Editor’s note: I’ve redacted some details in resurrecting these posts from the archives, since the details, names, etc., may not remain accurate. I had big plans and was overly-ambitious, but luckily social media and other technologies would prove far more successful in bringing these things into common knowledge.
I was a bit vague in the last entry, so I’ll take a minute or so to explain what we have going on here. This, as I mentioned, is the official blog for [redacted], which site is still in the very early stages of planning. I won’t go into too much detail, as I haven’t even begun to think about the design, let alone touch the code, but here is the gist of what is to come…
The idea is a modern, easily searchable, friendly mormon information archive… something someone could stumble upon, type in a question or topic, and be able to access a wealth of information. The impetus has been that I’ve gone to several good links sections of ex-mormon sites and discovered that what looked like a great resource was no longer online, or was hard to access (ie, they were built using web development techniques popular in the mid90s). I’d hate to see great information fall along the wayside because someone stopped updating a site, or a harddrive crashed, or whatever. Hopefully it would also be a place that some of the prolific people on RFM could post articles as well, since I’ve seen wonderfully eloquent entries on the boards that are gone and buried 100+ pages back in only a few days.
—Me, in an email, explaining the idea
I know there are a lot of repositories of great information, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it could be done in a better, more efficient manner. Let’s use the technology that is out there to make sure we don’t lose great information and analysis. And let’s do it in a way that we don’t scare off the people who are really searching for answers, and not the latest joke about mormonism (though I know we ex-mos really enjoy them, they could be something off-putting to someone just starting to question).
I guess it all comes down to the fact that I hate to think about people going through the torment that is “your beliefs vs. what the church tells you.” I went through it largely alone. I’m certain there are scores of people, right now, who are scared and confused and they want answers, but they won’t allow themselves to “those anti-mormon sites.” I want the site to be open and welcoming. I want it to be clear-headed and reasonable. I want it to be the site that I wanted to find when I started to wonder about what happens to eternal families when members are kicked out. I want it to help people realise what is really going on.
This is not going to be a small task. I plan on asking some developers I know to donate their time to the project. I may make calls for volunteers to help out (php developers, editors, data entry, moderators of content, etc). I don’t expect to see a finished site before the end of the year, but I do hope to get things rolling before too long.
On a related note, I realise that this is going to be an effective “shit or get off the pot” moment for me. If I don’t resign my church membership, one can reasonably expect they’ll kick me out. It’s with that purpose that I am also developing the site [redacted] to chronicle my exit, in the guise of a how-to guide. This is a very touchy subject, for obvious reasons, so I’ll be keeping a journal until near the end of the process, and then editing and releasing my guide. Look for it.