Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Florida Jacksonville Mission Solo Facebook Page: New Social Media Pilot Technique

On Sunday 2 October I read an interesting entry on Sister Marilyn Barry's Facebook page:

Hello Family and Friends, Thank you all for the friend requests. I loved seeing faces of so many people that I love and miss. Our mission is doing a pilot program for the church to see how effective missionary work is on Facebook. We were asked to close out our personal facebook accounts and open a missionary facebook devoted exclusively to teaching the gospel to investigators, keeping contact with local members and keeping contact with our missionaries who have gone home. Though I can't accept your request to be 'friends' on facebook know that our friendship status is alive and thriving in my heart. I love you all and hope all is well in your life. Love Sister Marilyn Barry
I found this interesting and wondered just how they would implement it.  I suspect they would create a Facebook group where they will allow current Facebook missionaries, investigators, and former missionaries to join.  I noticed a new Facebook group for the mission and made the first request to join the group on Sunday.  I clicked on like for  Florida Jacksonville Mission page but so far I have had no response to joining the group.

Just for fun I am going to the invidual missionaries pages to see what they have to say about the change.

Elder Caleb Crites didn't mention it. Yesterday in his last FB message he wrote: "It just so happens that I can track the number of views on the blog I share. And the last post I wrote hasn't had any views! If there be any who wish to hear from me, they don't get any more untill they read what they've got!"

This is the third mission to close out Facebook pages. The Michigan Lansing Mission did it in a limited way last year reducing their missionaries to only those on college campuses. The Baton Rouge Louisiana Mission dropped Facebook and blogging totally and only put up Mormon.Org profiles. I don't know if this affects blogs too for the Florida Jacksonville Mission.  I wonder how they will be able to assess its effectiveness but it will be interesting to see. It will be sad to not see their individual comments but it might have better responses. I don't know how they will handle blogging but I like the way the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission put up a solo blog for most of their missionaries Good Mormon America.  The blog has become somewhat inactive the last month but it was a nice source for missionary input.  I like the way Michael Hemingway and the missionary committee are trying different approaches and commend their efforts.

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