Viral is a pretty new book from Leonard Sweet all about the impact modern social media and technology can have on helping us as a Church to spread the gospel. Leonard splits society into two groups – Gutenbergers who grew up before the introduction of Facebook/Twitter etc, and Googlers who are native to the use of social networking sites. He looks in depth at the differences in these two groups, and I felt that he spent too much time looking at this and drawing too many generalisations by splitting all current Western society into just two groups.
Once the book moves on to looking at different sites and technologies – Twitter, Facebook, iPhones and Google and how we can use them to connect with God and to connect with those we need to reach out with. The Twitter section has some very good practical applicable sections about how we can just Twitter to help our relationship with God, and how to be a source of light shining bright in the darkness not hidden under a stand in the twittersphere. Unfortunately the other sections don’t match up to this and I found them to be less applicable, and more just theory based.
In general this book seems to be aimed more at those who are a bit older and less used to social networking, and as such spends a lot of time explaining those networks, and also relates them to some quite deep church history and theology that makes this a tough read, but one that would be good for those who are in leadership positions in the church and need to learn how to embrace modern outreach techniques.
Legal disclaimer – I was provided with a free e-copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah in return for a fair review. I was not obliged to post a positive review