new Atheism movement they dub Atheism 2.0:

There is no "type" of person who might be an atheist, but if you look at Web 2.0 community sites like Digg and YouTube, you'll see a growing number of users there who display anti-religion or pro-Atheism sentiments. I would go so far as to argue that without large tech-oriented sites like Digg and YouTube, the Atheism 2.0 movement would not have taken off as quickly as it has.

(If you're unfamiliar with Digg and/or YouTube, roll out from under that rock you've been hiding under here's a brief explanation: YouTube.com is a web site that enables users to upload their personal videos and share their with the world. Digg.com is a news site where users submit news stories and vote for their favorite ones).

Being a regular Digg reader, and an some-times YouTube user, I think their anecdotal evidence is on the money. Their analysis also holds water:

This article isn't analyzing if there is a God or not, or if Richard Dawkins' theories are correct, but that Digg and YouTube are extremely powerful devices to project a message to the masses. If you combine the two, as many people have in regards to Atheism, it becomes a veritable force that can sway public opinion like few other outlets can.

That analysis aside, I don't know if we can draw long-term conclusions about Atheism 2.0 as a movement. Techies, as a group, tend to lean towards atheism in greater numbers than the general public. Therefore, it makes sense that techie-driven sites like Digg and YouTube will lean towards atheism faster than other worldviews, including Christianity. As these tools become more mainstream, though, there's a strong chance we'll see more diversity in the content presented.

But why wait? Here's some suggestions on how you can utilize tools like Digg and YouTube today to spread the Gospel:

  • Upload video of your church services to YouTube. It's free, and it's a great way to share a slice of your church family with the rest of the world.
  • Upload audio your services to audio-centric sites like Odeo.com.
  • Start participating in communities like Digg.com. Submit stories you like. Vote on stories you like. Add your 2 cents via comments. But remember, you're representing Christ every time you comment, so please don't be a troll. If you're new the Internet world and comments, check out Think Christian's discussion guidelines for tips on crafting a great comment.
  • Start a blog and talk about your walk with Jesus. Blogger, WordPress, and Vox are all free services you can use to get started. Don't know what to write about? Here are some starting points: Write about a recent mission trip; share a personal story of faith; critique a book, album, television show or movie from a Christian perspective; If you're an expert in a particular topic (cooking, health, business, whatever) wrote about the intersection of faith and that topic.

So what's your take on Atheism 2.0? And do you have any suggestions on using the Web for Jesus?

Update: The original story got Dugg, so make sure you check out the discussion there as well.

Topics: Online, Culture At Large, Science & Technology, Technology, Theology & The Church, News & Politics, North America