Friday, July 29, 2011

Intercom Website Reviews

My June website reviews for the ever awesome Intercom (subscribe today!!!)

The official website of the Catholic Bishops has been revamped and is well worth visiting and bookmarking if you have not done so already. The site is very user friendly and easy to navigate which is useful as the site contains a huge amount of information and resources. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate the main sections of the site; news, features, publications, multimedia and the calendar. The multimedia section is excellent and contains audio and video files on important developments in the Catholic Church which are hosted on YouTube and therefore easily shared on social media and parish website. Particularly noteworthy are the new resources on the New Missal, including videos and resources from the National Centre for Liturgy.

The new Vatican news website is an excellent website featuring rich audio-visual media that can be easily shared on social networks. According to the Vatican, the website was ultimately created to ‘dialogue with the world.’ The site aims to gather news from all parts of the Catholic world and make it easy to absorb and discuss it. Since ‘dialogue’ is the ground of the modern communication revolution, this new site is bound to please the online Catholic community. The site also appears to have embraced a recurring criticism of previous Vatican websites that they tended to be quite drab. The site is colourful and contains content that changes quickly, surely a sign that the Vatican is embracing the fast paced, information hungry Internet. It includes Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter integration, streaming video, blogs, and a full archive of media. And mobile fans need not worry: everything on the site is fully accessible through iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. the news portal will offer live-streaming of papal events, audio clips from the Vatican Radio, pictures from the newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and printed transcripts of papal homilies, statements and speeches. Each of the Vatican media represented on the portal, including the Vatican Television Centre and the Vatican press office and information service, will retain their independent websites.
While the portal will initially offer two languages, English and Italian, the Vatican plans to add German, French, Spanish and Portuguese versions to the website over time. The Vatican may also add a search function and a distinct link to the Vatican homepage.  And yes, I am jealous of the fact the Pope has an iPad :)

The website of the Pontifical Council for the Laity was updated recently and now is split into four main sections-associations and movements, youth, women, and the Church and Sport. The website is a good source of resources for those who would like to know more about the role of the laity in the Church. The site has yet to embrace the design of more modern sites but is worth taking the time to navigate and see what is available.

Lastly for those who have embrace Twitter make sure to follow the Intercom magazine @IntercomJournal and give your feedback on content as well as what you would like to see included in future features!

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