General Conference: here’s the deal.

Conference weekends are big weekends for church bloggers. There’a lot of traffic, a lot of comments, a lot of tweets. We’re going to try something a little different this weekend, so we hope you’ll bear with us. Here’s the scoop.

At the heart of this different approach is a desire to encourage people to watch General Conference without distracting readers during sessions or detracting from the spirit of the event. We feel a little conflicted because the open threads are generally very active and people really want to talk about what’s going on. So, we’ve been discussing how to have a good discussion while at the same time ensuring that this discussion doesn’t come at the expense of the meeting. So, the high notes:

  • We’ll continue with live tweeting the sessions, which will consist not only of quotes from the speakers but other facts and figures, as well as Instagrams as time permits. We believe our twitter coverage of Conference is the best independent Conference coverage there is.
  • We’ll continue with open threads during sessions, but a little different than normal: all comments will be put in moderation and curated. The goal is for the discussion to be topical, in-depth and interesting. We’ll be curating the comments in real time, and those comments which add to the discussion will get approved quickly, and the end result will be an open thread actually worth reading. This is a bit of an experiment, as our prior methods have consisted of just nuking comments that cross the line. We’re not used to gatekeeping. But I believe we can have excellent discussions about Conference, and hopefully this approach will facilitate that end.
  • We’ll continue with post-conference in-depth analysis of talks as well, which have consistently been interesting.

That’s it – we hope you’ll tune in and enjoy conference with us.

Comments

  1. Good plan

  2. You mean I won’t be reading about everyone’s breakfast this time?

  3. i kind of like reading about everyone’s breakfast. Don’t care about the word of the session though for the candy bowl. Haha

  4. sba has already addressed my primary concerns. Can we still post what we eat for breakfast and hold in-depth discussions of preferred waffle recipes?

  5. It’s clear we need a thread entirely devoted to GC foodstuffs.

  6. CONFERENCE NACHOS!

  7. #sharebreakfastgoodness

  8. Utahhiker801 says:

    For my kids, it’s not GC without having Fruitloops to string onto necklaces. At least that’s what they did when they were young. Now they just skip the work and eat them. Nevertheless, Fruitloops are still the required food.

    And I like the idea of moderating the comments a bit. It will make sure that anything I comment on has thoughtfulness behind it.

  9. A Happy Hubby says:

    My wife’s family tradition for conference was a big scoop of ice cream on their cereal in the morning. Turns out it is quite good (not good FOR your, but rather yummy). I think the tradition would continue even if we became atheists.

  10. Last Lemming says:

    What about comments on Pres. Uchtdorf’s tie? Will those get through?

  11. Each admin here will probably have slightly different preferences. I’m going to be doing a lot of the modding on Saturday at least, but I haven’t really decided exactly what the criteria will be specifically. When we first started talking about this idea, we envisioned a very high bar of “thoughtfulness” and a strong filter on chit-chat. The question of course is whether chit-chat can be mixed with thoughtfulness, and to what degree.

    I don’t want to be a kill joy, but I also don’t want to deal with arguments, preaching, condemning, whining, or any of the nonsense that so often pervades in GC threads here. My advice?

    1. Post your comments as you like
    2. I’ll approve them or won’t approve them
    3. Don’t take the decision personally

  12. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.

  13. I’ve never participated in the GC threads here because: randomness. I chill over on the twitter. I’ll be keeping an eye on this if it’s going to be different, though.

  14. Dislike. Anyone know any non-censoring open threads?

  15. Joe, there have never been any non-censored open threads at this site, ever. You could of course start your own site.

  16. I could, but I’m just not that talented or ambitious in this area. One of the things I have come to enjoy about these open threads over the years is to see people comment what many of us are thinking at the same time, but if you’re sitting in a live session, you really can’t just speak up with that thought in the middle of the meeting. Someone always has to come along and take the FUN out of DysFUNction, don’t they?

    And please don’t take that last line personally.

  17. I think this is a great idea.

  18. Could you please further define “contribute” and what you are censoring?

  19. Beats me. More than just wisecracks. I know that’s vague.

  20. Steve, I’m impressed. Curating the discussion is going to work-intensive, but I believe it’ll create a great blog environment for listening to and discussing Conference.

  21. Hey he’s stealing that from Nate Oman!

  22. “We believe our twitter coverage of Conference is the best independent Conference coverage there is.”

    Y’all really are the best at General Conference.

  23. Not everyone is a twitter fan. I’m going to miss these threads this year.

  24. Did you tell times and seasons/fmh to expect more traffic this weekend so they’re not caught unaware?

  25. No, Dave. Nobody’s going to go there.

  26. I think it’s a great idea. GC thread is not where I want to read comments about ties, or complaints about the same old, same old topics. Hopefully it will be a positive experience.

  27. Basically folks, this decision was made not censor anyone, but to help us all actually listen, and discuss what’s being said with thoughtfulness, rather than knee-jerk-i-ness. We’ve been doing this for a while, and we’re trying something a little different. The Twitter feed will be live and very active, and you can respond to Tweets if you need/want immediacy.

    I know for myself, having breathing room between the talks and a reaction is a good thing.

  28. I’m spiritually fed while watching Conference and then laugh out loud after reading BCC’s comments about what I just watched. It’s a nice balance. I’m afraid if I’m spiritually fed again while reading the comments here, my spirit might explode/vaporize.

  29. Kc, that was a masterpiece.

  30. I think this makes sense. Since BCC does not make money from traffic volume, there is no reason to have comments just for the sake of traffic. I attempt to make money from traffic volume (and I don’t make much), but live-threads or open-threads are a lot of work. I have decided not to do any this weekend at all. Normally, I would try to get traffic from those upset about this authoritarian move by BCC…but I do not have the energy…and they will not come anyways. The people will still comment at BCC. They will just wait a few moments for Scott B. to clear their comment.

    And everything will be okay,

    For those who do not do Twitter…welcome to 2014!!! Twitter is well suited for fast moving comments about live event like conference. The WordPress comment section is not. The best thing to do is to make a Twitter list with a few dozen sources or people that you like and enjoy. My General Conference list will include BCC and a few other LDS Twitter friends. This is much better than following massive hashtags like #ldsconf. Oh, and a good Twitter app like Tweetbot helps, too.

  31. BTW, it’s not just Scott bearing the Bannination and Clearances stick. We’re all taking our turns, so adjust the angst accordingly. It might be Steve… but it might be me. We’ll never tell.

  32. Steve Evans, why am I suddenly craving bbq? Now I know what I’m eating during Conference! Had to slip that food reference in before I am banished from speaking it tomorrow….

  33. All too easy.