For those looking for a dose of God in their blogosphere, they needn’t try very hard anymore. If you’ve ever thought the content of Twitter was too blasphemous, you no longer have to resort to censorship to make your social media experience more wholesome. Alternative Twitter site ChristianChirp offers a separate forum for people to “chirp” in a Christian-friendly space — but more than a year after the site’s inception, its success is questionable.
The interesting part about Christian Chirp is that it represents something separate from Twitter. That is, Twitter already offers people a space to express their religious perspectives or thoughts and feelings about God. By clicking on specific hashtags, following certain people, and sending your own topic-specific tweets into the universe, you can have a Christian experience on Twitter. Therefore, the fact that Christian Chirp exists suggests that people want to create a separate identity and religious community on the internet.
Christian Chirp doesn’t seem to be thoroughly successful so far. From a design standpoint, Twitter is far superior. This is to be expected, obviously, since Twitter is a social networking phenomenon and Christian Chirp is just a small spin-off site. Christian Chirp also doesn’t do a great job of making its mission clear. Are people supposed to try and tweet religion-related comments, or are they just supposed to avoid tweeting about unholy things?
Some of the tweets on ChristianChirp are quite religious — like “Thank you LORD for all that you are doing in me to help others.” Lent is also a hot topic on the site right now. But there doesn’t appear to be a very effective framework for replying to people’s specific messages, and a strong multimedia aspect is lacking. Links — and not even embedded ones — seem to be only common element in tweets besides plain text.
From a standpoint of increasing the scope of Christianity, it’s unclear whether Christian Chirp wants to gain recognition from the larger religious community by creating a high-quality alternative forum or aim to create an tight-knit community of people with similar interests. Demand may not be an issue as much as execution — after all, the God and social media connection has worked before.
Would you join a religious social network?