Logos' advertisement

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tom | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, May 13 2012 5:54 PM

I know that we have voiced our concerns about the way Logos does their advertisement.  I was reading a blog today, and I noticed that we are not the only ones.

I thought I would post it here so that the kind folks at Logos would see what type of reputation that they are forming.

While I do not agree with the reviewer on a couple of points, I will say that the review is fair. 

When the reviewer talks about Logos' advertisement, he states that Logos uses “deceptive advertising, plain and simple.”  And I agree with him.

The first link that I read was, http://ntresources.com/blog/?p=1755, and it is a summary of this post: http://parallaxperspective.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/five-reasons-not-to-buy-logos/.

I would say his first two critique items are dead on (Thousands of Books That You’ll Never Use and Thousands of Dollars That You’ll Never Save).  His third critique (Thousands of Hours That You Would Never Spend) falls into the gray area because we can search just our collections (but the way the information is displayed does not help us to save time.  His last two items I do disagree with (You Can Only Read One Book at a Time and Technology Changes).

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Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 6:07 PM

It is true that everyone has their own opinion, I do not have the larger libraries and that is by choice, so in some respects I agree with him…….

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Ward Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 6:26 PM

Interesting article.  As he explains in the comments, his intention was to write an article critical of Logos. WRT his points:

1. I'm guilty of hoarding books, and am aware there are many resources I currently may never even open. I'm trying to pray through that.

2. Logos' "see, you don't pay this price" practice also chafes me, but it is pretty common in America and it seems to work for them--or they would stop it.  The resources are pricey (in an Amazon / B&N / etc market)--I'd love for them to be really cheap.  But that isn't going to happen.

3. Keyword searches are limited in value, and diminish as resource count goes up.  I think Logos knows they need to re-think search in a future version.  I flat don't have the time to scan through 27+ pages of search returns to find the nuggets--and there are nuggets.  I could use the software's capabilities smarter--KS4J often amazes me at some of the searches he posts to the forums in answers to various questions.

4. Most resources were never formatted  in an ebook friendly way--commentaries (like WBC) can have styles that perhaps worked well in print, but utterly fail with the verse tagging methodology that Logos uses to open a resource to the "right point."  I discovered that I needed to page up and down in a resource / use it's TOC to ensure that I land in the right spot for what I'm trying to do.  In some resources, you will also miss the "executive summary" sections that have great information in them--if all you do is follow the standard logic of where Logos points you to.  My capacity is to concurrently read about 5 books at a time, and time-division-multiplex between them.  More and I lose my thought train, less and I lose my thought train.  A while back I used the NICNT Rev commentary to help with a class I was subbing for--now that I'm off that time-critical path, I've returned to that book with a reading plan and am working my way through it cover to cover--something I hope to do for many of the 5-star resources that I've picked low-hanging fruit from (as a result of the searches).

5. I'm very concerned about my investment in Logos and it's future as a company.  Please stop reading and buy a book from them--think of the money you will save!  I'm hoping that the company outlives me & doesn't sell itself to someone who takes it in different directions or just mines it for it's employee's talent.  It must cost a bundle for them to keep the lights on, store all our stuff on the cloud, etc--and one bad season of cash flow can kill off a company who needs to pay bills to survive.  Please go buy another book from Logos.

 

P.S.  Yes, there are free versions of many of the Logos books in the public domain.  I could convert them to PBBs and skip the cost of buying the Logos version.  I could just keep a PDF library of them -- or consult the many Internet libraries of them.  However, I want one library to unite my related content--and I'm willing to pay for that.  I'd just like to pay a little less a little more... Wink

 

Posts 10627
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 6:42 PM

Well, I think I've REALLY earned my level of obnoxious criticism of Logos. And as R4M notes everyone has an opinion.

But a ways back, someone I respect noted that Logos had completely changed their whole world of Bible study. And that's very much been true for me. Before Logos4 (actually before their nutty marketing), I think I may have bought OL plus maybe AYD or so.

But after Logos4 came out (and I got so angry with it), I managed to indeed get a sizable library. But a library I REALLY like. I calculated 3 numbers when I finished: how much I spent, how much Logos normally charges, and what I could figure was 'typical retail'. Those numbers turned out to be (rounded) $12,000 / $18,000 and $28,000.  Yes, I doubt anyone would have paid the $28K amount. But I'd bet for sure $24,000+ (I checked quite a few; Logos does exagerate but a lot of times they're low-balling the retail).

So maybe Bob and Dan make me angry (sometimes). And yes, the marketing is nutty. But I'm just thrilled with the result. I do like Accordance, true. But it can't hold a candle to the breadth of Libronix. And I do love reading, hour after hour.

For goodness sakes, I did it for a third of a year we paid at our son's university.

Tom ... I agree with your point though ... marketing IS an issue at Logos. Appreciate your post.

 

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

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 6:54 PM

Sorry but using the Suggested Retail price is not deceptive, go to any book store, unless the item is on sale that's what gets charged. It is not deceptive to use the industry standard. You are expecting Logos to search every retailer to see who has the lowest price, not very realistic. And as to having huge libraries...then don't get them. I got Scholars Platinum because I chose to, not because Logos did anything, and I have gotten a ton of use. I don't see how you can say its deceptive to say, here is what the publishers have set the price of the book as, here is what we charge, you are paying for the content. I have saved a lot of money (go add up the cost of all 4 volumes of HALOT and add BDAG in print, then compare the bundle price from Logos). Go check on the publishers website for the Contexts of Scripture how much they want to charge for a web based version that requires internet access to use. One of Logos competitors charges $499 for the NIGNT Commentaries, that's more than what it cost me to upgrade from Logos 3 Scholars Gold to Logos 4 Scholars Platinum, which not only included that set but both sets by Baker in the price. 

 

Posts 453
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 7:04 PM

Philana Crouch:
Sorry but using the Suggested Retail price is not deceptive, go to any book store, unless the item is on sale that's what gets charged. It is not deceptive to use the industry standard.

Who buys books in book stores anymore? Even when I do buy physical books it's not from a physical store. No one pays retail online. "Retail Price" is just a scheme to make something look like a good deal.

My big pet peeve on Logos' advertising is the, "in just a click you've done hours of research" bit. No you haven't. You've just opened books up to a good spot. You still have to do the research.

Posts 10627
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 7:09 PM

Philana ... not to argue with you and I like your points. But 'retail' is indeed an issue in the 'retail' industry. Qute a few states even regulate its use. And the reason is because it says something to customers that the advertiser is generally aware is not true (thus its ability to be regulated). I was an exec for a large retailer; we struggled mightily with it and eventually tossed it, unless we had hard data. It was just counter-productive to our goals.

But I doubt the practice is intensionally deceptive at Logos.  There's been too many times I've found their 'retail' was actually low. Especially when you could get 3 for the same price as 1 on the internet (like what you mention). Frankly, (and this sounds odd), I think one of their weaknesses is not being aggressive of some really SUPER values, due to the large amount of copy they're writing.

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

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 7:32 PM

Just to chime in here, I do not buy a book because I will read it from cover to cover. However, I do like to have it handy for when I need it, which comes up at odd times. I will proably never use half of what is in AYBD. But when I go to research a topic, I like to have the information at hand, and using one platform to do it, is a bonus to me.

Where I live, having a major seminary library is not an option. I have little space in my study to store any more material. So yes, I would upgrade to Portfolio in a heart beat if I could afford it. It cost me 340.00 (approximately) to go from Gold to Platinum, and as Philana said, I think it was worth the cost. Just the Baker books alone was worth it.

As I have pointed out from time to time, we can read a good portion of our library on our apps, Logos is constantly negotiating for the rights to make more resources available for mobile use at no additional cost, they are constantly improving the engine, which is given away, and you have the ability to sync everything and re-download if necessary.

I would love for another software company to say in its license that I could install their software on as many computers as I own. 

When the books are too expensive for me, I simply ignore them, or put them on my wishlist. What is a luxury to me, is a bargain to someone else who really wants it. A lot of it depends on interest.

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 7:53 PM

Dave:

Philana Crouch:
Sorry but using the Suggested Retail price is not deceptive, go to any book store, unless the item is on sale that's what gets charged. It is not deceptive to use the industry standard.

Who buys books in book stores anymore? Even when I do buy physical books it's not from a physical store. No one pays retail online. "Retail Price" is just a scheme to make something look like a good deal.

My big pet peeve on Logos' advertising is the, "in just a click you've done hours of research" bit. No you haven't. You've just opened books up to a good spot. You still have to do the research.

 

I see your point, although many people do buy books in stores, I am not one of them. I have gone completely digital since I got an iPad. But I am not sure what price they should set their savings off. I don't expect a company to search every retailer for the lowest price to base their price off. I don't expect Christian Book Distributors to base my savings off of what they charge of what Amazon charges for the same book. I'm just unclear of what those complaining about deceptive advertising think should be done to correct the perceived problem. Do you want Logos to search every digital retailer, find the lowest price, and then compare their price. Do they need to monitor all these sites for price fluctuations and update www.Logos.com every time someone changes their price? What standard for pricing do you want Logos to use? I am not trying to argue or be rude, I just don't see what it is that Logos is being expected to do to not be accused of being deceptive.

And while you are right once a search is done the research is not completed, Logos doesn't say that the research is completed. What it says is the hours it would take to physically search has been done. Actually it's more accurate because with a print library you would miss anything not contained in the index. I don't think anyone would assume that they are saying the reading has been done. But I consider the time it takes to find information as part of the research time. Again how is it deceptive to say hours of work has been saved? Finding information is considered research, so is reading. Most people would not take what Logos said and take it to mean they don't have to read the material.

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 7:57 PM

Philana Crouch:
And while you are right once a search is done the research is not completed, Logos doesn't say that the research is completed.

Philana Crouch:
But I consider the time it takes to find information as part of the research time. Again how is it deceptive to say hours of work has been saved? Finding information is considered research, so is reading. Most people would not take what Logos said and take it to mean they don't have to read the material.

Where is the Amen button when you need it?

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

Posts 2892
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 8:19 PM

tom collinge:
The first link that I read was,

Here's my review of the review-

I think the author is very skilled in building straw men to knock down.  He talks about how we can save money buying all those used paper copies of books, but then ignores the concept of not having all those searchable like they are in Logos.  He talks about all those books you'll never use, but never mentions that one doesn't have to buy all those books in the first place.

He talks about 'who pays retail', but never mentions that the same thing is true in Logos.  With all the sales, the student pricing, etc., who pays retail in Logos?

Perhaps his worst straw man is point 3- research.  He just flat ignores the fact that having a way to search your favorite resources instantly saves time in the process.   He comes up with two or three examples of why, but none of them hold any water.

Well, I was wrong: his worst straw man is his you-can-only-read-one-book-at-a-time.  I've yet to see any advertisement from Logos saying it enables one to read multiple books at a time. And yes, one can carry around all the books he or she needs to read in a week, if he or she has already decided which books to carry.  Why not take the whole library inside the laptop and have access to any of the books, which then will be read one book at at time?

Finally, he says hard copies are better because you can buy fire insurance for books, but losing your stuff on the cloud is too risky.  Has anyone looked into insuring their software?  It is as insurable as a book is.  And off-site backups are much easier to do with digital books than hard copies. Off-site backups of hard copes really DOES get expensive.

I'm not a digital fanboy. I'm a hard-copy book fan.  I rarely buy ebooks...usually only when they are free or a buck or two.  (I have over a hundred books on my Kindle, the total cost of them all is right at $22 right now.)  I have over a thousand hard copies in my library at home, and another five hundred in my office at work. I love books.  But that doesn't mean there's not a good reason to have and use Logos.  I don't think Logos is perfect, but I greatly appreciate what the folks at Logos have done for us, and provide at what I think are remarkably low prices considering the cost of labor in this culture.  Logos does a lot more than I can make it do.  It does what I need it to do well, and efficiently. I certainly have questions about using it, but have found these forums (provided by Logos) an ideal place to get answers.

(And no, I don't suffer fools who use Logos own forums to personally attack the good folks at Logos...this reviewer is NOT a part of that group.  I disagree with his criticisms, but he's in a different time zone, ethically, than the morons I'm talking about.  If you've spent much time in the forums, you know the handful I'm talking about.  Off soap-box and back to review.)

Objective and constructive criticism is worthwhile.  I see a lot of good, helpful criticism and suggestions on the forums. Straw man criticism is silly. But at least it isn't harmful (until it starts influencing buyers unfairly...please note the author of the above review was fair enough to put a positive review in his negative review...which is a good sign of some maturity.)

As Steve Martin said in The Jerk, 'When you tell your little stories, try to have a point.'  Straw men, knocked over, don't have much of a point.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 1650
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 8:56 PM

The guy who wrote that critique has never really used Logos -- at least he hasn't used it in the way most of us here in the forums do.

Posts 1649
Room4more | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 9:13 PM

Allen Browne:

The guy who wrote that critique has never really used Logos -- at least he hasn't used it in the way most of us here in the forums do.

Thats not what he said:

"Although I own and enjoy the Theological Journal Library for Logos, I have never bought a complete Logos package and have no desire to do so."

He also said:

As a missionary, going to a digital library system is a choice into which I’ve put a lot of thought. In reading reviews, I have yet to find a negative review of Logos, so I decided to write one.

DISCLAIMER: What you do on YOUR computer is your doing.

Posts 233
Michael Anda | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 9:19 PM

Logos isn't for everyone, isn't life generally like that with most everything?  So many people seem to be pushing for a one-size-fits-all world these days.  It would be nice if Logos provided a metric for the value they've added to a resource IMO, however.  I'd really like to know the number of Bible references each resource contains to determine value for me personally.  I'd much rather read many titles on my Kindle for ergonomic reasons.  It would be really nice to have a small e-ink device to read Logos resources on.  Please Logos, have mercy on us and find a way for this to happen.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 13 2012 9:38 PM

Okay, I'll bite.

1) I do buy dead-tree books as that is the only form in which many critical books are available given my personal interests.

2) I agree that much of the library included in base packages is of little interest to me. I knew that when I purchased my base package. What I did want out of the package was sufficient to justify the cost. The equation, however, is always a personal one depending upon interests, education, theological bent and profession. I would assume that Logos customers are capable of being smart shoppers.

3). I agree that Logos offers a strong incentive/temptation to read snippets out of context in the same way I was tempted when a deadline for a paper was coming up and I hadn't focused on a topic in a timely manner. However, I am perfectly capable of noticing when I do this and deciding whether or not it was appropriate.

4) I agree that with Logos it is possible to play at studying scripture rather than actually studying scripture ... especially because I can pretend to understand languages I do not know and explore manuscripts in scripts I can muddle through. But also I can spend oodles of time reading about scripture rather than having to actually wrestle with scripture. It's not like I don't find my own procrastination and sidetracking methods. Logos just helps me out.

5) I've recently been engaged in an interesting experience - converting Rick Warren's Bible study methods into Logos steps. I'd suggest it would be an interesting experiment for Logos to go through the methodology books they sell and see how well Logos supports those methods. It's not the big things - it's the little things it fails on.

6) Yes, in pushing pre-pub and cp resources, it does seem that some people are more interested in a bargain than in use. But I see this in many settings so I don't blame Logos. And I certainly am willing to purchase some resources because I believe they should be in Logos rather than that I need them in Logos.

7) Yes, there is little that Logos does for me that a dozen grad students scouring the library wouldn't do better ... but I expect Logos to stay on top of search return ranking and to include more user specific or library specific weighting in future releases. It should move closer to the dozen grad students.

8) Yes, I chuckle at Logos marketing but it's within the range of ethical business ... and mild compared to other marketing directed my direction.

9) Anytime I see a blogger tearing down a product rather than reviewing or comparing or pitching an alternative I become suspicious of the motive of the blogger. It's very difficult to identify situations in which such a blog is necessary.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 103
Bethany Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 14 2012 3:00 AM

MJ. Smith:
5) I've recently been engaged in an interesting experience - converting Rick Warren's Bible study methods into Logos steps. I'd suggest it would be an interesting experiment for Logos to go through the methodology books they sell and see how well Logos supports those methods. It's not the big things - it's the little things it fails on.

Good idea. I've been doing a similar thing with Bob Utley's excellent steps in his 'You Can Understand the Bible Seminar'. I thought about doing a video or posting an article about adapting his steps for Logos, then realised that I probably don't know enough about Logos to do it justice.

I know this isn't originally what you meant, but I thought I'd put it forward - could this be an area of the wiki? Ie we could have Rick Warren's steps adapted for Logos, Bob Utley's steps adapted for Logos, Joe Bloggs' steps etc etc...

Sorry for veering off topic, there.

parkbench234 AT gmail DOT com

Posts 708
Jerry Bush | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 14 2012 4:44 AM

Doc B:

Here's my review of the review-

I think the author is very skilled in building straw men to knock down. 

<SNIP>

As Steve Martin said in The Jerk, 'When you tell your little stories, try to have a point.'  Straw men, knocked over, don't have much of a point.

100% agreed, and the most important point that can be made about this review.

Also, he is not skilled in grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation. Those issues made it hard for me to take his review seriously.

Jerry

iMac (2019 model), 3Ghz 6 Core Intel i5, 16gb Ram, Radeon Pro Graphics. 500GB SSD.

Posts 1931
Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 14 2012 5:37 AM

I do agree with some aspects of the article. How much is enough? For the average user, a handful of excellent up to date resources skillfully used is better than hundreds, if not thousands, of public domain works poorly used. 

The exception is for those who are engaged in extensive or formal studies and are taking the time to investigate at a deeper level. But even then, unless you have money to burn, you need to focus your efforts. This is particularly true when bidding on CP or prepub stuff. OK, I could get the works of Jonathan Edwards on prepub for $899 right now and maybe save a truckload of cash. The reality is that unless I am going to make his work a focus of my studies, how much have I really saved if I rarely open one of those books?  If it is to get a hit on an occasional search, how much of that could I have found on the internet or other resources if that is the level of study I am engaged in? Was it worth $899 if that is how you are going to use it?  Only you and your banker can decide.

However, for a discerning theological student, electronic studies offered by Logos and others is a huge time saver and this is where I disagree with the article.  To be able to read and manipulate resources on a computer or mobile device, extract key bits with bibliographies into clippings for import into other software such as Devonthink for the purpose of writing papers, is simply stunning and time saving. While I prefer another Bible software product for my main biblical/textual studies and in general have been critical of some of the grief that we have received from Logos 4 Mac, this is the future and when it comes to studying I sure don't want to go back. This to me would be like going back to a manual typewriter. Sure it was dependable and we got a lot of work done with it, but it sure is nice to have moved on to something that gets the job done even quicker.

The trouble is, how do we manage these huge libraries? I am not sure what to suggest fully, but in the meantime my main area of focus is to use collections. That being said, I wished collections and the main library window were integrated. We need a souped up library window. The problem with larger libraries is that it is too easy for premium resources to get buried. Like it is in a physical library, you can forget that you have something... the trouble is that you have a six inch window to stare at its thumbnail book covers through rather than a series physical book shelves.  Who wants to tab down through 4,000 books in a single six inch window?  Who wants to tag them all? If you are a student or power user, you will invariably do this to a certain degree. Others won't bother, which is really why I wrote what I said in my opening paragraph... a few excellent resources used skillfully can be extremely potent and much easier to manage.

As far as Logos' marketing department, I do agree with some of the sentiments expressed. Recently Logos published a blog marketing the revised EBC which was a bit over the top and in humor was questioned on these forums by users. In credit to Logos, they changed the blog.  I doubt there will be a substantial change though in ethos as this tends to be the tone of their materials. Just like many literary works, you need to use discernment when you read some of their writings! Wink

 

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 14 2012 6:02 AM

Am I the only one who has noticed that the review seems to have been written by someone who has searched through the forums, and it is basically a compiled list of recurring statements and complaints from over the years?

Hmm

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 485
Randy Lane | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 14 2012 6:56 AM

I primarily pick up on his point(s) about the difference between Bibleworks and Logos.

"Bibleworks focuses almost exclusively on the Biblical text".

"Logos, while having respectable textual resources of its own, focuses primarily on constructing a digital library."

Add to that his argument in bullet 3 concerning research:"Real-world research is all about finding the best sources in a limited amount of time." and I think one gets the drift on the real he has to grind, which is that a tool like Logos promotes very lazy and inaccurate research. Used properly, Logos in fact enables much more thorough and accurate research, especially with a well chosen library to search. But, given the sense of urgency most users feel they are face-to-face with, something the writer himself points out ("in a limited amount of time"), most of the time Logos "enables" sloppy, lazy research that can be passed off to look professional and thorough.  Google is much the same, when you really think about it. I have seen this played out on numerous occasions.

If asked to teach/train people to do biblically focussed study and research, I rarely do so by introducing them to Logos. Concordances, bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlasses, etc. These tolls, traditional resources, come first. I only proceed to suggest a tool like Logos, or Bibleworks, once a person has to some gdegeree mastered the use of those types of resources and reached a point where the research is rewarding and stimulating because their minds and hearts are enlightened. These tools are at their best when they help someone already familiar with a resource to make better use of that resource.

The writer should not focus on the tool, but the user. He should read some Neil Postman, Marshall McLuhan, Sherry Turkle, or (best of all) Jacques Ellul and get some perspective on the blind traps most industialized people live in. The perceived urgency ("in a limited amount of time") for example is a product of modern culture, where "efficiency" prevails. He seems to have some perspective on this, as he starts out his argument saying " Logos guys tend to be the trendy... Bibleworks guys tend to be nerdy... Logos is generally regarded as being cooler and trendier than Bibleworks". But he never follows through and identifies the really problem that needs correction, "being cooler and trendier".

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