JW Notifiers—The Story

jw.org notifier logo 1

Jesus once said, “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.” As God’s organization is ever more using jw.org as a means to distribute spiritual food, jw.org notifier was created to find ways to alert the reader of the latest releases and updates from the official website.

This is a personal project and the notifiers are not officially connected with jw.org.

Nitty-gritty

That was 2012. I was abuzz with excitement with every new update on jw.org. I talked about it with the youth in the congregation. Well, they know jw.org, but it just wasn’t in their natural inclination (and honestly, sometimes, me as well) to type “jw.org” and check the site whenever they go online. It’s not that they don’t like it, it’s just that we do tend to forget about it.

Solution? RSS feeds. That’s the only reliable and official update notifier for jw.org. RS… what?!? OK, so most of the youth today have no idea what an RSS is. (Do you? 😉 ) So what do they know? Where do they go the time they sit and surf? Back then, Facebook. That’s when the idea started. Pull the RSS feed, feed it to a Facebook Page, and then show the young ones how to get their notifications from Facebook. It worked pretty well, with an account that keeps on reminding them of new jw.org updates right on the website they (used to) spend most of their online life. It’s not that we are encouraging them to be hanging around in social media sites, it’s just that they’re already there, and we are simply reminding them, “Oh, hey look, something new on jw.org.” They were happy to get the notifications, and more importantly, appreciated more the articles in jw.org.

Personally, I no longer use the Facebook notifier. I’ve moved to email notifications this year. This year though, I hope to complete the major social media sites, linking jw.org’s RSS feeds to them. After that, the automated posts will take care of themselves. Safeguards were scrupulously set to the extent possible to limit, discourage, and if possible, totally disable commenting directly on the posts. This, as hoped, will keep unwise associations and harmful influences at bay. So far, the platforms that support this best are Google+, and of course, email notifications.

Legal considerations. I’m not a copyrights / intellectual property lawyer, and will rather not discuss “interpretations of the law” sort of thing. Besides, the copyright and terms of use of jw.org had been set out in as simple as legal terms could possibly be. So, as of this date, the first bullet point of the Term states that readers cannot post jw.org Content (artwork, electronic publications, music, photos, text, videos) on the Internet. How about posting links to the Content? Legal communities call these, “deep linking” (just discovered today). And it is noted here, and here, that deep linking (so far) does not infringe the copyrights. And what about the the Notifiers? They don’t post the Content of jw.org on webpages or social networks. They only post links (and a short description) to those Content. Readers will still have to access the articles and magazines (and everything else within “Content”) on the jw.org website, and not on the Notifiers. Whew! Talking legal.

This may probably be the last time I could (or would) update the notifiers. For those who would like to use these online tools in the years to come, I’d like, once again, to leave Jesus’ words, especially towards the use of the internet, “Look! I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; so prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves.” And also, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me,” and he added, “they will listen to my voice.”

Jehovah’s blessings and favor to all who love him, his Kingdom, and his laws.

 

Developer of JW.org Notifier
October 2014
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