After reading Dresher's Did Social Media Just Save General Seminary, something seemed off in the conclusion. @anglobaptist I'm still working on a blog post but here's a first stab at what is bothering me:
Part of it is using a power struggle within a place of power and privilege as an example of the power of social media to give voice to those without access to the halls of power just doesn't sit well with me, even though the GTS 8 were treated unjustly. I don't have issue with a claim to a shift nor even that such a shift will affect how denominational institutions will function and how and who they will include. But it seems the non Utopian claim would be that denominational institutions now have to pay attention to those who have at their disposal and are adept at using social media.
there may be examples of people who have been excluded from the halls of power in denominations gaining access and voice through social media, but I fail to see how this case study is an example of that.
What seems to be the case is that a conflict that may have taken months to reach the state it reached in a matter of weeks because of GTS 8 adept use of social media and their ability through that to gain significant and rapid support from various corners of the Episcopal church and beyond. I think it may have been possible in other times to create and use such broad network but it would have happened much more slowly and someone like myself probably woudl only be talking about this whole thing after the fact or at least not until it was reaching its conclusion.
I think there is something significant maybe even ecclesiologically significant in the rapidity and spread of information and networking around the conflict and on behalf of the GTS 8, I'm not sure that social media is the technological incarnation of the power and the ideal of the priesthood of all believers. The essay makes in my view too much of the technology and of this particular case study of its use.