Friday, September 21, 2007

Plan to increase positive LDS search results

Here is an article from a BYU site that was apparently removed after it was posted to a discussion group:

———–Start article

Create a Business Plan to Help LDS Church

"Our foundation needs help to create a business plan or fundraising. The project is to use the Internet to 1) drive down the enemies of the Church off prominent search pages, and 2) use the Internet as a missionary tool. The business plan will be placed in front of major potential donors. Here is an overview of the project and request. Thanks for your help."

Larry Barkdull, president
Latter-day Foundation for the Arts, Education and Humanity
lwb224 AT

The Latter-day Foundation for the Arts, Education and Humanity was formed in 1990 to help promote LDS arts and artists. Later, its purpose was expanded to assist with educational and humanitarian efforts. Recently, the foundation has become actively involved with Internet missionary initiatives to (1) drive down Church enemies from prominent search engine positions and (2) teach the gospel of Jesus Christ via the Internet. Our initiative is called "Flooding the Internet with Truth."


A recent "conservative" advice columnist on recommended premarital sex to a young virgin: "If you are sure you are in a long-term relationship, why not?"
A missionary in England reported his "golden" contact excitedly consulting the Internet about Mormons after the first discussion. The investigator found a mountain of anti-Mormon material and immediately cancelled all future appointments with the missionaries.


At present, the Internet has few conservative, moral voices that are willing to combat immorality and anti-Mormon sentiments. The LDS Church tracks about 6,500 anti-LDS Web sites in the English language , whose content dominates search results. Thousands more dominate search engine positions in other languages. Potential converts are abandoning the missionaries once they consult the Internet for more information. (Emphasis added.) Only vast quantities of positive material, correctly optimized, can resolve this problem. We cannot drive the enemies of the Church off the Internet, but we can displace their prominent positions. Moreover, millions of people are not Christians, but need Christ introduced to them. Much of the present information about Christ on the Internet is either embarrassing or inaccurate. Finally, as the world grows increasingly more dangerous, middle- and upper-class people are retreating to gated communities, places that are difficult for missionaries to enter. How can we reach these people? Through their computers.

We need a network of conservative information that:
• Points readers to moral, Christian principles
• Offers clear-cut information on LDS members and their doctrines
• Scientifically presents material in a way that displaces immoral and anti-LDS material on search engines.


During the last three years, we have worked with Church departments and potential content providers to identify the problem and construct a solution strategy. We work closely with the More Good Foundation to gather information about in-danger keyword searches, which tells us where content needs to be placed, and how it should be optimized and published. We have created two initial Web sites, and we are in the process of creating a network of gospel-oriented sites.

Projected results

We took random samples of mainstay Christian and LDS terms and researched their monthly searches. The resulting audience was enormous—over 4 million. We can apply the same tools and science that professional e-commerce sites incorporate to make money and use them to defend the Church and teach the gospel. We believe we can reach millions of people. Our call to action is (1) ask for a free copy of the Book of Mormon, (2) order free Church materials (DVDs, pamphlets, etc.), and (3) request the missionaries.

We interviewed former mission presidents about convert-to-missionary contact ratios. The results were these: basically 30,000 companionships will each contact about 100 people per month or 3 million people. Of that number, 25,000 people are baptized each month—less than 1% of the number contacted. Our goal is to publish vast amounts of positive content and place it strategically where millions of monthly searches—"contacts"—can occur. An interesting mathematical exercise (using industry standards for Internet readership "captures" as compared to convert-to-missionary contact ratios) suggests that the Internet can greatly increase positive awareness of the Church and become an incredible missionary tool.

——End article

No comments: