The LDS Forum - a very long time coming?

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Michael_Newman
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The LDS Forum - a very long time coming?

Postby Michael_Newman » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:53 pm

It's good to see this forum is now available to the public. And I suspect it has been a long time coming.

In 1998 I was assigned by my company to investigate the tools necessary to put our origanization (a worldwide professional association) on the Internet using a forum style software package.

I began joining various groups to see how they were managed. From 1998 to 2000 I participated in many Internet Forums, mostly to learn how the moderators and administrators managed the tens of thousands of members and organized the material into forums. Overall, it was both a shocking and enlightening experience - and it came as no surprise to see why our church had not ventured into the Internet World of Forum Discussion at that time.

In 2000 we launched our web site and forum (choosing an earlier version of VBulletin Software which has been upgraded ever since). As the first Administrator, I authored the first topic titled [size=134]"Does anyone have any questions?"
Little did I know how from that start we would amass nearly a half million discussions in 400+ forums with a membership of 41,000.

(Although our entire Board of Directors are all LDS, our professional association is secular)

There are over 3 million other websites which use the same VBulletin Software, I suspect our site can be counted as having one of the strictest Forum Rules, Oath, and Code of Ethics (which were authored, based in part, on the Doctrine of Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price).

I was amused with your LDS registration question regarding the year of the First Vision - which is a very clever question to ask. Our registration requires the use of a drivers license and a first and last name - which eliminates trollers, flamers, and others who wish to disrupt for their personal gratification. (They end up registering at any number of other sites where "everything goes") Members may opt to use an alias online.

The result has been a peaceful and respectful forum, where everyone is on a fist and last name basis.

Over the last nine (9) years we have developed a comprehensive Moderator Training School - which usually takes 3-4 months to graduate. Unlike some forums where moderators seem to be instanly appointed because of favoritism or egos, we provide the opportunity for all to apply, to learn, and to become. It takes time (about 50% devoted to the management of member posts, and the remaining 50% on the proper use of tools - which vary from Moderator to several levels of administrators). Our members appreciate good leaders - and I have already seen praises for the leaders of this forum too.

I commend the church in taking a wait and see approach - which has evolved into this forum. It is a delight to use the resources available, and I intend to mention it in our Branch.

All my best,

Michael[/SIZE]

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jltware
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Postby jltware » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:05 am

Michael Newman wrote:I was amused with your LDS registration question regarding the year of the First Vision - which is a very clever question to ask.



Was I the only person who had to guess three times and wait for the articles of faith question to come up before I could access anything? I felt really stupid for not knowing that, but I have watched 3 or 4 other people guess wrong on that now, so I don't feel so bad. I did know how may articles of faith there were though (thankfully!).

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:08 am

jltware wrote:Was I the only person who had to guess three times and wait for the articles of faith question to come up before I could access anything? I felt really stupid for not knowing that, but I have watched 3 or 4 other people guess wrong on that now, so I don't feel so bad. I did know how may articles of faith there were though (thankfully!).

This is designed to be a question that is easy to search Google for the answer. We had reservations of people not knowing it off the top of their head, but figured it was easily searchable. The sole purpose of the registration question is to keep spam bots from registering on the site. We only want humans here! :)
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!


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