General conference can be enhanced by using 2nd screens

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 6 2015 7:56 a.m. MDT

Those tweeting about general conference use the #ldsconf hashtag. (Twitter.com) Those tweeting about general conference use the #ldsconf hashtag. (Twitter.com)

When general conference rolls around twice a year, those iPhones, iPads and other assorted gadgets that can be distractions during “normal” church services take on a new life. They become like a portal to a whole new dimension, a way of connecting you to like-minded believers all over the world who are watching the broadcast in lock step with you.

Here’s how: Get on Twitter and use the search term “#LDSconf” (pronounced “hash-tag LDSconf”).

On a laptop or tablet, go to Twitter.com and enter #LDSconf in the search box on top of the page.

Or on a smartphone Twitter app, navigate to the “Discover” tab and then input #LDSconf into the corresponding search area.

It doesn’t matter whether you use upper- or lower-case letters, but it’s imperative that you remember to include the hash-tag. The way #LDSconf works — or, for that matter, any hash-tag — is that it becomes a de facto search term. In other words, because the vast majority of people who are tweeting about general conference in real time know to append “#LDSconf” onto their tweets, a Twitter search for “#LDSconf” therefore acts as a nexus that pulls together all the tweets people are sending out about the conference proceedings.

If you plug into the #LDSconf feed during a conference session, you’ll find yourself ensconced in a cornucopia of tweets about everything from verbatim quotations of interesting points a speaker just made to tongue-in-cheek humor to poignant personal thoughts. (Depending on your electronic device, you may need to intermittently refresh the feed to see new tweets.) Who knows, you may even choose to enter the fray yourself by composing tweets that include “#LDSconf.”

But even if Twitter isn’t quite your cup of tea, you may still want to consider visiting other websites that possess the potential to enhance your general conference viewing experience. Two sites in particular that you may find enjoyable are scriptures.byu.edu, which catalogs exactly how many times any given scripture has been referenced during all past general conferences; and deseretnews.com/utah/general-conference, which will serve as the hub for all on-the-ground reporting that comes in throughout conference weekend from Church News and Deseret News writers.

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company