AileneRHerrick wrote:Yes, it's a vicious cycle! I'm tinkering with ideas. Maybe we should make a success story forum where people share their tried and true success stories!
I have come to believe it is more important that members receive information from the website than they interact with the website. Therefore, I send out a weekly e-mail blast with a summary of what's coming up (e.g., events for the week), announcements, birthdays, achievements, etc. This has been very well received and, as a result, members of the ward are talking amongst themselves about receiving the e-mails. In the past three months we have had a 33% increase in registrations from 62 to 83.
If the leaders believe the information being sent helps them in their calling, they will support the website. The Relief Society President, HP Group Leadership, and EQ President are all solidly behind this. They see the value of reminders going out for RS Enrichment, Ward Basketball, and Temple Assignments. I still have not gotten support from the YM and YW, but I believe it will come.
I would would say this is the first level of involvement that you want to achieve.
For the next level, I would like to see the leaders submitting calendar events and information items. I would like them to submit the events themselves, but I don't care if they send them to me directly. My strategy to achieve this level is to send out to the leaders on a monthly basis the ward calendar (from the website) in a PDF format for the upcoming month. And then, I am soliciting their calendaring information. I don't kow if this will work yet, or not. But, I am optimistic.
The third level of involvement is to have the members of the ward access the website directly for information. My strategy for accomplishing this level is to post more information on the website than is being sent out through the weekly e-mails. I am posting "Family Spotlights" with pictures. I insert a teaser in the weekly e-mail with the first paragraph of the spotlight and then the weekly e-mail encourages them to go to the website. The family spotlights are also be abridged and printed in the ward newsletter, with a teaser to go to the website and read the full story. I am collecting these into a PDF file so that over time, I will have a large number of these spotlights written. Another strategy is the "Recipe Box." It is similar in that we post a few current recipes and then create a PDF file for collected recipes. I have three other website features that I am trying to use for achieving user interaction: A new member information packet (downloadable PDF document of 20 pages), a collection of inspiring thoughts and quotes that is being updated, and ward forms (such as expenditure authorizations). I want to create scrapbook pages from ward activities, but I haven't gotten photos from the activities committee yet. Another item that I have asked for is the "Emergency Preparedness" plan and neighborhood plan.
Another website feature that I am maintaining is the "Sacrament Meeting Synopsis." I take notes of the talks and post them to the website. We summarize these notes and print them in the Ward newsletter. The intent of this feature is to provide information to shut-ins and to members of the ward who are assigned to work in other wards.
I am seeing modest success at this third level.
The next level is to have ward members actively participate and interact with the website. I haven't had much success at this level. Unless I can come up with ideas that encourage this sort of activity, I doubt that I will have a lot of success at this fourth level.