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Old 03-20-2017, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default Expansion of Content

When I wrote "P.S. I have ideas..." in the "It's a Sham" thread earlier today I didn't realize you had this suggestions item already. So I'll just share my ideas here.

During an immersive week on this site I read not only several documents (Ingalls, Rutledge, etc.) but also several threads of comments.

This site has a ton of information, and it's important information that can't be found anywhere else, but one problem is that it's not that approachable for an "outsider" (which I mean someone not already familiar to the goings-on of the Local Church). For example, a concerned parent of a college kid now gung-ho for the Recovery; the parent may or may not be a Christian and may not have ever heard of LC, WL, etc.

There's a whole lot of basic knowledge one needs before they can even read any of the documents here. Things like what's meant by "Lord's Recovery" or "Local Church", or lingo like "touch your spirit". Those of us who were/are in the LC already know these things and take them for granted. So we can jump right in...

Well, can we though? Now you need some more specific knowledge of people and places. Who's Minoru Chen or John So or any of the other dozens of names that are mentioned in these accounts. What's the significance of Anaheim or Taiwan in a given decade of history? Elden hall, what's that?

So one idea is to add more reference info to this site. I'm thinking something Wikipedia-style with articles like "List of LC Leaders" which could then have brief bios (even 2 or 3 sentences) for all of the names that occur in the accounts. Likewise a "List of prominent places". There also could be "List of LC jargon" for "touch your spirit" and such.

Another problem is where to begin for the "outsider". It'd be helpful to have some sticky intro materials like maybe an FAQ (not the brief forum technical one) with questions like "Is LC a cult?" or "What's the forum consensus on X" where X can be "WL's ministry" or "Is it okay for Christians to sue one another".

I purposely listed those FAQ items because they are the very ones on the LC FAQ site:
http://www.localchurchesfaq.org/
Seriously, check it out. They did a great job. Each question is clearly and succinctly answered, and the presentation looks very professional. So that's what this site is competing with.

I also mentioned Wikipedia earlier for two reasons. First, I read all of the articles there on WL, LC, LSM, etc. and they're all pretty good quality, and have no hint whatsoever of the skeletons in the closet contained at this site.

The second reason is I wonder if this site could add an actual wiki. There are free software frameworks for it, including the one for Wikipedia itself which many other wikis on the web use. The great things about a wiki are:
1) pages can be tagged with multiple categories (as opposed to static forum hierarchy)
2) text on the pages can hyperlink to any other page (e.g. reading about WL on wikipedia can link to LC article)
3) cleaner presentation than forum and better save/print options (see wikipedia left column Print/export options)
4) each page retains entire edit history allowing for comparisons of any 2 versions, revert to older version, etc.

Obviously there's technical setup of a wiki and issues like can forum user accounts also be used for wiki. I don't know the details well enough but am a computer professional so am willing to help figure it out if this is an option you want to pursue.

Even if adding a wiki is not desirable or feasible, new forum(s) could be added for the above reference items.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:26 AM   #2
UntoHim
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

Lots of great suggestions here! Many of them are beyond my technical ability/knowledge. However, there are a number of computer/Internet geeks that are Forum members and can help us out.

When you get a chance, please shoot over an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com requesting registration for the Forum. Please include your desired UserName and then I will shoot you back a temporary password.

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Old 03-21-2017, 10:31 PM   #3
askseek
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

Well, you succeeded in getting me onboard.

So I thought more about these ideas, and I think we can do all of it without any major technical changes.

First off, adding a wiki wouldn't be worth the effort. Since I was UnReg until now I forgot that sticky posts can be edited and posts can hyperlink to other pages on the site. Plus the existing print option is adequate, and there are browser extensions that can save pages as pdfs. (We could add a help page item explaining where to get these extensions.)

I propose the following tasks, based on what I wrote before:

1) Add FAQ and other Personal Help pages -- I alread mentioned some FAQ ideas. There could be a lot of other options. For example, there's a thread where a 17 year old introduced himself and several members responded with advice. Perhaps there could be multiple pages written to give advice for different types of situations, such as "ex-LC, struggling to move on" or "church kid" or "unaffilated but concerned about someone in LC".

2) Librarian work -- it would be helpful to add a page that categorizies all of the existing documents, e.g. "History", "Personal testimony", etc. Each of these would link to a sub-page that lists all the documents in the category, and each item links to the document itself. It would also be helpful to have a brief description of each document, even just 1-2 sentences.

3) Add a "How to use this site" page -- something that briefly explains the site content, links to FAQ, Personal Help, Library summary, etc. It should be prominent on the Homepage for new visitors to quickly access the first 2 items.

(Other stuff like "List of LC leaders" and "List of LC jargon" could be added at some point, but I think the above 3 items are more important.)
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
aron
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

askseek,

Welcome aboard. This forum could use someone with energy and initiative, and organizational capacity. Most of us write as we feel led; I've given up starting threads. So it's rather hap-hazard.

Now, to the parent who sends their child off to college, to be informed, "I'm going to a conference this week-end"? Your point is well-taken that there needs to be an informational clearinghouse.

Is the parent a believer or unbeliever, or Asian or Western (or other)? Or is the young college person a believer or not? Is the 'curious church kid' an Asian? I say this because my impression is that Asian culture, vis-a-vis authority is quite different from 'typical American'. In the PRC, 40 years after his death, you still can't publicly criticize Mao. So it's an entirely different view of the world, what constitutes 'normal' or 'expected'.

Now, how to simply present 'just the facts' so that any of the above might find it worth their while to open a tab? And none of the above would be unduly demeaned or insulted?

I think your bolded tasks probably steer that way, so this is my long-winded way of saying 'amen'.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
to the parent who sends their child off to college, to be informed, "I'm going to a LC college conference this week-end"? there needs to be an informational clearinghouse.

Is the parent a believer or unbeliever, or Asian or Western (or other)?
Suppose a parent or spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend finds them self entangled with the LC via their family member/partner. Then they come to this site. Where to begin?

How about: "How to have a talk with an LC member". They need to know that they'll be facing a very non-objective environment, where any serious questions will fairly quickly be met with loaded terms like "evil", "rebellion", "accusing", and "slandering". How to talk with such a person?

That is the kind of thing that should be right up front, here. Perhaps we've covered this in some thread 4 years ago. How would any new visitor find that? They never would. So yes, there needs to be some hierarchical ordering so that the visitor or clueless person wouldn't just see some "he said, she said" kinds of back-and-forth.

Anyway, may God bless your endeavour. I wouldn't even know where to begin, but it does need to be done.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

(Technical Note: what I've been calling a "page" is really a "forum message thread" like any other, including all of the documents in our library. Each thread has a unique URL that can be hyperlinked to others -- this is the key for making a library catalog, list of FAQs, list of Help stuff, etc.)

How to proceed? I propose we should agree on a specific set of objectives and tasks here in this thread and then split them off into their own new threads where the actual work can be done.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Expansion of Content

I've completed my research on this site (and am quite grateful for the abundance of useful information that has helped me a lot).

Here are links to the 2 threads I've created that could be a model for some of the other suggestions I made:

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5805

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5813
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