Please use FeAutor

/ 22 July 2008

Dear friendly readers: in two short weeks I’ll be presenting a paper at a conference in Brazil. The centerpiece of the paper will be the website I’ve been helping to create, I would really like to have more examples to share from the site (there are a ton of things up there right now, but almost all of them have been contributed by one group, the ELCA regional resource directors). Don’t get me wrong, the resources that that group has put up are wonderful — check them out! — but here’s my challenge to you: why not take a few minutes right now and dig out something you’ve created and publish it on the site?

Perhaps you don't remember what FeAutor is? is a new website (it's still in beta version) that I, and a number of other people across the Americas, have been building. It's intended to be an open source religious resource publishing site (hence "fe" + "autor" which is, roughly translated, "faith author" in Spanish). Much like YouTube or Flickr, it's a place where anyone can upload files that they want to share with other people. Unlike YouTube, and somewhat unlike Flickr (where it's a choice, but a buried one), EVERYTHING that is uploaded to FeAutor carries a Creative Commons license (that happens during the upload process). CC licenses work within existing copyright regimes, but grant immediate free use to people in noncommercial contexts.

Also, unlike either of those sites, this one is expressly intended to help people of faith find and share things they've created. Right now most of the site is populated by things you'd find in a regional resource center open file (job descriptions, church policy statements, opening worship prayers, adult bible study questions, etc.), but we're hoping also to become a place that people see as an additional site for other creative work. And we can accept just about any kind of file - including video files that are then converted to stream in live format (like YouTube), photos, audio files, etc.

There is no editorial control upfront (we offer a range of reviewing, tagging and other functions), and people can upload things in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese or Korean (and we're adding French) (this means you can navigate the site in all of those languages, and search in them).

So... think about it! Perhaps you have a photo you've taken that has religious elements to it, or that evokes your own spiritual resonance. perhaps you have a short video you've created that tells the story of a ministry program, or that asks a religious question. Perhaps you have a bible study, or a retreat outline, or a sermon. Maybe you've got a paper you wrote in seminary that you've always wanted to share. Please take a few minutes and upload it. You first need to register -- a process which is free and painless -- and then when you receive your password (something that should be automatic, and which you can change once you're logged in) -- you can upload a file from your computer.

The ELCA group has created a short video that explains the process for their part of the site, but it works the same across the board. Please consider doing this -- and don't let your fear that your work is not perfect stop you. Precisely like all other such sites (YouTube, Flickr, etc.) -- this site is for sharing and learning, not perfection. Check it out!