Are all the pieces of Classic LUWS really soon to be in place on LDS.org?

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
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aebrown
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Are all the pieces of Classic LUWS really soon to be in place on LDS.org?

Postby aebrown » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:02 pm

Near the end of the recent LDSTech blog post Newsletter, a New LDS.org Tool To Be Released into Beta Mid-February, there's an interesting little note:
Newsletter fills the last missing tool needed to retire the classic local unit website, which will be soon discontinued.
My question is: Is Newsletter really the last missing tool?

There's one more minor tool that's missing: the links to Web Resources. However, if the new Newsletter tool allows links to be put in a post (and there was a reference in the linked article that said you could "insert links"), then this could easily be handled in one or more posts with links.

But the biggest missing piece is the ward and stake websites themselves. In the Classic site, these served three useful purposes:

  • They were the glue that held together all these tools.
  • They linked wards to the stake and the stake to the wards.
  • They provided a presence on the web for the ward and stake, where meeting times, address, and a message
The first point is probably a minor issue for the new tools, since the Tools menu serves as that glue and does a pretty good job.

The second point is half satisfied by the Maps application (both the current and the Beta Maps) -- when you are looking at a ward's popup, you can go to the Assigned tab and see the stake the ward belongs to, and you can follow the stake's link to see the stake's popup. But there is no way to go the other direction -- you can't see the wards and branches assigned to the stake. That's a loss from the classic site -- not a deal breaker, but a loss nonetheless.

The third point is partially satisfied by the Maps application. You can see a ward's address and meeting times and phone number. But wards and stakes do lose the ability to have a public message. Some wards put a message there intended for their own ward; the Newsletter application will satisfy that need just fine. But other wards put a message there that welcomed visitors (either members from out of town, or nonmembers); that function will be lost.

Finally, I would note that the Maps application (both current and beta) provides a "Website" link on the popup for wards/branches and stakes. If the classic sites are retired, those links will break; I guess the only thing to do would be to remove those links entirely, since there will be no reasonable place to go from that link.

As I started writing this post, I was thinking that the missing pieces were a big deal. But now I think that with the release of the Newsletter feature, we'll be close enough. I'm sure all the pieces will be enhanced over time, but removing the confusion caused by the continued existence of the Classic site will make up for the relatively minor remaining features we'll lose.
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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:29 pm

So, the "classic" ward/stake web site has one page that is available to the pubic without signing in. Will there be nothing like that anymore? Will you have to sign in before seeing anything specific to a ward or stake?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:37 pm

mrrad wrote:So, the "classic" ward/stake web site has one page that is available to the pubic without signing in. Will there be nothing like that anymore? Will you have to sign in before seeing anything specific to a ward or stake?


Aside from the information displayed about a ward on the Maps application (ward name, address, phone number, meeting times, and last name and phone number of bishop), I don't think so. Certainly I have seen nothing in the plans about a message that is under the control of the local ward but is visible to the public.
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Postby jbh001 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:20 pm

I have tried to customize Google Places and Bing entries for our ward so that, for example, when someone searches for "[url=http://maps.google.com/maps?q=tahlequah+ward&hl=en&sll=36.094193,-97.087727&sspn=0.011582,0.017123&hq=ward&hnear=Tahlequah,+Cherokee,+Oklahoma&t=m&z=14]Tahlequah Ward" in Google Maps, the place page that shows up has correct phone numbers, map location, etc. The Bing and Google Place pages have a spot for a "business" website link which I had previously used to point to the Classic LUWS link. I've tried replacing the classic LUWS link with the appropriate link from http://www.lds.org/maps for our unit, but neither Google or Bing will accept the resulting [url=http://www.lds.org/maps/index.jsf#x=find/places&m=google&lat=35.87898409658432&lng=-94.97738599777222&z=16&t=3&places=meetinghouses&id=39357,wards&find={id:"39357,wards"}]unit-specific link from www.lds.org/maps[/url] as valid.

That is another thing that will be lost when the LUWS is discontinued.

In the meantime, I have just replaced the "business" link with the generic lds.org. I have not tried replacing the link with a URL shortener link like Bitly.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:53 pm

As you mentioned, one of the things that will be missing is a "public page" for the unit that includes a photo (frequently a photo of the building). One unit also posts driving directions from a popular tourist area.

Another thing that will be lost is the sense of "unit". Right now the new pieces are all coming together in bits and parts on lds.org. The old site had everything hanging off the ward's web page giving a sense "my ward" in the offerings.
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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:51 pm

I would be interested in knowing the answer to this too. Then I know if I need to direct everyone to a specific "Ward Website" or if I just need to direct them to LDS.org to use the Tools menu. I'm sure this question will be answered for us by the time the Classic Website is retired.

jdcr256
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Postby jdcr256 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:46 am

I just replied to a thread in the Directory forum on this, but I'll update this thread as well.

We are planning on having a unifying element for all the tools, and I believe there are designs in the works. I don't know what the schedule for implementation is though. For now, the Tools menu is the only real spot to point to as a launching point.

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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:57 am

I saw that in the Directory forum. Thanks! :)

Quick question, I know you don't know the exact schedule, but do you have a guess as to if they'll roll out the "unifying element" prior to discontinuing the classic websites? Just curious. :)

jdcr256
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Postby jdcr256 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:14 pm

AileneRHerrick wrote:I saw that in the Directory forum. Thanks! :)

Quick question, I know you don't know the exact schedule, but do you have a guess as to if they'll roll out the "unifying element" prior to discontinuing the classic websites? Just curious. :)


I don't have any information either way right now. I could see it going either way at this point.

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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:17 pm

jdcr256 wrote:I don't have any information either way right now. I could see it going either way at this point.


Okay, I figured it didn't hurt to ask. :) Thanks!


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