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

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Posts 366
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 2:28 PM

Sean
Always glad to get an "official" response from an "official person who is officially" oh never mind, you get the picture :D Thank you for responding. 

Several people have dealt with me over the past decade. I pray patiently, but, some have all but given up. Many, probably never understanding WHY I have so many issues with something they clearly have no issue with. 
I have to say, I was somewhat surprised when one person said "Thank you for concrete evidence", and then a second. I took the assumption that was because I used similar phrasing. But, once again, I am seeing "great, concrete example" And, again, a "Thank you" for it. 
This now leads me to believe there are issues. but, people have not been able to "put there finger on it". Maybe I am reading to much into this? I am known to do that. Maybe I was correct with the former assumption? Or, am i correct in the latter? I have no idea; but am again leaning toward the latter. 
Regardless, it is for this very reason, I have been frustrated with Logos. I cannot believe that there is any amount of training that could have changed things. I am under the impression that the only thing training might have done was tell me "use more words". In many cases, that might be true. Suppose however, that is all a person recalls? Now granted, I probably did remember at that time, "cross", but, I was looking for the phrasing used to demonstrate that when the world says, "Does God want me to lie and deny who I am?" picking up a cross didnt uh, cross my mind. So, yes, I was relying on Fuzzy search; which did not work. 
Will training on Logos be of SOME help? I have no doubt. But, in different directions and areas. But, when I find it slower to do a general search (as I was able to do in previous software; and on Google-- err DuckDuckGo-- for free, well, you can see why it feels $2k or more spent on Logos would be frustrating; because ultimately, I have no desire to use the software, and no amount of training can cure that. 
Fortunately, JF is trying very hard to break through that for me. 

So, that is where I am, continue to be, but, hopefully not through to L9. I am grateful for the progress L8 has made; but, obviously and apparently, not enough. But, I will take what I can get, as I have invested far more than I care to think about, at this time (despite it being far less than most people here). And fortunately, once I can get through these barriers, I do see the value I originally saw. But again, breaking through the barriers will continue to be the issue with me until those breakthroughs have been found and fixed.

Thanks again for the input. 

Sean Boisen:

Reuben Helmuth:

Batman:
was working on a subject, that required a passage. I typed in "Deny yourself" in all bibles, hoping whatever phrasing would come up. I had ONE verse come up; in Leviticus. Not what I needed. So, I google it, and in 2 seconds it appears!

Thanks for a great, concrete example!

<snip />

Our thanks as well for a good example of something that "should" work but doesn't. You're right that our goal with fuzzy search is that, for many cases, "close" will be good enough. Without going into additional details about why this works for some web search engines, we're making some fixes that should improve this example and others like it. 

Reuben is also correct that, in many cases, more words in the query may help fuzzy search. 

Posts 807
LogosEmployee
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 2:42 PM

Batman:

<snip />

I cannot believe that there is any amount of training that could have changed things. I am under the impression that the only thing training might have done was tell me "use more words". 

<snip />

Agreed: this isn't a training issue, since the purpose of Fuzzy Search is to help you find things you can only partially remember. Because it's fuzzy, it's not perfect (though we agree this verse in Leviticus is a substandard result), but the more such substandard instances we identify, the more we can improve the service. 

Of course, I don't think your purchase of Logos was wasted: this is only one of literally hundreds of things the software does. But we're always looking for opportunities to improve it, so it's helpful to have this concrete bug substandard performance Wink report. 

Posts 10953
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 3:55 PM

Batman:
But, I will take what I can get, as I have invested far more than I care to think about, at this time (despite it being far less than most people here)

Well, Mr Batman, your assumptions aren't entirely correct (almost; granted fuzzy is not too fuzzy). But I have a larger investment than you (mindless purchasing) and I hardly use the software. Meaning all (any of) the cutesy features. 

And I'd argue, in the long run, you'd be smart not to. Train the brain. Everything the hard way. Smarty-pants rabbit hole searching.

I do have my single favorite rabbit-tool: NEAR  (on each side, one or more guesses, enclosed by parens). I learn a lot from failing over and over! Smiling.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 366
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 5:18 PM

Well, maybe I will be able to help, because it seems my entire 10 years with Logos has resulted in a tone of such instances-- ie, "non-concrete" ones at this point; but, I'm sure many more will continue for me. :(

Up until this point, I have used Logos very little. Every so often, I attempt to use it. Get frustrated, shut er down, and wait for the next downloads and "motivation" to try again. To me, that is a huge waste. I keep praying and praying that I get the motivation/desire to use Logos. Then at that point, no, it wont have been a waste. But, the honest truth is, right at this moment, yeah. It seems cheaper and more efficient to do all the research on my own. At this point. That is where I pray the training comes in, and turns this around. Hey, Amazon didn't make a profit for a very long time; God did not create the universe in a day. So, I keep trying to plug along, and hopefully, one day, all the investments, all the frustrations will pay off.

Sean Boisen:

Agreed: this isn't a training issue, since the purpose of Fuzzy Search is to help you find things you can only partially remember. Because it's fuzzy, it's not perfect (though we agree this verse in Leviticus is a substandard result), but the more such substandard instances we identify, the more we can improve the service. 

Of course, I don't think your purchase of Logos was wasted: this is only one of literally hundreds of things the software does. But we're always looking for opportunities to improve it, so it's helpful to have this concrete bug substandard performance Wink report. 

Posts 366
Batman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 5:31 PM

I will never argue my investment in Logos is larger than anyones. I only say my investment is much larger than I should have put into it-- to this point, anyway. Having gotten L3 at a "bargain price" $300-400 instead of the $600+ it was being offered at, but, still much more than I should have paid, given my income levels (I had just lost my job; but, 'HAD to buy it'". Then 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; plus all the littles in between. I figure a couple grand, maybe more. Of course, many many initially invested in the Diamond, and then the Portfolio, and now whatever that $200 grazillion package is. So, with less than 3000 resources, I know I'm nowhere near as large as "super users".  Still, for something I rarely use, because, well, basically, I get some verses, thank God, I do remember much of where things are, to get there; and when motivated, I use some of the mobile ed courses; or, pretty much, have them in my library, and get to them, when i have the time, or make the time (when I get that rare burst of motivation). 
For now, I hold on to the Logos Now, Connect, subscription plan, whatever its called this week. $100 or $120/yr is worth it to me, IF ever I get to using it "full time". 
You may be right using all the features may be more detrimental; but, they are features that impressed me way back on that day I tipped myself off the fence to buy it. They still do; except, everything I have run into, and get beat up on, attempting to use it. HmmHuh?

Denise:

Batman:
But, I will take what I can get, as I have invested far more than I care to think about, at this time (despite it being far less than most people here)

Well, Mr Batman, your assumptions aren't entirely correct (almost; granted fuzzy is not too fuzzy). But I have a larger investment than you (mindless purchasing) and I hardly use the software. Meaning all (any of) the cutesy features. 

And I'd argue, in the long run, you'd be smart not to. Train the brain. Everything the hard way. Smarty-pants rabbit hole searching.

I do have my single favorite rabbit-tool: NEAR  (on each side, one or more guesses, enclosed by parens). I learn a lot from failing over and over! Smiling.

Posts 868
Armin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 28 2019 10:49 PM

Sean Boisen:

 we're making some fixes that should improve this example and others like it. 

Great. This will be excellent.

Posts 1
Johnathan Lowery | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 12:14 AM

This is the best Bible study tool I have ever used, hands down! I would be very lost if something were to happen and we did not have this tool any longer. 

Posts 126
Ted Harms | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 6:21 PM

I have been using Logos for several years. Searching is very, very challenging. If any improvement I would suggest something be doe to make searching much easier.

Some of the search stings that I have seen  in this forum leave me amazed. I do not think I could ever come up with what I have seen.

Posts 38
Nelson R. Pardee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 30 2020 12:42 PM

I looked at Equip and I could see the value IF I didn't already have the tools and if my church needed them. There might be an interesting market in church plants. We already have website, giving, and for less money, and they work. Like everyone says, changing is hard.

A deal breaker in Equip is the Bible versions- we use a different one, and there would be no way to put something out there with a version different than what we use. 

I would think the most effective sales strategy is to make its software the standard for every Bible college and seminary (I presume they already believe this)

In terms of Logos cost to an individual, I need to break it down into two/three  components: the software itself, the hardware "add" (see below), and the books. Pastors will buy books anyway- then to say it's costly, one has to compare the cost of "real" books and Logos books. One clear added cost is the cost of Logos itself, and also added cost of having Logos capable hardware vs what one would use if one didn't use Logos. 

To those who wrote that people are moving away from technology, that may be true for some but the numbers say otherwise, and for some time, the fastest adopters are seniors. They've learned it keeps them in touch with their children/grandchildren/etc. And we've seen that when people "get" that they need tech, like with Zoom-like technology, they learn really fast. 

Posts 765
David A Egolf | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 30 2020 1:25 PM

Bob Pritchett:

We’ve been building Logos Bible Software since 1991. It’s the heart of everything we do, and of accomplishing our mission:

We use technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible.

Logos is the premiere tool for people who are serious about Bible study. It’s heavily used by pastors, scholars, seminary students, and lay people.

But people who are serious about Bible study -- and want to use a powerful, dedicated tool for study -- are a small percentage of most churches. We want to serve everyone in the church, and we know that many people ‘grow in the light of the Bible’ through classes, small groups, video, and free content on the web.

Faithlife Equip is our platform for helping everyone in every church grow in the light of the Bible. We believe an integrated platform (one account!) is of great value to the church, and that the more we integrate the daily ‘mechanics and logistics’ of the church (member management, communications, calendar, giving, website, etc.) with biblical content (sermons, curriculum, Bible study, videos, etc.) the more likely it is that we can engage and serve the whole church.

My church, Trinity Bible Church, Phoenix, AZ, uses material from 9Marks and The Gospel Coalition.  Both of these organizations are very supportive of expository preaching.  Our belief is that preaching directly out of the Bible text week after week will benefit our congregation by emphasizing the importance we should be putting on the Word of God.  These sermons also serve to train the congregants in the basics of hermeneutics.  Historical and cultural context is dealt with, as well as an appreciation for the effort that goes into exegesis.  It is an opportunity for the preacher to provide training by example.

I suggest that if Logos were to pick up the mantle of championing expository preaching, you would be helping pastors to awaken their congregations to the necessity of opening their Bibles during the week.  This could help to increase the percentage of those interested in serious Bible study.

You have very good book resources available on this topic.  However, the mobile training is a bit on the expensive side and is somewhat limited.  The least expensive offer, which does mention expository preaching, is over nine hundred dollars.

Posts 4919
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 31 2020 4:20 PM

Going to make a suggestion that I don't expect will be picked up and developed, but it's worth a shot. As I've made clear many times for the last decade or so, I still use L3 as my primary Logos tool, but I still use more recent L# versions are needed, which are sufficiently different such that they can run side-by-side. I actually find this very useful for many reasons, so my suggestion to FL is that they create a relatively (not completely) stripped-down version of the L# software that allows newbie users to use that (effectively separate) program for simple daily use while having the bulkier and more adept and powerful version waiting in the background to provide help when basic isn't enough. That way, folks can get plenty of daily use out of the simpler program, while being able to dip their toes into the meatier issues as circumstances require.

Here's my pitch for the basic version: make it more like L3. There are so many searches and whatnot that can be accomplished on L3 in 0-2 clicks and 1-5 seconds that take 4 or more clicks and 10-30 seconds--or longer--in later versions. I am definitely making this pitch in the hopes that I can comfortably lay L3 to rest by transitioning to a supported (non-deprecated) product while being able to keep and utilize the numerous benefits and features that were inexplicably abandoned when moving to L4 and beyond. I won't get into specifics here, although I am happy to do so if asked. Mainly, what I want to do is emphasize that a simplified version of the software would eradicate a major perceived downside to the current software, and provide a camel's nose that could eventually turn customers of "the basics" in eventual power users. As is currently possible with L3 and L-current, both programs should be able to run side-by-side. The idea is that a person's library would be accessible in both versions, but the procedures for using the software would be far more simplified as a result of having fewer options for use.

In a nutshell, being all things to all people is not likely to come to pass. Providing a slimmer, quicker version of the software could resolve many issues and concerns and open up Logos to a much wider client base.

Posts 1886
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 31 2020 4:42 PM

David Paul:

Going to make a suggestion that I don't expect will be picked up and developed, but it's worth a shot. As I've made clear many times for the last decade or so, I still use L3 as my primary Logos tool, but I still use more recent L# versions are needed, which are sufficiently different such that they can run side-by-side. I actually find this very useful for many reasons, so my suggestion to FL is that they create a relatively (not completely) stripped-down version of the L# software that allows newbie users to use that (effectively separate) program for simple daily use while having the bulkier and more adept and powerful version waiting in the background to provide help when basic isn't enough. That way, folks can get plenty of daily use out of the simpler program, while being able to dip their toes into the meatier issues as circumstances require.

Here's my pitch for the basic version: make it more like L3. There are so many searches and whatnot that can be accomplished on L3 in 0-2 clicks and 1-5 seconds that take 4 or more clicks and 10-30 seconds--or longer--in later versions. I am definitely making this pitch in the hopes that I can comfortably lay L3 to rest by transitioning to a supported (non-deprecated) product while being able to keep and utilize the numerous benefits and features that were inexplicably abandoned when moving to L4 and beyond. I won't get into specifics here, although I am happy to do so if asked. Mainly, what I want to do is emphasize that a simplified version of the software would eradicate a major perceived downside to the current software, and provide a camel's nose that could eventually turn customers of "the basics" in eventual power users. As is currently possible with L3 and L-current, both programs should be able to run side-by-side. The idea is that a person's library would be accessible in both versions, but the procedures for using the software would be far more simplified as a result of having fewer options for use.

In a nutshell, being all things to all people is not likely to come to pass. Providing a slimmer, quicker version of the software could resolve many issues and concerns and open up Logos to a much wider client base.

Is the web app a possible solution to this need, or is offline support essential?

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