Calling Specific E-Mail Addresses -- Thoughts?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
webmonk
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Calling Specific E-Mail Addresses -- Thoughts?

Postby webmonk » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:39 pm

We have a few callings in our branch which have dedicated e-mail accounts (branch president and clerk). These e-mail addresses are specific to that calling (ex: tipton.clerk@gmail.com for the clerk). This has several benefits:

  • It provides a way to reach out to people on social media, e-mail and other communications and provide a way for them to communicate back without giving out personal e-mail address.
  • Along the same line, some families have a joint e-mail account and when they have a calling where they receive sensitive information, they should get their own e-mail account. This would prevent them from having to get a new account because one would already be set up for that position.
  • It provides a stable point of reference for e-mail dealing with calling responsibilities that can be passed from person to person (with the calling) without worrying about people having differing e-mail addresses over time.
  • It provides a non-changing, relevant e-mail address to use when creating other accounts online. For example, when creating accounts for purchasing items on non-church (store.lds.org, Staples, etc) websites. Or to use when creating a facebook page. Again, it prevents having to use a member's e-mail address. When member's change positions, leave the unit, or leave the church, new online accounts would have to be created due to the existing ones being associated with that person's e-mail address.
If something like this were adopted by the church, it would require that they modify MLS to allow for a calling specific e-mail address to be added. That way, regardless of who holds that calling it will still show on organizational lists, and would show on any report that displays lists of people and their callings, along with their personal and/or family e-mail addresses.

In an ideal world, they would partner with an e-mail provider and have accounts already set up for specific callings, like branch president, bishop, their counselors, EQ president, RS president, clerk, executive secretary, etc. That way they are automatically created when a unit is formed. In this case they would be hard coded into MLS calling records.

They would have to provide the clerk or technology specialist some means of resetting the password in the event it is ever lost.

I would love to get people's opinions on this practice and see examples of where others have implemented it and have people chime in on the pros and cons. I'd also like to hear suggestions about how to successfully manage these types of accounts. For example, any time there is a calling change, the password should be changed. Also recommendations for naming conventions like UNIT.CALLING@wherever.com

russellhltn
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Re: Calling Specific E-Mail Addresses -- Thoughts?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:06 pm

One issue is that unit names, at least ward names, are not unique. For example, there are 3 "Springfield 1st Ward". All located in the US.

Until this is done as a church, using accounts managed by the church, I'd still consider them "personal accounts" for purposes of policy.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Calling Specific E-Mail Addresses -- Thoughts?

Postby gregwanderson » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:30 am

When my wife was our "Ward Newsletter Editor" we created a Gmail account for ward members to submit newsletter items. The email address was [NameOfTheWard]newsletter@gmail.com. When she was released from that calling I managed to change the account information and just turn the whole thing over to the next person. But "GMail" didn't like that idea. It's not designed to let you change identities but keep the same email address (which would be linked to your Google Plus or YouTube account too). There's a limit to the number of times you can change your name, for example. Anyway, I did it and let the other person take over. But I'm not sure how much trouble it will be if the next person wants to also give the account to someone else when she's done.

So I think I did something similar to what's being proposed here. It almost didn't work for me. I'm not sure how hard it would be to manage these kinds of changes through the church's resources. I suppose what's really needed is this:

The "Tools" at LDS.org need something (I'm not sure what) to become more user-friendly. For some reason, people would rather use other online tools, like Google Docs or Facebook, to connect to people. But right now you could go to the directory tool and click on a calling, which would bring up the contact information for the person with that calling. Then just click on their personal email address and, presto! You send them an email. This method, which is already available (as long as people have their email addresses in the system), does the same thing which has been proposed here without the need to create more email addresses.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Calling Specific E-Mail Addresses -- Thoughts?

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:56 pm

It's against Facebook's policies for someone to have multiple accounts. I don't think it's a good idea to use a generic email to sign up for a Facebook account. An alternative might be to set up a Facebook page, which is easily transferrable between personal Facebook accounts.

Apart from that, I like the idea of having the generic email addresses.
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