Is it really the Encyclopedia Britannica as we might of thought?

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This post has 261 Replies | 21 Followers

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:36 AM

Greg F:
Really? I was expecting something somewhat more apologetic than self-congratulatory.

I am very sorry we disappointed you. We clearly didn't pay enough attention to this large and important project.

It's no excuse, but as part of the explanation, we process something like 20 new volumes every day (5,000+ / year). The process is very streamlined and involves around 550 people on two continents. In general this works very well for you: costs are controlled, the process runs smoothly, and we're able to continually deliver new books. But if there's a communication misunderstanding at the start, the process still runs smoothly, just putting the wrong thing through the system. That appears to be what happened here.

There was a mistake (involving a misunderstanding between us and Britannica and (separately) our marketing team). The mistake was months ago, when the database that got delivered and the marketing describing it were out of sync; this happened because we wrote the description of what we thought we were getting, and the actual data was delivered to 'the production silo' of the company, as is every title. The production process ran pretty smoothly and delivered as normal; the marketing and product weren't re-compared at release because that's never a problem -- most books only have one clear, distinct identity. We don't get 'the wrong content' because there's only one 'content' in existence for a title. This was a rare and very unusual situation where 'Encyclopaedia Britannica' has (to the publisher and rights holder) a fluid definition and where there wasn't a single, specific print copy in hand to compare to. (Comparing to print is part of our normal process, but this database no longer has a direct print equivalent.)

I must confess, I didn't see this is a big deal at first: a mistake was made months ago, and the mistake revealed this week. We jumped right on it and came up with what seems to be a satisfactory solution, marred only by the delay it will take to deliver the correction. We've offered an apology and full refund. We haven't tried to dodge or shirk responsibility.

There was no intentional deception, and it's hard to understand how anyone could think there was: What benefit is there to a company to intentionally misrepresent something that will be empirically testable immediately on release? (Okay, Vollkswagen tried to cheat emissions test, but demonstrably were able to go many years without anyone testing outside a lab, and must have believed no one would. But if I saw a weather app report that tomorrow's sunrise would be at 10 am, instead of 7:22 am, I'd presume that was a mistake, not an intentional deception -- there'd be no point!)

It's as if we shot ourselves in the foot in the middle of the night, and people are suggesting that it was part of our plan to disrupt their sleep with loud noises. :-)

I see that this is a bigger deal than I'd thought, though. While it's just one of the thousands of titles we'll ship this year, it was a large and very anticipated one; more of our team should have given it more attention all along the way.

I am sorry that we let you down, and we will take this lesson and learn from it. In the future, we will be clearer about what 'some' articles means, about the definition of a particular resource collection, and about confirming that the content we got is the content users are expecting, before we ship the product.

Posts 248
Patrick Rietveld | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:42 AM

Super.Tramp:

That would suit me better too. I am hopeful the final product is focused on the classics and history. (a real NOET edition.)

I hope too. That is the reason why I finally bought it.

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:44 AM

David Walsh:
Please admit your scam and go a long way to repent and put it right.

I'm sorry we disappointed you, and that you feel this is a scam.

I hope you'll consider a different possibility, though: we made a mistake, and now we're fixing it.

As a scam, it's actually not even plausible: it cost us the same to process and tag all the wrong articles as to tag the right ones. To fix this problem we'll be incurring significant expense, and effectively doing the same work twice. We didn't deny the error or try to force anyone to accept the wrong database.

You say you've been a customer for ten years; I trust you haven't felt scammed all that time, and hope you'll give us the benefit of the doubt here, and accept what is the true (as well as more plausible!) answer: A company with 24 years of history selling 70,000 different ebooks wouldn't suddenly switch business models to running 'scams' just so they could deliver one of the 70,000 different titles with a different text, which would be instantly discovered by their users, resulting in bad press, bad will, and the expense of re-doing all the work...

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 11:54 AM
A question and a few quick observations: 1. I'm having my sales rep run the order on this so it can be added to my Payment Plan (I'm ordering a few additional resources as well). If he does this, since I got in on the $99.95 price, will that price still be honored, as well as will I receive "Compton's" now and receive the larger Britannica later when it ships at no extra cost? 2. GREAT message from Phil. Thank you for responding, for caring, and for making things right. Well well written. 3. In terms of Britannica, here's why I want an edition of it in Logos. I actually have access to Britannica Academic free from my school. I even have access to the Theological Journals and even access to plenty of Christian eBooks, all free from my school. However, I typically NEVER use my school's free library resources. Why? The web interfaces are so clunky and difficult to search and cite in papers, in terms of books, I have to check them out and return them when done, and I can never easily find the information I need, even after attending free webinars and training from my school. With Logos, I own the books, so even when I leave seminary, I still have access to them. Everything is integrated into a seamless, unified, consistent search engine that makes it a breeze for me to mine my library for information, cite sources in papers, etc. It's such a difference between the web interface, which is why I definitely want an addition of Britannica in Logos so I will actually heavily use it. I'm perfectly fine with having "Compton's" now and getting the larger Britannica when it ships. Works for me. 4. The most "disappointing" part of this for me was finding out that some eBook tagging is done in India. I thought all Logos eBook tagging was "lovingly hand tagged in Bellingham, WA" by people like Eli and Rick. That kind of burst my mental picture of how eBook tagging is done. :-) Nonetheless, I appreciate all of the Logos eBook taggers, whether they be in WA, India, or the North Pole. :-) (Please note I'm making the above comments in a humorous manner and not trying to say anything negative about any of the Logos tagging team).

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 932
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:20 PM

I think if the FL team read the employee comments on the original thread about this sale, they would all understand the frustration much more.The issue was not malice, nor was it that there was no indication of problems. It was Faithlife failing to address the concerns of users about a greatly hyped product without detail. The frustration comes from the fact that the forum is full of people asking for samples, and all we got was a last minute table of contents with no indication of the actual content.  Over and over again, people asked for details which never came, although one comment is very revealing in hindsight (top of page 3). 

Sherri Huleatt:

I spoke with Britannica and they confirmed that Micro/Macropaedia content will not be included in the Noet edition.

Let me know if you have more questions!

Sherri

I think that FL promising to make good on what was originally advertised and giving us Compton's for free is neither a great marketing move nor a failure. It seems like common sense to deliver the product advertised and (especially in a digital world) to let them keep the 'broken' one. I have no complaints about how this was handled, but I think the original marketing and the ongoing unresponsiveness were the problems.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:47 PM

Justin Gatlin:
I think if the FL team read the employee comments on the original thread about this sale, they would all understand the frustration much more.

I agree with you, Justin. I think that neither Bob nor Phil have read that thread. It gives the context for the frustration and suspicion we see in this thread. Users were uncertain of what was being offered and FL was giving no answers that were helpful. There was time. There were questions. There was uncertainty. It didn't just pop-up after the release. Yet no substantial answers were given

Bob and Phil (and others at FL) you should read the thread Justin references if you want to understand some of the strong feelings you are reading here.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 1961
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:55 PM

steve clark:
It is disappointing to hear that there are so few images that [might] come with this encyclopedia (less than 1/10 of what was advertised). i understand FL's position with EB on the sub-licensing. i hope that sometime in the near future that ya'll will get accurate details on what the new version of the encyclopedia will contain and post it on the product page. i am guessing that you will have this info prior to starting work on the replacement encyclopedia.

It looks like we might be able to get quite a bit more media with EB. We're still sorting that out with them, but that should help get the media count up much higher.

We're working to finalize all the details and get accurate information up on the website, but we don't want to post anything until we're confident it's accurate.

steve clark:
That would be helpful for the images that will appear in the encyclopedia. It would also be helpful to let us know in advance approximately how many of the images that will be higher resolution (e.g. percentage of pictures and approximate resolution).

I'll see what we can do.

steve clark:
One other question. When will the new Pre-Pub product page be available on FL for this new replacement encyclopedia?

We'll probably end up posting three products:

    1. Encyclopedia Britannica and Compton's Encyclopedia Bundle: we'll convert the current product page into this one and put it back on Pre-Pub
    2. Encyclopedia Britannica: an EB-only product that will either go on Pre-Pub or perhaps just go live after the Pre-Pub bundle ships
    3. Compton's Encyclopedia: a Compton's-only product that will go live, since we've already produced it

    We'll probably get these all posted sometime next week, as soon as we have all the files and media in hand and verified.

    Posts 1961
    LogosEmployee
    Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 12:58 PM

    Mark Smith:

    Justin Gatlin:
    I think if the FL team read the employee comments on the original thread about this sale, they would all understand the frustration much more.

    I agree with you, Justin. I think that neither Bob nor Phil have read that thread. It gives the context for the frustration and suspicion we see in this thread. Users were uncertain of what was being offered and FL was giving no answers that were helpful. There was time. There were questions. There was uncertainty. It didn't just pop-up after the release. Yet no substantial answers were given

    Bob and Phil (and others at FL) you should read the thread Justin references if you want to understand some of the strong feelings you are reading here.

    Thanks, Justin and Mark. I will read this thread to better understand the history of what happened and how we can do better in the future.

    Posts 5300
    Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:14 PM

    Phil Gons (Faithlife):
    We'll probably get these all posted sometime next week, as soon as we have all the files and media in hand and verified.

    That sounds great, I look forward to learning what the finalized Brittanica Noet will look like. Thanks Phil (and Bob) for helping to get this sorted out so quickly... I know several of us were anxious in our disappointment on release day, but you did get it looked at right away and I think in a very reasonable amount of time to figure out what went wrong and how to best fix it.

    -Dan

    Posts 790
    James Hiddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:21 PM

    They lied to us. They lied worse then a politician taking a lying pill therefore I will never buy anymore Logos products.

    Now if you will excuse me I'm going to purchase the Collectors edition!!! Stick out tongue

    P.S. Trying to inject some humor in an already tense thread in hopes to calm some people down!

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    Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:30 PM

    James Hiddle:
    P.S. Trying to inject some humor in an already tense thread in hopes to calm some people down!

    I am listening to Queen's Sheer Heart Attack album to relax.   I can say it works well.

    Logos 7 Collectors Edition

    Posts 4053
    abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:33 PM

    James Hiddle:

    They lied to us. They lied worse then a politician taking a lying pill therefore I will never buy anymore Logos products.

    Now if you will excuse me I'm going to purchase the Collectors edition!!! Stick out tongue

    P.S. Trying to inject some humor in an already tense thread in hopes to calm some people down!



    After reading your first sentence my forehead (of its own volition) smashed its self down upon my desk.

    The second sentence and the third made me chuckle though.

    Collectors edition is nice looking. I was drooling over that the other day. BUT I think its going to remain outside my reach shy of divine intervention. Perhaps when 7 comes out - maybe then there will be a super mega deluxe hoarders (and I mean that in the best possible way) edition that I can shamelessly buy...

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    steve clark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:35 PM

    Phil Gons (Faithlife):
    I'll see what we can do.

    Thanks Phil !

    Thank you again for taking time to answer my questions!

    Thanks Bob for offering explanation details. It is always encouraging to hear from the Boss of Logos!

    QLinks, Bibl2, LLR, Macros
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    mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:40 PM

    Thanks for the freebie! We love freebies!

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    Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:49 PM

    Bob Pritchett:

    Greg F:
    Really? I was expecting something somewhat more apologetic than self-congratulatory.

    I am very sorry we disappointed you. We clearly didn't pay enough attention to this large and important project.

    I am constantly amazed at your grace when many—most?—would give such comments the response they deserve.

    Thankfully, Christ Jesus does not offer us what we actually deserve.

    Posts 4053
    abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:52 PM

    Jack Caviness:

    Thankfully, Christ Jesus does not offer us what we actually deserve.



    Indeed.

    L2 lvl4 (...) L8 Platinum, WORDsearch

    Posts 87
    Michael Sullivan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 1:56 PM

    Bob Pritchett:

    We don't get 'the wrong content' because there's only one 'content' in existence for a title.

    Dear Bob,

    Since you made the above assertion, I'd like to take this opportunity to hijack this thread and talk about another resource which has "wrong content".

    Over the course of the past 5+ years I have, at various times, called, emailed, posted, and even discussed with FaithLife employees about  how the 1545 Luther Bible you are selling is not the 1545 Luther Bible. Here is an example of one such thread:

    https://community.logos.com/forums/p/96447/664460.aspx#664460

    This is why I have not purchased this Bible from you. You have the wrong content. Please correct this resource and I will purchase it from you (and also please include the footnotes). If you want a database of the real 1545 Bible, check out www.lutherbibel.net or mybible.de.

    Thank you and God bless,

    Michael

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    Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 2:11 PM

    Michael Sullivan:
    Since you made the above assertion, I'd like to take this opportunity to hijack this thread and talk about another resource which has "wrong content".

    Michael, thanks for pointing this out as it is important but I would suggest that you either start another thread or send an email directly to Logos so this won't get lost here.

    Edit: Well, I spoke too soon and the boss already answered. That was fast! Yes

    Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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    Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 2:15 PM

    Michael Sullivan:
    I'd like to take this opportunity to hijack this thread and talk about another resource which has "wrong content".

    I'm having our team take another look.

    Posts 87
    Michael Sullivan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 9 2015 3:35 PM

    Thank you very much.  I would really like to have this resource in Logos.

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