Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spreading the Word, Bit by Bit: Search Engines of Creation

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

Spreading the Word, Bit by Bit: Search Engines of Creation

Article excerpt

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is burnishing its brand. Since 2010, the church has spent millions of dollars on cheery TV ads and billboards featuring diverse Americans--a surfer, a veteran of the Iraq war, a black woman who's the mayor of a Utah town--with the tag line "I Am a Mormon." Scott Swofford, one of the architects of the campaign, told The Los Angeles Times that the goal is to show that "Mormons are not that strange."

With less fanfare, backers of the church are promoting it online, too. A prominent role is being played by the More Good Foundation, launched in 2005 by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways, and James Engebretsen, an associate dean at Brigham Young University.

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One of the objectives of the foundation is to make it more likely that people looking for Mormon-related information via Google or another search engine will end up on church-friendly turf, rather than on hostile sites run by evangelical Christians, ex-Mormons, and others. …

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