Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: Mormon missions and Mormon media

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 9 2010 5:00 a.m. MST

In early October, Dr. B, of the Mormon missionary blog aggregator Mormon Mission World got into a Facebook chat with one of the LDS Church’s officially called blogging missionaries.

He recounts their conversation: “Elder Louis Dajeu wrote me on Facebook chat and asked me to help him improve his blog saying ‘can you help me fix my blog?’ He said further ‘I want an international blog.’” So Dr. B not only outlined how Elder Dajeu can use the Blog List tool and Blog Pulse to help the Google analytics better pick his blog on Google searches (and does so at the above link if you are curious about how to better promote your own blog), but it got him to thinking about making an aggregator of all the official Mormon Missions.

So he did. And the Official Mormon Mission World aggregator was born. Dr. B is quick to explain that his aggregator is not an official church Mormon mission aggregator but is an aggregator of the official Mormon mission blogs. This is an important distinction, although he hopes that it may become an official aggregator or promote the creation of one via official church channels.

Dr. B explains, “It is my way of being a missionary. When I first started chatting with Elder Dajeu I never knew it would take two hours but as a teacher/librarian I resisted the impulse to blow him off. This aggregator is dedicated to Elder Louis Dajeu, a fine young man using social media to the best of his ability. I hope this helps.”

This aggregator is a great way to find the more than 100 official Mormon missionary blogs currently operating. It is organized by mission and includes the New York Rochester Mission, the Connecticut Hartford Mission, the California Santa Rosa Mission, the Michigan Lansing Mission, the Montana Billings Mission, the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission and the Referral Center MTC Missionaries. It’s just a hunch, but I truly believe that many more missionaries will begin to utilize blogging and other social media tools to spread the gospel across the world.

Now let me spread the news about a few more awesome posts from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: So this is a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I am thoroughly excited to be a part of the first ever “Mormon Media Studies Symposium” being held (for free) at BYU this Thursday and Friday. I will be moderating a panel on why blogging is a valuable media outlet and illustrate how it promotes conversation. I will be joined by bloggers Kathryn Soper from Segullah, Larry Richman of LDS Media Talk, Blair Hodges of Life on Gold Plates, Clair Barrus from LDS-Church-History and Courtney Kendrick of C Jane Enjoy It. If you are near Provo, Utah, on Thursday morning, make a date to join us as we talk about this important facet of Mormon Media: the Bloggernacle!

Quotable comment: “I've dealt with several types of the mean commenters. Most of the ones I get are because they aren't my target audience. They see some of my funny all around posts and decide to stick around and then when I have something important to say, suddenly they realize that they've been reading the blog of a Mormon/conservative/republican/redhead/woman/housewife/fat chick/etc and they're angry (with themselves LOL) so they take it out on me. Delete is a happy button.” — Untypically Jia commenting on a post that nicely answers (in detail) “How Do I Deal With Mean Comments?” The entire list is well-worth the read, but I specifically liked the advice to “Have a Confidant” and to “Think Before You Type” and use “Comment Moderation.”

Techie tip: While I am a great proponent of technological communication via blogs, Facebook and e-mail, missionaries still need love and support sent through more traditional means, and this blog explains, “With Christmas season fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some information on missionary care packages."  Because mail times vary throughout the world, it might even be time in the next few weeks to get a package together. And I love the list of ideas to send such as drink packages, treats, LDS Church DVDs and pictures. Plus it outlines shipping considerations and warns about mail theft. Click to read this entire handy post!

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