This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A self-described social-networking junkie has launched a new website designed to help Mormons and others with similar business interests meet online.
David Bradford, chairman and former chief executive of Fusion-io and a former Novell executive, is creator of LDS.biz, which formally debuted Tuesday but has been quietly attracting followers for several weeks.
While LinkedIn and Facebook have been great for his business career he has 5,000 Facebook friends and another 3,500 on LinkedIn such sites have constraints, he said.
"When you are reliant on a third-party platform," Bradford said, "that platform can change overnight."
Besides, LDS.biz carries features that general social-networking sites lack. LDS.biz allows users to chat by video and can hook them up with mentors.
The site also provides job and job-wanted listings and has a link to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' jobs website, LDSjobs.org.
Chris Allen, an entre- preneur and former investment banker who moved his family from Salt Lake City to a farm in southern Missouri, said he joined LDS.biz a week ago. He looks forward to spending time on a social website where he doesn't get as much "blow back" from those who disagree with his conservative outlook.
"It will be powerful in connecting me with other LDS business owners and leaders, businesspeople who are part of the same faith I am." Allen said.
Allen signed up to mentor others and started groups to talk about sustainability and organic gardening.
The 300-plus users have begun groups for those interested in everything from LDS general conference to fly-fishing to work-life balance.
David Doering, an Orem-based technical writer, likes the site's emphasis on service.
LDS.biz awards service points to users who refer friends, post links and other content. It helps the site grow, but Doering said it has another value as well.
"You're emphasizing that we are a community," he said, "and we need to help each other rather than help ourselves."
Mentors on the site earn a lot of points, and Doering already has provided tips about book publishing to another user. He wants to be mentored as well in skills he lacks such as how to read a balance sheet.
Bradford said he struggled with using the L-D-S letter combination in the website name because he wants to attract those outside of Mormonism as well.
"The ability to hone in on a well-known vertical market made me feel like we should use the name," Bradford said. But "you don't have to have a temple recommend or a ward to join the site."
Website users can provide information to others about their ward and stake as well as where they served Mormon missions.
Bradford said the website has a staff of four, and he hopes to attract advertisers.
"I certainly want it to break even over time, but that's not what's driving the site."
On the Web
O This new social-networking site is found at http://lds.biz.