The Church's digital tools for the living are just as sophisticated as their digital tools for the dead ( https://familysearch.org/). However, instead of extolling their virtues like they do for the Family Search site, local and stake church leaders seem intent on sabotaging, undermining or totally ignoring the digital tools for the living. This is most evident from the new digital calendaring system the Church recently unveiled.
If you are unschooled in this art, you haven't been in local leadership positions long enough to be calloused enough to fit in with normal practices.
Below, I will detail how to make the Church's new Ward and Stake calendaring system absolutely worthless:
- Don't call anyone to be a Stake Web Site Administrator. This will ensure that people in stake callings don't have sole responsibility for the web tools. It will just be an unnecessary appendage to regular callings we are used to. This also ensures that Ward or Branch web site administrators, if they exist, won't have anyone to go to for help. Since only stake people have access to Church headquarters for real-time digital help this will keep units in the dark.
- Don't call anyone to be a Ward or Branch Web Site Administrator. This will allow you deniability in using the tools, making it so you can simply plead ignorance on everything.
- If you do call these local administrators, be sure you bypass them or don't use them. For example, if you want to send a message to every ward/branch member, simply compile your own email list on your own email account and send out messages that way. It is best to only include members in leadership positions or those you like on your list. It's even better to have each leadership person compile their own email list on their own email account. This will create maximum redundancy by everyone creating their own list only they can use and no complete master list will ever exist.
(In addition, we don't want Church Headquarters being able to send email to our local members. That would undermine local power. This way members will only know what you want them to know, not what the Church wants them to know.)
- If you do send out emails, make sure it is only one email per household and to the least digital spouse at an outdated email address.
- Don't send emails to children or young adults. They are second-class members, unworthy of direct communication. Since they are almost universally digital, including them may result in their educating their parents on the Church's digital tools and this would undermine your efforts to make the calendaring system worthless. The Church's system allows them to receive emails. You have to ensure that they won't.
- If you do call someone to be a web site administrator, make sure they never access the help pages and instructions for properly operating the calendaring system: https://ue.ldschurch.org/ldsapphelp/calendar/#main_topics/calendar_help.htm
- If you do have a web site administrator conscientious enough to actually read and follow official instructions for properly using the calendaring system, simply say that it "isn't in the Handbook" and you can ignore it if you wish. Then ignore it at your leisure. Do things however you want. This will undermine any appropriate attempts by web site administrators to perform their calling properly and effectively.
- Never access, and never allow anyone else to access, LDSTech. Better yet, insist it isn't an official Church site even though it is. People will be able to get guidance on using the Church's tech tools and you don't want them to have that. It is especially important to keep any stake or local clerks ignorant of LDSTech.
- Make sure no one that can add or edit items knows policy on formally approving items. Just approve everything. This will ensure that inaccurate or unapproved items are continually added or re-added to the calendar.
- Never allow people to be trained on the calendaring system. Doing so may make it succeed and totally undermine your efforts to undermine the system.
- Be sure and use Mormon Shorthand for everything, especially local parlance. This will ensure that almost no one can figure out what is going on, or will go on, now and in the future.
- Put events on the calendars but don't put all events. Make sure you leave some out. This will train people to think the digital calendars are unreliable and they won't use them.
- Forget that the Church itself puts Churchwide Events on the Churchwide Events Calendar. Put such events like General Conference and the General Relief Society Meeting on every conceivable calendar such as Stake Activities and Stake Leadership Meetings. This will ensure redundancy allowing the same event to show up numerous times on the same day -- in different colors of course.
- Ignore the color coding system and be sure and put "Stake" on all Stake events and "Ward" or "Branch" on all Branch events. What does it matter that the color coding system already identifies these as such? The redundancy will increase the necessity of clicking on the item for more details in order to find out anything else. Which brings me to the next point.
- Don't provide any details on any event such as location, time, who the event is for, if something needs to be brought or what the event is going to accomplish. Who needs details after all? This will ensure that people know an event is occurring but they will have absolutely no idea how they personally can participate. This is sure to keep fringe and inactives ignorant and uninvolved.
- Ignore the fact that the Church has created different calendars for different needs and entities and put everything on one calendar. It is especially effective to put all stake leadership meetings on the stake activities calendar even if you have a different calendar set up for stake leadership meetings. By splitting the stake leadership meetings into two calendars leaders have deniability if they don't show up for meetings. In addition, regular members will assume that all the calendar items are leadership meetings and, therefore, irrelevant to them.
Putting everything on one calendar doomed the old calendaring system. It can do the same for the new.
- Don't use the calendaring system at all. Develop something else that totally bypasses this wonderful system and exposes the Church to litigation and/or breach of privacy by putting confidential information on something like Facebook or GoogleDocs calendars. It also has the added benefit of duplicating effort unnecessarily and keeping people from doing something that may be worthwhile. This is especially useful since you can sync the official calendaring system with third party calendar tools through the Church's system. Just don't learn how to sync and you can maintain redundancy.
- Stick with the paper system. We've being using it for years even though it only marginally works there. This has the added benefit of keeping the young people unempowered and ignored just as they should be. Keep up the ridiculous practice of assuming their parents will tell them about things even if the parents are inactive or not members. It will have the added benefit of keeping single sisters uninformed, especially if the paper calendaring system only circulates amongst priesthood leaders and their families.
Whew, I think those are the main points. You can also access this prior blog posting. Please let me know if you can think of anything else.