The use of external sites?

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Skeezix-p40
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The use of external sites?

Postby Skeezix-p40 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:52 am

We have some groups using wordpress and google calendar for youth activities and communications. Does the Church have a policy on the use of external sites for communications? I understood we should be using the Ward website within lds.org?

Also, is there a way to have a calendar specific to a group such as the Ward mission to track team-up (split) schedules with the full time missionaries and a meal calendar for the missionaries?

Thanks,

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:36 am

Skeezix wrote:We have some groups using wordpress and google calendar for youth activities and communications. Does the Church have a policy on the use of external sites for communications? I understood we should be using the Ward website within lds.org?

Also, is there a way to have a calendar specific to a group such as the Ward mission to track team-up (split) schedules with the full time missionaries and a meal calendar for the missionaries?

Thanks,


I would refer you to the policy letter regarding Church Web Sites.
In regards to the calendar question, the ward web site permits additional Resource Calendars to be created and assigned to whomever you wish.
One of these calendars could be used for missionary dinners.

The problem here is each person who wishes to put their name onto the calendar would have to contact the resource administrator to do so.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:29 am

Techgy wrote:The problem here is each person who wishes to put their name onto the calendar would have to contact the resource administrator to do so.
Contacting the administrator is done when a person submits an event to the calendar. The event would be their 'request' for the dinner (missionary meals calendar) or 'volunteer' for missionary teaming (missionary teaming calendar). The administrator for each calendar can be the Relief Society missionary meals coordinator for the missionary meals calendar and the ward mission leader for the missionary teaming calendar.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:51 am

jdlessley wrote:Contacting the administrator is done when a person submits an event to the calendar. The event would be their 'request' for the dinner (missionary meals calendar) or 'volunteer' for missionary teaming (missionary teaming calendar). The administrator for each calendar can be the Relief Society missionary meals coordinator for the missionary meals calendar and the ward mission leader for the missionary teaming calendar.


Having juggled both type of missionary calendar on paper when I served as a WML, I would find using this online method hopelessly clunky.

This is an example of where true collaborative applications and cloud computing are inherently much more efficient. But they can bump up against church policy or guidance, and the functionality provided by LUWS will never meet all possible needs.

The youth applications mentioned by Skeezix seem to me to be coloring outide the lines. But my interpretation of the First Presidency letter matters much less than the interpretation of his own local priesthood leaders.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:25 am

jdlessley wrote:Contacting the administrator is done when a person submits an event to the calendar. The event would be their 'request' for the dinner (missionary meals calendar) or 'volunteer' for missionary teaming (missionary teaming calendar). The administrator for each calendar can be the Relief Society missionary meals coordinator for the missionary meals calendar and the ward mission leader for the missionary teaming calendar.


Thanks for the clarification. I had forgotten about that little tid-bit.
I might add though that one of the best places to pick up missionary dinner appointments is to simply pass a calendar around through Relief Society and Priesthood. The results of that effort could then be posted on an on-line calendar if you wish so that those who didn't see the calendar have an opportunity.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:36 am

I prefer receiving timely reminders, which Google and other calendars provide. Getting an absurd amount of email whenever the new stake & ward calendars are input is counterproductive, IMHO. The ward website calendars lack so many features readily available elsewhere that they are rendered impractical. We've beaten that to death on past threads.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:01 am

scion wrote:I prefer receiving timely reminders, which Google and other calendars provide. Getting an absurd amount of email whenever the new stake & ward calendars are input is counterproductive, IMHO. The ward website calendars lack so many features readily available elsewhere that they are rendered impractical. We've beaten that to death on past threads.


Some points to consider:

  1. Many people question whether Google calendars are within Church policy, so some local priesthood leaders may well decide they can't be used.
  2. Sending "an absurd amount of email whenever the new stake & ward calendars are input" is a choice made by whoever inputs the events -- it is not required.
  3. To say that ward website calendars "are rendered impractical" may be your opinion, but many wards and stakes are successfully using these calendars.
There are certainly potential improvements that would make these calendars much more usable and effective, but they can indeed be used well as they now exist.

Skeezix-p40
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Postby Skeezix-p40 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:33 am

Thanks for the replies!

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:21 pm

There are different ways to use such cloud-computing resources, which local priesthood leaders may well distinguish in interpreting policy.

Publishing an unofficial web site to the ward members (and possibly the world) on behalf of ward organizations violates the policy pretty clearly, IMHO. That's what LUWS is supposed to be for.

But it is not uncommon for some bishoprics and stake presidencies to use private Google docs to share information among themselves -- calendaring, proposed callings, meeting agendas, etc.

One additional piece of guidance we have been given on this forum is not to upload data exported from church computer systems to third-party servers.

It really is up to bishops and stake presidents to make the call.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:23 pm

Hmmmm . . . Things that the ward website does not do that others do:

  1. Subscribe to specific calendars to select what is used by a particular household, i.e.: Primary, activity days, teachers, laurels, YSA, etc.
  2. Color selected calendars for ease of use. I.e.: primary red, activity days light blue, deacons, green, etc. Household members can quickly see what they need to.
  3. Ability to add a standard US holiday calendar.
  4. Ability to ignore Utah-only events that are on the calendar, but not used elsewhere.
  5. Ease of use to edit events.
  6. Smaller details, such as teaching assignments, bread assignments, etc. are easier to post here than on the ward website. Those things are only o interest to a very limited group, but it's handy to have available.
  7. Ability to link maps.
  8. Search function to quickly locate sporadic events, such as baptism assignments.
  9. Ability to download, upload, & sync calendars, etc.
  10. Daily agenda emailed to me.
Etc., etc. The calendar provided is like going backwards a couple of decades. Its usefulness is very limited by its design. Calendars can be excellent organizational tools. The ward calendar is not, though.


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