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How to get ward to use LUWS

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:19 pm
by wesax-p40
Hi, I have a ward that doesn't use the LUWS much. The calendar gets updated every so often. If you use the submit an event on teh calendar our website person doesn't get it. She demands that we email her directly... The lessons aren't updated at all. Just asking for some suggestions here. I would love to have our ward move into the information age...

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:32 pm
by mprusse
Start having LUWS be the only source of information; ie, announcements, phone numbers, calendar, etc. People will start to use it out of necessity. Don't print ward directories or take time in meetings to go through the calendar. Members can see the calendar online and work through their own conflicts. I'm the bishop in my ward and this is the plan I have started to implement. It's slow but we're getting there.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 5:27 pm
by techgy
wesax wrote:Hi, I have a ward that doesn't use the LUWS much. The calendar gets updated every so often. If you use the submit an event on teh calendar our website person doesn't get it. She demands that we email her directly... The lessons aren't updated at all. Just asking for some suggestions here. I would love to have our ward move into the information age...


Just like a personal web site, if the LUWS doesn't contain anything useful, then your visitors don't return. The first impression must be one of "gee, this is great. I can find lots of useful information here. "

Now with that said, you first have to get them to make that first visit. One idea that I recall hearing somewhere was to incorporate the LUWS into a ward activity. Perhaps post a few answers to some questions on the site and then, during a ward social, have prizes for those who know the answers. Be creative.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:03 pm
by aebrown
Techgy wrote:One idea that I recall hearing somewhere was to incorporate the LUWS into a ward activity.


The thread where that was discussed was


Some other useful threads might be:


Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:15 pm
by jdlessley
I agree with macsense's and Techgy's posts. In addition, the members of a ward will do what their leaders do. If the leaders do not support the LUWS or are ambivalent, then so goes the rest of the ward. Having those called to manage the site and the information that goes into it trained to manage the LUWS is also necessary to make sure their lack of knowledge does not add an additional wall of resistance to its use.

As our stake technology specialist I have been given the responsibility to train ward web site administrators. Fortunately most only need to be directed to the help pages for the overall user side of the site as well as the administrator help pages, the LDSTech Wiki - Local Unit Website, and the LDS Tech Forums.

When the ward leaders are made aware of the LUWS capabilities and catch the vision of communication potential they usually adopt its use in their quorum and auxliary planning and information distribution.

Sorry Alan, I agree with your post also. I did not see your post until after I posted mine.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:09 pm
by russellhltn
jdlessley wrote:I agree with macsense's and Techgy's posts. In addition, the members of a ward will do what their leaders do. If the leaders do not support the LUWS or are ambivalent, then so goes the rest of the ward.


Yes. The key is to get the Bishop on-board. If he wants it, it will get done - one way or another.

Thanks

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:30 pm
by wesax-p40
Wow! Thank you all I didn't expect this quick of a response. I will try to use these ideas to help our leaders get more "excited" to use the LUWS. I appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:24 pm
by slashby-p40
For us it started with the Stake President a couple of years ago. He said we weren't going to hand out any more calendars and start putting all stake calendar items online.

Now we have a new assistant ward clerk who has the assignment to get the whole ward online. He's a clerk so he can have access to everyones member number and confirmation date.

Take it one step at a time

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:52 am
by dmaynes
wesax wrote:Hi, I have a ward that doesn't use the LUWS much. The calendar gets updated every so often. If you use the submit an event on teh calendar our website person doesn't get it. She demands that we email her directly... The lessons aren't updated at all. Just asking for some suggestions here. I would love to have our ward move into the information age...


In addition to the ideas in the threads that Alan posted, I have recently found that your enrollment campaign needs to be focused and organized if you are going to maximize the use of the LUWS by your ward members. For me, the most important thing is that the ward members are receiving the information from the website, whether they go there or not. So, I send a weekly e-mail broadcast. This will prevent some ward members from ever using the website, because they will rely on receiving the weekly broadcast. That is a decision that I have made.

I have reprioritized my efforts with the website. After passing the challenge of no content, I have focused on enrollment. In other words, I have much basic content: (Updates from ward members, News from the Scouts, News from the Young Women, A ward information packet, etc.). This is how I am conducting the enrollment campaign.
1. Make a list of every "head of household"
2. Categorize the people into one of 8 groups: Enrolled, Gets an e-mail copy, No e-mail/No Internet, Not interested, Not contacted, Intends to sign up, Missionary, Moved.
3. Keep a log of interactions (I use a spreadsheet) for every individual that is in the "Not contacted" and the "Intends to sign up" group.
4. Gather cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all the individuals, and start contacting them.
5. Move the "Not contacted" individuals into one of the other categories, (usually "No e-mail/No Internet," "Not interested," or "Intends to sign up").
6. Follow up on the "Intends to sign up" category and move them into the "Enrolled" or "Gets an e-mail copy" category.
7. Keep track of progress, because it is very slow work and when you can see your progress over time, you can stay motivated. When I started this 6 months ago, we had 62 members enrolled. I now have 108 members enrolled. I am hoping to enroll 150 members.

In a few months, I expect to shift my efforts to getting more active participation by the Ward Council. I intend to do this by focusing on each organization's unique needs and how the website can help that organization. For example, the Young Women and Young Men really need a shared calendar. Others on the forum have suggested using the "Resource" item for these calendars. I am going to do this. The Relief Society has a need to share information on specific shared projects and goals. For example, they are collecting recipes. I intend to help them get all of their collected recipes into a downloadable PDF (but my right now, my effort is with the enrollment campaign). The Primary and other organizations will be benefited by having reports with photos of activities on the website. I intend to work with the secretaries of the organizations to do this.

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:32 am
by zaneclark
RussellHltn wrote:Yes. The key is to get the Bishop on-board. If he wants it, it will get done - one way or another.



Absolutely agree. I am both the ward and stake administrator and I have tried almost every suggestion made here in this thread, but without the full support of the leaders, it is a constant uphill battle. I have made presentations to both ward and stake councils, I have met with the stake presidency and the bishopric and although they all express to me their desire for the LUW to be utilized more, I haven't heard them express this to the ward members. Until they do, we can only keep plugging away and make sure our sites are viable and useful.