Monday, March 30, 2009

Thinking outside the Web

We often think that the Internet is pretty much a Western/Asian system, but in fact there are huge opportunities for digital ministry in the non-western world. 1.5 billion people now use the Web, and 4 billion own a mobile phone, the majority of them outside the West (apparently there are more mobile phone users in Africa than in the US). And with mobile phones becoming increasingly an adjunct of the Net, the potential is enormous.
A relatively new blog called Digital Evangelism Issues (DEI, for short - get it?) has appeared on the scene, with its emphasis being on exactly what the name implies. It's run by a group whose focus is Internet Evangelism Day (IED, for those who missed the mirror image) and their site focuses on encouraging people to use the Internet for evangelism. It helpfully supplies an abundance of material.

I noted on another blog a couple of days ago that there's an increasing assumption that everyone has access to the Net - businesses offer specials online, cheap air fares only appear in many cases online, online banking is being regarded by many banks as the 'norm,' and so on. However, in a Passing Notes opinion piece in the Otago Daily Times last Saturday, it was pointed out that many people in the Saga Generation (those over 55 - my description, not his) don't regularly have access to the Net, and to a degree are becoming cut off from the Internet-based trend. We need to avoid assuming that everyone is Wired.

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