Anglicans Online laments the loss of websites of congregations, churches, dioceses, and whole Provinces. AO also notes that links to Provinces and even the Anglican Communion are no longer working due to changes.
We have noticed, from the sidelines, an interesting contraction in Anglicanism online during the last year.
It started with dioceses. Between the beginning of 2010 and the start of 2011, we saw the number of Anglican dioceses with websites shrink about 5%. Dozens of dioceses in India and Africa failed to renew their domain name registration, and ended up with expensive, professionally-designed sites whose abandoned addresses sent visitors to pornography, online gambling, free iPhone scams, or schemes to acquire (probably non-Anglican) brides from the former Soviet Union. There were times in 2010 when there was no online presence for the entire Province of Hong Kong or the Australian Diocese of Ballarat. There were also several months in which we saw the launch of a half dozen Nigerian, Rwandan, or Ugandan diocesan websites, none of which have lasted through to 2011.
This trend of shrinkage was just as true with parishes. In some instances, 20%-50% of a given diocese’s parishes have abandoned the use of the internet for informational or evangelical purposes. This means that it would have been much easier a year ago for you to use the internet to learn about a church and its service times. It also means that the people who have been the most persistent about maintaining a web-presence have a louder voice now than they did a year ago. From the pews where we sit and kneel and stand, this is not a positive development.
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What are the barriers for your church or diocese to keeping a web presence that is informative to those seeking a church as well as to members?