LUWS History

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
jeffboyd
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LUWS History

Postby jeffboyd » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:35 pm

When did the official local church unit websites go online? What were some of the motivations behind discouraging local units from hosting their own sites? I remember signing up for access to my ward's local website, but I've only used it once or twice. How much are the local-unit websites being used? Do the church's local unit websites do everything the previous locally-hosted websites did? I like what I've read in this forum about LUWS 2.0. Is there a timetable for when this goes live? Thanks in advance for your help.

-Jeff

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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:27 am

boydjeff wrote:How much are the local-unit websites being used? Do the church's local unit websites do everything the previous locally-hosted websites did?

It really varies by stake and even by ward. It seems if local leadership is actively encouraging and using the local unit website, then the membership is fairly responsive and active. But you really have to get almost every presidency in the ward on board or it doesn't quite work.

As for functionality, I think for the most part the Church's local unit sites do quite a bit more than the locally-hosted websites they replaced. It all depends on what talent and skills the local unit were able to find.

boydjeff wrote:When did the official local church unit websites go online? What were some of the motivations behind discouraging local units from hosting their own sites?


I think it was somewhere between 5-7 years ago. I don't know for sure, but I would venture to guess that a major reason was security issues. Many locally-hosted websites probably didn't have any security measures to protect membership information, etc. Plus, I think the Church wanted a united, uniform, and official appearance to websites representing the Church in any way.

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Postby thedqs » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:32 am

boydjeff wrote:When did the official local church unit websites go online? What were some of the motivations behind discouraging local units from hosting their own sites? I remember signing up for access to my ward's local website, but I've only used it once or twice. How much are the local-unit websites being used? Do the church's local unit websites do everything the previous locally-hosted websites did? I like what I've read in this forum about LUWS 2.0. Is there a timetable for when this goes live? Thanks in advance for your help.

-Jeff


The letter came in the spring of 02 if I remember correctly (spring it was but it might have been a year earlier) The problem was that wards were displaying membership information in plain html without security. Of course we had a ward password to the sensitive information (membership list, ward programs, ward newletters, etc.) The major problem with locally run ward websites was that pictures of events were posted with names and it was affliated with the church and the church didn't have a license to use pictures of the members and publish them. So it was just a lawsuit waiting to happen.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:57 pm

There's two dates involved here. The "shutdown order" that was issued to all units to take down their websites, and the "go live" date when LUWS became available. Even that date could be tricky as it was in beta before "go live".

The shutdown order included some words that indicated that LUWS was coming, but it took something like one to two years before it happened.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:25 pm

I recall it having been the last week of March 2001 that the letter came, it was from the Presiding Bishopric.

They also did indicate a new system was being developed, and that it would do more than what many local ISPs or even garden-variety programmers would be able to put into it.

A large number of sites went down almost immediately, a few probably stayed up for a short time due to contracts with ISPs, but they were effectively gone soon after the letter came out for the most pat.

It was almost two years before we saw the local unit website program appear, even now there are units in the US that are not on the program yet, it's pivotal in missionary work because mormon.org often redirects people to LUWS via the 'Worship With Us' pages..

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Postby thedqs » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:47 pm

JamesAnderson wrote:They also did indicate a new system was being developed, and that it would do more than what many local ISPs or even garden-variety programmers would be able to put into it.


Hmm, though I still wish that admins could create pages on LUWS and post files (ie Ward Bulletin, Ward Newletter, etc). That was what most people come and use our ward website site even if I didn't get around updating it as often as I should.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:51 pm

thedqs wrote:Hmm, though I still wish that admins could create pages on LUWS and post files (ie Ward Bulletin, Ward Newletter, etc).


You've got the front page with a free-form message area. You can attach items to "news" events (although the attachment size is rather small.) It is possible to get much of the old functionality there, even if it isn't quite as obvious for both the admin and the user.

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Postby thedqs » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:12 am

RussellHltn wrote:You've got the front page with a free-form message area. You can attach items to "news" events (although the attachment size is rather small.) It is possible to get much of the old functionality there, even if it isn't quite as obvious for both the admin and the user.


Problem is SMALL, the ward newsletter with pictures and stuff was usually 1 MB and so you cannot get that on. And you can't post pictures in the news area even if you want to convert the newsletter to straight HTML. (It even removes external picture links)
- David

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Postby leejj » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:43 pm

Yes, I was just finishing up at BYU in about April of 2001 and attending the BYU Chinese Ward. Our Stake was part of the first group testing LUWS. At that time it was not yet open to very many units.

J

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Postby scion-p40 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:37 am

RussellHltn wrote:You've got the front page with a free-form message area. You can attach items to "news" events (although the attachment size is rather small.) It is possible to get much of the old functionality there, even if it isn't quite as obvious for both the admin and the user.


Adding events or announcements one at a time with very little space is inefficient for both inputting and the end user. Being able to post ward bulletins and/or newsletters woud save time for the admin and for the submitter.


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