Knowledge and how to find it

Gene Schneider – Brick River board member, Paul’s father, and the original model for Rodin’s sculpture "The Thinker" – ponders the future of user documentation (and reminds us why nobody messes with Gene).


We finally got smart about our knowledge base – the instruction manual for Brick River users and developers. “You know what?” we said to ourselves (yes, we talk to ourselves a lot, and, yes, it’s an annoying habit). “Let’s not scatter these documents and videos hither and yon” – keeping some on a help page, some on the Brick River console, some on our website, and some in a duffel bag behind the Greyhound Bus Station. “Let’s put everything in one convenient spot.”

Boom. Done. We’ve loaded all our articles, tutorials, and training videos into one bucket,, which you can reach by clicking on Guides at the top of the Brick River homepage or app console. You’ll find help on general topics (things like event registration, content management, and system administration), as well as United Methodist Church modules such as the People Portal.

We also have a section for software developers, where we offer all kinds of widgets and snippets – photo album code, an events calendar page, sort fields, and more – that can be added to Brick River by people who know what they’re doing.

Those webinars we’ve been presenting – our Brick River Crossings series – are there, too. You can binge-watch them (highly recommended for date night!) or find them listed under the relevant topics along with other docs.

We know what you’re thinking. “This sounds suspiciously well organized for Brick River. Somebody must have put them up to it.” And you’re right. Our knowledge base has two new curators: the Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett, ministerial services manager for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church, and Lauren Miers, senior communication specialist with the UMC’s Missouri Conference.

Together they are imposing order, dusting away cobwebs, and writing indispensable new articles. Be sure to catch Lauren’s latest opus, “Navigating a People Record.”

Ah, progress. We kind of miss the days when searching for guidance on Brick River was an adventure. But you won’t.