Before I respond to any specific issues you raised, let me clarify how this forum works. I fear that you have been sorely disappointed because you had expectations that this forum would operate differently from the way it is designed .
First of all, practically every participant in the forum is a volunteer. We have various callings, experience, and knowledge, but hardly anyone is a Church employee. I certainly am not. Even the Church employees who participate have full-time jobs and manage to carve out a little time to be helpful. I volunteer my time because I like to help people, and I have a desire to help increase the knowledge base of helpful information.
Second, there is no guarantee that any particular question will be answered. However, those of us who have been designated as moderators try to make sure that people aren't left dangling. If we do neglect a question, we appreciate a brief reminder. I've never seen a question ignored when a reminder is posted.
Third, although there are some talented, smart people who participate in the forum, no one is perfect, and we all have areas of strength and weakness. Occasionally someone will post something that is in error; when this happens, usually another forum participant will attempt to get the correct information out. This process requires patience and humility on everyone's part. This forum does extraordinarily well in the level of civility, but even this forum is not the city of Enoch.
Fourth, some questions will be asked where no one on the forum has the expertise or authority to answer it, or the question is just not in the realm of the LDS Technology Forum. When that happens, we just have to move on, and look for answers elsewhere.
kristacook wrote:Family, Home and Personal Enrichment IS the better example for the point I was trying to make. I'm puzzled as to why you would ignore it and focus on only one of the three examples I cited. The section I referred to concerning Enrichment has crucial information such as when the new guidelines were issued and when they took effect, the REASONS things were changed and a COMPARISON of the old and new guidelines -- all crucial information for those responsible for implementing the guidelines. ALL OF THIS IS ONLINE. I don't know what I would have done without it. When I bought my copy of the Relief Society Handbook instructions from the Distribution Center I was dismayed to discover it hadn't been updated since 1998. The copyright date was not, and is not, included on the Distribution Center web site or any other clue as to when it was updated. If I had known this I might not have bought it. (Oops, it is free, I might not have ordered it.) I needed to know what additions or alterations there were in order to fulfill my calling. If these Enrichment guidelines had not been online I don't know what I would have done.
I did try to address two of the three examples you raised. On one of them I made a separate post
where I completely agreed with you. I apologize for neglecting the third. I agree with you that the Relief Society handled this issue very well, and posted great information to help local leaders with the new policy. I'd love to see more issues handled that way, but I certainly understand that some issues may be more sensitive and won't be handled as publicly. Also, different departments and organizations in the Church may choose to put a different level of emphasis on online resources.
kristacook wrote:From many of the postings on this issue, I'm perplexed as to why people think that much of the guidance in the Handbook should be considered secret, sacred, confidential and untouchable. It is a detailed, working document that should be, and is, updated regularly to meet the administrative needs of a complex organization trying to function on a day-to-day basis in a complex and and rapidly changing world.
I hope I didn't characterize the Handbook that way. I was merely trying to explain that very little of the Handbook is online. That decision was made by those in authority over such matters. Given the tremendous effort the Church has put into the many official web sites of the Church, I am confident that this decision was not made because anyone is lazy or trying to make it hard for faithful saints to do their callings, but that there were very good reasons for that decision. But I don't think anyone on this forum was involved in that decision, and so we can only speculate on the reasons, which doesn't seem particularly useful.
I personally would love to see much more of the Handbook and updates to it posted online, but I respect the authority of those who made those decisions. The information regarding updates flows to local leadership, and those stake presidents and bishops and other local leaders have a responsibility under the current system to distribute that information. The Church makes great efforts to make sure that people have the information they need, but it does not always come in the ways that we might prefer.
kristacook wrote:I thought this was a forum for suggesting and evaluating ways to improve these digital tools. What I have discovered instead, is that it seems to be dominated by those itching for a fight, selective interpretation of comments and ignorance.
I truly apologize if I have appeared to be "itching for a fight"; my only goal was to share what I know and to try to help. I am sorry I gave you that impression, and I freely admit that I am ignorant on many subjects.
kristacook wrote:If no one knows anything about the challenges of picture indexing, indexing/abstracting, back-of-the book indexing, embedded indexing, creating and managing databases, boolean searching, proximity search tools, wild cards, truncation and other elementary concepts in information science then I am wasting my time. I'll not visit LDSTech in the future.
I dare say that these skills exist among the nearly 3000 users, but not all are active every day or every week. I have experience in three or four of them, but am completely ignorant on others. Of course, I am no expert in information science; I have many years of experience in software development. The idea of the forum is that lots of people pool their knowlege to help each other, but it's an imperfect system.
If you do decide to leave, we'll be sorry to see you go. You have raised some important issues, and I thank you for that.