The launch of mormon.org

The official website for the “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints“, aka Mormons has been lds.org for at least a decade. (According to its whois record it was registered exactly 12 years ago today.) On July 14 the church launched mormon.org. (That domain was owned by Mormons  for 15 years and here is a copy of its first incarnation.) The details, goals and tools of the relaunch were written up by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the The Salt Lake Tribune. (I learned about it at the PEW forums religion in the news service.) Here are some highlights from the article:

…Now the nearly 14 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is attempting to revolutionize the way Mormons find converts and it’s all online.

This involves experimenting with blogging missionaries, self-produced member profiles and stereotype-bursting videos

…However, the electronic universe also is uncontrollable, an aspect that has traditionally been tough for the hierarchical church but one that organizers readily acknowledge.

…The online missionary effort began in 2001, with the launch of www.mormon.org, a site aimed at telling outsiders what Mormons believe.

…Two years ago, the church expanded the site to add a chat function and called its first online-only missionaries,

…The president of the Rochester mission is one of the “Facebook friends,” Wilson said, so he will know what missionaries write.

…the church has rolled out additions to www.mormon.org, which currently showcases 15 video portraits and 2,000 written profiles of Mormons across the globe; there are another 75 videos and 13,000 more profiles ready to be posted.

…”We want to show people how Mormons live their faith. We want them to be authentic and transparent. That is the way misperceptions disappear.”

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