Unit Web sites and those not of our Faith

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
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matthewrlee
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Unit Web sites and those not of our Faith

Postby matthewrlee » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:13 pm

Has anyone modified the design of their unit’s site, where possible, to make it more accessible to those not of our faith?

There is no way to find a local unit website online by doing a traditional search. You must go to lds.org or mormon.org and do a search via the ‘Stake and Ward Web Sites’ or ‘Worship with us' link. When a user finds a unit site in their town, with the exception of a phone number to the clerk’s office, there is no local contact information. If they want to contact an actual member of the Church, they can generate a self referral from mormon.org, or they can show up at the building on Sunday. There is no other option.

When a user performs a search for a local church of another faith, they will find the local congregation's site with plenty of contact information and a link to the denomination’s web site. In some ways our setup is the opposite.

I understand the difference in setup is representative, at least in part, of the differences in the ecclesiastical hierarchy in our Church (Top down) and those of Protestants (Bottom up). However, at this level, it seems like an unnecessarily strong gate between those not of our faith and our membership on the ground.

My question remains; has anyone modified the design of their unit’s site, where possible, to make it more accessible to those not of our faith?

If so, what have been the results?

Matthew R. Lee

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:54 am

The only thing that can be modified is the front page itself. You can change the photo, add a phone number, and create a custom message. That's about it.

But with the message, one could create a way to contact the essential folks.

atticusewig
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Top-level design or anti-spam design ?

Postby atticusewig » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:13 am

Sometimes I wonder if the hard-to-contact
an actual member of the church is done
on purpose to shield us from the unsavory
types.

For example, I sometimes will go into the
clerks office during the week, and will
field some of the phone calls that come in
to the internet published numbers.
Not one of them was ever an investigator.
Most of them are standard telemarketing
calls of the "business" variety, although
I did get a few "we're really in trouble and
need your money, I mean your help."
I pass on the information to the Bishop,
and he later tells me that they are just
scammers, some of whom are calling
from the nearby jail.

Now, I agree that we could definately
make the websites more investigator-
friendly, but if we were to put any
"real member's" contact information
on the website, I think it would probably
be best to list only the telephone number
of the full-time missionaries serving
in the area. We then could ask for the
missionaries to list ward meeting times
at the end of their answering machine
message.

- Atticus Ewig

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nbflint
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Postby nbflint » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:23 am

matthewrlee wrote:My question remains; has anyone modified the design of their unit’s site, where possible, to make it more


I'm sure Tom would be happy to pass any suggestion you have on to the folks that develop the Local Unit Ward Sites. Some of them may even be monitoring the forum so this is a good place to offer suggestions. Other users may have some work around ideas as well if you're a bit more specific about what you're trying to do.


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bhofmann-p40
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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:28 am

atticusewig wrote: I think it would probably
be best to list only the telephone number
of the full-time missionaries serving
in the area.


I think this would be a good idea. I agree that we probably don't want to publish actual member information.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:57 am

nimebe wrote:I'm sure Tom would be happy to pass any suggestion you have on to the folks that develop the Local Unit Ward Sites. Some of them may even be monitoring the forum so this is a good place to offer suggestions. Other users may have some work around ideas as well if you're a bit more specific about what you're trying to do.

LUWS is scheduled for a revamp so please offer your suggestions. We will go through these forums to grab the ideas as we prepare the spec for the new version.

Tom

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:45 pm

atticusewig wrote:Sometimes I wonder if the hard-to-contact
an actual member of the church is done
on purpose to shield us from the unsavory
types.


Indeed! Way back when we used to have a local LDS "newspaper" in our area. We used to publish some of the new converts as a way of welcome. That was discontinued when it was discovered that the antis were using it to figure out who to target.

When you make data public, it's hard telling who is going to "data mine" it.

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matthewrlee
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Postby matthewrlee » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:58 pm

What about a link to contact information for the Stake Director of Public Affairs? Public Affairs is just as much about creating local relationships as it is about working with the media. Has anyone tried that?

As far as changing the site, I thnk it is worth looking into making it easier to find with a search engine. A user should be able to search for “Mormons Atlanta Georgia“and find links to Atlanta Stake site and every ward/branch site in the stake.

It would also be nice to have a place for links to local new stories about the Church, and press releases on new Bishops, Stake Presidencies, and whatever else is determined appropriate.

Is anyone thinking along these lines?


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