RussellHltn wrote:I've posted this before, but the two need to be tied together into a single calendar. That way additions, changes and deletions on one will automatically reflect on the other. Having two separate calendars will eventually come back and bite you.
Having one calendar isn't always a good idea. I know this from personal experience because I use multiple calendars in order to keep my different activities organized. Having everything tied together in one calendar doesn't always serve a purpose when those calendars are intended for different purposes. The Resource and Events Calendar aren't the same thing. One is intended to reserve a resource while the other is to intended to announce an event. There are times when resources will be reserved for something other then a public event such as in the case of a wedding reception. The resource and activities calendars are kept separately by units that do not use the ward websites or who do so only on a limited basis. This is why it isn't always a good idea to have one calendar delete the contents of the other. For example, the changes to the events calendar shouldn't always delete the resource since some members or auxillaries may still need to use the resource and deleting or changing a resource shouldn't always delete the event since members and auxillaries may still intend to hold the event but have chosen a different resource or venue. It is also important to remember that the best way of communicating with members about an event or activity is word of mouth. I am a fan of technology and love to use it but I would never use technology to replace verbal or written communication nor should it replace Church leadership in making decisions.
Personally I favor the "layers" somewhat like Calendar Creator has. A Primary event would be place on the "Primary" layer and a Relief Society event would be on the "RS" layer. Individuals can turn on and off the layers according to personal preference much like the email preferences. This way the members can turn off all the stuff that they see as "clutter" on the calendar. The difference from CC would be that an event could exist in multiple layers, such as the "RS" layer and the "Kitchen resource" layer. Although it would be nice to have a "setup" and "cleanup" time added to the resource layer.
This is a really good idea but the problem is in how it will be implemented. I am all for what you are saying but I still think we need to be very careful in implementing layers. There are naturally going to be problems using a system like this since the Church does not currently use an offline system even close to what this will do. The current system does not have layers and things done offline are less complicated then a layers system where resources, and the ward and auxillary calendars are tied together. So the problem is that the online calendar isn't going to replace paper versions anytime soon and they shouldn't. It is good to post events online and be able to reserve a resource using the Unit Websites but the paper versions still need to be kept. The purpose of posting an event online is to inform other members of the event and the point of reserving a resource online is to make it easier for members to request the use of a resource from Church leaders. If we are to implement this type of system we need to make sure that it only complements and not replace offline calendars.
When reserving a resource the clerks, agent bishops and/or facility chairs still need to approve them and make sure they do not conflict with an activity or event which was not posted online and that they do not conflict with the use of a resource by a different auxillary or member. We shouldn't get to the point where Church leaders aren't making the decisions about the proper use of a resource such as a building or which event should be given priority when it comes to reserving a resource. These decisions must ultimately rest with Church leaders and the current system (offline and online) allows for this while making it more online then it currently is poses a problem and we need to be careful in doing so. We are getting to the point where we are going to be harming members of the Church who do not have access to a computer or the internet. This is the reason why the Church does extraction using both UDE and Family Search Indexing. If we are going to be placing a burden on members of the Church at a time where our society is slowly changing how we live our lives then we should be prepared for the fallout and inactivity that results when members are left out of the loop because they don't have access to the Ward Websites. We need to make sure that we minister using the Ward Websites and not administer using them. Online Ward Calendars should be used to reach out to members and to keep them in the loop and not used as the primary means of announcing events or reserving a resource or we begin to administer using the websites instead of minister.
We also have not yet arrived at the point where every event or activity will be posted online and everyone will reserve a resource online. We need to be careful especially since these offline reservations and events will not be posted online immediately (if at all). We do not want to give members who have access to a computer or who know how to use a computer more of an advantage in reserving a resource or using that resource then those who do not. There are also going to be problems with buildings that are used by multiple wards and who have to obtain approval from the Agent Bishop or Clerk before they can use a resource. This will require putting in definitions for when each ward is allowed to use the building. The problem with that is that there will be times when one ward who has the building on Tuesday will not be using it but another ward will want to use it but having absolute definitions for wards will pose a problem by not allowing them to reserve the building. Also, one ward may use the online resource feature to reserve a resource more than another ward and this will result in one ward being given more access to the building then another. I can understand the enthisiusm of members of everyone here about how we can best leverage technology to magnify our callings but let's not forget that technology is only a tool and not the end all, be all of the Church.
This brings me back to the point that it should only be a feature for people to request the use of a resource when posting an event. We should eliminate having to go to a different link to request the use of a resource but that request shouldn't add the event to the resource calendar automatically upon being approved. One person (depending on their calling) should be able to approve the event to be added to the calendar and another should be able to approve or decline the use of the resource. It is absolutely vital that we keep the calendars separate because they aren't kept on the same calendar offline. Having different calendars for auxillaries, for the ward and for a resource has never posed a problem before we had Unit Websites and it shouldn't start being a problem now.Having layers is a great idea because it benefits members and is very similar to how most calendars operate (i.e., Windows Calendar). Yet, layers should only be an issue of displaying events and have absolutely nothing to do with the use of resources. I would strongly urge the Church Department in charge of Unit Websites not to forget that there are members who will not use the ward websites under any circumstance no matter how hard we try to get them to do so. We shouldn't be quick to jump the gun and think that everyone is as enthusiastic as we are about the ward websites. This is why the features we should have on the websites should be appendages to the purpose of the ward, the priesthood and our individual callings.