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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook

WaterBrook Press Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook

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3.75 out of 5
3.8
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Customer Reviews for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Review 1 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

on Tweeting a Revival

Date:February 28, 2013
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theTRu
Location:Northern, VA
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
It might just be me, but sometimes, when I'm reading a book, I feel like reaching through the pages and throttling the author. Or, perhaps something less violent, like shouting my arguments and wrestling in a debate akin to one of the many sports talk shows I frequently watch. Such is how I feel when I read books like Viral.
It may be simply that Sweet comes across as arrogant by insisting to use words that cost significantly more than necessary. Or perhaps it's less personal. Perhaps my angst is driven by the faulty premise I see over and over, one that is also derived from arrogance, in a sense. It seems the thesis of Viral rests on the foundation of believing that modern society has surpassed all of history's previous generations in splendor and sophistication. It is the belief that our modern technology has advanced the human race is finally positioned to take its rightful place as sons and daughters of God. In truth, we've always been there.
Sweet posits that the current tools of the digital age have unlocked the power to spark a revival among the next generation, dubbed Googlers. Unfortunately, (rather, what was particularly bothersome to me) this belief leads Sweet to villainize Gutenbergers and ignore the faults of Googlers. Though Sweet offers some interesting potentials for Twitter, Facebook, and the like, he fails to fully address motives, intentions, and practicalities.
It's a rather one-sided glimpse at what the future may hold. And, though it also seems short-sighted, it's a provocative read, one that spurs on an inner debate dialogue, if you're into that sort of thing.
- from trudatmusic[dot]com[slash]raw
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Review 2 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Unique approach to ministry

Date:December 1, 2012
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pastor les
Location:Williamston,MI
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I found this a unique approach to ministry. I must admit I have found it difficult to wade through the book,"Viral"
It is probably because I am as he puts it,"a Gutenberger".For me the book was wordy and not up to what I had hoped I would find in reading the book. I am being hard on the author,but I found that it was not that applicable to me. Oh there were some good points and undoubtedly will be "great for the googlers of this age."
You will have to read it and make your own decison.
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Review 3 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Reviewing Viral (Leonard Sweet)

Date:October 9, 2012
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Justin
Location:Denver
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I have been reading Leonard Sweet’s new book Viral which talks about the developing world of Googlers (technology natives) over and against the Gutenbergers (print natives). I’ve had the privilege of hearing Sweet speak at the inauguration of my colleges last president and found him compelling and engaging then, so I was excited to read this book. In Viral he highlights the differences of Googlers and Gutenbergers and offers a compelling reason for Googlers to embrace who they are and for Gutenburgers to adopt Googler practices. While never explicitly saying so, his dividing seems to also be in line with the philosophical shift from modernity to post-modernity. He highlights the way truth is perceived and communicated by each group and offers solutions for moving forward in the world.
Sweet clearly seems to be writing more for the Gutenberg audience, trying to persuade them to join a Google revolution in ministry and cultural engagement. For anyone wondering, he offers a helpful questionnaire at the beginning of the book so you know which camp to place yourself.
Sweet’s main points revolve around the acronym TGIF, which stands for Twitter, Google, iPhone and Facebook. He examines each one and shows how it has played a part in the sharing, distribution and perception of truth. He highlights things like community, openness and shared knowledge as the way the Googler culture works. It is defined not primarily because I (or anyone) is an expert but because we have access to knowledge and information.
As a Google native I felt it a bit hard to keep reading. It was, in a very real sense, a book written about me. It is a book that is going to be more helpful to those that identify themselves as a child of Gutenberg in helping them transition into a Google world.
His most helpful analogy in the book was his examination of the apple and the orange and how each relates to either a Gutenberger or a Googler. The observation is that an Apple is holistic in the way we eat it. You can get a little bit of every part of the apple. Googlers approach the world in the same mindset. They, at their center of their very identity, long to be an integrated and whole person. Oranges on the other hand (Gutenbergers) are segmented. You peel an orange and eat individual segments. Each part of the fruit is broken up and taken individually. He looks at things like the segmentation of the Bible (the introduction of chapters and verses) as an example. You don’t get a PhD in Bible, you get a PhD in Pauline eschatology for example. This is a segmentation of the entire whole of the Bible. Googlers are seeking to reconnect what Gutenbergers have segmented and broken.
It should also not go without note that each chapter concludes with a few group questions for discussions. This sets it up quite easily to be a good book for a small group to study, particularly a middle-aged (or slightly younger) group of people that are Gutenbergers but have Google children. It will explain some of the differences that each group has and ways to move forward.
Quickly, a shorter review (my own categories):
Level of readability: Easy (Sweet avoids overly complicated terms and ideas)
Understanding of Arguments and Thesis: Easy (You can quickly pick up where he is going)
Level of engagement: High (This is a book you want to keep reading)
Overall: 3 1/2 or 4 stars out of 5. While it won’t be on my list of must reads, it is a strong and enormously helpful book for those wondering where the future of ministry is heading in a technologically driven age.
Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the BloggingForBooks program offered by WaterBrook Multnomah publishing. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are expressly and entirely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review.
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Review 4 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Wonder why we're different?

Date:September 24, 2012
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rbwhitlow
Location:Oklahoma City, OK
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Leonard Sweet's book Viral was a real help to me. I am a middle-aged pastor and much of communicating the gospel to this generation who sees Church as either unimportant or evil is quite mind-boggling to me. Sweet's breakdown between Gutenbergers (me) and Googlers (everyone younger than me) helped illuminate some of the fundamental differences in how differently the generations receive and process information and truth. I think this book would be equally helpful to a young person who is mystified by the older generation's attachment to things such as organizations and committee meetings.
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."
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Review 5 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not so Viral

Date:September 15, 2012
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mattparks35
Location:Carthage, MO
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The author brings forth a unique and definitely relevant view of social media. His comparison between what he calls the Gutenbergers and the Googlers is spot on, especially of the difficulty of each group trying to relate to the other. But that is about it. He tries to explain how social media has the potential to stimulate revival. He is definitely a Gutenberger, because ironically he calls himself a Googler and yet takes so much time to say virtually nothing, or at least very little of interest to me. It took me six months to read the first half of the book, and I cringed at the thought of having to finish it. There is no doubt about the author’s intent. He wants to share the gospel and get others to do so. Social media is definitely an avenue to be open and honest about our lives. But more than anything else, social media also has the potential to make everything superficial and impersonal.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of a book review bloggers program. Clearly I was not under any obligation to write a positive review. Regardless of my feeble thoughts, I pray that this book will bring others to Christ.
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Review 6 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Leonard Sweet wades into the cultural divide ...

Date:March 26, 2012
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
One book states the church in America is dead and its hope rests on the next batch of Christians. Another says the new batch of Christians embrace rather than engage secular culture, and has given up the Gospel message and the mission of making disciples.
What effect does culture have on the church today? And what are the possibilities for the church tomorrow?
Theologian Leonard Sweet has waded into that cultural divide within the church in his latest book, "Viral" (published by WaterBrook Press), in a helpful and insightful way.
Instead of choosing one erroneous side over another, Sweet brings a different view by helping his readers first understand that we now live in a "TGIF" (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook) culture. This TGIF culture churns out change through technological advancements at break-neck speeds, change which Sweet says, "If you're not willing to move with it, the world will move without you."
"My concern is not the effect that evolving technology has on faith, but how culture (of which technology is a part) shapes Christian beliefs and forms biases, and the way Christianity is practiced in the context of culture," writes Sweet.
Sweet goes on to describe how culture, with its technology, has shaped two divergent camps within the the church: the "Gutenbergers" and the "Googlers." Sweet then plunges his readers into a thorough description of each camp, highlighting an appreciation for both before moving on to their weaknesses.
"Each new generation needs to start fresh, but not from scratch. This is one reason Googlers need Gutenbergers, and vice versa. When we separate ourselves from the inherited memories of our ancestors, when the texts and traditions of the past do not join the present, the future is in jeopardy. There is no future without the past. Updating is fixing the bugs, removing the toxins, and improving the connection to the original Operating System ..." Sweet writes.
Without being dismissive of the Gutenberger culture, Sweet helps the reader see how the Googler culture may be exactly what the subtitle of the books states: "How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival."
"Anyone older than forty will freely admit that the world changes at a dizzying, disorienting pace. But for Googlers, change is life. It's not daunting; it's hopeful. It presents the possibility that advances might be introduced that will improve the lives of humanity. Imagination, vision, and the desire to make change a positive force are traits Googlers have in abundance, and these are reasons the Christian community needs to take Googlers seriously," Sweet states.
Sweet openly admits he was born into, and easily identifies with, the Gutenberger culture, but like many others has been able to transition into the TGIF culture of Googlers. Indeed, Sweet writes with the enthusiasm of one who has been an early adapter to change because of the possibilities he sees for the church, the foremost being revival.
"Viral" is loaded with a host of insights that will challenge the thinking of readers. It also has some opinion you may not fully embrace. For example, Sweet indulges in a lengthy rant about the near essential value of poetry for the church. While I was able to sympathize with his arguments, I can't fully support his stance that poetry holds quite that level of significance; readers will have varying thoughts on such positions.
This is a timely topic addressed in a thoughtful manner with biblical and practical insight. "Viral" may not be a "must read," but it definitely can be considered an interesting, even beneficial read, worth adding to your stack of books to get to.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 7 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Thought provoking book

Date:February 26, 2012
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wheelsms
Location:Seattle, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Are you a Gutenberger or a Googler? Gutenbergers arrived from the twentieth century while Googlers are at home in the twenty-first century. Gutenbergers were shaped by the space race, John Kennedy, the Cold War, and the Beatles. Googlers are the digitized, globalized group that spends much of its life getting to know one another in a virtual world. Gutenbergers prefer reading books printed on paper while Googlers use an iPad, Kindle, or e-reader. Needless to say, each group approaches faith from a different point of view.
This understanding fuels the premise of Leonard Sweet’s latest offering. He explains that we live in a TGIF world—a world dominated by Twitter, Google, iPhones, and Facebook. Each of these tools has something to contribute to faith, namely, the importance of relationships. They help teach Christians how to be better friends to people who need God.
I found parts of the book easy to understand, follow, and benefit from. Others parts were a bit too philosophical for my taste. I had a harder time understanding those sections. But it caused me to rethink social networking and how it can be used for ministry purposes.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 8 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Viral - book review

Date:February 22, 2012
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Tony Brackemyre
Location:Wilmington OH
Age:35-44
Gender:male
I’ve had the opportunity to hear Leonard Sweet speak on one or two occasions and have read some of his other writings. I like his insights and how he sees how the church can impact culture. I also find myself having to read a paragraph a couple of times to really grasp what it is he is trying to say. While he is a student of culture, he also brings his love for history and poetry into his writing. He definitely challenges your thinking.
In Viral, he draws a distinction between two groups of people. One groups he called “Googlers.” Sweet sees them as natives to the culture of social media. The other group he calls “Gutenbergers,” meaning those who grew up in the culture of the printed word. I found it slightly ironic that his message about a more digital form of media arrived to me in printed (paperback) form. I think it shows the continued tension that exists as part of our culture has embraced the digital while others cling to printed text.
Sweet uses this acronym in his book: TGIF. It doesn’t refer to the well-known phrase many use as they anticipate the weekend. Instead, he gives it new meaning to highlight the growth of social networking: Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook. In his book, he explains the impact of each of these on our culture.
One of the big distinctions Sweet points to about the Googler versus Gutenberger culture is the idea of connection. Those who have embraced social media in its many forms are about connecting with others. While some in the Gutenberger camp see the connections as superficial, for the Googler, they are relational connections.
Sweet encourages the church to take advantage of the desire for connection. Throughout Viral Sweet looks at ways the church and individual Christ followers can make use of social media to advance the message of Jesus.
Viral would be a good read for both the Googler and Gutenberger. Social media has and will continue to impact our culture. Our response will be how we chose to make use of it.
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Review 9 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Minister to the current culture

Date:February 22, 2012
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Jared B
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Leonard Sweet's lastest book is an attempt to understand the current cultural phenomena that is found in social media. This is essentially a look at the modern and postmodern mindsets and lifestyles, but Sweet refers to them as Gutenbergers and Googlers respectively. I felt that Sweet did a fair job of defining them both and did not take a side with one being right over the other. Instead Sweet goes into this with the understanding that in order for the church to survive it will have to take the Googlers culture very seriously. The meat of the book is centered around dissecting the Google culture which he does using the acronym TGIF (Twitter, Google, Iphone, Facebook). It seems that this book is targeted to those in the Gutenberg culture in order to become more familiar with the Google culture and in addition to understand how the church can use the tools available to minister within the culture. I felt it was very well written and easy to understand. I would recommend this book very highly.
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Review 10 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Revival Could Go "VIRAL" Through Social Networking

Date:February 16, 2012
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Cory McCaig
Location:Bowling Green, KY
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When Leonard Sweet's new book Viral is released this March, I recommend all pastors and ministry staff set a while at the feet of a messenger who has his finger on the pulse of the today’s culture. In this book Sweet introduces the reader to the TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, and Facebook) culture that we now live in. A captivating case is presented on how today’s Christian needs to seek the efforts of social networking to share the gospel message. You will be challenged to step out of the “Gutenberg” (life before TGIF) ways of thinking and approach people in the culture and context they are now currently in. Sweet will inspire you to stretch your own opinions and uses of social networking for the glory of Christ. It is refreshing how Sweet doesn’t compromise biblical truth, while at the same time challenges the reader to make the “Story” of the gospel real to people in the 21st century. If the church is going to fulfill the Great Commission then we must do it in the ways and times we live in and Viral will show you just how to do that.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 11 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Viral

Date:February 14, 2012
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jnjdet
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I found this quite an interesting read. The book begins by pointing out the major differences between two cultures of Gutenberger's and Googler's. The generations have some major differences and should be addressed in light of how we share the Gospel and build relationships with others. I think he made some great points about how social media can be used to share the Gospel. I also think this is quite a timely book since social media isn't going away. It's growing and will continue to grow so I believe its beneficial to be knowledgeable about this Googler generation. I will say that certain chapters are drawn out and I felt like he kept repeating his point which caused me to skim certain chapters. All in all I thought it was a valuable read and would recommend it.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.
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Review 12 for Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very valid and timely.

Date:February 3, 2012
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PCole
Viral is about the social networking opportunities provided by the major websites available today, more specifically, how they should be seen as opportunities and venues to share the gospel. I agree with Leonard Sweet in that they can open up new opportunities to share your witness with others.
To start out, he talks about two basic groups, those who grew up without being immersed in technology, and those that did. He describes their outlook on how relationships should be, and how people should act. Looking through how he broke them up made me realized I have good
and bad pieces of each group, and that one is not any better than the other.
He talks how the without technology group can tend to focus on numbers and rules. On the other end, the with technology group focuses on relationships. Though both schools have a point, focusing on on any one of those things can cause trouble.
After he gives you a background into the groups he's using, and where he sees himself fitting in, Leonard Sweet tells how the technology is here, and it would be better to use it, instead of railing against it.
He tells how he uses some of the big names, like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, and how it would benefit people who say they want to share Christ with others to use them as well. He underlines this belief with the thought that, since times have changed, the method of sharing the
gospel needs to be adapted. Not that the gospel needs, or should be, changed, but how it is shared.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Viral, and I believe it does a good job of relating how social media can be used to continue following Jesus. However, I do think that in some chapters he spent too much time making his point. The chapter on poetry, and how it actually fit in with life and the gospel, seemed to go on and on. That is my opinion,
so you may see it differently. Also, I do disagree with the point he appeared to make that relationships are better with social media. I do see that, but I also see quite a few real life relationships that have suffered because of virtual relationships.
Also, I might have missed it, but I would have liked to see a warning about letting the social networks consume all of your time. I think that is way too easy to do unless you have set boundaries. Of course, that is true of any pursuit.
I received a copy of Viral from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.
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