Blog update & our FaceBook page

Cranach_Gesetz_und_Gnade_Gotha

BeliefNet, having purchased Patheos, is planning a new look and new features for its family of blogs.  So watch for changes here at Cranach.  For example, you might notice a difference in how the illustrations are presented.

Actually, that is a minor change I was asked to make as part of the Patheos social media initiative.  In addition to my personal FaceBook page, I have an author page that I set up for this blog.  I have shamefully neglected it.  But no more!

At the urging of my Patheos editor and former student, Bart Gingerich, I am going to develop it into an active companion to this blog.  Not only will I put up links to current Cranach posts, I will include extra features:  background information about the Cranach blog, popular posts from the past, a forum for discussing the blog.

Visit the page, like it, post the links on your FaceBook page, and hopefully this will help bring back that sense of community we had back in the blog’s Golden Age.

 

An online, social media Lenten observance

Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, a time for reflection and devotion. Christ Lutheran Church (LCMS) of Topeka, KS, has devised an ingenious online, social media observance, built around specific words for each day of Lent. The idea is to post a picture that captures each word, posting it on FaceBook, tagged with @christlcms, or Instagram, tagged with @christ_lutheran_topeka, and the hashtag #hearingthegospel.  Then people can contemplate all of the pictures that have contributed.

There was a story about this on Religious News Service.  I contacted the pastor, asking if this is just a congregational activity or if I could put it out there on the Cranach blog.  He gave me permission to do so, so spread the word.  More details after the jump.

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I am now on Facebook!

There is this thing called Facebook, and the way it works is. . . .OK, I’m not what you would call an early adopter.  But at the urging of students (you, Thomas Hererra!), Patheos, relatives, and the climate of the age, I now have a Facebook page.

It’s a writer’s page, like those they have for businesses, so it’s public and open for all.  It works not by “friends” but by “likes.”  Please “like” it.  My page will have links to my blog posts, so those who “like” my page will get those links, as will your “friends” and their “friends” and the Cranach nation will grow and grow.

But I’m not just going to post links to my blog.  I will take you inside the vast Cranach empire, talking about blog-related background information, and also talking about my other books, articles, projects, and speaking gigs.  You will also see what I approximately look like, though before I got my current cooler glasses.

As I say in the introductory piece on my Facebook page, I also want to hear from you.  If you come across an interesting article or bit of information, send me the link via Facebook.  Or if you think of a good topic for our discussion, send me your suggestions.  I want to build up the sense of community that we used to have on my blog.  I’ve got some other ideas for what I’d like to do with this page, which I’ll tell you about later. [Read more…]

Supreme Court takes up Facebook threats

Does this message from an estranged husband to his wife after she filed a restraining order against him sound like a threat to you?

“Fold up your PFA [protection-from-abuse order] and put it in your pocket.  Is it thick enough to stop a bullet?”

Does it matter that it was posted on his Facebook page?  The poster is claiming that rants posted on social media should not be taken seriously and should have free speech protection.  The poster argues that his violent fantasies about killing his wife are no different from what his hero, Eminem, raps about and so deserve protection as artistic expressions.

The Supreme Court has taken up the case.  Oral arguments begin December 1.  What do you think about this?

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Stupid person tricks

One of the  latest YouTube “challenges” is to rub alcohol on yourself, set yourself on fire, and then put yourself out before you get burnt up.  All the while filming yourself so that you can post it on video.  Needless to say, this is resulting in serious injuries across the country, including at least one death.

But setting yourself on fire is not the only abysmally stupid and potentially dangerous “challenge” on the internet.  People on social media are challenging their “friends” to do other idiotic behavior.  After the jump, a link to other self-destructive trends and why no one should try them. [Read more…]

Wiping out your social media debts

Thanks to Anthony Sacramone for alerting me to this Portlandia bit, Declare Social-Media Bankruptcy | Strange Herring: