Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Training and role of the STS
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johnshaw
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Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby johnshaw » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:06 pm

I have felt, and continue to feel, that a social media presence for stakes and wards is a good thing. Now that the policies include Social Media as acceptable, how are your wards and stakes handling Social Media? And does it fall under the STS responsibilities?

Our current stake/ward does nothing, but my former stake has a strong social media presence, with an assistant stake executive secretary assigned to manage them. Missionary setting apart and releases are posted, items of inspiration at times, reminders for specific events, messages from senior missionary couples. videos created for youth conference and girls camp.

Do you employ any kind of strategy to 'get the word out' for social media?
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kellymab
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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby kellymab » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:39 pm

I am my YSA ward's website administrator. Our Ward has a Facebook page set to closed. Along with myself, our EQP, RSP, activities chairmen, and ES are all admins in the group. While I do most of the group join approvals, the EQP and RSP help identify individuals who should be approved, but are not on the ward roster (investigators, short term interns, etc).

All admins help to limit spam on the wall. Since our bishop gave direction of approving only those whose records are in our Ward or in a feeder family ward, we don't have much that needs to be removed anymore.

The activities people are admins got the sole purpose of being able to invite the whole group to ward activities via FB invites as we have over 250 people in the group.

Most posts are regarding ward/regional activities. Sometimes roommate requests and other personal posts.

We use the email member section of LCR to send weekly announcement emails to ward members. In both the email and sacrament bulletin we invite people to join. Announcements are frequently made inviting people to join.

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby sbradshaw » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:39 pm

My ward has a closed Facebook group as well (I assume the post above is also about a Facebook group, not page). It has been very helpful in building a sense of community for those who use it. You do have to be sure to get special word out to those who don't use Facebook as often.

Our ward clerk is the administrator; though I wish the assistant clerks or others were added as administrators as well because the ward clerk isn't on Facebook as often.

We do have a stake Facebook page (a page as opposed to a group), that I set up as a stake assistant clerk, but it is rarely used. The idea is that the stake president would post words of counsel and inspiration, etc. but then the stake presidency changed.

Here is a snapshot of the types of posts we've gotten in the last week in our ward group:
– Member sharing an inspiring family history experience she had today.
– Member asking if anyone has a tent to borrow.
– Sunday School president reminding people to study the Gospel Doctrine scriptures for this week.
– Member offering free leftover cake to ward members.
– Member asking if anyone has a cake pan to borrow.
– Member inviting others to participate with him in a local marathon.
– Home Evening group leader announcing time, place, activity.
– Member asking who lives in a certain apartment, trying to contact them.
– Home Evening group leader asking if anyone has a soccer ball to borrow.
– Ward council member announcing small activity.
– Member inviting others over to watch a movie.
– Service Committee member asking people to bring items to ward dinner.
– Relief Society sister posting a picture of the bread they made for the sacrament this week (first time with homemade bread!).
– Ward Mission Leader inviting members to an impromptu fourth of July activity.
– Relief Society teacher inviting sisters to come prepared for the next day's lesson.
– Bishopric member's wife asking for a volunteer to help move chairs for a ward activity.
– Ward member inviting others to play volleyball.
– Ward member asking for help with homework/studying.
– Ward member asking for help changing her bike tube.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

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johnshaw
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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby johnshaw » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:16 am

What I like about that list is that it gets out to people that aren't always part of the social crowd - social media being used as a more inclusive tool, very nice!
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:34 am

johnshaw wrote:And does it fall under the STS responsibilities?

It hasn't in my stake.

There might be some social media use, but I'm not sure as it's being done at the unit level.
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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby rsidwell » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:19 pm

And does it fall under the STS responsibilities?


Not officially. As a convenient technology expert, other leaders will probably expect the STS to be aware of the relevant Church policies, and the basics of using Social Media so he can give counsel and help when needed. But actual administration of the sites and posting of events and messages would be done by someone else.

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby johnshaw » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:13 am

My initial question was not meant to indicate in any way that the STS manage social media in the stake, but as the last post suggests, as the designated technology Subject Matter Expert in the stake about Technology, that a coherent strategy employing the use of Social Media should never exist without input from the STS.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby drepouille » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:29 am

Our previous ward RS presidency was overly reliant upon the "ward Facebook group" to disseminate announcements and reminders, and to request service. They rarely, if ever, used the lds.org calendar. Our bishop has encouraged our new RS president to use other, more direct and more official channels of communication.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby aebrown » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:51 am

drepouille wrote:They rarely, if ever, used the lds.org calendar. Our bishop has encouraged our new RS president to use other, more direct and more official channels of communication.

That of course is in line with Use of Online Resources in Church Callings, which states in point #9: "Websites, blogs, and social media profiles should not duplicate tools and features that are already available on LDS.org." Since the Calendar is a "tool ... already available on LDS.org," it should be used as the primary calendaring system.

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Re: Is Social Media part of Stake Technology?

Postby lmcguire » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:12 am

drepouille wrote:Our previous ward RS presidency was overly reliant upon the "ward Facebook group" to disseminate announcements and reminders, and to request service. They rarely, if ever, used the lds.org calendar. Our bishop has encouraged our new RS president to use other, more direct and more official channels of communication.

Thank you for that (and AEBrown's post). I will not agree to the Facebook terms and conditions, so I don't have a Facebook account*. If my ward relied on that for announcements, some members in my area would never know about anything. (I have no problem with people using social media in addition to church tools - I just don't want it used in place of them, or as a single source of information.)

Sort of off topic, but I think the LDS Tools / LDS.org calendar is very under-used (in my area at least). It seems like we have one or more of the following problems (I don't know which are contributing, but I'm certain some are):

(1) Rights are not properly designed / granted: Calendar items can only be added / updated / removed by a few men who are hard to reach, have no personal investment in the calendar item, and whom people don't want to "bother" with updates. (IMO, the "centralized control" approach to rights is very "last century" - where the person who has the right to do it doesn't know what needs to be done; and the person who knows what needs to be done doesn't have the right to do it.) (If rights are indeed restricted this way as it appears in my area, #3 may well be the cause.)

(2) Training: Whatever is happening with rights, people who organize activities ought to have training regarding how to get those activities on the calendar, including encouragement to get them there, to provide the same details that go on the paper posters around the building, and to have them updated as more details become available. (Even if it means more frequently "bothering" the people with rights. If needed, people with rights ought to get training on how not to be "bothered" by other people doing their calling...)

(3) Room Reservation vs. Announcements: The calendar serves both functions. Room reservation demands that calendar items be created as early as possible in order to ensure the room is reserved. But details of an activity aren't known until much later, after the calendar is forgotten, so details are never added / updated. Room reservation may require more strict rights, or at least priorities (with notifications when someone's reservation is denied / revoked / trumped by a higher power). Calendar announcement changes don't need such strict rights, nor prioritization or "trump" handling / notification.

A lot more information could be included about activities, and it could get updated when needed, and every official ward / stake / mission? / area? / church activity could be put on there... (And I wish they were.) The fact that there are areas where social media is used in place of (or better than) the calendar is evidence of all of the above problems (overly-restricted access, under-trained responsible parties, insufficient data when it is used) - people use what they know, and what's easiest - the calendar should be known, and easy. I think the STS should do everything in their power to ensure church tech tools are known and people with rights (or data) are well trained (unless that's not actually one of their official responsibilities - I actually have no clue what these folks are supposed to do and have never knowingly seen one)...

FWIW,

Liz
*I sometimes consider getting a Facebook account for my stuffed burro (Burrito, the tree-climbing burro). He has no objections to their terms and conditions. But he rarely has much to say, and hasn't had his picture taken in eons... :lol:


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