Record Keeping Information on LUWS

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aebrown
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Record Keeping Information on LUWS

Postby aebrown » Mon May 12, 2008 10:19 am

Why is there a link to Record Keeping Information in the left-nav bar of the Local Unit Web Sites?

The information that is available there is:
  1. Link to Clerk and Auditor Training Lessons
  2. Computer Transfer and Disposal Policies
  3. Local Unit Security Policies
  4. MLS Reconciliation Instructions
  5. Emergency Check Procedures
  6. MLS Membership Supplement (PDF & Word)
  7. MLS Finance Supplement (PDF & Word)
  8. Record Keeping FAQs
It seems to me that all or most of this is or should be available on clerk.lds.org, which is a much better place for the information.
  • Item 1 is already at clerk.lds.org, and once you go there, you can find items 4, 6, 7, and 8 (well, not the MS Word versions of 6 & 7, but PDF is a much better standard format anyway).
  • Item 2 seems to be covered in the March 2005 computer policy, already posted on clerk.lds.org
  • Item 3 seems to be out of date; its topics are covered in the March 2005 computer policy, Desktop 5.5 instructions, and subsequent letters (notably the two Feb 2008 letters regarding Internet connections, which are on clerk.lds.org).
  • Item 5 is covered in the Record Keeping FAQ (available in MLS 2.8.x, and also with Item 1).
So I would recommend that the entire Record Keeping Information button, associated page, and security mechanism all be removed from the LUWS. It always seemed like an odd place to put that information, and now that we have clerk.lds.org, it seems completely pointless.

Perhaps this cleanup is planned for LUWS 2.0, which I understand is under development, but having redundant information sources often leads to inconsistency and confusion.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon May 12, 2008 11:09 am

One advantage of that button is that it only worked if you were recorded as holding a position that needed the information. I don't think it went any further then information for clerks.

A button that routed you to the appropriate place based on your calling would be a good idea.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon May 12, 2008 11:23 am

RussellHltn wrote:One advantage of that button is that it only worked if you were recorded as holding a position that needed the information. I don't think it went any further then information for clerks.


That was true, but since all the information is now available on clerk.lds.org and other parts of lds.org, there's no good reason to restrict the information based on the position you hold -- since it's all available without restriction on a public site.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon May 12, 2008 4:14 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:there's no good reason to restrict the information based on the position you hold -- since it's all available without restriction on a public site.


What about the password for mls.lds.org? Granted, that's not in LUWS, but that's something that won't be put on clerk.lds.org. And yet there's a need for that information. So I'd like to see some integration with LUWS logins.

I'm not disagreeing that the link, as it is currently is setup, is no longer needed; but it embodied some ideas that I don't want to see tossed out.

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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:50 am

I also think the utility of that link is marginal. I was looking for the most correct (up to date) instructions for dispossing of unit administrative computers when replacements are recieved. I did this because I am anticipating the replacement of our stake and ward computers next year, 2009, and was curious as to what would happen to the old computers. I did a search on lds.org. I found absolutely nothing. I then decided to start looking in all the web sites related to clerks. Only after clicking on the 'Record Keeping Information' link did I find the document I needed. I found this to be curious because to access this page you must have administrator privileges. Not all clerks are web site administrators. This unnecessarily restricts them from information to which they should have access.

I then began to think of where all the clerk and stake technology specialist information could, or should, be found. I expected that since the roll-out of the lds.org page for 'Clerk and Technology Support' that all I, or any other clerk or STS, would need should be found there or linked from there. Unfortunately that is not what I found to be true. Information for clerks and STSs is found spread in different locations - and finding it is not easy.

Based on this experience I think that two things need to be seriously examined. The first is the search capabilities, or implementation, for lds.org. This is evidenced when a search using the title for a document that exists on the web site, or a child site, turns up nothing.

The second is information, this includes linked documents, for a calling should be found in one location. This may not always be possible for various reasons but a link to the source should be provided, especially when the information or document is Church owned.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:19 am

jdlessley wrote:Information, this includes linked documents, for a calling should be found in one location. This may not always be possible for various reasons but a link to the source should be provided, especially when the information or document is Church owned.


I agree with this. 99% of the information should be in one place. I had thought that clerk.lds.org would be the spot, but after a flurry of activity initially, it seems to be quite stagnant as of late.

Another thread is looking for information on the Internet Use Policy, which is currently only on mls.lds.org, which requires a password for entry. Why isn't it posted on clerk.lds.org? For that matter, almost every bit of documentation on mls.lds.org should be on clerk.lds.org, as it is not particularly confidential. There is a password in one of the documents, but that can be scrubbed from the document with an appropriate reference as to how authorized individuals may obtain the password.

Then there's some information on this forum, such as the Meetinghouse Internet FAQ, that should also be posted on clerk.lds.org, but is not.

I agree with RussellHltn that there could be a use for a mechanism in LUWS that allows people with specific callings to have access to confidential information. But any information stored in this way should consider three points:

  1. Not every stake participates in the LUWS program, so such information must be made available some other way;
  2. Only information that must have controlled access should be stored there. All other content should be placed in a more broadly accessible, searchable, consistent place.
  3. Public, searchable sites should contain references to that information so that someone who is looking for helpful information can either find the information or find a reference that tells them how to find it and whom they may need to ask for permission or assistance in finding it.
Currently the information in the RecordKeeping Information section of LUWS doesn't properly consider any of these points.

It really wouldn't be that hard to pull this information together into one place; there's only a handful of documents on mls.lds.org, and another handful on LUWS. Some of us with enough experience have found all these locations, but for a new clerk, or even an experienced clerk who is new to the online clerk resources, the haphazard locations of relevant documents must be quite bewildering.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:10 am

jdlessley wrote:Based on this experience I think that two things need to be seriously examined. The first is the search capabilities, or implementation, for lds.org. This is evidenced when a search using the title for a document that exists on the web site, or a child site, turns up nothing.

People (including myself) have commented on this previously. Sometimes I have to go to Google and craft a specially designed query targeted at the lds.org site just to find the info I'm looking for. For example, Googling somthing like "site:lds.org filetype:PDF mls computer disposal" might get you much closer to the doc you are looking for than trying to use the Church's search engine.

jdlessley wrote:The second is information, this includes linked documents, for a calling should be found in one location. This may not always be possible for various reasons but a link to the source should be provided, especially when the information or document is Church owned.

I agree. It's certainly better than it was, but as Alan (and others) have pointed out, there's still a lot of room for improvement.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:35 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:People (including myself) have commented on this previously. Sometimes I have to go to Google and craft a specially designed query targeted at the lds.org site just to find the info I'm looking for. For example, Googling somthing like "site:lds.org filetype:PDF mls computer disposal" might get you much closer to the doc you are looking for than trying to use the Church's search engine.
That is a good technique to know. Thanks. I'm not a search engine enthusiast and therefore would not have figured that out without someone like you pointing it out.

But as we all agree it should not require all sorts of experience, either in searching lds.org through a third party search engine or in the calling or in using the Church web sites and related web sites to get helpful information.

Are you programmers listening? And are the lds.org web managers listening?

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Postby RossEvans » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:06 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:People (including myself) have commented on this previously. Sometimes I have to go to Google and craft a specially designed query targeted at the lds.org site just to find the info I'm looking for..


A Google search within the lds.org domain for a topic I was researching was the way I discoverd LDS Tech.

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Postby WelchTC » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:35 am

jdlessley wrote:That is a good technique to know. Thanks. I'm not a search engine enthusiast and therefore would not have figured that out without someone like you pointing it out.

But as we all agree it should not require all sorts of experience, either in searching lds.org through a third party search engine or in the calling or in using the Church web sites and related web sites to get helpful information.

Are you programmers listening? And are the lds.org web managers listening?

Larry Richman watches these forums. He is in charge of lds.org.

Tom


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