Encouraging Members to Use Unit Websites

Share discussions around the Classic Local Unit Website (LUWS).
bartbarker
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Postby bartbarker » Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:08 pm

One problem with holding a tech night is that those who are intimidated by technology, or who don't see the value of it, might skip the event. Another approach might be a short intro at the beginning of a fifth Sunday joint meeting of the Priesthood and Relief Society.

Someone could set up a projector hooked to a laptop that has a wireless connection. The idea would be to quickly show what's available without trying to explain exactly how to use it. The goal would be to get people interested, hoping for a critical mass of users. During the rest of the class, a signup sheet could go around where people could express their interest in getting the information they need to get onto the site. Those who sign up would get their membership page along with a short welcome sheet explaining how to get onto the site. People could request that someone personally help them get started.

Of course, this requires a site that is populated with lots of useful information in addition to the directory. The ward would have to commit to make full use of the site or this effort would be a waste of time.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:44 pm

bbarker wrote:Someone could set up a projector hooked to a laptop that has a wireless connection.


I did that for the HC when it LUWS first came out. Except I used PowerPoint. As you know, Power Point advances slides when you click the mouse. When you move the mouse, you get a normal mouse pointer. So long as you have the slides set in the order of your script, it's not hard to simulate an on-line session. Simply move the mouse to the proper part of the page before you click it. I've actually fooled people into thinking I'm on-line.

For those who don't have access to Power Point, OpenOffice has similar functionality.

bartbarker
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Postby bartbarker » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:27 pm

RussellHltn wrote:...I used PowerPoint...So long as you have the slides set in the order of your script, it's not hard to simulate an on-line session. Simply move the mouse to the proper part of the page before you click it. I've actually fooled people into thinking I'm on-line.


Very good point. And for the short session I suggested, this might even be better because there would be no waiting and no distraction.

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Eli-p40
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Postby Eli-p40 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:54 am

As with a lot of other people on here, I am also my ward web site care taker. When I originally took it over and before our Bishopric understood the full potential of what our ward website could do, we had around 20-30 registered members.
After a few meetings with the leadership, it was decided that we should pro-actively approach members and explain the importance of it. A lot of the members just didn't know we had a website at all, and that is why they did not signup.
To make things easier it was announced during the 5th Sunday, and we passed a clipboard around to everyone interested in signing up. They gave us their first/last name and a valid email address. We then gathered this information and wrote a standard instruction sheet and filled their information into it so they knew how to complete the signup process and use the basic features. We gave this back to our ward members at the next meeting. I believe that weekend we had 75 additional members join our website, and our email distribution lists.

So just something to try :)

Is there a post to go over requested additions to the unit sites? I have a few :)

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:34 am

Eli wrote:We gave this back to our ward members at the next meeting.


Did you give it back to them in person or via email? It sounds like you did it in person, but then I'm sure why you asked for their email unless it was to prove they were really on-line.

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Eli-p40
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Postby Eli-p40 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:43 am

RussellHltn wrote:Did you give it back to them in person or via email? It sounds like you did it in person, but then I'm sure why you asked for their email unless it was to prove they were really on-line.


We actually did both. For the most part we could do it within the next meeting, however we had a few that did not show in our records. We found a few families who didn't have their records transfered to us yet, so we waited for those to come in then emailed them out.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:52 am

OK, I'm just a little leery about sending login information via email. All it would take is one typo or a misread of the handwriting and the information could end up in the wrong hands. I feel a lot better about handing it to them in person. (Of course they could just leave it behind somewhere too :rolleyes: , but I can only do so much.)

Otherwise, I think that's a good idea.

Another variation might be to print the IOS for all the adult ward members (they should review it anyway) and then attach a sheet explaining how to log in to the site. Although I like that you're able to catch people whose records you don't have. As a ward clerk for many years, I know that can be a chronic problem.

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greenwoodkl
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Postby greenwoodkl » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:11 pm

In our ward, we just did a CSV export of the MLS data. We then imported to OpenOffice Spreadsheet, edited to leave only name, record number, and confirmation date. We added some additional space between lines and printed out the roster. We then cut out each strip of data, stapled it to a photocopied instruction sheet on how to signup and passed out the information with appropriate data in PH/RS meetings.

P.S. We did ensure that the CSV file was deleted after printing. :)

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jadzia1127-p40
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Fixes needed for ward sites

Postby jadzia1127-p40 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:00 pm

In my opinion there are a few things that need to be addressed to increase traffic to ward site.
Right now the ward web sites for the members are limited and everthing can be done easier without using it.
-To register is a huge headache, searching through your house looking for an old tithing settlement paper, like suggested, is more trouble then worth to just look at an outdated limited calendar and get a phone number for the bishop. It is easier to wait until Sunday read the bulletin for the up-to-date activities and to get the bishop's number just call around.
-Advertisement is how all good products finally get used. Most RS YW YM Elders, HP pres have an email list for their group. If somehow we could give those list to the ward clerk and a standardized email could be sent out with each person's info and a link to register. Making registration a snap no lost paper searching.
-To have any ward's bishopric (at least office) and/or building numbers open (no need to log-in) especially for visitors, would be a good thing.
-A simplified calendar (with no need to log-in) listing things such as Sunday meeting times and activities open to all. This would allow family (great for baby blessings and such) and investigators to check out a ward and find out times. This would need to have some sort of search engine to find wards.
-The ward sites need a "Remember Me" cookie option to check so you don't have to remember your password all the time.
-Also a "Forgot Password" button for the older members, to have ID and password emailed to them, they would have to register an email address when registering to have that option. All people who have already register would need to be reminded to put in an email address if they haven't already.
-It would be nice if the web master could set certain people as instant accept on activities for the calendar. This would make it easier on the web master and many leaders would feel more comfortable in using it. Members who have callings for primary, YW/YM, RS, elders, HP or even activity commitee have to send in a request to have their activities put on the calendar. Sometimes these don't even get looked at until after the activity is over let alone posted.
-Advertisement is how all good products finally get used. Most RS YW YM Elders, HP pres have an email list for their group. If somehow we could give those list to the ward clerk and a mass email could be sent out with each person's info and link to register on the site
-Allow the option of each organization to have a page inside of the ward site, such as YW page with a youth activity calendar, camp needs, a forum for posting activity ideas to be discussed and voted on by youth and leaders, reminders for Personal Progress, and progress chart for all girl's PP. Allow the leaders to over watch and maintain that page.
-I know this might be a bit beyond time and money abilities but to allow someone to link to their ward website as their homepage and do a personal customization to it, such as choose to have quote of the day, lesson help, links, etc. The 'Remember Me' cookie option would have to be in place for this. Yet I know many people who would love to have this option for their homepage.
- It would be great to see the new ideas in the ward sites for visitng/home teaching reports and other features.
I find that (taking a page out of microsoft's book) if technology is taken to the easiest user level, more people are apt to using it. It also seems that we like technology to do more and be customizable to our taste.

kristacook-p40
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Getting people to use the site -- especially seniors 50+

Postby kristacook-p40 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:31 pm

The web sites for seniors/technology I posted were just to the main page. Tom warned us about linking to areas inside a web site so I avoided it. The information is there. You just have to dig for it.

In order to teach seniors tech skills so they will use the ward web site is no easy task. It is naive to think that a ward tech night will work just because it is the option you have chosen. It may work in some wards, it may not in others. One thing I learned from meandering around the senior tech web sites is that some programs provide for young people to mentor an older person one-on-one. Interactive tutorials can be tried also. There are numerous possibilities. No one has mentioned Home Teachers taking the necessary information (confirmation date etc.) to people during their monthly visits so people can log-in and register easily.

A prior poster noted that the web sites I listed did not have any quick guides to how to teach tech to seniors. This is true. This is information you always have to dig for. Meandering around the sites can give you an idea about how to tackle this task. You may need to refer to studies on what sort of font, size etc. is best for easy viewing. Also, any research on how long seniors are willing to wait for a web site to load or a link to materialize on their screen needs to be known. If you use color to convey information you may need to duplicate that information some other way for those who are color-blind. There are studies on how much information people can reasonably absorb in a particular time period. Most people cram too much information on a powerpoint slide. There are recommendations on how to space items and how much to leave blank. All of this can take you into the computer science literature, instructional technology, psychology, communications etc. Teaching is hard work.

Also, as a teacher in a tech night, or some other forum, you need to worry about "climate control" -- too hot in the room, too cold etc. You need to go to the furthest spot in the room and make sure that anyone can read/see any of the visuals. You need to know how big you have to write words on the chalkboard so that people can read them etc. You need to make sure the technology is available and will work for what you need. You need to set up the classroom so that distractions are minimized -- people aren't facing windows or doors so they aren't distracted about comers and goers or something else.

You really ought to field-test your presentation on a senior to just see how they respond and if they understand. The feedback you receive could result in your completely revamping things. . .

Etc. Ad Nauseum


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