Got a question? Need information? Found a solution? Discovered a workaround? If this describes your experience with LDS technology, the discussions at tech.lds.org/forum should be your go-to place to collaborate on any number of issues.
The forum at LDSTech is the only official Church-sponsored community discussion board for technology. Since 2006 more than 130,000 posts, on nearly 20,000 topics have been shared, with new entries added every day.
People like you who are interested and using technology follow it. Administrators and site monitors watch it every day and share experiences and expertise because they enjoy helping people. One site monitor and frequent responder in the forum, known as “Russellhltn,” explained that it is not for some questions, such as fixing an address in Church records, but many questions lend themselves to public discussion, and fellow technology users are valuable sources of information.
A quick review of forum rules, roles, functionality, features will keep this community collaboration tool up-to-date and relevant. If you have yet to discover the forum, set a goal to get involved in 2015.
The “Code of Conduct” forms the ground rules for participating in the Forum. Take a minute to review the policies. You are encouraged to participate in a way that keeps the forum friendly and helpful for all. Be factual, and solution-oriented. Keep your posts brief and to the point. Do not use the forum for self-promotion, and respect the opinions of others. All content is monitored, and users who violate the policies will have their posts removed, or access blocked.
The forum is open to anyone for browsing, but requires you to login with your LDS Account to post a question or reply to other posts. Anyone can start a new topic, but only admins can add new categories and secondary forums.
The forum thrives when users help each other. Alan E Brown, a site monitor who spends several hours per week responding to posts, encourages people to ask questions. “Don’t be timid. If you don’t ask, you won’t get an answer!” Before asking a question, search the forum for an answer first. Someone may have already have found a solution for you. Alan also said, “Don’t be afraid to answer questions, if you feel you have something to contribute.”
When new users create a forum profile, avatar, and preferences in the “User Control Panel,” they gain the ability to aggregate their posts into a searchable list, engage in private messaging, and other privileges. You will see the link to the control panel at the top when you are logged in.
Most profile fields are optional, but one very helpful piece of information is your location, as this assists responders with answers that are more specific to country of access.
The Forum is arranged into several major categories to target specific audiences. For instance, “Church Technology for Members” is separate from “Clerk Support.” Within categories are sub-categories and secondary forums which are further subdivided into topics and discussions. A forum description tells you what kind of information belongs in the forum. Within a topic, discussions may be sorted and filtered in various ways using options at the bottom of your screen.
When you access the forum, the search box at the top is specific to the entire forum. When you select a secondary forum, a search box allows you to refine your search. The results display with your search criteria highlighted in pink.
Searching is not intuitive enough to know when you use “delete”, you also mean “deleted”, “deleting”, and “deletions” as well, so experiment with search criteria. Consider using a web search engine like “Google” by typing: “Site: tech.lds.org/forum” into the search box followed by a space and then your search criteria.
When you add a new topic, make your best guess where it belongs. Site monitors will move posts to be with similar posts, if needed.