The Vatican Online? Old NewsIn a way, this is nothing new: The Holy See has been online for years. What's different is that the Church is extending its presence in cyberspace. The Holy See's website, vatican.va, is a great source of information - for someone who's spent years writing research papers. It's a beautiful website, and quite useful. But YouTube it isn't.
This new website, Pope2You, is geared for a different set of people. You can even send someone an ecard there. Well, actually, from a Facebook app that's linked from the website. And, I see that the Holy See's on Facebook, too.
Pope2You.net: You Can't Please EveryoneI thought the Pope2You home page was presentable, with fairly obvious navigation: but opinions obviously vary.
"bz***** pope2you, super tacky...." (Twitter identity redacted) This is "super tacky"?? Okay.
"Super tacky" or not, I've added Pope2You to the blogroll, and the Vatican's YouTube account:
- Official Catholic Websites
- The Holy See
Better known as "The Vatican" by non-Catholics
- Vatican Information Service
With links to Pope2You on Facebook, the Pope's Message on Wikicath, Benedict XVI and the Church on iPhone - and the Vatican on YouTube
- The Vatican on YouTube
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- The Holy See
High-Tech Marketing and the Catholic ChurchThis isn't the first time that the Catholic Church has used the best available technology to get its message across.
About eight centuries back, cathedrals built with "...ribbed vaults, applied shafts, flying buttresses, stepped pier buttresses, all in delicate adjustment, form[ed an] extremely light, thin, skeletal framework. Walls reduced to diaphanous screens of tracery and glass; facade wall dissolved by sculptural decoration, enormous recessed portals, tracery and glass...." (Gothic Architecture as Engineering, University of Pittsburgh)
Abbot Suger, in the 12th century, described his ideal church as having "the most radiant windows." (Virtual Cathedral Project, New York Carver) He got what he wanted in the vast stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals.
We take stained glass windows for granted now, or sometimes make fun of the stiff, formal style used in some. That's understandable. After a few centuries, any technology can seem a bit old hat. Still, by presenting ideas and messages as brightly-colored, glowing images, the Catholic Church anticipated television marketing by nearly a millennia.
What the 12th century's cathedral windows and Pope2You.net have in common is that both are efforts to get the Church's "message of hope and joy" (Zenit) to as many people as possible.
Vaguely related posts:
- "The Bells of St. Mary's and the Movies: The 'Good Old Days' had Problems, Too"
(March 19, 2009)
- "Oasis Productions: The Future of Catholic Media"
(December 21, 2008)
- "For Pope2You, a Pope-Less Launch"
Whispers in the Loggia (May 26, 2009)
- "Aide Notes Danger of Wasting Time with Technology"
Zenit (May 24, 2009)
- "Connect with the Pope on Facebook. Seriously."
Lisa Hoover / The Evolving Web, Computerworld blogs (May 22, 2009)
- "Pope2You.net to Appeal to Youth"
Zenit (May 20, 2009)
A tip of the hat to CatholicMeme, Gen215 and newadvent for the heads up.