OnMyMission.com - I wish I had this while on my mission!

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OnMyMission-p40
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OnMyMission.com - I wish I had this while on my mission!

Postby OnMyMission-p40 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:32 pm

While I was on my mission it was difficult trying to write and send pictures to everyone back home. I just didn't have the time! I also had many non-member friends who were curious about what I was doing and how things were going but weren't comfortable bugging my parents for news or photos. In fact, it was a non-member who went to college with me who gave me the idea for the site.

So, I created http://www.OnMyMission.com - A place where friends and family can create a website for their missionary and share photos, letters, events and more with everyone. There are some fun features such as the interactive timeline which lets everyone see major events from the missionary. Of course there is also a map. I'm also finishing a feature that will let missionaries send us email and we will automatically extract the text and photos and post it directly on their website. Check out the demo missionary page at: http://www.OnMyMission.com/demo

I would love to hear any feedback anyone has. What would you change? What features are missing?

Some things might look like a programmer made it, but hey, thats what I am :) I could use a couple of nudges and hints with usability and design.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:09 pm

A missionary is instructed to only e-mail his immediate family, and some missionaries do not even have that privilege. So it would seem to me that the family would need to post any message or photos from the missionary to the site that they would like to make generally available.

We already have a place for that, and we forward e-mails to a select e-mail list of close relatives and friends. I suppose if we did not already have a place to park photos, we might consider something like this, but we would probably look for something that did not include so much advertising, although I realize that it does cost to do these things.

I like that the site requires a login (although I wonder if I could remember another one [grin] ). That does keep it more private. Does the family get to control who can login and see the information there?

OnMyMission-p40
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Postby OnMyMission-p40 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:23 pm

Thanks for your feedback.

Privacy was definitely one of the top priorities on the site. When I originally showed the site to parents I got very mixed requests. Some want their pages to be public so that relatives dont have to create an account to see it, while others want to lock down the pages and require the visitor to request permission or provide a password. We support all those methods of security.

The parents or friends of the missionary are definitely the ones who should really be putting the content up. We have a simple role/permission system that can grant 'editor' permissions to other visitors. That way many people can contribute photos, letters, etc.

I'm definitely looking for a way to get rid of the ads. Honestly, it was just a little experiment to see what kind of ads google would show for my site. I'm actually quite impressed with LDS missionary related ads that show up. Paying the bill isn't the priority right now though. I would love to just show lds specific services such as ones that provide care packages for missionaries.

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jeffvand
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Postby jeffvand » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:18 am

This is a great idea. My brother had a blog where he posted his stuff (via email so as not to break any rules). I see there is some sort of email functionality. That is good.

To help get the word out more and add some social features links to companion's websites would also be good. That is a good way for parents to keep up with their sons/daughters from another perspective. Sometimes you miss them so much you will take ALL the pictures/info you can get!

I like it. Is there going to be a paid version that will show the profile without any google ads?

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:11 am

Very cool app. Nicely done! I think that this is a site that I would use when my kids go on a mission.

Tom

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MorettiDP
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Postby MorettiDP » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:23 am

A wonderful feature! Need you help to translate it to Portuguese??? ^_^
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:12 pm

larrydkb wrote:...i.e. personal names of converts & investigators.


Way back when, we used to have a local newsletter that mentioned new converts. We stopped that when it was discovered that the antis were using it to build their "target" list.

So yes, the names of converts and investigators needs to be limited to prevent that.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

OnMyMission-p40
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Thanks everyone!

Postby OnMyMission-p40 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:49 pm

jeffvand wrote:This is a great idea. My brother had a blog where he posted his stuff (via email so as not to break any rules). I see there is some sort of email functionality. That is good.

To help get the word out more and add some social features links to companion's websites would also be good. That is a good way for parents to keep up with their sons/daughters from another perspective. Sometimes you miss them so much you will take ALL the pictures/info you can get!

I like it. Is there going to be a paid version that will show the profile without any google ads?


Thanks! Yes, the email parsing feature is in almost finished. I'm working on different ways to trigger the event that will read the emails and parse the text and photos.

Funny you should mention the companion idea. Thats another feature I started but haven't finished yet. Just incase you didn't notice, when you register and login you actually have a homepage/dashboard where you can create and also bookmark multiple missionary pages. So you could search for the companions and add them as a favorite. There is even a facebook'ish timeline to show you changes to your favorite missionary pages. I'll get to work on that feature though!

I actually coded up most of the site to support 'paid' pages, I just didnt know how much interest there would be. Sounds like I need to work more on that! What would you pay for unlimited pages, photos and other data?

tomw wrote:Very cool app. Nicely done! I think that this is a site that I would use when my kids go on a mission.

Tom


Thanks! All this feedback is definitely encouraging!

MorettiDP wrote:A wonderful feature! Need you help to translate it to Portuguese??? ^_^


Thanks for the offer! I'm actually in the middle of translating the whole site to Italian. I've create the site in a way where I'll be able to send xml files to people to help translate the site. I may contact you once I've tested the italian stuff.

larrydkb wrote:Looks good. I think it's cleaner than missionsite.net. While I like to read the letters and see the pictures on missionsite, sometimes they are not appropriate for general viewing, i.e. personal names of converts & investigators. That's something to consider.


Thanks! The design side always seems like the hardest part.

RussellHltn wrote:Way back when, we used to have a local newsletter that mentioned new converts. We stopped that when it was discovered that the antis were using it to build their "target" list.

So yes, the names of converts and investigators needs to be limited to prevent that.


Agreed, I hope users will take advantage of the flexible security options that are available.

----

With all that said. What's the best way to get the word out? Some suggested I print off business cards to hand to missionaries to mail home to their parents. Is that appropriate?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:13 pm

OnMyMission wrote:I actually coded up most of the site to support 'paid' pages, I just didnt know how much interest there would be. Sounds like I need to work more on that! What would you pay for unlimited pages, photos and other data?

Let's maybe keep discussion like this off of the public forums; perhaps you can contact each other via PM or email.

Thanks.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:33 pm

Along the lines of mkmurray's comments. We're OK with the site as-is, even with some advertising.

But if it becomes a commercial $ite, then the welcome mat starts getting rolled up. If you want to explore the gray areas, I'd suggest PMing Tomw to discuss it.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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