The rumor is out – I thought I’d make it official. This week I have started as the new Social Media Architect for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In summary, I am in charge of the architecture and integration of Social Technologies for the Church. I will be in charge of finding ways that make sense to integrate technologies such as Facebook Connect, the Twitter API, @Anywhere, OpenSocial, Google Buzz, Google Wave, FOAF, Google’s Social Graph APIs, OpenID, and just about any other Social technology you can think of in to the Church’s web properties. This is quite a task!
The LDS Church (also called “the Mormons” by others) has some of the most visited websites on the internet. I’ve talked about it before. As of now, LDS.org, the Church’s site for members of the Church, ranks at number 2,460 in Alexa rankings. The Church has the largest database of genealogical information in the world. The Church has one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, contributing significantly to the efforts in Haiti, Chile, and many other causes (you can donate over on the right). The Church’s Relief Society is the largest non-profit womens organizations in the world, contributing to the welfare, support, and moral guidance and relief of women throughout the world. The Church has a global audience, speaking just about every language you can think of, and the Church’s technology has to support that audience.
That’s why this is such an incredible opportunity. Never in my life have I had the chance to support such a large, global audience in a way that could impact so many. I see the use of Social Media enabling the Church to reach into areas and touch people in ways it was never able to do before. I see Social Media enabling the Church to help more people, strengthen, and make the world a better place without boundary. I will get to not only use Facebook and Twitter to help others benefit society, but on a global scale I’ll get to use Orkut, Hi5, Bebo, and other global networks, and find ways to deeply integrate these technologies into the work the Church is doing, on a global scale and to a mass audience.
Will this affect my business, SocialToo? I anticipate not. I am taking a leap of faith here for something I feel has an even greater effect to change the world, but my intention is to continue running SocialToo part-time (at least). As it needs more attention we will see where things go at that point. I don’t anticipate anything changing on SocialToo, and I also expect some really amazing new features, new partnerships, and more to appear, even while I am fulfilling my position at the LDS Church.
“I don’t like X about the LDS Church” — I don’t intend to respond to many of these comments, and if they’re persistent I may remove or block them – IMO they are irrelevant to the position I hold. I am responsible solely for the Social Media-related technologies of the Church, nothing else. Any post here I make in representation of that position will be technology focused, not Church Policy focused. I’ve made it clear my intentions are to make the world a better place with this position. It doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs or motivations are – I think we’re all in this purpose together, and IMO, that’s what matters most. I hope you can support me in this. I hope to work for better standards in the realm of Genealogy. I hope to work for better, more friendly International standards, and better ways people can communicate globally in different languages. I hope what I do can change the poverty levels, and the welfare of the world through technology. That is my purpose.
There is no better job where I can “do no evil” better than in what I’m doing now. This is something where I feel I can truly make a change for the better. Will it help my faith, my religion? You bet! What I’m most excited though is the effect this position will have on the world. My faith and my religion are entirely centered around that, and my hope is that I have an effect on this more than anything else.
Have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments and elsewhere. I’m very happy, as always, to answer questions and discuss these matters and my beliefs in the Church especially. You can definitely expect much more from me on some of the related technologies we’re working on as I am able. I’m excited to where this leads! There is something very powerful about Social Media technologies and the potential they have to change the world.
As always, the content of this post and any other post on this blog are my own opinions, not the reflections of my employer, nor an official statement on my faith or religion. Any comment or post outside official LDS Channels are my own opinion and views.