Unit Web Sites in UK?

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
kinggrunt-p40
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Unit Web Sites in UK?

Postby kinggrunt-p40 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:10 am

The website for unit's is great! I don't understand why its only published to USA and canada wards, it can very easily be open to worldwide, so we can all benefit from it. Now we have been told to take down all websites not belonging to the church, as we did for our stake website, and calendar, this will be very useful.

When is it going to be made available here in UK?

If not for a long long time or unknown, who is it we need to speak to, to get it moved forward?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:25 am

kinggrunt wrote:The website for unit's is great! I don't understand why its only published to USA and canada wards, it can very easily be open to worldwide, so we can all benefit from it. Now we have been told to take down all websites not belonging to the church, as we did for our stake website, and calendar, this will be very useful.

When is it going to be made available here in UK?

If not for a long long time or unknown, who is it we need to speak to, to get it moved forward?


I don't know the specific answers for the UK, but some information in the thread Stake and Ward Web Sites might be helpful regarding LUWS outside US/Canada. It is now available in Australia and New Zealand (see Getting started with a brand new site), and gradually moving to other areas as well.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:53 am

kinggrunt wrote:The website for unit's is great! I don't understand why its only published to USA and canada wards, it can very easily be open to worldwide, so we can all benefit from it. Now we have been told to take down all websites not belonging to the church, as we did for our stake website, and calendar, this will be very useful.

When is it going to be made available here in UK?

If not for a long long time or unknown, who is it we need to speak to, to get it moved forward?


I do agree it would be useful for everyone to have this but some of the reasons behind why this is not yet the case could be:

1) Each country's privacy laws need to examined first

2) The church might want to wait until the NEW community developed application is available before extending it further worldwide.

I don't know for certain what the answer is but I will try and see if more information about the plans for this project can be shared. Until then we need a bit more patience.

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Postby dannykos » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:34 am

I know that the wheels turn pretty slow - but it has been a number of years we've been waiting in the UK, and around the world. With all the means of communication available to individuals, it's getting harder and harder to adhere to the guidelines currently published regarding online communication.

As we focus on a vision for future growth over the next 10 years in the church - I find it hard to imagine this being achievable - while maintaining our current approach to technology.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:57 am

dannykos wrote:As we focus on a vision for future growth over the next 10 years in the church - I find it hard to imagine this being achievable - while maintaining our current approach to technology.


I find the above a bit "out of balance".

If you look at what is available on lds.org (talks, lessons, news in various formats - pdf, html, video) and what anyone can do with familysearch.org and how members can watch live (and archived) General Conference and other fireside events and special occations and listen to the radio (mormon channel) as well as having the scriptures and other material available on your mobile phone (supporting several different platforms) and moving towards all units having their own collaboration area then I think it is very harsh to say the church is maintaining its current approach to technology.

There are tons more areas not mentioned above (provident living, local unit web casting of meetings etc) so I would say the church is well ahead of the game with technology.

There is no doubt technology will have an impact on the growth of the church but it must also maintain the correct balance. We also have to remember that while we (the people in this forum) might be up on the technology there are still many in the church who are not and therefore some of these new programs must be considered with those in mind.

I might have said this before but I remember attending a joint R/S & Priesthood meeting in a big ward when I visited the Preston Temple and the topic was "Church Technology". When the presenter asked for a show of hands of how many were regularly using lds.org (or had even seen it) even I was surprised to see how many didnt put their hands up.

This taught me a valuable experience and so if the church decides to hold back a bit on some things then I know there are good reasons behind.

I am grateful for the church's "conservative" stand in many areas, including technology as it saves us from wasting time and resources on "fads" and yet it still manages to be ahead of the game. That can only happen when based upon inspiration.

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Postby dannykos » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:06 am

dkjorgi wrote:I find the above a bit "out of balance".

If you look at what is available on lds.org (talks, lessons, news in various formats - pdf, html, video) and what anyone can do with familysearch.org and how members can watch live (and archived) General Conference and other fireside events and special occations and listen to the radio (mormon channel) as well as having the scriptures and other material available on your mobile phone (supporting several different platforms) and moving towards all units having their own collaboration area then I think it is very harsh to say the church is maintaining its current approach to technology.


I do agree that we make good use of modern technology from an 'outward facing' perspective - but we still seem to be fairly limited in our ability to use technology to actually minister & administer in the kingdom.

For example, as a Bishop - it would be great to be able to sit at my desk in bishopric meeting, or PEC etc - and be able to look up pertinent information from a networked laptop, or whatever - rather than having to either open up a folder, and leaf through (hopefully) up-to-date printouts; or - to have to pause the meeting, while someone heads next door - logs on, and finds the info that we need.

Or, for the over 50% of the church, with no current access to ward/stake websites - it would be great to have a functioning & exportable calendar. The current solution on lds.org.uk seems to have little or no takeup, as it just isn't fit for purpose.

I don't mean to moan, but on the one hand - we talk about massive potential growth through increased retention, reactivation and convert bapstims etc. On the other hand though, I'm just not convinced I have the tools at my disposal to help support that.

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Postby kennethjorgensen » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:00 am

dannykos wrote:I do agree that we make good use of modern technology from an 'outward facing' perspective - but we still seem to be fairly limited in our ability to use technology to actually minister & administer in the kingdom.


I do agree there is more that can be done in this area and I think the "insiders" will be the first to admit this. I think the truth is that the church's IS department is spread so widely across so many important systems and projects and to do it all and do it faster would require a massive expansion.

In order to both be prudent with the resources and also achieve more the church recognised the so far "untapped" resources that exists amongst the many willing members to help out which is why the "Community Projects" has started (can be seen here).

It is a brilliant idea of how we can all help to influence and create the future tools to be used by members and leaders. Some can develop, others can test and others can document or help to define the requirements.

dannykos wrote:For example, as a Bishop - it would be great to be able to sit at my desk in bishopric meeting, or PEC etc - and be able to look up pertinent information from a networked laptop, or whatever - rather than having to either open up a folder, and leaf through (hopefully) up-to-date printouts; or - to have to pause the meeting, while someone heads next door - logs on, and finds the info that we need.


Having been in the same situation I do agree there is room for more functionality here. Could a part solution be that the church starts to issue laptops instead of desktop PC's (since they are now cheaper) to units when they need to be replaced?

The local unit software is clearly recognised as being an important step but it is by no means an easy, quick or cheap tool to create and hence why we will not see a short term solution.

dannykos wrote:Or, for the over 50% of the church, with no current access to ward/stake websites - it would be great to have a functioning & exportable calendar. The current solution on lds.org.uk seems to have little or no takeup, as it just isn't fit for purpose.


And that is exactly what the current development with the new local unit system is trying to achieve (see the project page here).

I really like the way they have taken onboard the "google calendar thinking" here to allow you to have multiple calendars overlaying each other as it creates the ability for each aux or organisation to create their own calendars and then each person will have their own combined calendar depending on what is important to them. Brilliant addition.

I would encourage you (as well as anybody else) to participate in these projects, to look at what is planned and come with specific suggestions to what should be added of things that will make a difference.

dannykos wrote: I don't mean to moan, but on the one hand - we talk about massive potential growth through increased retention, reactivation and convert bapstims etc. On the other hand though, I'm just not convinced I have the tools at my disposal to help support that.


Dont get me wrong, I use technology all the time (PDA, laptop, countless spreadsheets, various collaboration and sync tools etc) to make me more effective and have all the information ready at hand when I need it but personally (and its only my opinion) I prefer to chair meetings around a table that is not filled with people tapping away on laptops to look up information, typing up notes etc (I fear it could lead to that) as I find there is something more spiritual about coming best prepared with pen and paper and a few relevant printouts related to the meeting agenda published beforehand.

I don't understand what bottleneck we currently have that these extra tools will fix and give us "massive potential growth through increased retention, reactivation and convert baptisms" but I am open for the suggestions to this vision.

However, if the tools are different and if they would instead "prescribe the way" to teach our members how to be better prepared for meeting, visits and follow-up to assignments given or received then I can 100% understand it "might" make a difference (a smart and simple task assignment system, linked to meetings, agendas, minutes) then I am onboard.

I am talking about the software dictating a more structured way for us to work with each other but if the leaders felt this would conflict with D&C 58:26-27 then I can also understand that.

Much of this can already be achieved if you use a good Clerk/Exec Sec to keep track of assignments etc in a Word/Excel documents but software could help make it more visible so people are more alert to the things that needs doing.

I do think it is relevant that you are bringing up these issues because it is clear the rest of the world could also benefit from the use of some of these tools available in the US and hopefully the church will recognise the benefit of being more open with even their internal project plans so we can better understand and appreciate where we are and plan accordingly rather than being a bit in the dark.

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Postby dannykos » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:14 pm

all great points - thanks for your well constructed and reasoned reply. I'll check out those links!

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beta.lds.org

Postby cottrells » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:10 am

If you've not already seen it, then I would urge you to have a look at the beta test release 1 of the new LDS.org. For members in the UK although we may not have LUWS, this beta release is available to members worldwide.

As announced on the home page the Beta Test Release 1 is focused on four key elements
  • General Conference
  • Ward and Stake Directory
  • Ward and Stake Calendar
  • Leader (Stake President, Bishop, and Clerk) Resources

Each of these elements will become fully usable within the next 30-60 days. Please help us refine these features of LDS.org by giving us your feedback as we move toward having a fully functioning site by summer of 2010. Each month we will be adding new functions to the resources on this site for you to review. You can sign in now with your LDS account to view the work.

As you use each one, send us your ideas and feedback.


LDS Account
An LDS account gives each individual a user name and password that securely identifies them. To set up an LDS account, a person will need their membership record number and their birth date. A persons membership record number will found on their temple recommend or they can request it from the ward clerk.

MLS Callings and Organisation
After a person enters their LDS account user name and password, the page will be refreshed to show their name located to the left of the sign in link. The page will then display the individual Beta Release 1 elements that are available to them based upon their ward/branch, stake, and calling. It is therefore important that the details are kept up to date in MLS.

General Conference
The new General Conference site includes improved navigation (by speakers and topics in addition to conference sessions), new search parameters, streaming video, and audio and video downloading.

Ward and Stake Directory
The new Ward Directory features first and last name search and dynamic print formatting. Browse through ward members by last name, and retrieve addresses, phone numbers, map locations, and e-mail.

Coming soon: Stake Directory, Leadership Directories, Photos, Editing of Personal Contact Information, Do-Not-Display Settings, and more.

Ward and Stake Calendar
The new Ward Calendar provides a simplified user interface, making it easy to create and display ward and stake events. Calendars can be created exclusively for youth groups, quorums, committees, service opportunities, presidency meetings, activities, and more -- or you can use a single calendar for all ward-related events. Also included in this release is the ability to export calendar events to Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, or any other iCal-enabled Web calendar.

Leader Resources
This site for stake presidents, bishops, and clerks centralizes tools and information to allow leaders to administer efficiently, freeing up time to minister more effectively. For example, a “Training and Policies” section provides links to official Church instruction on leader responsibilities and Church policies. In addition, a “Reports and Forms” section places needed information at leaders’ fingertips. Explore the site to discover even more resources. Many of these where previously only available via MLS.

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Postby woulder123-p40 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:12 am

I know that the wheels turn pretty slow - but it has been a number of years we've been waiting in the UK, and around the world. With all the means of communication available to individuals, it's getting harder and harder to adhere to the guidelines currently published regarding online communication.

As we focus on a vision for future growth over the next 10 years in the church - I find it hard to imagine this being achievable - while maintaining our current approach to technology.
very good luck to every one


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