YMYW.org and returnandreport.org pushback

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TechnoBabel-p40
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Postby TechnoBabel-p40 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:19 am

Another point to consider is that returnandreport.org only accepts public record information and nothing confidential. I don't know about ymyw.org since I've never used it.

I don't think the Church prohibits a group from using a 3rd-party website, but it does seem clear that groups are not allowed to create their own websites. So using sites that benefit the group, like Google Calendars, ymyw.org, and returnandreport.org should be just fine.

In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm a huge fan of returnandreport.org. I can't even begin to tell you how much is has helped us. If we had to go back to the old way of doing HT reporting, I'd die.

TB

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:14 pm

boomerbubba wrote:Also, I doubt that the developer of RaR would have been honored, as he was, by the Church IT department for his site if it violated Church policy.


Yes, Brad was honored. Yet there are parts of RaR that make the church's legal department nervous. That's one of the reasons that the church's version that's under development does not include some of the features found in RaR. But it's not a serious enough problem for the church to come out and make a clear announcement on it.

Bottom line: Mixed messages.
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TechnoBabel-p40
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Postby TechnoBabel-p40 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:00 pm

RussellHltn wrote:That's one of the reasons that the church's version that's under development does not include some of the features found in RaR.


What's kind of funny and ironic is that the Church's proposed version doesn't contain a single feature from RaR and RaR contains not a single feature of the Church version. With RaR, HT/VT assignments must be assembled outside of the RaR website. The Church's project has become a completely different project than it started out as.

I think this happened because of a lack of sponsorship, but that is just my opinion.

TB

mattfarley
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Postby mattfarley » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:31 am

Ironic -- this exact issue is being raised at work right now. Our company has certain policies / restrictions which are a bit old and were targeted at public-facing "traditional websites" (i.e. not applications). Unfortunately, the wording in the policy simply states "website".

Fast forward to web 2.0 and now we have a mass migration of fat client applications moving to the browser. To the layman, these are just more "websites", so an unfortunate attempt is made to apply the archaic website policies to them.

We've concluded that we need to scrap the old policies and create two new renditions -- one specifically for web-based applications, and another for websites.

I believe the Church is in a similar situation. With the original intent being that they did not want local units creating a public-facing web presence in the form of "brochure" type websites. As more and more applications move to the browser, as "cloud computing" becomes pervasive, the Church (like my company), will need to clarify its policy and recognize the benefits (and difference) of web-based applications such as ymyw.org and returnandreport.org.

As previously mentioned, the sticky parts are the privacy and legal issues associated with the use of personal information in these web applications (sometimes without the full understanding and clear consent of each ward member involved).

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:53 am

mfarley wrote:I believe the Church is in a similar situation. With the original intent being that they did not want local units creating a public-facing web presence in the form of "brochure" type websites.


I think the 2001 and 2004 letters did have that concern. But it wasn't the only concern. "In addition, it is imperative that the rights of third parties be protected and respected though strict compliance with applicable laws." (2001 letter) This was clarified in 2004 as "meet the legal requirements of copyrights and privacy."

When they did go on-line with LUWS, they provided directory and calendering information, but all secured with a method that automatically updates itself as the members move. The privacy concerns still apply to web applications. Unfortunately, we are not provided any guidelines in that area so it's difficult for us to evaluate any of these applications for compliance.
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Postby lajackson » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:51 am

mfarley wrote:As previously mentioned, the sticky parts are the privacy and legal issues associated with the use of personal information in these web applications (sometimes without the full understanding and clear consent of each ward member involved).


These are very sticky issues, and I personally believe they are driving much of the decision making in this process. And, it appears, the decisions are still being made.

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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:08 pm

It is unfortunate that until the "actual" leadership concerns are communicated and resolved that Home & Visit Teaching efforts will continued to be diminished by the administration work.
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lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:57 pm

daddy-o wrote:It is unfortunate that until the "actual" leadership concerns are communicated and resolved that Home & Visit Teaching efforts will continued to be diminished by the administration work.


I know that it is really nice to have electronic tools to organize and plan. But, I think sometimes they actually get in the way. I believe that the "actual" leadership concern is that every member be visited by a home teacher and every sister be visited by a visiting teacher.

Personally, I find it very easy to get lost in the "administration" work and forget to do the "ministering" work outlined in the scriptures. Nevertheless, over 179-1/2 years, brethren and sisters have managed to get out, visit the members, and change lives.

Occasionally, I, too, wonder how they ever did it without computers. Somehow, they managed.

For the record, I support efforts such as RaR. I think the bugs will be worked out in time. While that is happening, I will go and do something to return and report about. I know I feel better when I visit with my priesthood leaders and have something to report.

They seem to like it, as well. [grin]

TechnoBabel-p40
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Postby TechnoBabel-p40 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:00 am

lajackson wrote:I know that it is really nice to have electronic tools to organize and plan. But, I think sometimes they actually get in the way. I believe that the "actual" leadership concern is that every member be visited by a home teacher and every sister be visited by a visiting teacher.

Personally, I find it very easy to get lost in the "administration" work and forget to do the "ministering" work outlined in the scriptures. Nevertheless, over 179-1/2 years, brethren and sisters have managed to get out, visit the members, and change lives.

Occasionally, I, too, wonder how they ever did it without computers. Somehow, they managed.

For the record, I support efforts such as RaR. I think the bugs will be worked out in time. While that is happening, I will go and do something to return and report about. I know I feel better when I visit with my priesthood leaders and have something to report.

They seem to like it, as well. [grin]


I cannot think of anyone I know who uses ReturnAndReport.org who thinks the technology gets in the way. Many automatically assume that RAR causes less communication between the Presidency and Teachers when, in fact, it does the opposite.

According to the site operator, one of the main goals of ReturnAndReport is to decrease the amount of administrative work that the Presidency needs to do so that they can focus more on the families and sisters.

TB

Brianinidaho-p40
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Handbook not for private interpetation

Postby Brianinidaho-p40 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:32 pm

I love discussions regarding "the handbook" when the handbook is silent on my question. A few bishoprics ago we use to say "the handbook is not for private interpetation."

Our stake is discussing with our bishops soon about the use of these and other tools. Frankly my life will be easier without being the admins of the various sites... but I think the good here outweighs the risks... if, it is really up to the local units. Thanks for all the discussions here.


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