“Godtube” presents alternative

I successfully pitched this short feature about the then-new website “Godtube” which aimed to present a wholesome alternative to Youtube.

The fastest growing website in the US has a mission – to spread God’s Word to the world.

GodTube.com, “the Christian alternative to YouTube,” was launched in May. According to comScore, a respected digital media intelligence provider, GodTube charted a phenomenal 973 per cent growth in August, with 1.7 million unique visitors. With founder Chris Wyatt claiming four million unique hits in October, the audience for the non-denominational Christian website is multiplying like the proverbial loaves and fishes.

Like YouTube, GodTube features professional and amateur videos. One favourite is “Baby Got Book,” a takeoff on Sir Mix-a-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back.” However, instead of a paean to large female posteriors, rapper Dan Smith praises the beauty of a girl carrying the Good Book:

“I like big Bibles and I cannot lie

You Christian brothers can’t deny

That when a girl walks in with a KJV. . .

You get stoked. . .”

GodTube also features social networking, which it touts as a family-friendly alternative to FaceBook; Christian-themed news broadcasts; and “Godcasting,” which allows churches to broadcast their services in real time.

CEO Wyatt is a former network TV producer with a good handle on promotion. His use of catchy terms like “Jesus 2.0 technology,” and “what would Jesus download?” in network TV news interviews have significantly raised GodTube’s American profile.

Looking north, Wyatt says Canada is GodTube’s second largest market with 250,000 regular users and 70 churches approached about “Godcasting.” There are more than 200 videos tagged “Canada,” including music videos, a Roman Catholic mass and an introduction to the “Big Valley Creation Science Museum.”

However, a small survey of web-savvy United Church ministers revealed that none knew of GodTube. One speculated that the use of tools like GodTube may fit better with churches that employ a more charismatic approach. Certainly, several of GodTube’s Canadian videos appear to reflect that. However, Pastor Jason Boucher of Ottawa’s Pentecostal-based Lifecentre, which videos and podcasts its services already, says if his church were to use an internet-based video service, it would simply use YouTube.

“As a church, Lifecentre would rather be smack in the midst of culture then on a side Christian site,” he commented.

The Internet’s potential outreach has also been noted by those of other faiths, notably Muslims and Jews, who have laid their offerings on the altar of the world wide web with “JewTube.com” and “IslamicTube.net.”

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