Jeff Jarvis has done us all a favor.  ‘What Would Google Do?‘ is a gift (well one you pay for). Through an engaging, informative, and flat out fun style he takes on his journey to reverse-engineer the company that defines ‘getting it’ today, Google.

This is the first book we are reading\blogging through in the theology after google class (and conference you can come to!!!).  As part of the class at Claremont I am kicking off the blog discussion of the book and the other class members, along with any of you readers, will be discussing the ideas in the book over the week. The book itself is organized into two parts.  In section one Jarvis lays out the results of his investigation in a series of rules that illuminate the shape and nature of a Googlely organization.  For example, in his chapter on the New Relationship he charges us to ‘give people control and we will use it’ and part of the New Economy is being ‘post-scarcity.’  By moving between lucid descriptions and well framed stories the reader not only comes to understand these new Google Rules and the world they describe but begins to dream with them.  That is one challenge for the class (and anyone else who wants to play along).  Dream with a couple rules and then share your dream of transformation for your own church OR the Church.  In class I just may throw the WWGD slide show up on the screen and get you all to start using it like you were making a presentation to a group of denomination heads at the National Council of Churches…hmmm that would be fun!!!

In part two of the book Jarvis takes the rules and puts them to work in a variety of industries.  I have to say that as he moved through chapters I would have expected like the music industry to Detroit and health care, I kept being amazed at how pertinent his collection of Google Rules continued to be.  At the end of section two he discusses ‘God’ for a minute, but I know there is much more going on in the church to report on and rip on.  At the beginning of the section he says ‘there are two ways to attack the problems of these industries: to reform the incumbents or to destroy them.’  I want to know which you believe is true about your own community of faith.  How would you outline an additional chapter on the church in America?  What stories, examples, etc would you link to as examples of a Googlely feast? What lessons do we have to learn from other industries that Jarvis tells?  I hope you are thinking about a cool blog entry now!

At the very end of the book Jarvis closes with a reflection on ‘Generation G,‘ those who grew up digital. It is radically impacting our relationships, privacy, connectedness, problem solving, expectations, etc, etc, etc.  How do you respond to the questions he raises?  What to they mean theologically? Anthropologically? Ecclesiologically?  Where would you begin a conversation on these issues philosophically? What new ethical questions will your kids need answers for that we haven’t even started talking about?

If you haven’t read the book get it or just dive in to one of the many links and videos below.  I will update the post over the week to link to the other bloggers who join in