Where should DeoWeb be headed?

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Gerry Kirk

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Apr 3, 2007, 9:50:27 AM4/3/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Ok, I need your thoughts and ideas on the future of DeoWeb.

There is some discussion going on right now at the diocesan office
about future directions for DeoWeb. Admittedly, the system which
holds much promise has not taken off by leaps and bounds after about
3 years of trying. About 25 parishes publish at least one item a
month, but most parishioners probably don't even know it exists,
unless there is regular promotion and use in their parish.

Should DeoWeb be scaled back? Perhaps the cost of supporting all the
parishes isn't justified. Would adding a volunteer support team be
possible help to offset some of the cost?

Parishes also do not contribute directly to the cost of DeoWeb - that
is borne by the diocesan office. Perhaps that is part of the problem.
Stuff that is "free" is valued less and gets less attention. Systems
with less functionality than DeoWeb cost more than US $100 / month.
Would introducing a monthly fee spur some more effort to use it?

What is most valuable about DeoWeb? Why do you feel it is important
to have for your parish and the Diocese? Or maybe you feel it isn't
worth having - why is that the case?

Now is the time to share your thoughts. Some decisions will be made
in the coming weeks.

In Christ,
Gerry Kirk

DeoWeb Communications

Lucette and Peter Schneider

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Apr 3, 2007, 10:40:57 AM4/3/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Dear Gerry Kirk,

I think that DeoWeb is of value for the Diocese. However, our parish, St.
Ignatius of Loyola (University of Sudbury Parish), being a small parish
would not be able to afford a fee of $100. We don't have the recent song
books or prayer missals for everyone. Our parishioners comprise of a few
regular retirees professionals, a few active professionals and many
students. Students rarely give at collection time. The rest of us supports
the parish. We do not have a full-time priest. We get what we can, when we
can from retired priests, the hospitat chaplain or other, only when it's
feasible for them. We are presently going through very hard times right now.
If you were to charge the parishes, we'd be out of it totally.

To make sure that our parishioners check the Web site, I e-mail them the
page every Saturday via their e-mail address on Outlook Express. That
works. I tell them to check our page but I have no way of knowing if they
do or not.

We have no Sunday bulletin to enforce/publicese the use of DeoWeb. We do
everything orally. I'd like to have a poster to advertise it in the hall
leading to the Chapel area where we have our masses.

As for the organization to run the DeoWeb site, well, I don't know how you
are set up and the cost that it incurs. If you can get some volunteers to
help out, good for you. Maybe some College or University students taking
courses on the use of computers could do a praticum with you and continue
working there as volunteers, so many hours a week. Also, there are some
computer geeks at various high schools; they'd love to get the necessary
volunteers hours for their graduation. You'd need to contact the schools,
though. It's a thought.

Keep in touch.

Lucette Schneider


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Grenier

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Apr 3, 2007, 12:27:01 PM4/3/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com, Bernard Legault
Hi!

I think the object of your message should have been 'Where should DepWeb be
beheaded'. A charge to the parishes would have the death of DeoWeb as a
consequence, I am quite sure.

The parishioners of our diocese are seniors for most part; I am well on my
way to this state myself. Most seniors are not Web savvy, unfortunately; an
unfortunate fact for DeoWeb, I am afraid.

I don't have a solution that would be viable for a small parish like
Saint-Sébastien in Spanish. I am ready to do my part for the war effort by
I don't think the majority of our parishioners are ready to invest dollars
in something that they don't understand very well. People find our present
mode of communication quite efficient, at least for their own purpose, and
would not consult DeoWeb very often even if our parish site was up to date.

That is my opinion for what it is worth.

Jean R. Grenier

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerry Kirk" <ge...@faithonline.com>
To: <deoweb...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 9:50 AM
Subject: [deoweb-users] Where should DeoWeb be headed?


>

Lucette and Peter Schneider

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Apr 3, 2007, 1:53:33 PM4/3/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
RIGHT ON!

Hi!

Jean R. Grenier

Barry

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Apr 3, 2007, 5:14:22 PM4/3/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Hi Gerry, well to answer your question where is Deoweb heading, it is quite
obvious to many, as I read by your many replies. The idea of adding a cost
is maybe a good idea and then the areas who don't want Deoweb will not
respond. Personally in my areas of 6 parishes it has become dormant with
absolutely minor interest. Maybe it was started on too large a scale, start
small and let the interest build would have been a better approach but this
is hind sight. Well good luck with with the meeting maybe somebody there has
the magic answer. Barry


Bill

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Apr 4, 2007, 1:29:16 PM4/4/07
to DeoWeb Users
Before we consider where Deoweb is heading, we should concentrate on
getting our parishionners used to using their existing Deoweb in their
parish. The site should:
a) be advocated by the Parish Priest since the diocese is putting a
fair amount of money into the establishment of the site;
b) be a current source of information for the parish such as news,
events;
c) be dynamic so that the site does not always appear the same each
time the person logs on;
d) contain articles that supports the liturgy again acting as a
source of information;
e) advertized in the parish bulletin.
The key is to have support from the parish priest to advocate the site
on a weekly basis.
Once we get the parishionners using the site then we can look at
future changes. As for paying, in my humble opinion, that would spell
death to Deoweb.
Bill

Doreen Merkas

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Apr 4, 2007, 2:40:21 PM4/4/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Right on Bill!

I agree with everything you say. My feelings exactly.
We plan to begin advocating in earnest using 1) the bulletin and 2) pastor
at weekend Masses
I enjoy managing the site and do so as a volunteer from home.
Let's give this a fighting chance!

Doreen

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill" <ke...@shaw.ca>
To: "DeoWeb Users" <deoweb...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 1:29 PM
Subject: [deoweb-users] Re: Where should DeoWeb be headed?


>

cam...@shaw.ca

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Apr 4, 2007, 3:49:08 PM4/4/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
I agree, I feel this is important and worthwhile. I enjoy working on the
site, ( I was asked to take care of two sections only). It is easy to do it
from home. It would be great to keep it updated.
Carmelina

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jvan...@sympatico.ca

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Apr 5, 2007, 11:19:25 AM4/5/07
to DeoWeb Users
After gathering feedback from a number of people including some of our
members of KoC, I have found that everyone felt it is important for us
to maintain some form of web presence. People who are new to our area
or just visiting our area probably rely on the Internet to search for
information about churches, mass times, and locations. Without a
website, they may not find us.

The children of today are very web savvy. They rely on the Internet
for many things and they are growing up with the expectation of being
able to find information and services on the Internet. Although many
of today's children probably have no interest in our websites now,
when these children grow up and become parents, they will be expecting
more from the church websites.

Scaling back the websites to reduce the cost to the diocesan office is
one option that may be worth considering. We currently do not use the
website to its full potential. We currently use the website to post
information about St. Rita's church, our location, mass schedule (and
dedications), contact information, pictures of the church and various
functions, our weekly bulletin, and occasionally we post other
information items. If DeoWeb is scaled back, we would not want to
lose the capability for these things.

As for paying a monthly fee to maintain the website, I'm not sure if
our church could afford this.

We have been trying to build more interest in our website. Our pastor
is very supportive and has mentioned the website on many occasions. We
also have the web address listed as part of the contact information in
all our weekly bulletins.

Last summer, we held our own internal training session for some
members of our CWL but we never really got that section of the web
site into production. There is still interest from the CWL and we are
hoping to take another shot at it this spring.

It takes time for interest to build up. It is only in the last 12
months or so that we have really been making better use of our
website. As our website grows, we hope to see an increase in usage.
But it is going to take some time for this to happen.

Gerry Kirk

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Apr 5, 2007, 3:16:57 PM4/5/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Bill your thoughts are on target. One of the major hurdles to getting
more out of DeoWeb is that most people don't know about it. I talk to
lots of people in my parish who aren't aware of it, or at the very
least have never gone to the site. Once they know more about it, they
are interested and often sign up for the parish newsletter.

Yes, some parish priests could to be more supportive of it. Any ideas
for lighting a spark under their feet? We're now sending out monthly
newsletters to priests and parishes to keep them more in the loop on
how DeoWeb is being used elsewhere in the Diocese, as well as
improvements to the system.

That being said, one of the supposed benefits to DeoWeb is to get
beyond the "gatekeeper" problem, where one person controls the flow
of information. There is nothing stopping every person who gets the e-
bulletin to email 10 other parishioners they know, inviting them to
sign up. Imagine if we increased the readership by 5 or 10 times the
current level? It wouldn't be difficult. There are only 1400 or so
people signed up to receive the newsletter. If promoting from the top
isn't working, try the grassroots approach.

What do you say Bill? Others?

I have this idea to include a fridge magnet in every bulletin some
weekend, so that people have a regular reminder at home for the web
site. SooToday did that in the early days. What are some promotional
ideas we could use?

- Gerry

Paul

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Apr 5, 2007, 7:13:05 PM4/5/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Please don't lose hope. The base is there, but I think that we have to be
more patient and it will catch on. I think we need to work with the school
board(s) and bring it to the parishioners who will use it; make it more
attractive to the kids. Kids want to chat with each other about their faith
so why don't we give them a forum to do it. At our parish, we give the kids
something to look forward to and they end up bringing their parents to mass.
We have a children's liturgy at St. Andrew the Apostle that is extremely
successful; upwards of 50 children at each 11:00 Sunday mass. I would be
willing to work with anyone to come up with a mandate and help deploy it.
There has been too much invested into the Deoweb to scale it down. Talking
to the older parishioners is fine, but let's look to the future of the
church and meet them on their playing field.
Paul-St. Andrew the Apostle Church

-----Original Message-----
From: deoweb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:deoweb...@googlegroups.com]
On Behalf Of jvan...@sympatico.ca
Sent: April 5, 2007 11:19 AM
To: DeoWeb Users
Subject: [deoweb-users] Re: Where should DeoWeb be headed?

Bill Kerr

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Apr 6, 2007, 10:56:28 AM4/6/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Handing out the frig magnets is a good idea to making Deoweb known but
once again, advocacy from the clergy would also work and is cheaper.
All they would have to do is each week mention to take a bulletin or
check the parish website, post prayer requests on the site etc. Simple.
Bill

Laurie G.

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Apr 10, 2007, 3:22:30 PM4/10/07
to DeoWeb Users
If I were to put on my 'first-time guest to parish website' hat, I'd
ask myself, "Why would I want to come back to this website again? Has
it been a valuable and meaningful experience? Is there something there
that invites me to explore my faith in community? Is the content
relevant and current?"

Beyond the weekend bulletin information, part of the challenge in
encouraging and empowring others to bring life to my home parish's
website is convincing would-be content managers and/or faith-sharers
that they have the ability to communicate a message to a virtual
audience.

I suspect that people who are comfortable expressing themselves
through email correspondance are able to do so because the audience/
recipient is known, there's history to the relationship, it's a
private and informal communication so it's ...well...less threatening.
Maybe we need to find ways to help foster/nourish/develop/motivate
'written communication' skills so that people feel empowered to share
their experiences of faith/God/church is less threatening way.

Handing out fridge mangets and having pastor's vocally support parish
websites will pack a bigger punch if there is something meaningful to
offer a guest so that they want to come back for more...and not just a
returning web visitor but to active membership of their parish
family.

Your thoughts?

gkirk

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:02:36 PM4/10/07
to DeoWeb Users
Ok Bill, so what kind of cattle prod do we need to motivate some of
the parish priests to get active in supporting the web site? I just
sent our pastor an email on the topic, by the way.

- Gerry

gkirk

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:15:10 PM4/10/07
to DeoWeb Users
Wow, I wish I had started this group back when DeoWeb was first
getting started. To me, an important aspect missing from DeoWeb right
now is making it easier for people to connect with one another, to
share stories, laughs, hopes and concerns. This group is proof to me
that in addition to trying to get relevant content online, perhaps the
biggest need is for enabling people to be more social in the parish /
diocesan context.

Sites like facebook.com, myspace.com, linkedin.com are examples of
networks that are flourishing because they enable people to
communicate with each other in ways that matter, whether it is sharing
photos, making goofy comments or getting advice.

Perhaps that would make the DeoWeb experience more fun... I think it
would.

If you are interested in trying one of these social sites, I recommend
facebook.com. I've found people through that site I haven't been in
contact with in years! The site makes it really easy to keep in touch
with people you care about. You can even invite me to be your
friend. :) Just search for Gerry Kirk.

Peace,
Gerry

On Apr 5, 7:13 pm, "Paul" <paul_and...@vianet.ca> wrote:
> Please don't lose hope. The base is there, but I think that we have to be
> more patient and it will catch on. I think we need to work with the school
> board(s) and bring it to the parishioners who will use it; make it more
> attractive to the kids. Kids want to chat with each other about their faith
> so why don't we give them a forum to do it. At our parish, we give the kids
> something to look forward to and they end up bringing their parents to mass.
> We have a children's liturgy at St. Andrew the Apostle that is extremely
> successful; upwards of 50 children at each 11:00 Sunday mass. I would be
> willing to work with anyone to come up with a mandate and help deploy it.
> There has been too much invested into the Deoweb to scale it down. Talking
> to the older parishioners is fine, but let's look to the future of the
> church and meet them on their playing field.
> Paul-St. Andrew the Apostle Church
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: deoweb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:deoweb...@googlegroups.com]
>

> On Behalf Of jvanne...@sympatico.ca

gkirk

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:20:11 PM4/10/07
to DeoWeb Users
Paul, some work was done last year with the school boards, but we ran
out of resources to explore it further. We did set up workspaces on
the diocesan site for the school boards, but they site empty. Perhaps
the DC team should get back in touch with the school boards about
cross-posting information again.

The more exciting idea proposed is to integrate DeoWeb into the school
curriculuum, as part of a computer course. School boards are
interested because it builds a faith connection. The idea is to have
students work with parishes for a period of time to help them with
their web site. They would get training on DeoWeb in class, and the
"assignments" would be in the parishes.

Again, that came to a halt because we just don't have the resources to
explore it further. It would be exciting, however. We had several
school boards ready to get involved.

- Gerry

On Apr 5, 7:13 pm, "Paul" <paul_and...@vianet.ca> wrote:

> Please don't lose hope. The base is there, but I think that we have to be
> more patient and it will catch on. I think we need to work with the school
> board(s) and bring it to the parishioners who will use it; make it more
> attractive to the kids. Kids want to chat with each other about their faith
> so why don't we give them a forum to do it. At our parish, we give the kids
> something to look forward to and they end up bringing their parents to mass.
> We have a children's liturgy at St. Andrew the Apostle that is extremely
> successful; upwards of 50 children at each 11:00 Sunday mass. I would be
> willing to work with anyone to come up with a mandate and help deploy it.
> There has been too much invested into the Deoweb to scale it down. Talking
> to the older parishioners is fine, but let's look to the future of the
> church and meet them on their playing field.
> Paul-St. Andrew the Apostle Church
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: deoweb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:deoweb...@googlegroups.com]
>

> On Behalf Of jvanne...@sympatico.ca

PAUL FALCIONI

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:38:12 PM4/10/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Gerry; what kind of resources would they need to get this done? I think this
is brilliant and could reconnect the schools with the parishes in a way we
haven't seen for many years. On Easter Sunday we had 75 children for the
liturgy. Fr. Al and the schools for the parish are slowly reconnecting and
it is breathing new life into our parish.

Paul

Hurley, Tara

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Apr 10, 2007, 4:54:28 PM4/10/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
The thread on where Deoweb should be headed is interesting.  I agree that the parish priests may not be promoting it as they could be.  I think Fr Jim would be more apt to promote this tool if he saw we had the time to do with it what was first envisioned by the diocese.  As it is, even though the programming makes the web user friendly, it takes much time to post each news/event article along with the bulletin.
 
I consider myself computer savvy and posting the bulletin and then breaking it out into the news articles and events was a 3 hour job for me although I also tried to include a pic with the articles as well.
 
The change in the weekly email from the diocese was a good one.  Receiving out of date information about events at my parish was a turn off and it was not often possible for me to update the web before Friday at midnight.  Thank you.
 
If Deoweb is a tool for non-senior members of our congregations, maybe a link with the school boards would be beneficial not just for a source of volunteers but as a marketing strategy.  Each school has a website - is their parish web link listed? Are events at the parish linked/listed?
 
Leading a busy life, I don't access the St. Pat's web often but I know the bulletin is there if I need it or missed Mass that week.  And the weekly email is informative and a good reminder to check the bulletin.  Maybe a diocese wide request for email newsletter signup would be in order.  It could be proposed as a re-launch of a renewed newsletter.
 
Tara

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Gerry Kirk

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Apr 13, 2007, 2:05:30 PM4/13/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Paul, I love your enthusiasm. Could you share more about the exciting
story of new life at your parish? Just send a new email to the list.

The project we had in mind has at minimum three phases. The first is
the planning phase, followed by a pilot within one school board and
then extend across all participating school boards.

I have attached a 3 page outline I prepared for the Diocese 2 years
ago. Just a reminder that I am an employee of Faith Online and not
the Diocese. It will give you an idea of the scope of work. This is
not a small undertaking, that is for sure.

I look forward to your thoughts on this. You are right, this has
tremendous potential and perhaps with a few people like yourself
eager to move it forward, who knows what might happen?

DeoWeb School Integration Proposal.pdf

Gerry Kirk

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Apr 13, 2007, 2:31:41 PM4/13/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Tara, wow 3 hours to post everything that goes into the bulletin? How many news items and events would that be? 

Bill Kerr, how much time do you and your team member take each week posting bulletin info? 

Tara, I'm just wondering if there are perhaps easier ways to do what you are doing. Of course, the best solution would be for someone else to take care of some of the posting.

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts, too on how the whole content creation process could be made easier. What would be your "dream" way of adding content to the site?

Thanks for your other ideas as well, Tara. I'm going to have to start jotting down everyone's good suggestions in one place before they all slip through my fingers. (grin)

- Gerry

On 10-Apr-07, at 4:54 PM, Hurley, Tara wrote:

I consider myself computer savvy and posting the bulletin and then breaking it out into the news articles and events was a 3 hour job for me although I also tried to include a pic with the articles as well.
  
Tara

Hurley, Tara

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Apr 13, 2007, 3:11:52 PM4/13/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
I have not done one in a while but it used to take me three hours because I had to dissect what was put together for the bulletin printers. 
This included saving the clips in a usable format (or find my own), removing all spacing/formatting so I could use the formatting in the Deoweb program.
 
Each piece of the bulletin would then go into a news or event file which I did not always have sufficient information to complete - length of meetings, contact personnel so I would have to compromise and do the best I could.  The bulletin is often four full pages not including the front and back covers and some is point form so there were many events which included other parish events in the city.
 
If others were updating their own Deoweb information or feeding the information to me for the web AND the parish secretary for the bulletin it might have been better but the general consensus is that it takes time and there is not enough return on effort so, in the end, it doesn't get done.
 
Dream way of having content added to the site?
Part-time parish(s) position so someone could be held accountable and would be a single point of contact to maintain the site
- could work from home 2 hours per day at $10 per hour = $100 per week monitored by logon times and/or number of changes registered by that user if this info is tracked by the web.  Faxes from department heads, group contacts etc can be received by pc so they could be sent from the parish office via hardcopy which, I suspect, is the way most information is received for the bulletin.
 
However, I am not that much of a dreamer so I will continue to think on this.
 
I don't think that student volunteer hours are necessarily the answer since the supervision of said work is often as much work as completing it yourself ~ ask me...my 13 year old did a couple bulletins and I re-did them so they would not tarnish the image of the medium  :}
 
There is definitely one thing that would get more people to the sites and that is PHOTOS.
The more photos there are, the more people make the effort to look for them, especially if they contain images of family & people they know.
 
Have a good weekend, all.
Tara


From: deoweb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:deoweb...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Gerry Kirk
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 2:32 PM
To: deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [deoweb-users] Challenges managing content

WBarbeau

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Apr 14, 2007, 11:23:02 AM4/14/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
3 hours to post !
Suggestion: 
I totally look after two Parish web pages  http://olmountcarmel.diocesessm.org   and  http://blessedsacrament.diocesessm.org
This entails less than one hour per week unless there is a event etc where I have to process video or image entries.
What I have done is have the parish secretary email me the parish bulletin which is done in Publisher format, from that it is a matter of copy & paste.
Saves me from calluses (one finger typist) :-D

Gerry Kirk wrote:

No virus found in this incoming message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 269.4.0/760 - Release Date: 4/13/2007 8:04 PM

Bill Kerr

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Apr 14, 2007, 8:11:40 PM4/14/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
I will assume that Rolly takes about 0.5 to 0.75 posting her information
and I take about 1.5 h posting. I then spend about another 1-2 h/week
working on the site looking for appropriate articles, pictures to
support the liturgy, changing the wording in the introduction etc.
Bill

Hurley, Tara

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Apr 16, 2007, 1:32:53 PM4/16/07
to deoweb...@googlegroups.com
:D
 
It was not the bulletin itself that took so much time, but breaking it out into news and events so they would come through for the weekly newsletter and on the quick link sections of the web.
 
 


From: deoweb...@googlegroups.com [mailto:deoweb...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of WBarbeau
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 11:23 AM
To: deoweb...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [deoweb-users] Re: Challenges managing content

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