If you have a blog and you would like to promote the LDSTech Conference to your readers, you can add an LDSTech conference badge to your blog's sidebar. This badge is simply an image that links to the LDSTech Conference wiki page.
You can select from two sizes of badges: 180px wide or 136px wide. If you have a WordPress blog, you can even install the badge through a plugin. For details on the badges and instructions for installing the badge on WordPress or Blogger, see Adding LDSTech conference badges to your website on the wiki.
We've added an extra day to the LDSTech Conference schedule. On Wednesday, March 28, we will have the privilege of hearing from Clark Gilbert, president and CEO of the Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media.
Clark's keynote will be from 5-6pm on March 28. Here's more information about Clark:
Clark Gilbert is the president and CEO of the Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media. The Deseret Newsis Utah’s longest running business and one of the nation’s fastest growing newspapers, both in print and online. Deseret Digital is one of the largest targeted media networks in the country. It manages the commercial Web properties of the Deseret Media Companies: DeseretNews.com, KSL.com, DeseretBook.com, MormonTimes.com and LDSChurchNews.com.
Prior to DDM, Gilbert was an associate academic vice president at Brigham Young University–Idaho, where he oversaw the university’s online learning and distance education initiatives. He was also a professor of entrepreneurial management at the Harvard Business School and has a background in media innovation.
In the past, we've seen many forum requests for short guides about the new LDS.org tools, sites, and applications available. Many of you occasionally teach fifth Sunday lessons focused on Church technology; others have a need to get basic information out to members in your ward or stake about these resources.
The LDS.org getting started guides page on the LDSTech wiki now has 10 one-page guides available. The guides cover Calendar, Directory, Newsletter, Lesson Schedules, Leader and Clerk Resources, My Study Notebook, LDS.org, LDS Account, and Mormon.org. There is also a Church Websites Overview guide.
In this video, various LDSTech community volunteers share what motivates them to get involved in LDSTech projects and other efforts within the community.
Most of these interviews were recorded at the previous LDSTech Conference in 2011. If you're interested in attending the LDSTech Conference this year, to be held March 28-30 in Riverton, Utah, see https://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDSTech_Conference.
Note: If the video is blocked because of the meetinghouse filter, view it here.
One of the biggest roadblocks employees run into when considering a volunteer workforce is the great burden of communication and coordination needed with volunteers. The LDS Music App team solves this problem by utilizing a church service missionary to be the primary contact between volunteers and ICS employees.
The LDS Music app gives users access to all Church-published music on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Currently, volunteers are working to get Church music transcribed for needed languages for use on the app, among other things. “They are actively involved in testing beta software, making sure everything functions right, and ensuring the content is displayed accurately,” said Elder David Sierakowski, community manager.
Hilton Campbell heads the LDS music app team as the project lead and developer. In the beginning of the project, Hilton himself coordinated with volunteers. “The burden of community volunteers can be pretty high,” Hilton said, especially with the now 174 volunteers committed to the project, and more joining every day. “It was fully consuming. It wasn’t working.”
In June 2011, the Church released Personal Video Conferencing (PVC), a software-based service that allows Church leaders to perform face-to-face meetings without the extensive cost of travel. To date, over 2,000 leaders have signed up and used the service. Although it has been primarily used for Stake Presidency and High Council meetings, additional innovative uses for this service have also been explored.
When Jo DaRosa ran into his old college friend Richard Cheung while on business in Hong Kong, they discussed the possibility of bringing together the youth from their respective congregations using Video Conferencing. With DaRosa’s congregation located in the West Columbia South Carolina stake and Cheung’s congregation being from the Hong Kong Sham Shui Po ward, PVC would allow them to connect for free using a reliable, secure service.
After obtaining the necessary authorization from their stake leaders, DaRosa and Cheung gathered the young men and women in their respective meetinghouses. Over thirty youth attended the one hour video conference. The youth were able to share an invaluable learning experience as they told stories and laughed at translation errors.
July 27, 2012 update: Newsletter is now out of beta and in full production on LDS.org. You can view it from the LDS.org Tools menu. See the help information for current details about newsletter: https://ue.ldschurch.org/ldsapphelp/newsletter.
Newsletter, a new tool on LDS.org, is now open for beta testing. Newsletter provides an interactive site that wards and stakes can use to provide local news to members. The application replaces the “News and Information” feature on the classic local unit website and provides a digital alternative to the paper newsletters that organizations typically create.
Once set up, articles for Newsletter appear in one column of news on the Newsletter homepage, arranged in reverse chronological order. Members can view the news they want to see by selecting the category on the right. The selected category filters the news.
In a recent interview with Community Business Manager Alan Smoot, Jeff Brown, a quality assurance lead for the Church, talked about his experience using a group of volunteers to beta test version 2.0 of the LDS.org calendar application released back in fall 2011. You can watch the interview as well as read a summary below.
“We wanted to get the community involved,” Jeff said, “to give us some better assurance.” Jeff and his team realized that they could not test for every scenario and in every environment. “As QA testers, we don’t understand all the scenarios; we don’t understand what people are going to do . . . and that leads to a lot of uncertainty when it comes to release time.”