Reading between the lines
This week the graphic below, from Digital Agency Buzzplant, started doing the rounds in earnest in the UK. Like all the best infographics, it grabs the attention straight away. However, it also encourages a tendency to read and use the data selectively.
- The data was drawn from 250 churches in the USA, although many in the UK are extrapolating the trends to this side of the Atlantic. Is this right?
- Churches cite social media as their ‘most effective method of outreach’, but surely that effectiveness is best measured from OUTside the church?
- The opening gambit of the post on Mashable, where the infographic appeared, repeats an oft-repeated and always inaccurate mantra that church and technology don’t mix. “Religion isn’t a word often associated with technology”. William Tyndale, who used the new-fangled printing press to produce Bibles might have disagreed. Missionary doctors, who have pioneered techniques in combating some of the world’s deadliest diseases might have something to say about it too!
- Data such as this is stimulating and challenging. We should be grateful to Buzzplant for bringing it to our attention. However, we should never allow the digested form of an infographic to short-circuit a more extensive analysis.
- Since you are one of a small percentage reading this on a blog – what do you think? Comments welcome.