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How the Internet has affected the Craft By: W.Bro. Mike Bayrak 1e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak.

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Presentation on theme: "How the Internet has affected the Craft By: W.Bro. Mike Bayrak 1e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak."— Presentation transcript:

1 How the Internet has affected the Craft By: W.Bro. Mike Bayrak 1e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

2 Outline The Internet Freemasonry on the Internet Ivanhoe on the Internet How has the Internet affected: Freemasonry? Ivanhoe Lodge? Personal experience Questions to consider Conclusion 2e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

3 The Internet ARPANET created in 1969 originally used for the U.S. Military Al Gore did NOT invent it. 80s – Mostly universities Became mainstream in mid-90s Email, FTP World Wide Web (graphic HTML pages) Late 90s Chat, Databases, E-Commerce boom, standardizations 3e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

4 Web 2.0 More user-friendly online editable content Google dominates search RSS (Really Simple Subscription) a.k.a. feeds data comes to you through a reader Weblogs: Blogger, Wordpress, MS Spaces, Twitter (microblog) Social networks Facebook MySpace YouTube MSN Skype online dating Mobile Web - Internet in the palm of your hand 4e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

5 Freemasonry on the Internet Early to mid 90s BBS: Canmas Newsgroups: alt.freemasonry Late 90s More lodge and grand lodge websites Poorly presented Conspiracy and anti-masonry sites Secrets easily found 5e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

6 Freemasonry & Web 2.0 Lodge and Grand Lodge websites much improved Regularly updated, calendars, lots of info Men looking for information to join are finding it Internet Lodges of Research created Masonic discussion groups Brethren connecting from around the world and comparing rites, protocol, esoterica Personal Masonic blogs Brethren sharing their Masonic experiences publically yet carefully Radio Free Mason, Freemason Information Online Masonic radio broadcasts with music, interviews, editorials 6e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

7 Ivanhoe Lodge on the Web Went online in 1999, one of few lodges in Alberta with a website Several domain names and designs Now: Using WordPress online content editing system Google Calendar notifications to email Picasa online photo albums (new!) Facebook group (private) Email list (~70 brethren) 7e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

8 Lodge Website e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak8

9 Updating website using WordPress... e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak9

10 Online Photo Albums e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak10

11 Facebook Page e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak11

12 How has the Internet affected Freemasonry? 12e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

13 Positives Brethren connecting globally, bringing people together more easily than ever before Sharing of Masonic experiences and knowledge on discussion groups Masonic papers, graphics, discussions, education and research readily available Positive public image Email can save in postage and printing costs for a lodge Men going to websites for info and asking to join Finding and visiting a lodge is a lot easier 13e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

14 Negatives Anti-Masonic sites everywhere New World Order / Illuminati conspiracies Postings on news and discussion groups by people disseminating myths and lies Fundamental Christian groups blasting Masonry for being anti-Christian and devil worshippers Secrets and ritual readily available Men joining are doing it out of curiosity Clandestine lodges and grand lodges attracting members away from regular Has it made Masonic social discourse less personal? 14e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

15 How has the Internet affected Ivanhoe Lodge? 15e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

16 Positively History of lodge can be read at anytime by anyone Gives us a strong presence amongst dozens of lodges and shows that we are a modern lodge in the 21 st century Sharing of lodge event photos Many good men joined because of website Visitors and brethren looking for a lodge to affiliate with seems to have increased Online calendar with automatic event email notifications has slightly improved attendance Out of town brethren can feel like they are still in the loop Brethren and officers are organizing and discussing lodge matters via email, increasing efficiency 16e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

17 Negatively People were looking for: booking info on Freemasons Hall Information on members Men interested in joining: Emails seemed insincere and odd Receiving too many Are brethren receiving more Masonic education online than through the lodge itself? 17e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

18 Personal Experience Before I considered joining, I discussed Masonry online with people from around the world I still continue to research and discuss online for Masonic education and info, although in my opinion, books still prevail Have sponsored several individuals who found us online Organized lodge events and practices using email When travelling and visiting lodges, I use the Internet to search and contact Currently an administrator of The Three Pillars online Masonic community and have met many of the members in person in different cities (see, nothing beats face-to-face!) 18e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

19 Questions to consider Has Freemasonrys increased presence on the web increased men joining lodges? Not really, but it hasnt hurt it either Searches for Freemasons have mostly corresponded with the release of movies such as National Treasure and Dan Brown novels/movies 19e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

20 Freemasons Knights Templar National Treasure Da Vinci Code The Lost Symbol 20e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak Google Search Volume

21 Consider this... Lodges generally do not have a recruitment problem, they have a retention problem initiations ~= deaths SNPD + demits has decreased but it continues So, how can lodges utilize the web to retain members? or... Are lodges that utilize the web too much becoming less personal to their members? Is there a balance? 21e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

22 Conclusions While emails, online discussion and education is less personal, lodges need to balance this with continued calling, face-to-face meetings, and social discourse Lodges can be more efficient using Internet tools to contact more brethren, collect dues, etc. Some people prefer to be contacted by email, some prefer phone Website info can publically counteract the existing negativity, myths, and false information about Freemasonry and can attract interested men Technology should not replace the fundamental aspects of the Craft Sponsoring and mentoring new members COMELY But it can be an enhancement to an already rewarding experience 22e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak

23 My favourite research sites e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak23

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29 Questions? e-Masonry by WBro. M. Bayrak29

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