Saturday, March 22, 2008

Speaking of the latest Long Island Catholic edition, Kathleen Gallagher writes about the New York State Catholic Conference making a video to educate people about (former) Gov. Eliot Spitzer's radical Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act. This act would require Catholic hospitals to provide abortions by making abortion a "fundamental right". The video was produced by Telecare (good job!) and put on You Tube. Gallagher's article mentions what she calls the "viral effect" of the blogosphere as the You Tube video was posted or linked to on the blogs (here is the link). She says:

"In less than a week, our video had enjoyed more than 8,000 views, or “hits” as they are known in the business. We received phone calls and e-mails from all over the country about our video, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We were written up in The New York Times and the Daily News. The original message of our video spread like wildfire, far beyond the borders of the Church’s typical communication methods. I had never experienced the “viral effect” of the Internet quite like that before."

We Catholic bloggers have experienced this effect for years but preferred to call it "releasing the power of the blogs" a term which I believe is attributed to Mark Shea, who is one of the most popular Catholic bloggers. The Catholic blogs have had some impact in concrete ways and the NYS Catholic Conference was very wise to tap into this great communications tool. "St. Blogs Parish" has been a great tool for Catholics to spread the word as well as spread The Word since 2002. Some examples of what the article calls the 'viral effect' would be:
removing pro-abortion links from a Jesuit University
linking to a video of a Bishop in California treat a woman rudely for kneeling for communion
pointing out the anti-Catholic nature of the movie The Golden Compass
pointing out the USCCB's positive review of the Golden Compass and Brokeback Mountain
spreading the word about a movie Mel Gibson was making about Christ's Passion a year ahead of its release
spreading the word about Summorum Pontificum a year ahead of its release

There were many more I cannot remember and I am too lazy to link to any of these right now. But the Church is wise to use "St. Blog's" because it has proven to be a good way to spread good or bad news.

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