n00b question: YM/YW blog

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danlangford-p40
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n00b question: YM/YW blog

Postby danlangford-p40 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:40 am

bear with me if this is not the correct place to post a question about policy. i was recently called as the ward website administrator. in a meeting with the bishop and counselors about how to use the website they discussed how the YM/YW have expressed interest in a Mutual blog. They were wondering if the ward website had any tools or features like that built in? I explained that the closest thing would be to have all the youth sign up for a ward website account. They could write News and Information and upon approval by an administrator a broadcast email would be sent to all the YM &/or YW explaining that some new news and information has been posted. no comments, limitations on uploads, etc.

what is Church policy on using third party tools for a little YM/YW collaboration? I figure that the Church would discourage the ward supporting/promoting a public "blogger" type blog. however, how would the church feel if I installed on my server WordPress.org or WordPress.org MU. We could tighten it down as to strictly only allow access to registered users, the YM/YW. Have the class presidents and/or advisors be the blog administrators. then they could do me feature rich posts like inline photos and making comments. however we could make it not searchable by search engines and not accessable by those without an account. it would be hosted by myself with full control over its access.

thoughts? questions? comments?

is there any future plans for more social networking in the unit websites?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:58 am

danlangford wrote:bear with me if this is not the correct place to post a question about policy. i was recently called as the ward website administrator. in a meeting with the bishop and counselors about how to use the website they discussed how the YM/YW have expressed interest in a Mutual blog. They were wondering if the ward website had any tools or features like that built in? I explained that the closest thing would be to have all the youth sign up for a ward website account. They could write News and Information and upon approval by an administrator a broadcast email would be sent to all the YM &/or YW explaining that some new news and information has been posted. no comments, limitations on uploads, etc.

what is Church policy on using third party tools for a little YM/YW collaboration? I figure that the Church would discourage the ward supporting/promoting a public "blogger" type blog. however, how would the church feel if I installed on my server WordPress.org or WordPress.org MU. We could tighten it down as to strictly only allow access to registered users, the YM/YW. Have the class presidents and/or advisors be the blog administrators. then they could do me feature rich posts like inline photos and making comments. however we could make it not searchable by search engines and not accessable by those without an account. it would be hosted by myself with full control over its access.

thoughts? questions? comments?

is there any future plans for more social networking in the unit websites?


The policy regarding third party web sites isHERE
Have you read the Code of Conduct?

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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:27 pm

danlangford wrote:bear with me if this is not the correct place to post a question about policy. i was recently called as the ward website administrator. in a meeting with the bishop and counselors about how to use the website they discussed how the YM/YW have expressed interest in a Mutual blog. They were wondering if the ward website had any tools or features like that built in? I explained that the closest thing would be to have all the youth sign up for a ward website account. They could write News and Information and upon approval by an administrator a broadcast email would be sent to all the YM &/or YW explaining that some new news and information has been posted. no comments, limitations on uploads, etc.

what is Church policy on using third party tools for a little YM/YW collaboration? I figure that the Church would discourage the ward supporting/promoting a public "blogger" type blog. however, how would the church feel if I installed on my server WordPress.org or WordPress.org MU. We could tighten it down as to strictly only allow access to registered users, the YM/YW. Have the class presidents and/or advisors be the blog administrators. then they could do me feature rich posts like inline photos and making comments. however we could make it not searchable by search engines and not accessable by those without an account. it would be hosted by myself with full control over its access.

thoughts? questions? comments?

is there any future plans for more social networking in the unit websites?


Techgy answered the question about policy above. So the only to do this and have it be "kosher" is via the ward website.

Now, the issue you face is how to make it easy to use, and also help it to look nice. The News and Information section contains ALL the news and information for the whole ward... so if there will be lots of "blog" posts, then that may not be the ideal place for them.

Here are some ways I might do it, if I were in your shoes...

Plan A:
If you're not planning for online access to archival of the posts, you can use the News and Information section and have each of the blog posts titled "Mutual Blog - Post Title". Also, assign a priority to the Mutual Blog, so all entries appear together (for example, assign a priority of 6). Then determine the maximum number of blog entries you feel comfortable putting on the News and Information page. If they are the only people in the ward using the website, then you could probably put a lot there. However, if others are using the website (and that is the goal), then you'd want to limit it. If it were me, I'd say 4 entries is a good maximum. Then, when you get entry #5, you delete the oldest entry. Or, if you plan to manually archive them, just set it to expire so you'll still have access to it. Up to 100 photos can be added per News and Information item. Up to 1000 photos can be added on the ward website. Each photo must be under 100 KB. Past this information on to the submitters, as they will have to submit their photos directly through you to post them on the website. Remember that some people may be sensitive about being included in photos... so make sure that the photos posted won't be embarrassing or upsetting to anyone! Yes, the whipped cream fight between the YW Presidency might have been funny... but do they really want their whipped cream covered faces posted? :) Since archival in the News and Information section really wouldn't be an option (since the number of posts would increase over time), I would encourage the youth to download the photos if they wanted copies. On another note... make sure that the blog post will not show up on the home page. Email notifications can automatically be sent whenever a new blog post is submitted.

PROS of Plan A:
-Easy to submit items.
-Photos can be included in the same entry.
-Young Men and Young Women can easily be notified when a new blog post is submitted.

CONS of Plan A:
-Photos have to be submitted separately to the web administrator.
-Blog posts may take up shared space in the News and Information section, so archival of the posts may not be possible in that section.

Plan B:
Use the Resources section to create a Resource calendar for the Young Men and Young Women. To submit an item, the submitted would click on a day of the calendar (probably the day that they are writing the post) and write the post. Since they would have their own designated calendar, there would be no reason to delete posts if there began to be a large accumulation of them. However, no photos would be attached, and no email notifications are sent out.

PROS of Plan B
-Easy to submit items.
-Archival doable.

CONS of Plan B
-No email notifications sent.
-No photos added to posts.

Archival and seeing photos seem to both be important to youth, so here is a 3rd option that's a hybrid of the two.

PLAN C (The Hybrid Plan)
Use Plan A. Then, when rotating posts, put the text of the posts on the Resource calendar created for Plan B (It can be titled Mutual Blog Archives or something). Encourage the youth to download photos if they want copies, as the photos will not be able to be archived. However, they will be able to view archived text of all their posts on the calendar.

PROS of Plan C
-Easy to submit items.
-Photos can be included in the News and Information section, and can be downloaded by the youth.
-Young Men and Young Women will still receive email notifications for new blog posts.
-Text of posts may be archived in the Resource Section.

CONS of Plan C
-Photos are not able to be archived
-Photos still have to be submitted separately to the website administrator
-Website Administrator will have to copy text of blog post from the News and Information item and paste it in the resource calendar for archival (as opposed to simply deleting the News and Information Item).

Given all of the choices above, I would likely go with Plan C. If the youth didn't care about archival, then I would simply go with Plan A. Plan B is good if they don't care about photos... but I assume that most youth would probably want photos.

Ailene

danlangford-p40
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Postby danlangford-p40 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:27 pm

wow, these are great, well thought out ideas. thank you very much and we will probably implement plan A as archival probably wont be important. Thank you so much for thinking this through. i appreciate it.

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AileneRHerrick
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Postby AileneRHerrick » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:40 am

danlangford wrote:wow, these are great, well thought out ideas. thank you very much and we will probably implement plan A as archival probably wont be important. Thank you so much for thinking this through. i appreciate it.


You're welcome! Please come back and let us know how it goes!


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