For many, today is a joyous occasion, one that bring the promise of change and the hope of prosperity. I am thankful that my voice and my vote mattered and that it is still a freedom that I have, regardless of the outcome. I will support my president. Like no time in our history, has the power of the Internet, Web 2.0 and technology in general had an impact on bringing out the power of community. So many came out and so many voiced their support with such tools as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and so many community and social networking tools.
Today, I want to write a post about the power of this community, this social network that comes together for various causes be it education, politics or in this case, prayer. As the excitement drew closer regarding the selection of our new president, I received a call from a very dear friend - Jim Elliott. I have worked with Jim for many years and more recently we went our separate ways in our own career advancements. But over the year, we have continued to talk regularly and even brought our children together to go on ski trips always wishing to do another the following year. The call I received was not so good news. He shared with me that he recently discovered he has cancer. To know Jim, is to see someone full of life, someone who loves his children and someone who almost made the University of Texas basketball team (he would laugh to hear me say that.) Jim is active, healthy and positive about everything, so to receive his call last night was completely overwhelming and devastating to me. And in usual stride, he simply says "I am going to fight this with everything I have." The Jimmy I know.
So that brings me to the notion of community and technology/Web 2.0. Jim has setup a site at CareBridge.com. The link is: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimelliott. It is a community of sorts in that it is a place where friends, family and viewers can come to the site and share their prayers, sign or view his guestbook or simply get updates on his journey and road ahead. As we look at the many tools out there and the purpose for these tools, no greater purpose exists, in my mind, than for the care, love and support for our brother as a connected human family. I invite each of you to visit Jim Elliott's community page and offer your support and prayer.
If any of you have read "Here Comes Everybody" by Clay Shirky, you understand that the basic notion is the power of organizations / groups without formal organization-like structures. This power of community is transpired by way of enhanced communication tools that support group conversations and group actions. One example shared in the book is how a woman lost her cell phone only to discover that it had been found by a young girl. When she called her number, the young girl refused to return the phone and continued to use her cell minutes and take pictures. Long story short, her friend sets up a community blog where he reports the daily activity and new learnings about this young girl with the goal of getting the phone back. Not only does he become obsessed with his posts and communications, but millions more create a groundswell follwowing his blog post and share their latest news that eventually the police get involved and the situation goes from there.
The power of community is strong, especially with the use of the Internet. If so much can be done to retrieve a cell phone, let's use the power of community for a causes to support our friend Jim. He needs our prayers. Visit Jim's community and offer your support.
Pics of our 2004 Ski Trip.