The purpose of Catholic Web Solutions is to help Catholic organizations and religious communities think strategically about using the Internet and Social Media for mission. This transformation from old world to new world communications isn’t easy. As I work on projects with communities and organizations that want to move forward with technology (as opposed to those who have no interest at all), I see some common challenges.
- Leaders who want to collaborate, communicate and minister over the Internet, but themselves have little experience with online collaboration tools or the backend work and infrastructure that is needed to make that happen smoothly.
- Members who have little or no Internet experience beyond using email and doing research.
- The workload of leaders, staff, and members—where the thought of learning and then using Internet technologies (time, money, effort) is overwhelming.
- Infrastructures that are insufficient to support online collaboration tools (systems, connectivity, bandwidth, hardware and software).
- Administrative staff not schooled or necessarily interested in learning new technology.
- Vendors (technology partners) who want our business, but do not understand the culture of religious communities or religious non-profits.
- The expectation that once we address today’s needs we will be set for tomorrow.
- The failure to include technology in long range strategic planning.
The Internet revolution has impacted everyone—not just us. Smart businesses, astute leaders, and entrepreneurs got the message first and are leading the way. Young people do not know the world without it. The use of the Internet is now a grass roots phenomenon. It has accelerated the creation of the “flat” world, in which autocratic, hierarchical and centralized authorities can be questioned, ignored or deposed. It has facilitated communication and collaboration in ways unthought-of until recently. Many businesses, governments, and organizations are facing the same challenges and opportunities we are. Those who recognize the challenges and are pursuing the potential good that these new technologies offer have a chance at the future. Those who aren’t, do not.
How up-to-date are communications in your organization? Where do you want your organization’s communications to be tomorrow?
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