Reflections on #CNMAC11 – number one

If you ever read comics as a child, you will know that speech bubbles have smooth edges, like this:

A thought bubble, on the other hand, has fuzzy edges, and looks like this: The secret, it would seem, is in the fuzzy edges.

Earlier this year, in the most popular post this blog has ever seen, I wrote about the possibility of tweeting in church, and maybe even of running a Twitterfall during a sermon. On Saturday, at the Christian New Media Conference, I got to see what that might look like. The thing is, despite my earlier post on Twitter as a speech bubble symphony, in fact this was more like an exchange of thought bubbles, with their fuzzy edges. Scrolling down the screens was everything from incisive parries with the speaker’s argument to updates on the rugby, and comment’s on the speaker’s attire! In short – we were made privy to the exchange of thought which accompanied the act of speech in the room.

When I went a little later to a seminar hosted the altogether lovely Sister Catherine Wybourne, she introduced it by assuring us that there would be no such gimmicks as the Twitterfall to be seen. In all truth, I am glad, as my Twitter thought stream would have run something like this (click for larger view) :

Such ramblings would, I fear, have interrupted the flow of what was  a profoundly spiritual and intensely practical session about Christian presence on the Web. Sister Catherine introduced the seminar with the description of its participants as ‘you and me and Christ making a third’. To add my unnconnected thoughts to the party would have been one too many.

In plenary sessions (which would equate to a church service, in many ways) the thought exchange accompanying the word exchange was enriching and enlightening. In smaller settings it was intrusive.

I wonder why?