Electronic Church Program

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Electronic Church Program

Postby lmstahle94 » Fri May 19, 2017 7:47 am

Has anyone found a great way to make the church program electronic? I was in a ward that emailed it. What else have you guys used or seen?

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Re: Electronic Church Program

Postby sbradshaw » Fri May 19, 2017 12:53 pm

I've seen several ideas bounced around on the forum here, but none that have stuck. There are three main ways it could be distributed:
1. Distribute to all ward members (email, text, social media).
2. Distribute to anyone who walks in the building (QR code, near-field communication, screen at the front that shows the order of speakers).
3. Make it publicly available at a link (ward web site, ward app).

Some of the problems that have come up are:
– If the program contains people's names (or even contact info or birthdays, which it shouldn't), you have to control access somehow; otherwise, you have to make it very generic.
– In most wards (YSA wards could be an exception) there are some who prefer not to use technology, but want a physical program to hold onto.
– There's probably someone in your ward who doesn't have access to a smart phone or the internet.
– You can't expect as many people to use a digital program as would a physical program, because it's not handed to them – so you can no longer rely on it exclusively for anything important.
– It has to be maintainable for anyone new who receives the responsibility for programs.
– The purpose of a program is to make sacrament meeting feel special (like a program at a graduation or a concert), and digital programs would lose this benefit. But not all wards use programs anyway (it's not mandated by the Handbook) so this may not apply.

If you're in a position to experiment, I'd love to hear what you come up with and how it works!
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

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Re: Electronic Church Program

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:04 pm

I've been tasked with this same question -- how do we get rid of the paper programs? We will have a handful of printed ones available for those with no electronic access.

There are obvious hurdles and this has been brought up several times on the forums but no real discussion got going from those actually doing it and HOW they are doing it. I don't want to rehash the "why" and "this is a bad idea" but instead focus on the HOW.

Emailing out a PDF would be the easiest but it is NOT formatted well for reading on a small device. This has formatting challenges -- e.g. font size is fixed, line wrapping is based on paper layout/size, etc. This leaves the user scrolling and pinch zooming a lot.

My thought is to use the epub format and to create an online catalog of the programs. Epub files solve the formatting problems mentioned above. Users could use an epub reader that allows the user to 'add' a catalog/store via a URL. This URL would link to our sacrament programs in epub format. https://dearauthor.com/ebooks/create-your-own-cloud-of-ebooks-with-calibre-calibre-opds-dropbox/ Then we could update the catalog each week and the users epub reader on their electronic device would be refreshed when they access it. (Google Docs supports an export in epub format)

Has anyone tried such a thing? If you're doing it another way, how are you doing it?

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Re: Electronic Church Program

Postby chriswoodut » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:02 am

After pitching my idea to my wife she coyly said, "why don't you just send it as an email to everyone?" With some basic formatting tools now in LCR for emails, I guess this is just as good, and quite a bit less complex, than an epub file. Or, I could do an email with the pdf and epub attached. Still thinking it through.... It has to be simple enough for others to maintain the process.

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