Ward Domain and Google Apps

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jordanc
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Ward Domain and Google Apps

Postby jordanc » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:09 pm

I have thought that it would be simple for our ward leaders if I register a new domain (i.e. FirstWard.com) and set it up with Google apps for the purpose of email and Google Docs collaboration only. Again, I would not create a website for this domain, but just use the domain for Google Apps.

Church policy states that we are not to create any official sites, but this would not be a website - merely a domain to make it easier for email.

I would be the domain admin and I would create new email accounts as desired. If someone in the ward wanted an email, I would add them as a user, if they did not want to use it, we would not force them to do so.

I'm just curious to see what others think about this, and see if anyone thinks that this would violate church policy in any way.

Thanks!

techgy
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Postby techgy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:11 pm

jordanc wrote:I have thought that it would be simple for our ward leaders if I register a new domain (i.e. FirstWard.com) and set it up with Google apps for the purpose of email and Google Docs collaboration only. Again, I would not create a website for this domain, but just use the domain for Google Apps.

Church policy states that we are not to create any official sites, but this would not be a website - merely a domain to make it easier for email.

I would be the domain admin and I would create new email accounts as desired. If someone in the ward wanted an email, I would add them as a user, if they did not want to use it, we would not force them to do so.

I'm just curious to see what others think about this, and see if anyone thinks that this would violate church policy in any way.

Thanks!


My personal opinion is that you're splitting hairs in trying to circumvent the official policy. I would recommend against such action.
The church is making progress on the new lds.org web site and changes this year will no doubt see the addition of more features.
Have you read the Code of Conduct?

lionelwalters
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Postby lionelwalters » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:41 am

I agree that Google Apps offers some great tools, but I don't think you need a dedicated Apps account for Church purposes - and would agree that this blurs the line as far as policy goes. We use some of the Google tools, including Google Docs, in our stake presidency, but our accounts are tied to our individual personal email addresses. Not only does this alleviate the maintenance overhead (by this I simply mean the time and individual accountability required to operate a Google Apps account), but it also allows for continuity after we are released. Remember, there's no such thing as "job security" in local Church leadership. It may be fine while you're in your current calling, but once you're released you can't guarantee that your successor will have the necessary skills and/or time to maintain the Google Apps account, and Google Apps doesn't currently support assigning ownership for docs, etc., outside the Apps domain.

As far as e-mail addresses for members, I think the same objective is achieved in the messaging functions being built into the leadership tools on LDS.org. In the meantime, you might consider Google Groups as a workable alternative.

I don't know what is on the road map, but I expect that much of what we currently accomplish with Google tools will eventually be built into LDS.org. So I'd stick with individual Google accounts for specific tools rather than going for the full Google Apps suite.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:03 am

Policy aside, what about cost? According to this "religious organizations" do not qualify for the free (educational) version.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lionelwalters
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Postby lionelwalters » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:26 am

RussellHltn wrote:Policy aside, what about cost? According to this "religious organizations" do not qualify for the free (educational) version.


The basic edition of Google Apps is free. See:
http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html

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MorettiDP
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Postby MorettiDP » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:15 am

When Google Apps are a free aplication only, I ordered a domain from Brazilian Government registrar "Registro.br" and setup a Google Apps account in this "estacasaocarlosbrasil.org.br" domain. I create a simple html site to send people to the various Apps features. I, then, create e-mail accounts for each stake officials and some high-rank ward officials, but the idea aren't so good. The people need some training and the time for this training are hard to find that time. Otherwise, some people begin to use his accounts.
Since a request from the stake presidency (I believe it come from the Brazil's ICS office in São Paulo) asked me to stop mantain and support the system, eleven months after, I deleted the Apps account and all its 500 clients available to setup. Than, I stop pay for the annual fees of the domain and it returned to the "future use available" lists at "Registro.br". Since than, we use simple e-mail lists to communicate.
I belive the use of Apps are a good way to work, but with the propper support.
MorettiDP
São Carlos Brazil Stake Technology Specialist

ericlaw5
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Postby ericlaw5 » Sun May 08, 2011 11:16 am

As the OP mentioned, this would be for the purpose of email and document sharing and a website would not be set up.

I personally don't think we should discourage the use of interim collaboration tools solely on the basis they are web-based, and therefore might somehow be mislabled as an "official website". However there is a case to be made as to whether implementing and maintaining some of these free or low-cost solutions are practical for a given Ward and actually save time and effort.


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