Holy Smoke! Social Marketing Gets Religion

As if we needed further proof that today’s social marketing phenomenon is seeping into every corner of people’s lives … faith-based web sites are now embracing the latest social techniques full-on.

One such example is Tangle, a site that provides family-friendly content and forums with a Christian perspective. Since merging with GodTube earlier this year, Tangle has experienced rapid growth. Particularly popular is the site’s interactive “prayer wall,” a kind of cyber equivalent to Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall where members can post prayers and petitions to the Almighty.

But in a 21st century twist, other members can comment on those prayers, a kind of running commentary from the spiritual side chamber. Talk about spilling the beans! It’s certainly a far cry from the Holy Week tradition of private auricular confession to a priest.

Not all of the action is on the Christian side of the ledger, either. Our Jewish Community, a project of Cincinnati’s Congregation Beth Adam, provides information, insights and discussion points related to Passover and other Jewish holidays – complete with blog entries and Twitter feeds.

These social marketing initiatives, in combination with the proliferation of faith-based informational web sites, prove yet again that old-time faith is flourishing in new-world cyberspace. Indeed, the web has provided the most effective means yet for like-minded, smaller or geographically far-flung religious communities such as Eastern Orthodox Christians, Traditional Anglicans/Episcopalians and Sephardic Jewish communities to find themselves and nurture their shared beliefs and culture. Hey, more power to them.

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