Bloggernacle Back Bench: Brand new LDS Church tech tools

Published: Tuesday, April 24 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Find the new "Church Websites" tab on many of the main church sites.

LDSTech

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I started saving cool tech blog posts about online resources from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the past week and was surprised to see the list grow longer and longer. So I’m pleased to announce some amazing new technology tools for leaders, members and even bedtime-going-children.

For members: Have you noticed the little “Church Websites” tab now on the LDS.org, Mormon.org, Newsroom and Mormon Channel sites? It opens, as Fernando Camillo at LDS Tech explains, to showcase “some of the major church websites in one single place. The link briefly explains the purpose of each website and has quick links from each page for faster navigation.” Cool! Go check it out.

Also, LDS Maps just got a facelift! LDS Maps 3.0 includes a plethora of new features including, as LDSTech writers Keri Marler and Tom Johnson explain:

  • Single line search
  • Household verifications
  • "Maps 101" overlay help
  • "What’s Nearby" feature
  • Improved print options
  • Numerous map display options
And much more. Click in to read about all that is new then take the improved LDS Maps for a test drive.

For leaders: Also, the Member and Leaders Services software has just been updated: “MLS version 3.4.3 was released this week. The release includes updates to various Seminary and Institute reports, Ward/Branch and Stake/District Organization Application forms, the Bishopric Action and Interview List, Visiting Teaching Reporting, Membership Audit, and more.” Click in for all the details.

For children: I think it’s awesome that I have a technology tool feature aimed at children. The new “Bedtime Stories from The Friend” is a new podcast found at iTunes that is what it purports, audio recordings of stories from The Friend magazine. What a lovely way to drift off to sleep. Click in to find all 11 episodes.

And be sure to keep reading below the jump to see an amazing use of technology to bring together like-minded volunteers ready to JustServe and more on the LDS Maps release.

Now let’s find other amazing technology news from the last week in the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: My first reaction to seeing the new JustServe site was “Wow! How cool is that?” My second reaction: “I want one of these for every area in the world.” You’ll notice that this awesome site is, so far, set to reflect service opportunities in the Silicon Valley, Calif., area. So what is JustServe? An initiative sponsored by church “JustServe brings together people who need help with those who are willing to give help. By partnering with churches, civic organizations, non-profits and government agencies, JustServe links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to do it. We rely on these organizations to ensure the quantity and quality of those service opportunities. Once we know what the needs are, we tell you about them here on JustServe or through Facebook and then you can go get the job done. We make it easy to sign up, show up, or clean up, all on your time and in your way.” And it is easy. You can search for current projects and quickly set up your profile to then sign up as a volunteer. You could say that this site makes it so easy to JustServe. Wow, what a beautiful website. What a beautiful example of using technology to pull people together to serve one another. I just love it.

Techie tip: What’s the difference between a blog and a wiki and why do you need both? Using the example of the LDS Maps release above, this blogger outlines how each tool is important: “LDS Maps release notes contains about a thousand words detailing what’s new in the application. But the blog post, LDS Maps version 3.0 released, contains only the first paragraph of the wiki article release notes, and a list of the new features. The blog post lets readers know there’s new information; the wiki provides the substance. Without the blog, you wouldn’t have a news mechanism for publicizing the information of the wiki. Without the wiki, you wouldn’t have a permanent source to store the product information.” Click in to find out more and to see why you should integrate both if you are an information entity.

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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