Loving one another in the online world

After being a little absent on the social networks these last few weeks, it has been interesting to review things that are happening and seeing the responses of people. One of the things that has caught my eye is the amount of vitriol that can come from the keypads of Christians when somebody appears to step on some of their own strongly held doctrinal viewpoints, or another ‘champion of faith’ is brought into question.
It is right that we contend for our faith and that we are careful to guard our doctrine but too often we have allowed ourselves to slip in to a barrage of abusive behaviours to others. Disagreement is a part of life, differences of opinion are to be expected but the line is surely crossed when we begin personal attacks that are, at best, abusive.
“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” is the verse that springs to mind – words that Jesus used as he predicted his betrayal and just before his conversation with Peter regarding Peters own denial of Jesus. In the darkest moments, love one another….it is the thing that marks out God’s people from others. Surely if we are to make an impact for the gospel, we should bear this in mind in the way we communicate with one another….even more so in the public forums that are available to us. Recently, many have gone beyond saying ‘You fool!’ (see Matthew 5:21) and that leads to destruction – let’s be people who are strong, yet loving, courageous, yet gentle and let’s love one another so that we may see many more enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a result of our witness.

A Flickr or a Flame?

It has taken a while but the new Flickr is now here with a redesigned front page, new business model and a new android app.

I have been on Flickr for a fair few years (April 2006) and enjoyed the communities (groups) and interactions in the early days but this waned as the site gained popularity. With the growth, the interactions became less meaningful as the perceived quality (and volume) of average/poor photographs increased. Alongside this, Yahoo seemed to forget about one of the most exciting aspects of their portfolio and development was non existent. As a result, I began a flirtation with Instagram and forgot about Flickr – keeping the pro account, just in case.

The instagram fiasco convinced me to return to Flickr (with my own average shots) and discard the new kid on the block. A new app helped continue the involvement but the changes yesterday have been a great source of joy – just maybe, Flickr is on its way back. The android app is superb, the new front page a beginning point of better things and hope that the communities may have new life. The pricing structure means that my account will be ‘grandfathered’ and so I can continue at sensible prices without advertising for the near future, without this I would probably stick to the free account and ride out the adverts.

Flickr is back in the game and its future brighter, albeit different, and once again there is hope that the premier photo sharing site will continue to lead the field.

(My site is here and my best shots on explore here)

Public v Private

There seems to be quite a stir in the online world as Google privacy alters on March 1st and our browsing histories will be used against us in terms of advertising.
Is this really such a big deal considering how much of our lives are already online? For those that engage in social networks there is little that is hidden – that said, my cache is going to be cleared before March 1st, just in case there is something more sinister than I am aware of.

End of the Road?….hopefully not!

Well today Marko announced the withdrawal from social networking sights and a possible termination of blog updates. I have utmost respect for his decision (have done the same myself before resurrecting just the blog!) and trust that he enjoys the new found freedoms that it brings.
However, I do hope that this does not start a swathe of “endings” as the social media networks have managed to provide me (and others) an opportunity to engage in new ideas, difficult subjects and challenging thinking. There are many blogs that have provided a living room space that have been as iron sharpening iron – so whilst this course of action is right/may be right for some, I do hope that not everyone follows the same path, your wisdom and insight is a valuable thing.