Limiting discussion to official statements

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aebrown
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Limiting discussion to official statements

Postby aebrown » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:14 pm

Occasionally a post on this forum will request that responses be limited to official sources. I do not consider this to be a reasonable request, and I will not honor it, unless the forum rules are changed to require us to honor such a request. I doubt that this will happen, however.

This is a forum with established Terms of Use and Code of Conduct. As long as participants follow the rules, they are welcome to make relevant comments to any post on the forum. That is how we learn from each other. We all can look for references in official documents to help instruct, clarify, and support other statements. That is a very helpful thing to do.

But if a discussion is limited to only official statements, we are missing out on one of the tremendous benefits of this forum. We come together to learn from each other. Occasionally we will state opinions that eventually get changed as others state their opinions, or relate experiences, or cite official or unofficial sources. This process increases the knowledge base, and provides a much richer forum experience for all of us. Let us all embrace that process, not restrict it!

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Postby The_Earl » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:20 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Occasionally a post on this forum will request that responses be limited to official sources.
<snip>


I agree whole heartedly.

If you need an official answer from an official source, I would encourage you to follow up with your leadership. Often the official source for your question is your Stake President or Bishop.

The Church has well-established methods to publish and disseminate official communications. This forum is not intended to replace them.

The Earl

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I beg to differ here...

Postby daddy-o-p40 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:17 pm

Alan_Brown & The Earl,

I respectfully disagree. I get that tech.lds.org original purpose was for discussion and that's fine.

The reason the "official" distinction has become necessary is that ALL the clerks were sent an email when MLS 2.8 came out. The instructions were not written very well. All but two of the clerks in my stake interpreted the instructions to mean instead of calling CHQ for official answers they could turn to tech.lds.org also (via the new STS and Clerk Website.)

That's where the problems began. People would rather post a question here than call CHQ while they are at work.

We had to direct them to "only" go to CHQ for "official" answers. We clarified that tech.lds.org may be a good place to learn methods and best practices from others.

I hope this helps explain why it is important to differentiate between speculation and official answers.
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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Postby mkmurray » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:26 pm

enriquer wrote:I get that tech.lds.org original purpose was for discussion and that's fine.

This is still the purpose today; so the question in my mind is this: "Why are you trying to turn it into another official source for support?"
enriquer wrote:We had to direct them to "only" go to CHQ for "official" answers. We clarified that tech.lds.org may be a good place to learn methods and best practices from others.

I hope this helps explain why it is important to differentiate between speculation and official answers.

This seems like the solution to your problem, instead of trying to turn this site into another official source for support (a copy-cat of calling CHQ, I guess you could say).

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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:58 pm

mkmurray, I appreciate how quickly you are throwing me under the bus here. I guess you just didn't understand the situation. Let me try again.:confused:

CHQ sent the communication to the clerks everywhere -- not me. That message directs clerks to the new STS and Clerk website. That new website sends people to tech.lds.org when you go to the support section.

So you see it's not me -- it's CHQ. My guess is this is news to you also. Perhaps this is a left hand right hand issue....I don't know.

But the perception is that tech.lds.org is now a place for support. I am the guy who has steered people away from this within my stake.

We are seeing more posts looking for support answers which really should be directed to CHQ Membership Line. If you review my posts you'll see that I am directing people to CHQ when it is appropriate.

So whether its generally known or not -- someone at CHQ has a different perception of what tech.lds.org is about and shared it.
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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Postby aebrown » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:45 pm

enriquer wrote:CHQ sent the communication to the clerks everywhere -- not me. That message directs clerks to the new STS and Clerk website. That new website sends people to tech.lds.org when you go to the support section.


On the clerk.lds.org site, I am unable to find anything called a "support" section. The only links from that site to this forum that I have found are clearly labeled "discussion forum." It is unfortunate if people have an incorrect perception of what a discussion forum is. It's very valuable, but it is not official support.

I did just reread the notice sent announcing clerk.lds.org. I can see some room for confusion, as that letter mentions both the clerk.lds.org site which will "carry church-released policies and information" and a "discussion forum where clerks and technology specialists can now assist each other." In some places in the letter it isn't particularly clear when the clerk.lds.org site is being described, and when the tech.lds.org/forum site is being described. I wish it had clearly stated just what each site is for. It mostly talks about the forum, which is not actually clerk.lds.org, even though that is the stated topic of the announcement.

However, the letter never mentions going to either site for support. Rather it quite clearly emphasizes that it is a "training and information resource" and that those doing the discussing are other clerks. So you are giving good counsel when you steer people to the correct place (Clerk Support line) if what they want is official support.

One additional point that you didn't mention, but where people might be confused about the topic of support is that when they do follow the link from clerk.lds.org to this forum, they arrive at a page labeled "Clerk and Technology Support." Now we know that this is a discussion forum about support, and the link told them they were heading for a discussion forum, but I can see how they might think that it was an actual support page. Do you have any suggestions for what to call it to alleviate the confusion (if, in fact, this is a source of confusion)?

But I would still strongly encourage people to come to this forum first for many questions -- I'm confident that a significant percentage of the questions that Clerk Support answers every day are already answered in this forum, and anything we can do to relieve the burden on the Clerk Support line is a good thing. Contributors such as yourself are doing a great work in building up a searchable collection of information that is a wonderful resource.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:31 am

I see the CHQ message "tag line" as an invitation to visit tech.lds.org for those seeking to magnify their callings as clerks, nothing else. If I may toss a quote out from HERE...

What is LDS TECH?
Written by Tom Welch

With the global reach of the Church, members from around the world are curious about the type of technical work we do. This web site is designed to give you a glimpse into that work and how you can get involved.


(BTW, Tom is our beloved forum administrator.) For more insight into what tech.lds.org is, click on PURPOSE, found at the top of their home page. I think the four main points sum it all up... Share, Engage, Enlist, and Encourage.

This is what I sincerely hope saints find when they come here.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Postby WelchTC » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:46 am

Let me set some clarity to this issue.

  1. All information on these forums unless specifically stated as policy is the opinion of the poster.
  2. We have many valuable and helpful community moderators who's job it is to help ensure that our terms of use and code of conduct are adhered to. We thank them for the public service. It is invaluable to the work we are trying to achieve on these forums. However they do not speak for the Church but are there to give help, guidance and council.
  3. We have Church employee moderators who are actual employees within the various departments at the Church. Their job is to fill in the gaps that the community is unable to help out with. They are also to point people to policy where there is such a policy. So, as you can see from my post here, that is what I am attempting to do. Sometimes, however, we do not have any policy around an item and so we are left to do what we feel is best. Significant decisions around issues should be discussed with your ecclesiastical leader. Also you are free to contact CHQ for further guidance should these forums not provide the necessary help.
  4. The tech.lds.org web site is constantly changing. We are adding more departments and more users. As we get more people from different areas involved, we will run into issues where there is question as to if these forums are the "official" source of information. I refer you back to points #2 and 3.
  5. A growing purpose of the forums is to provide information in a timely fashion and to offload work from existing CHQ resources. There are very many questions answered through these forums that would have had to be handled by a Church employee. There are very innovative solutions to problems that I have seen.
We appreciate everyone's involvement in these forums and the continued support you show. Let me know if you need further clarification.

Tom

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Postby jbh001 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:03 am

Alan_Brown wrote:One additional point that you didn't mention, but where people might be confused about the topic of support is that when they do follow the link from clerk.lds.org to this forum, they arrive at a page labeled "Clerk and Technology Support." Now we know that this is a discussion forum about support, and the link told them they were heading for a discussion forum, but I can see how they might think that it was an actual support page. Do you have any suggestions for what to call it to alleviate the confusion (if, in fact, this is a source of confusion)?
I realize that there was some discussion about shortening the forum title, but to the forum neophyte, it now appears that the forum is also for any kind of technology support (whether that is the intent or not).

"Technology" without any qualifiers is too broad.

I recommend replacing "Support" from the forum title with "Discussions" or "Forum." How about "Clerks and Technologists Discussions," "Clerks and Stake Technologists Forum," or, since the Stake Technology Specialist is in reality an Assistant Stake Clerk, how something simple like "Stake and Ward Clerk Discussions"? I think the titles of the sub-forums within it are self-explanatory enough such the stake technology specialists can see that they are also included.

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Postby jbh001 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:27 am

If, after searching lds.org and other resources for the answer, you feel the need to say
enriquer wrote:Please limit replies to "official" and/or "factual" replies.
then you should start by calling CHQ instead of posting here. After calling, please post the results (if appropriate) for the benefit of the rest of us (which you did).


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