High Definition Commentary Series - No More Graphics :(

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This post has 27 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, May 26 2020 4:23 PM

If you ask me, one of the best parts of this series was the great graphics that came with it. The most recent volume, Galatians, is missing them to “adapt this series towards a more print-friendly format”

I think this was a bad choice and I hope you reconsider

Posts 1758
Robert M. Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 26 2020 5:02 PM

Rule of thumb:  If they have to explain why a change is good....it's bad.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 26 2020 5:50 PM

Robert M. Warren:

Rule of thumb:  If they have to explain why a change is good....it's bad.

 Haha. Good rule. I just don’t understand what they were thinking. Why would you want a print friendly commentary on digital?  Keep the graphics and have the software find it during media searches. Great! 

It’s sad because I like this series but they keep taking away. Philippians has the animated version and Romans has a slide pack you can get. We went from that to print friendly No

Posts 563
Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 26 2020 7:59 PM

Mattillo:

If you ask me, one of the best parts of this series was the great graphics that came with it. The most recent volume, Galatians, is missing them to “adapt this series towards a more print-friendly format”

I think this was a bad choice and I hope you reconsider

100% agreed, Mattillo.   Thank you for raising this point.  For me the graphics were a big part of the "draw" for this series, and a differentiator in a sea of commentaries.  Hopefully Faithlife will task a talented artist or two with generating some graphics for an updated version of the Galatians volume.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 26 2020 8:53 PM

Brad:

Mattillo:

If you ask me, one of the best parts of this series was the great graphics that came with it. The most recent volume, Galatians, is missing them to “adapt this series towards a more print-friendly format”

I think this was a bad choice and I hope you reconsider

100% agreed, Mattillo.   Thank you for raising this point.  For me the graphics were a big part of the "draw" for this series, and a differentiator in a sea of commentaries.  Hopefully Faithlife will task a talented artist or two with generating some graphics for an updated version of the Galatians volume.

I’m all in with you guys on this. My assumption was that graphics were axiomatic. I was looking at the recent volume going “WHERE ARE THE GRAPHICS???” So disappointed. HD has just been downgraded to SD. With a pin printer.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 574
Gordon Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 27 2020 2:42 AM

Brad:

Thank you for raising this point.  For me the graphics were a big part of the "draw" for this series, and a differentiator in a sea of commentaries.

Yes

Posts 7257
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 27 2020 4:51 PM

No graphics no more buying this series.  Very simple for me. They can start giving them away in Logos Fundamentals or starter for that matter or have a $0.99 cents sale on them and then I’ll buy the remaining incomplete (no graphics) volumes.

Very disappointing to say the least! This series is in its way to Study, Apply and Share land.  Don’t waste time writing something that’s been downgraded.

DAL

Posts 1958
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 27 2020 4:59 PM

This is in the product description- NOTE: This volume contains a limited number of graphics compared to earlier volumes. The textual description has been expanded to offset this shift in the volume's design.

So all who purchased this volume knew upfront that graphics would be limited.  

To me the set STILL has great value in working with the text.  Less graphics don’t bother me at all. 

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 27 2020 5:16 PM

Kenneth Neighoff:

This is in the product description- NOTE: This volume contains a limited number of graphics compared to earlier volumes. The textual description has been expanded to offset this shift in the volume's design.

So all who purchased this volume knew upfront that graphics would be limited.  

To me the set STILL has great value in working with the text.  Less graphics don’t bother me at all. 

 Two things

 1) Yes I know but still disappointing. I knew up front it would be limited but my comment remains the same. Just wish they’d bring them back. 

2) That statement on the product page is incorrect as it has NO images. Limited implies some. Here is the acknowledgments part from the book

This is the fourth volume in an experimental series that continues to evolve in response to feedback from colleagues and readers. I wish to thank Brannon Ellis and Sean Boisen for their challenge to adapt this series toward a more print-friendly format by moving away from the use of graphics. This has resulted in devoting greater detail to the prose description of the devices and the effects they bring about compared to previous volumes. I also wish to thank those who have emailed or reached out on social media, encouraging me to continue this series based on how much they have enjoyed previous volumes. My hope is that the adaptations made here will still deliver the insight and clarity of my previous work despite the changes undertaken. The close reading demanded by this project has significantly challenged some long-held understandings of Paul’s argument to the Galatians. My hope and prayer is that readers will hold their preconceptions about the text with a similar openness to challenge and growth as you join me on this journey through Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

Posts 3

Hello all, 

I addressed a variant of this question on the Faithlife author page a while back, but will repost it here: 

Thanks for the encouraging comments. The change was more of a necessity than a choice based on the expense of creating and printing the graphics and the apparent declining interest in the resources. I am not sure why exactly, but the James volume never sold enough copies to cover production costs in contrast to Philippians and Romans, and the Galatians volume has even few orders than James so far. This volume was a test to see whether the shift in format could make the series viable again or not, though hoping for the former.

At the risk of getting in hot water for being too candid, this ENTIRE project has been an experiment from the very beginning. The graphics + discourse commentary idea came straight from Bob on a napkin from a local restaurant. None of us expected that people would respond so positively to the idea. The prepub was literally filled overnight, posted at 4pm PST and filled by breakfast the next day, based on one pericope that I had mocked up. I then had to do invent the rest of it and build an incredibly unique working relationship with a very special artist. Based on the high level of interest for Philippians, Bob suggested our new motion graphics artist try out an animated version. It was met with mixed success; we gave it a try but no more were produced.

Next came Romans, written over a couple year period during which my mother passed away from cancer (2014) and my dad from complications of dementia (2016). The prepub was fulfilled fairly quickly, but not nearly as fast as Philippians. The Kindle and print sales of Romans were fairly strong, and so was the call for a way to use the graphics in presentations for those who bought these versions. For this reason a slidedeck was created, but those who had the Logos version could easily export to Proclaim or other presentation programs.

The length of time it took me to complete Romans meant there were staff changes in the artist I worked with. This, combined with the impact of helping care for my folks and other family responsibilities meant that the Romans volume costs far exceeded the budget, but in the end were still covered after the first year of sales.

The reception of the James volume was markedly different in about every way. I began writing it as soon as the prepub was posted, but there were never enough orders placed to fulfill the prepub. Even with some last-chance promotion after I completed the volume there were still not enough orders to cover costs. The decision was made to ship it anyhow since it was completed. To the best of my knowledge it has still not brought in the required number of orders needed for prepub even though it has been a live product for some time. No one understood what had happened, but the data was pretty unambiguous. The decision was made to end the series then and there. Put a fork in it, it was done. The change in reception left us all scratching our heads.

Another chunk of time passes and the idea is raised by Brannon and Sean B. of trying to generate interest again in the series. Based on the artwork being almost as expensive as the prose, the decision was made to try a graphicless version, yet another experiment in an experimental series. The hope was that if we saw renewed interest in terms of orders we might be able to go back to the graphics or at least continue with the prose-only version. The response to Galatians has been the same as or worse than James: not enough orders to cover the prepub costs, even at the reduced expense without an artist.

Please know that NONE of these decisions have been about trying to make a bigger buck for the company. Bob and the folks at Faithlife have funded kooky, experimental ideas I've proposed at great risk, but the sales have nearly always repaid the investment in the end. That all changed with HDC-James, the Lexham Discourse Handbooks/Commentaries, and now the HDC-Galatians volume. I have no idea what changed, but something clearly has. 

I appreciate your comments (both positive and negative), and wanted you to know I am probably more frustrated than you are. Frustrated not with Bob or the decision to remove the graphics, but with not really understanding what changed, what happened. From the time I first started mowing lawns in 5th grade I have been driven to earn my keep. I did it building houses through grad school and for a decade creating kooky experiments. But based on the track record of the most recent discourse projects, I have agreed with the decisions made, even if I was disappointed with what it meant. 

So now what? I have gone back to the drawing board and sought direction for a more effective and sustainable means of applying these ideas to the study and proclamation of God's word. I have spent the last three years prototyping a new approach. I am slated to apply it to a one-week intensive course on Ephesians in North Carolina in mid-June, and look forward to feedback that the pastoral students will have to offer. Also, be on the lookout for some Facebook Live posts to trial balloon some of the ideas. 

I apologize for the error regarding limited/no graphics, I will see that this is changed on the product page. Thank you for your support, and I apologize again for the frustration the various changes have caused you. 

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 4:03 AM

Thank you Dr Runge. That was a lot of information! I appreciate you taking the time to explain it all. This makes perfect sense as you can’t keep producing something if you aren’t pulling in the money to cover it. Philippians and Romans were great! I do hope something  changes in the future and your presentation goes well. I appreciate your analysis.  I believe there might be a few more HDCs in prepub. Will those be canceled?

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 4:06 AM

https://www.logos.com/product/156315 

https://www.logos.com/product/156316 

Ephesians and 1-3 John were up next. I forgot to mention that MP seminars did a free presentation recently and gave out a coupon code for your material. Hopefully that’ll bring back some interest

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 5:12 AM

Dr. Runge,

Here is my input into the marketing of the commentaries:

  1. When the discourse material came out there was lots of marketing and introductory videos. The concept is different for most of us and the additional introductory and educational videos were helpful in educating users what discourse analysis is. There have not been, other than Morris Proctor's latest webinar, much on educating users that is brought to their attention in the blog, forums or webpage.
  2. I do not follow what is in Prepub and was not even aware that there were additional HD commentaries in there. I also did not know initially that new volumes were available. Perhaps e mailing existing customers might help with awareness. The assumption that your customers follow Prepub is incorrect.
  3. There is another Lexham Commentary Series call Lexham Discourse Commentary that confuses the marketing.
  4. The term HD or High Definition is no longer part of the marketing of the the Discourse Feature Set. It is included with each RI Bible in Visual filters. So there is no reason to buy the High Def NT or OT or even use them, as when the products were first introduced. As such the marketing concept falls flat. A brand no longer tied to a product.
  5. The HD commentaries are marketed mostly to those that study in English, which is great except that the underlying concepts of discourse are still viewed as something too complex to understand. The glossary and introductions use terms foreign to most non-scholars, but the HD is written for non-scholars. Perception, without more education and marketing is confused... easily accessible and useful vs. scholarly and complex.
  6. The discourse concept really appeals to scholars and those studying in the original languages. Your grammar is really directed at that market. Those that want  a commentary that is more technical may find the HD elementary. Those that could benefit from the HD commentaries may feel the concepts of discourse are too complex to be useful.

Logos has many features that are complex that FL attempts to bring down to the average user level. Often times they really succeed, such as the Reverse Interlinears. I think your HD commentaries can also open some insights, but there is a disconnect with English only (mostly) users that the product is directed towards.

I suggest a series of free training/marketing videos to remind customers the benefits and ease of use of the HD commentaries for those studying in English as well as the discourse concepts themselves. Morris did a good job in his webinar, not sure how many people saw it as it is not readily available on the FL website.

Hope these comments provide some insight for you. I do want to see these commentaries continue to be published.

Posts 3

Thanks for taking the time to convey these thoughts, John. I completely agree about the need for videos and the fact that the products have fallen off the radar. Hoping that my FB live efforts are a move in the right direction. 

Posts 10950
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:16 AM

John Fidel:
Here is my input into the marketing of the commentaries:

Absolutely great analysis.

When HD came out, it was a bit suspicious. And taking a look at Philippines confirmed it. Looked like my Dad's illustrations for home classes (1950s but no reflection here). So, I guess I was a customer wanting the raw details (personal preferences).

I also think most Logosians aren't sure what to 'do' with discourse, though it's far more significant to theology than morph tags. It's definitely not cat nip in its present form.

I'd add 2 points to John's:

7. Discourse arrived before its (Logosian) time. It really shines with automated structuring to show the criticality of arguments. Logos hasn't got there yet ... still line oriented.

8. Faithlife doesn't support its people relative to the customers. Always a mystery. Throughout the product, are gems forever passed by.

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

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:24 AM

John Fidel:

Dr. Runge,

Here is my input into the marketing of the commentaries:

  1. When the discourse material came out there was lots of marketing and introductory videos. The concept is different for most of us and the additional introductory and educational videos were helpful in educating users what discourse analysis is. There have not been, other than Morris Proctor's latest webinar, much on educating users that is brought to their attention in the blog, forums or webpage.
  2. I do not follow what is in Prepub and was not even aware that there were additional HD commentaries in there. I also did not know initially that new volumes were available. Perhaps e mailing existing customers might help with awareness. The assumption that your customers follow Prepub is incorrect.
  3. There is another Lexham Commentary Series call Lexham Discourse Commentary that confuses the marketing.
  4. The term HD or High Definition is no longer part of the marketing of the the Discourse Feature Set. It is included with each RI Bible in Visual filters. So there is no reason to buy the High Def NT or OT or even use them, as when the products were first introduced. As such the marketing concept falls flat. A brand no longer tied to a product.
  5. The HD commentaries are marketed mostly to those that study in English, which is great except that the underlying concepts of discourse are still viewed as something too complex to understand. The glossary and introductions use terms foreign to most non-scholars, but the HD is written for non-scholars. Perception, without more education and marketing is confused... easily accessible and useful vs. scholarly and complex.
  6. The discourse concept really appeals to scholars and those studying in the original languages. Your grammar is really directed at that market. Those that want  a commentary that is more technical may find the HD elementary. Those that could benefit from the HD commentaries may feel the concepts of discourse are too complex to be useful.

Logos has many features that are complex that FL attempts to bring down to the average user level. Often times they really succeed, such as the Reverse Interlinears. I think your HD commentaries can also open some insights, but there is a disconnect with English only (mostly) users that the product is directed towards.

I suggest a series of free training/marketing videos to remind customers the benefits and ease of use of the HD commentaries for those studying in English as well as the discourse concepts themselves. Morris did a good job in his webinar, not sure how many people saw it as it is not readily available on the FL website.

Hope these comments provide some insight for you. I do want to see these commentaries continue to be published.

Yes What he said Big Smile

In all seriousness, I couldn't agree more.  Now that John has said it I do remember a lot of hype about the HD commentaries which is what got me interested.  I do not know greek/hebrew and the discourse features are great but very confusing to me as there are so many options when you turn it on.  MP Seminars helped me with that yesterday.  Knowing that, that is why I find your commentaries, Dr Runge, so helpful.  They help me work through a language I don't understand.  I cannot say how beneficial this is to me.  I hope my initial posts didn't seem like whining but the pictures and your commentary go a LONG way for me.

As for the other commentaries, I must say I have always found them confusing.  I don't own any of them but IMO Lexham has done a poor job of advertising them... what are these and how are they different then the current discourse material?  The HDNT doesn't exist anymore but parts of it still do.  The HDOT does still exist though.  

https://www.logos.com/product/27503/the-lexham-high-definition-old-testament-introduction 

https://www.logos.com/product/27502/the-lexham-high-definition-old-testament-glossary 

https://www.logos.com/product/27265/the-lexham-high-definition-new-testament-esv-edition 

https://www.logos.com/product/27501/the-lexham-high-definition-old-testament-esv-edition 

https://www.logos.com/product/27267/the-lexham-high-definition-new-testament-introduction 

https://www.logos.com/product/27498/the-lexham-discourse-hebrew-bible 

And then there are these... how are these different than yours?  

https://www.logos.com/product/135990/lexham-discourse-commentaries 

Again, Dr. Runge I appreciate your time responding to us.  I do hope management sees these posts and takes them to heart.  I really want to see your stuff succeed... I was really hoping for a Matthew volume :)

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:27 AM

If anyone is interested in Dr. Runge's material... this link gives you a discount until 6/9/2020.  I highly recommend you take a look

https://www.logos.com/mp-discourse 

Posts 1958
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:36 AM

What helped me the most to use Dr. Runge's material to the fullest are these two resources.

 https://www.logos.com/product/130854/mobile-ed-la211-introducing-new-testament-discourse-grammar

and

https://www.logos.com/product/4599/discourse-grammar-of-the-greek-new-testament-a-practical-introduction-for-teaching-and-exegesis

Both of these are worth time and investment.

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:43 AM

Mattillo,

The glossary is the material that pops up when you hover over a discourse feature when the visual filter is turned on. It is a brief explanation of the feature. That often has a link to the introduction that explains the feature further with examples. They are not commentaries and you probably have the glossary if you have the discourse features... not positive but it doesn't make sense to provide one and not the other.

The discourse commentaries that I have in my library are much more technical, however they are also very good. I have a screenshot of the two commentaries on the opening verses in James for a quick comparison. The three Discourse Commentaries that I have are authored by someone other than Dr. Runge.

Hope this clarifies.

Posts 3875
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 28 2020 6:57 AM

John Fidel:

Mattillo,

The glossary is the material that pops up when you hover over a discourse feature when the visual filter is turned on. It is a brief explanation of the feature. That often has a link to the introduction that explains the feature further with examples. They are not commentaries and you probably have the glossary if you have the discourse features... not positive but it doesn't make sense to provide one and not the other.

The discourse commentaries that I have in my library are much more technical, however they are also very good. I have a screenshot of the two commentaries on the opening verses in James for a quick comparison. The three Discourse Commentaries that I have are authored by someone other than Dr. Runge.

Hope this clarifies.

Thank you John!  Your photo does help!  As for the first part, my earlier links go to the High Definition Glossary whereas I own the Lexham Discourse glossaries... same apples, different basket?

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