QuakerQuaker This Week: DIY Tech, Quaker Buses and Punk Economics

For the last few weeks we've been experimenting with sending automatic weekly updates via Mailchimp. I haven't found it as useful or personal as I'd like, so I'm switching back to manual postings.

 

Discussion Carnival

Discussion CarnivalThis month's Discussion Carnival theme is The New DIY Organizing. "DIY" is slang for do-it-yourself and we've been seeing a lot of new Quaker projects that have been part of a larger DIY shift happening in our culture. The act of self-publishing a blog is one example, of course, but so is QuakerQuaker itself. A lot of the examples in the Quaker world are more cross-branch and collaborative than earlier projects and it's unclear sometimes how these projects can and should inter-relate with established Quaker organizations. Every week we're sponsoring a discussion on the theme. This week:

  • What are the Technologies of DIY?
    The DIY movement is not just technology-based but there's no denying that new communications is making it easier for geographically-separated groups of volunteers to meet and organize. From shared Google Docs to Skype to Twitter, what are some of the services you're using? And what's the danger to Quaker process as this work starts happening online?

 

Stephen Colbert and #QuakerBuses

Colbert ReportQuakers popped up on the Colbert Report a few weeks ago. Host Stephen Colbert has a running gag this Lenten season about giving up Catholicism for Lent and has had guests on trying to determine what religion Colbert should take up next. Religion journalist Stephen Prothero, a fellow traveler of ours, suggested Friends. When he described unprogrammed worship, Colbert quipped that it sounded like riding a city bus. QuakerQuaker members got right on that and we've been having a good time on Twitter describing how Friends meeting is and isn't like riding a bus.

  • Watch the original video and read the #QuakerBuses jokes.
    Some instant classics:
    • On a city bus they have a limit on how much baggage you can carry on. (Faith Kelley)
    • When you ask if the routes have good service, they'll tell you that the service starts when you get off the  (@)
    • Many routes, one destination (@)
    • No one will shut up the half-crazed ranter at the back (@)
    • I've never been to a potluck on a city bus (@)
    • Do we teach our children how to take the ? (@)
    • If you ask a passenger to describe a bus they don't start with "it depends what you mean by 'bus'" (@)
    • When you ask for directions, yr fellow passengers don't launch into lecture on history of public transportation. (@)


Friends Schools and Punk Economics

There have also been some very interesting posts on Friends and schools and economics. It was all started by a New York Times article on Friends Seminary in New York. A New York City religion blogger asked great questions about the High Cost of Simplicity and a follow-up about how the DIY punk ethos might help us find new ways to educate. Earlham College President Doug Bennett has jumped in with Simplicty and/or Quaker Education. Great stuff and great comments to read on all those sites. We've been trying to keep up with the conversation on the Friends Schools and Education page on QuakerQuaker. It's as fascinating for the discussion of what a radical 21st Century Quaker witness on economics might look like and actually dies in to the DIY theme of the Discussion Carnival.

 

Other Featured Blog Posts This Week

 

This Takes Time, Can You Help?

There's a lot of things on QuakerQuaker that could be done quickly or could be done well. It's much quicker to have MailChimp throw out emails every week or to set up a robot to auto-repost from a set list of a blogs. But QuakerQuaker works because it's powered by humans.  Every day the Editorial Team scans over 100 blogs to find the standout posts that should get wider attention. And we try to engage Friends and the Quaker-curious, doing things, for example, like starting the #QuakerBuses jokes to extend coverage and invite dialogue. All this takes time. Please consider giving a donation to help out the work.

Between donations and revenue from the Quaker Ad Network, QuakerQuaker took in $319.69 last month. It's not much more than minimum wage for yours truly, if you count the expenses and time it takes to do this every week. Given the typical state of online magazines it's actually an accomplishment to hit minimum wage without mass subsidy, but I could devote more attention to it if it were more self-sufficient.  A $10,000 annual budget would be ideal. Last year we collect just over a quarter of that. This really is a next-generation project. Where else does such a small budget reach so many? Can you help?

 

About QuakerQuaker

QuakerQuaker is a community of Quakers exploring Primitive Christianity Revived. Want to reach a Friends audience?Try the Quaker Ad Network and get your message on four leading online websites including QuakerQuaker and Friends Journal. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

 

In Christ's Friendship and Love,
Martin Kelley for QuakerQuaker 

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