The future of Logos and Faithlife: Help us make the right decisions!

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This post has 145 Replies | 17 Followers

Posts 3047
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 26 2019 7:58 AM

Bob, it seems that you want to sell stuff, including websites, to churches. OK. As you know, the most efficient way to do this is to sell to a large number of churches all at once.

One good question to ask is, "Where do I find large groups (hundreds or at least dozens) of churches--especially those with no website or terrible websites--in pre-assembled groups with a central decision-making entity that can sign up and pay for every single one of those churches all at once?"

Oooh! I know the answer! It's painful, but I do: the Catholic Church in the USA and Canada. Market to bishops and their dioceses.

Talk with your Verbum staff. Most Catholic parishes presently have either no website or a terrible website and/or a website that doesn't get updated because it's a pain to do so... and/or even the pastor and current staff don't have the relevant password(s).

Posts 4763
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 26 2019 10:38 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Bloomsbury was willing to find a very creative solution in our partnership, but it was a bold move I'm not sure other publishers would do... though we can try a little harder....

This, please. Your inspiration: Lk. 18:4, 5.

Wear them out.

Just to be clear...

Please target:

Brill (VT & NT & Supplements)
Sage (Interpretation: J. of Bib. & Theol.)
SBL (numerous series; in particular, their dissertation series could benefit greatly from a typesetting improvement by moving to Logos)
De Gruyter (all Bible-related monographs)
Eisenbrauns (Siphrut series; Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplements; etc.)
Peter Lang (Studies in Biblical Literature series)
...I could name plenty more--snag one or more of these, and I will make other suggestions.

With De Gruyter and Lang, and to some extent Eisenbrauns, might I suggest that the publishers offer a kind of Chinese menu approach, where Logos customers can choose 5, 10, 15, or so titles from some of these very large series, for a set discount rate. I suspect that would draw FAR MORE attention than pre-ordained cookie-cutter collections that only have one or two desired titles in a 10-15 title collection.

For example, the Siphrut series by Eisenbrauns currently has about 20 titles...

Pick 5...20% off
Pick 10...40% off
Pick 15...60% off
Pick 20...80% off

FL, through Logos, is providing an entirely untapped market of potential buyers of these deep study titles...IF the publishers will get their heads out of their rumps and recognize and accept the opportunity. They can get lots of unexpected money, or sit and brick it all out because "yesterday's reasons". I'm prepared to spend K's on these series in Logos if the value is right...Bloomsbury right. Tell the Euros that the ugly Americans have euros to spend (so to speak).

Posts 2401
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 27 2019 12:38 AM

David Paul:

For example, the Siphrut series by Eisenbrauns currently has about 20 titles...

Pick 5...20% off
Pick 10...40% off
Pick 15...60% off
Pick 20...80% off

How would that work?  That is do I have to pick all 20 now or can I pick them up over time?

That is I buy 5 now at 20% off.  If next year I buy 5 more do I get them at 40% off [I now own 10] or only 20% [I only bought 5 now]

Then, after reading and using the first 10, I buy the rest (last 10).  Do I get them at 40% off or 80% off?  [Again I now own 20 but only bought 10 now]

That is do I get the discount on what I buy now or my total count over time?

Posts 4763
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 27 2019 3:30 AM

David Ames:
That is do I get the discount on what I buy now or my total count over time?

It would probably have to be on a "per purchase" basis...but, ultimately, it is whatever FL and the publishers agree on. FL does provide dynamic pricing, so they might be able to work deals that factor in previous purchases. I'm just tossing out ideas. I am a value purchaser, i.e. a bulk purchaser. I rarely buy single items. I buy in the biggest lots I can to gain the biggest discounts I can get. With Brill and De Gruyter having titles in the $100-300 range (sometimes higher), I would only be able to purchase their titles if they are drastically discounted, and that typically means bulk purchases. Otherwise, they won't ever see my money. De Gruyter has dozens of great deep-dive monographs on narrow topics. If I could get a few dozen of them for 80-90% discount, that's action I would jump at.

Posts 1418
Forum MVP
Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 29 2019 10:23 AM

Bob Pritchett:
the more academic the title, the fewer the customers

Just wonder whether some of us users with the required expertise could do the tagging on voluntary basis for free in those cases.

Also I would guess some users with developer or GIS skills might be willing to volunteer in some projects.

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

Posts 46
Willy Arnold | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 1 2019 11:07 AM

Slightly off topic, but I just wanted to respond to those of you who have had a hard time getting others to use Logos. I had the same frustration for a while, evangelizing Logos to everyone I know, but I was persistent and am having pretty good results now. My dad bought his very first laptop and is learning to use a computer just so that he can use Logos!

So what was my secret? Show them the awesome potential of Logos and then teach them how to use it! Also, tell them that the basic program is free and that they only pay for the books and packages that they want. 

I have been teaching a "How to use Logos" class for several months now. I started with a presentation showing off its potential one Sunday morning and then stated that I would be teaching a weekly class to anyone interested. The "core" of our small church (those who come to 2+ services a week) are almost all in my Logos class. And several have already become paying customers (Dad got Silver). It took time and persistence (and a lot of hand holding), but they are catching the vision of how Logos can enhance their study of God's word.

Passionate Logos users (us) are potentially the best Logos salesmen. We just need to help others to see that the payoff is well worth the investment of time in learning to use the software (as we, obviously, have already seen for ourselves). 

Posts 2401
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 2 2019 2:59 PM

Willy Arnold:

 Show them the awesome potential of Logos and then teach them how to use it! 

Also, tell them that the basic program is free and that they only pay for the books and packages that they want. 

(Dad got Silver)

So how much of the "awesome potential of Logos" was showable using the free "basic program" with no addons?  

 [[Silver goes for $999.99]]

Posts 325
Andrew Biddinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 2 2019 3:03 PM

Willy Arnold:

So what was my secret? Show them the awesome potential of Logos and then teach them how to use it! Also, tell them that the basic program is free and that they only pay for the books and packages that they want.

Thanks for the positive post! This is great advice!

Posts 5
Gerald | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 7:05 AM

Bob Pritchett:
Right now, Equip ‘Early Access’ is an amazing deal… and I’m surprised every Logos user hasn’t gotten their church onto Faithlife TV for Churches (https://faithlifetv.com/church), because it’s worth it for the Mobile Ed courses alone… and Faithlife Giving (https://giving.faithlife.com/) is fantastic and will be super-well integrated with the whole platform. I hope you’ll check it out.

If our church subscribes to the FaithLifeTV, how does each user log into the content? Does each person have a separate log-in? I am wondering if there is a way to allow each user to bookmark content, not having to start over mid viewing of a video, etc. Possibly the new users would purchase the Basic Logos and set up a login. BTW, what is included in the Basic package? I don't see any listing for the content.

I am facilitating a college age class starting in August, and would like to use the FaithLife TV and Mobile Ed content occasionally.

Posts 142
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 8:54 AM

This might seem negative, but it is not intended that way.

I question some of the things that you throw development resources at and wonder if there isn't a bit too much bloat at Faithlife. Do we really need a web version of the software? I have never used it and probably never will. Desktop and mobile, yes.

On a similar note, I tried to use the Sermon Editor this week for my sermon prep and found myself frustrated by a lack of basic formatting options. It seems half-baked to me. Why develop a tool if you aren't going to do it right? I wonder if anyone is using the sermon tool. I finally gave up and exported my work to Word. One has to question the value of trying to recreate a Word processor and Presentation tool inside Logos. Microsoft has already done a pretty good job. It would make more sense to integrate with those tools.

Canvas? Do I really need a drawing/diagramming tool in my bible software when there are so many good options on the market?

I like the idea of a church management system, but I would like to see it functioning before I recommended it. Do you support online giving / payment transactions in Canada? This is becoming a crowded space, but Logos has a good base to build on with all it's bible focussed resources.

Posts 9
LogosEmployee
Adam Wehunt | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 12:00 PM

Gerald:
If our church subscribes to the FaithLifeTV, how does each user log into the content? Does each person have a separate log-in?

Yes, church subscribers would use their Faithlife account to access FaithlifeTV content.

Gerald:
I am wondering if there is a way to allow each user to bookmark content, not having to start over mid viewing of a video, etc.

On Logos, Mobile Ed courses can be bookmarked following these instructions: https://support.logos.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016517871-Favorites-Bookmarks. On FaithlifeTV, viewing progress is saved, so content will start where you left off. Also, we are currently developing a feature so users can store content inside a separate 'Watchlist' category.

Gerald:
I am facilitating a college age class starting in August, and would like to use the FaithLife TV and Mobile Ed content occasionally.

I think https://faithlifetv.com/church would be the best solution.

Posts 3047
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 3:07 PM

James Macleod:
Do we really need a web version of the software? I have never used it and probably never will. Desktop and mobile, yes.

Happily, there is a very real market for the online version, that market is growing, and it does post on the forums.

James Macleod:
I wonder if anyone is using the sermon tool.

Yes, people are using it.

Posts 325
Andrew Biddinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 3:49 PM

James Macleod:

I wonder if anyone is using the sermon tool.

The power in the sermon editor is it's automatic export to powerpoint/proclaim and FL Sermons. It saves me hours every time I teach. Formatting really shouldn't be done in the sermon editor. You sermon really should be bullet points and references and the theme should handle the style of your presentation.

Though, I do agree with the premise that some features in Logos should be improved and fully baked before new ones are introduced. It's Bob's prerogative where he spends his development dollars. I do see how it can be beneficial to invest their capital in core features that would introduce everyday Bible users into the FL platform. However, the "Logos Pro" seems to be their core customer and also the best entry into the everyday bible user market.

Posts 5
Gerald | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 3 2019 6:18 PM

Adam Wehunt:

Gerald:
If our church subscribes to the FaithLifeTV, how does each user log into the content? Does each person have a separate log-in?

Yes, church subscribers would use their Faithlife account to access FaithlifeTV content.

Gerald:
I am wondering if there is a way to allow each user to bookmark content, not having to start over mid viewing of a video, etc.

On Logos, Mobile Ed courses can be bookmarked following these instructions: https://support.logos.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016517871-Favorites-Bookmarks. On FaithlifeTV, viewing progress is saved, so content will start where you left off. Also, we are currently developing a feature so users can store content inside a separate 'Watchlist' category.

Gerald:
I am facilitating a college age class starting in August, and would like to use the FaithLife TV and Mobile Ed content occasionally.

I think https://faithlifetv.com/church would be the best solution.

Thanks for all the information. Now to sell the FaithLifeTV to my church family.

Posts 46
Willy Arnold | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 4 2019 8:32 AM

David Ames:

So how much of the "awesome potential of Logos" was showable using the free "basic program" with no addons?  

 [[Silver goes for $999.99]]

There is plenty that you could show a new person with Logos Basic.  Of course, I encourage them to eventually add to that, but the point is for them just to get their feet wet and see how much more this can do than Strong's Concordance--and how much faster and easier it does it. In fact, I started the presentation by talking about Strong's and how it has served the church well for 100 years.  But then I show the limitations. You can't easily find every occurrence of "Son of God" or "Holy Spirit."  I show them how easy this is to do in Logos. 

  • Easily find every occurrence of words or phrases in the Bible.
  • Find every time the Bible talks about Jerusalem, whether it is mentioned by name or not (then explain how a human being went through and added these tags for them).
  • Find every time Jesus speaks to the Pharisees.
  • Right click on any word and get access to the original Greek or Hebrew word behind it.
  • I show off Bible Word Study, the Passage Guide & the Topic Guide. 
  • I show off Lexham Bible Dictionary & the Faithlife Study Bible.
  • I show them how I have added my personal notes to the program, how they show up in any translation and how they are saved in my account even if my computer crashes.
  • I show them how to use reading plans, prayer lists, highlighting, etc.

If they are using nothing, or just printed books then this is a lot and, to start off, it's FREE!  How could any Christian who loves the word of God not be interested?  Of course . . . once you use Basic long enough, you just have to upgrade. :o)

Posts 58
Colin Cameron | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 4 2019 9:32 AM

Hi Bob,

I started using Logos when I was in seminary (1992-1995). I remember buying the diskettes and taking them home to install them. Faithlife has certainly come a long way since those days. For the most part I've been happy with the changes. 

While my undergrad was in Math and Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, I often feel at a loss when using the functionality of Logos. I know it is more powerful than my knowledge base on the product allows.

I more than understand the need for businesses to grow and develop -- the church does and seems to be awful at realizing that at times.

I think the direction you're going in is great. Integrating the events in my congregation's Faithlife community into Proclaim and the Digital Signage saves me a lot of time. Being able to embed the Digital Signage into my own website allows for our page to seem up to date without much effort. Being able to write sermons in Logos (not an original feature) and export them into Proclaim (not an original product) saved huge amounts of time. I'm happy.

I serve a very small (by American standards) congregation in the Greater Toronto Area. Average weekly attendance about 70. My administrative assistant works 12-15 hours per week. Anything that saves time is a god-send.

My congregation is also very aged. We're working with a consultant to determine what our future will be. There's no guarantee that the future won't be "lock the doors and sell". I think there's other possibilities in the rapidly changing church landscape, but it is a congregational decision and not mine to impose.

We've had very little uptake with the additional services you offer. We tried running a couple of online bible studies through the Faithlife community with almost no success. I've tried to get people to download the Proclaim app to push notifications of events to their devices -- one person has (other than me.)

Checking in for us doesn't require an app -- we're so small that we can look around the room and see who is here.

Our music comes almost entirely out of our denominational worship book (I'm not saying that's a good thing just describing the reality), and I often the songs accessible in Proclaim are not ours (I've entered ours and they are saved for reuse).

My sermons are nothing great. I have no following (other than the few Luddites who are my members) who would want to read / listen to my thoughts.

In five years of online giving being available for us, we've had one donation that way.

We're so small that our facility use is literally written on a wall calendar -- and I can't remember a time in 13 years that we've double booked something.

I would love better integration of events across calendars and email however when we used Faithlife to send out newsletters we had very few takers (we had to revert to our previous provider but we're small enough that we don't need to pay a bill in bananas.)

I would be ecstatic with shared reading plans, and digital bulletins, but again my people just don't engage in that way.

Some of the Community features of Equip look interesting to me -- but given our history, I'm not sure how many people will engage that way.

As I review all this, it is sounding horribly negative, and that wasn't my intent when starting my response. I really do think you do an excellent job (and at one point really wanted to apply for a job at Faithlife but the whole green card thing is a problem). I hope and pray that you will continue to grow the business and meet the ever changing needs of the church.

Posts 40
Tim | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 5 2019 12:26 AM

I got Logos recommended by one of the users.

I started with 'basic program', after a while got to full trial version for 30 days, and that blew me up. And here I am with Brozne package, will probably go higher in the future.

Posts 93
Robert C. Beckman Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 5 2019 11:16 AM

Forgive me for not replying to each and every reply so far in this thread. I have had this item on my things list for a couple of weeks but I wanted to give it more than a brief look. 

  1. I use Logos, along with other tools. 
  2. My church uses an older "presentation" program. By older I mean the buy/own mode. Old also means in need of upgrade. We also use a common congregational communication's program. It  costs roughly half what Faithlife Equip would...but is a single use tool.
  3. I like the comments about modularity. that would allow us to pick what we need now with the option to add more as it becomes needed. The price for our size congregation is in line with what other venders offer. Not every product is apples to apples, but when there is a valid comparison the prices are all in the same ball park.
  4. We do have a lot of people who would leverage some of the other tools. About a third to a half of our church will be on phone/tablet during Sunday School and or Church.
  5. Using Bob's tactful comments I did some research. (That's why it took me while...needed free time to look). Because I don't run a company I can be somewhat less gracious than Bob. (though I'm Bob too). Venture Capital is mounting a hostile take over of the CMS industry. What was particularly enlightening was reading comments on Glassdoor and similar sites. Employee's feel abused, misled, and directionless...
  6. The Equity/Exit model of Venture Capital creates a dynamic space for technology companies to grow. CMS technology companies comprise a vertical market with, honestly, limited room for certain kinds of innovation. The venture model is great for individuals who are willing to make a high-stakes wager on themselves. (other shoe falling) It is not so great when you have other stake holders who may possibly gain if the bet succeeds, but who will be immeasurably harmed should it fail. For example...if I as a small church pastor sell my Elders on a CMS solution only to discover that the company is a subsidiary of a VC firm that, having gobbled up the competition is now in a position to raise prices with little threat to their business....I might get fired, we stop using a CMS...And having exited it may be years before my gun-shy board ever uses such a product again. The VC chokehold on the CMS conglomerate will likely hurt churches.

I am grateful that Bob has not only been transparent but that he has provided tools that have helped my preaching, teaching, and study. Yeah, I have had some gripes over the years...as I have had with my wife as well. (lol) At this point I don't know if our church is ready to make a move to Faithlife Equip...But I do know that when we do we've got a friend and champion in the business.

Posts 2401
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 5 2019 6:19 PM

As some are telling how their church could use Faithlife I will report:

Faithlife will never work in my local church - reason: cost.   Have about 70 members per week but we can only get about 20 to attend the study before worship.

A one named user for Logos would not work as the Pastor and the six Elders rotate preaching duties.   

Presentations: Powerpoint [pay once when buying new computer].  Visiting preachers bring theirs on a flash drive - and often arrive five minutes before service. [Some are early and also attend the study before worship.  They use a free Bible program to copy the Scripture reading into powerpoint on the Scripture slide.

Our denomination provided text files of all the hymns in our hymn book in a Word format easy to copy into the powerpoint hymn slides.   

Bulletin done in Word.     Noone does any preparation work at church.  The AV person of the week gets the Bulletin by email and updates the weekly service Presentation. 

The youth have everything on their smartphones -  the older members ask 'why are the "kids" always on their phones during service?'  

Posts 47
Karl Fritz | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 5 2019 8:09 PM

Working with a small church plant now (about 20 adult members to start and many more kids). This intro pricing seems like a steal. initially, my goal was to create a website. Looked at three church website providers, ranging from $30-$50/month. One of them offered integration with a ChMS solution—but only one(!) specific ChMS provider for integration. We’re seriously considering Faithlife Equip at this price point. i Already started playing around with the free website builder. First impression: not bad; nice simple interface and easy to learn; training videos and articles are easy to follow and helpful; not as robust as other church website providers, but certainly covers the necessities.

The content offering is pretty incredible (scaled down version of Logos [relative to what any serious logos user owns], access to all Mobile Ed videos(!), etc.), Proclaim, and online giving is great. The People/member management functionality is still in beta, but seems like something we will definitely utilize to some degree (though definitely not fully). The Faithlife Church Group aspect is also interesting to me. At our current church (from which we are planting), member outreach with news, events, prayer requests, etc. is all done by a secretary by email, which complicates managing, organizing, and following up on all that data. So I see Equip not only potentially reducing disparate data silos, but also potentially fostering simpler, more convenient contact and communication throughout the week.

I did have an issue with a bug on video widget on the website I’m playing around with at the moment, but support has been great. tech Support was helping me on Independence Day! In fact, I had initiated a chat with a tech support gentleman who was more than happy to help answer questions outside his role as support (his name was Slav), AND i lucked out and there happened to be a product specialist who (for some reason) showed up to the office on his day off and decided to help answer some questions for me about the Equip suite of products (His name was Alex). That level of of support is unmatched by the other three providers I’ve been looking into (each of which only specializes in church websites).

All that to say, I really think this is an enticing solution at an enticing price. im hoping to move forward with it as a church plant, and I see lots of room for growing into the array of functionality and content available, if we decide to move forward.

in any case, kudos to Faithlife!

P.s. Personally, Logos is my greatest concern, and I hope none of this results in any diminishment of Logos enhancements down the road!

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