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Emily W. Jensen: Bloggernacle Back Bench: History-making Web announcements

Published: Tuesday, May 31 2011 9:30 a.m. MDT

I was delighted to attend my third Mormon History Conference in St. George, Utah, this past weekend and loved catching up with bloggers from across the Bloggernacle. Honestly, knowing people online is absolutely delightful, but there is just something about shaking a blogger’s hand or giving them a so-glad-to-see-you hug.

I was also delighted and excited about the Web developments announced at MH, namely the LDS Church Library Catalog and the Mormon Women’s History Initiative. (I should note that they also formally introduced the new JosephSmithPapers.org, and you can check out this article about this important/incredible resource of a site).

The LDS Church History Library Catalog got bloggers buzzing on Facebook and beyond right after it was introduced.

Why? Well, because this is the LDS Church History Library Catalog. Users can literally go there, search it for anything in LDS Church history that interests you and see what comes up. Check out the handy introduction page that walks users through what is available (as well as lists intriguing future developments) or peruse old church history photographs or even digitally comb through the Journal History. This is only a taste of what you can as you virtually visit the immense collections of the Church History Library. Wow, what an incredible resource!

Interested in Mormon women’s history? Then get involved with the Mormon Women’s History Initiative, whose mission explains the following: “A wealth of material on Mormon women's lives and contributions has been uncovered in the past three decades, yet the stories of LDS women are still often overlooked in both secular and religious histories. Through our agenda of research, publications, awards, and programs, we aim to highlight the experiences of these women across the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries and to see that those stories are included in histories of the Latter-day Saints, of the American West, and in general American and religious histories.”

Check out the new website that lists the awards it sponsors, research projects currently being undertaken, websites related to Mormon women’s history and more. Plus, you can like them on Facebook to get updates on whatever is new in LDS women’s history. What an important and worthy project!

Now let me spotlight more developments from this last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power Pick: “I logged on to Facebook one afternoon to find my grandfather had died. A relative made the announcement via status update. It was not the way I wanted to find out of his passing. My aunt, his daughter, had not even been told. My relative meant well, and my grandmother, not knowing what Facebook is, thought a Facebook announcement would be fine.”

So begins this wonderfully thought-provoking post on the implications of “Mourning with Those that Mourn in an Internet Age.”

She lists dos and don’ts from her own experience including “Don’t announce via Facebook, email, instant message, Twitter (heaven forbid), or any other public means that someone has passed away unless you have been asked to get the message out, and even then Facebook may be in poor taste. If you have been notified of a death, you could ask the person who told you if it is OK for you to tell people or if there are specific people you should notify.” Wow, great advice!

Power Pick II: Does your ward’s primary rock? Well, the Gilbert, Ariz., primary sure does, literally. Why? Because its children get to have their own “Primary Rocks” placed the actual baptism footing of the Gilbert Arizona Temple that is currently in construction. Click in to learn more and see actual photos of the baptistery. What a powerful memory these children will have!

Techie tip:  Did you hear? There are “QR codes in the New Era magazine” this month. What are QR codes? They are those little boxes that look like wacky barcodes. In truth, QR boxes (stands for quick response) are similar to barcodes, but instead of relaying pricing information, they relay Internet information, taking smartphones that scan the box to videos, articles and websites relevant to the magazine article. Cool, eh? I love them and hope they become a permanent feature in the magazines.

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