Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 2 2012 5:48 PM

Logos Bible Software was created in the days of packaged software sold on physical media, before consumers had heard of the Internet. (It was 1991!)

Logos got its first Internet-enabled features in 1995, and over the years Logos has grown to be more and more connected to the Internet. Still, Logos 5 will run without an Internet connection, and users can (and do) have completely offline use of it. But most users are connected to the Internet most/all of the time, and we're designing future features in Logos to take advantage of this.

When you use a product that's delivered via a web site, there are certain assumptions you can safely make about what's being stored on the web servers: everything.

Every click, page view, search, IP address, time of visit, and bit of information typed into the site is stored. At a minimum, the standard "web log" functionality of the web server (standard since the first days of the web) is recording most of this info for every page view, and, since the entire site/application is on a remote server, all the information you type / enter is stored there, too.

Much of this info is recorded many times, at many places. Your web provider probably records and stores this info for months/years (so law enforcement can request it if desired) and the site may feed Google Analytics or another tool a copy of the data in order to get convenient reports/analysis.

People are rarely surprised by this. But it seems people are sometimes surprised, and even upset, to find out that desktop applications are now recording and reporting similar information.

Most desktop applications are, or shortly will be, completely integrated with web services. Even if an application does no explicit data sharing with a web service, simply checking RSS feeds, looking for updates / news / etc. generates web server logs that can be analyzed.

And most applications are explicitly interacting with web services, in order to deliver cloud-connected features, support synchronization between desktop and mobile devices, backup user data, access databases too large to store locally, etc.

Logos Bible Software has been interacting with web services for years. Early on it was simply retrieving news feeds and update notices, but starting with Logos 4 the application became highly integrated with web services.

We no longer think of Logos Bible Software as a stand-alone desktop software package. We think of it as a connected family of desktop and mobile software applications and online web services that help people study the Bible, alone or in community with others.

As a concession to "the missionary with the solar-powered laptop and no Internet connection", and to people who still want an isolated stand-alone software package, you can run the software with Internet access turned off. (It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain this functionality, but we'll try to keep it as long as we can.)

But our plan is to increase our use of the Internet to provide better functionality and new features, and we believe this will deliver real value to our users.

Things we do "online" and why:

Logos collects stats on the use of the software. At various times we've collected all kinds of different stats; at the moment Logos 5 collects less information than earlier versions, but we expect to hook up more reporting in the future.

These stats have led to actual improvements in our business and software. For example:

We tracked what percentage of users were on what operating system. This helped us know when we could drop support for old versions of Windows or Mac OS X, affecting few users and allowing us to allocate resources to new work instead of old OS support.

We tracked what percentage of users running the software each day had upgraded to a new version. It's useful to know when 80% of daily users are running Logos 5 -- we can stop promoting the upgrade so heavily. :-) If we weren't tracking the version used each day we'd only know the percentage of Logos 4 purchasers who had purchased Logos 5, and that might include purchasers who no longer use the software, distorting the data.

We tracked search queries. This is such a massive amount of info that the last time we decided to do some serious analysis on search queries we limited it to a single month. We sorted queries by frequency and looked to see how many used boolean operators, could not be parsed by the query engine, etc. We even just browsed them. (The document was a list of queries with counts -- no user identities.) From looking at a large aggregation of search queries we learned that boolean operators aren't used much, and were more likely to mess up a query than be used correctly. This led to the use of all-caps AND and OR as operators, reducing the chance that users would unintentionally include an "and" or "or" that messed up a query that was a phrase. We also saw people were searching for the names of holidays, like "Mothers' Day", which fed into our decision to develop the Preaching Themes database, which is used to tag resources -- and includes Mothers' Day and other holidays as themes.

We tracked which dialog boxes were used. This led to our decision to avoid dialog boxes in Logos 4.

We tracked which books were opened. This led to removing some books from collections, or keeping books in collections that we might otherwise have removed. It also helped us understand how important "smart" defaults were, in light of how strong an association there is between a book being the first reported in a tool and the one more opened.

These stats, when aggregated, offer value to Logos and help us make a better product. Many of them also feed back into features that benefit users:

We can offer "Sort by Recent" in mobile apps because the software stored what you opened when. We can offer the "auto-bookmarks" in the scroll bar of a resource, for quick jumping to a previously visited location. We can open a book on your mobile device to the place you were reading on another device because we sync your last read location. Soon we can indicate when you've read a book completely, eliminating the need to manually add a "read" tag in the library, as some users now do.

Moving forward, we plan to offer "crowd sourced" data that benefits all our users. (You will be able to turn off, or ignore, this crowd-sourced data if you don't want to use it.)

We modeled our star rating for resources on other widely used systems, like Netflix and Amazon.com and hundreds of other sites: you can apply your own star rating to any resource, which overrides any other rating. But if you don't rate something, by default you see the "community" rating. (And you can see both by hovering over the stars.)

Community tags supplement your own tags, and are intended to harness the "community" wisdom about a particular resource, helping you find things more easily and better understand your library.

(Both of these features were fully designed for Logos 4, but didn't make the development cutoff. When we finally shipped them in Logos 5 -- using the specs written for Logos 4 -- many users had already adopted their own meaning/conventions for tags and star ratings, and found the community data a distraction. We will be implementing a way to turn them off if you don't want to see this community info.)

These community features presently treat the entire user base as one community, but the intention has always been to introduce a "users like you" component to the algorithms, much like the way Netflix tries to tell you what their algorithm thinks YOU would rate the movie, not what everyone rated it.

Our hope is that we get enough data -- using voluntarily provided info like "denomination", and sales data like "what books you specifically purchased" -- that we could give you a star rating from "users like you", and weight the community tags in the same way. So a commentary set labeled 5 stars and tagged "reliable" by users of one denomination, say, would be reported that way to others of that denomination who bought similar resources, but might be rated "3 stars" and tagged "conservative" to users of another denomination who had purchased different resources. (The rating would probably differ, but you'd probably see all the tags -- they'd just be different sizes for different users.)

(This kind of recommendation system requires a lot of data in order to work, but with over 1 million users of our platform, we believe we can collect enough data to make it work in the future. And this is something we want to do in response to actual user requests: new customers often ask "what books should I buy?" or "can you recommend a commentary I can trust?" Or, "can you label the commentaries as conservative/liberal, or this-label/that-label?" We can't really do that in a way that's right for everyone, but we might be able to let "everyone" tell us enough that we can tell you what "people like you" think about this or that book. I'm sure this doesn't appeal to our 'power users', but I know it's highly requested by many new users. They want your opinion, power user!)

Popular highlights is another long-planned feature that aggregates many users' data (in this case, extracting the highlighted range, but not the text of notes or even the label of the highlighting style) to report which ranges of books were highlighted by many people. (The 'many' is dynamic -- in some resources it's 5+ users -- the minimum -- and in others there are so many highlights that a range isn't considered popular until 20, 50 or more users have independently highlighted it.)

Aggregated demographic data will be extracted and likely shared with some publishers and authors. I'm not sure how useful this actually is -- will knowing that a book is popular with people who use the Greek NT, or even with people who have identified with a particular denomination, be useful to an author or publisher? Will someone go run an ad in the denomination magazine as a result? I don't know, but I do know that authors and publishers love this kind of info. "Lutheran women read my book on Wednesdays on Android phones, but they all give up after chapter 6. What does it mean?!" :-) 

We hope to extract other useful stats from the intersection of feature use reporting and user data. I can imagine doing an analysis to see what words in the Greek NT are most often right-clicked and looked up, or have a Bible Word Study run on them. (And/or which words were the headwords for user-edited Bible Word Study Guides.) From this we might be able to get a list of "words of significant interest", in which we could invest more editorial resources and/or new features. The "Interesting Words" section of the Passage Guide, presently built by statistical analysis of the text, could be informed by statistical analysis of user interaction, too.

In the same way (I'm making stuff up now) we might want to run an analysis of which verses in the Bible have the most user-written note text attached. This might tell us the passages we should be giving the most attention to in future updates of the Faithlife Study Bible, or the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary.

Admittedly, these features would require "looking at synced user data" -- but I hope you can see how "the looking" is done by algorithms and doesn't represent a privacy invasion. In fact, this type of analysis is only useful when it's on "too much data." We need the forest, not a tree, to see the patterns that help us design features and content.

Other ways we'll be introducing "community":

We're lighting up collaborative documents at http://documents.logos.com. This will eventually be enabled for almost every document type.

The "personal" use case is your being able to publish (read-only) or collaborate (shared editing and ownership) documents with any group you'd like. A pastor / professor / teacher could publish notes on a book of the Bible. Students could collaborate on a note document on a textbook. A scholar could collaborate on a highlighting project with a research assistant.

We hope to enable some forms of "community" data editing -- and even remote editorial work for compensation. For example, Logos 5 has some data sets that were created by tagging the biblical text -- we even used our own highlighting tool for some of the work. With collaborative documents, users could choose to join a tagging project on a text that Logos might not otherwise get to. Imagine if referent analysis, speaker labels, word senses, and clause searching were available for the Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo, and all of the Perseus Project. These collaborative/social documents could help us distribute the workload over many contributors, track who made what contribution, and even pay for contributions in Logos credit.

This could allow students to "work for books" (a request we get surprisingly often) and help us offer richer data sets that we might otherwise not soon afford or have time to create.

We plan to make it easier to recommend resources and even to share quotations from resources. You can already tweet or share quotes from books, but in future releases you'll have the option to share a quotation from the book publicly, and resources will have online pages where you can see the publicly shared quotations before buying the resource.

See https://faithlife.com/markbarnes/resources as an example; it is a summary of Mark Barnes' reviews. The disabled tab for "Recommendations" is where I will be able to see all the books Mark has recommended (either publicly, or to a specific group that he and I are co-members of -- so he could recommend a particular book just to his church, or a class). On the "Quotes" tab I would see any quotes from the book that Mark had intentionally shared -- and, if I own the book, I'll be able to jump directly to that location in the book.

(Mark, I hope you don't mind me using you as an example -- you've written a lot of reviews. Thanks!)

We take user privacy very seriously; we offer a number of settings, you have the option to run completely offline, and we follow best practices like not storing your password at all. (That's why our CS reps can't tell or email your password, only reset it -- we literally don't have access to it.)

At the same time, though, we are committed to being a web-based, data-driven platform. We are no longer designing a stand-alone, isolated desktop application. Some planned features will require access to databases too large to deliver to user devices; you'll need web access to use them. We will be listening to our users, responding to their feedback and concerns, but like other web-based platforms, we will not necessarily be offering control over every individual setting. Some things come along with being web-based.

For example, you can choose to keep all your digital photos on your own machine disconnected from the Internet, or you can choose to upload them to Flickr. And at Flickr you may even have some settings about what info is shared with what users, or what permissions your photos are shown with. But Flickr will analyze all the uploaded photos to build a report of what cameras / phones are being used: http://www.flickr.com/cameras/ You can't say "yes, I want my photos stored on your server, but no, don't count them in your stats."

We are very careful and respectful of individual privacy, and we'll be offering some controls/options, but we aren't, for example, going to support "sync my data but don't count me towards the number of Mac OS X users."

The coarse grained control is turning off "Use Internet" in the Program Settings. The more fine-grained controls are still being decided on, and will reflect your input.

I hope this overview is helpful, and that you can appreciate the value that these social / community features add to the Logos platform, and hopefully to your study and investment as well.

 

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 6:01 PM

I am really excited about the ability to share quotes from resources. One thing I find a bit frustrating with Faithlife is that I will share quotes from the Bible and it defaults to the ESV even it I am using a different translation. It would be great to have it respect my translation choice. 

I like the social features, the idea of being able to callaborate on documents. I could have used this type of thing is school.

Posts 2311
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 6:02 PM

Bob Pritchett:
As a concession to "the missionary with the solar-powered laptop and no Internet connection", and to people who still want an isolated stand-alone software package, you can run the software with Internet access turned off. (It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain this functionality, but we'll try to keep it as long as we can.)

Bob,

PLEASE continue to allow Logos to function without being connected to the Internet.  I don't mind being connected for updates, resource purchases, syncing, etc., but there are many times that I am not connected to the Internet.  I don't want to HAVE to be online for Logos to function.  This is really an important issue for me.

Thanks,

Ron

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 6:13 PM

Bob Pritchett:

We modeled our star rating for resources ... But if you don't rate something, by default you see the "community" rating. ...

Community tags supplement your own tags, and are intended to harness the "community" wisdom about a particular resource...

(Both of these features were fully designed for Logos 4, but didn't make the development cutoff. When we finally shipped them in Logos 5 -- using the specs written for Logos 4 -- many users had already adopted their own meaning/conventions for tags and star ratings, and found the community data a distraction. We will be implementing a way to turn them off if you don't want to see this community info.)

On a quick read of  your post this was what I was really looking for. Thank you.

But I would also ask you include a simple way to turn off Popular Highlights, Popular Tags which are equally distracting, and also include Community Notes together with any other shared/mined data you may be planning to introduce  (simple does not mean hunting for a resource to disable the information).

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 2372
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 6:53 PM

Thanks for the update and comments – they let us get a hint of where you’re going

“”We tracked which books were opened””

Did you track which books were hit in the search – often the search summary gives all the data we need for the answer we are looking for?  [So they might have been used without being opened]

“”We will be implementing a way to turn them off if you don't want to see this community info.””

Thanks 

“”"users like you"””

Good luck – I am one of a kind – I went from Platinum 4 to Platinum 5 and added Capstone. And when I do a major research I want to know what everybody says and every side of the topic. 

"denomination"

There are times when I don’t want “users like” me – I want to know what members of some other “denomination” recommend.  Will changing our “denomination” setting change what we see? [Or will what we see be determined by our past  “”history””] 

“”Popular highlights “”    need a global off switch – I am not sure I want someone else to show me where the important parts are.    

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 7:28 PM

In many ways I can appreciate the desire and usefulness of gaining huge amounts of research data for various purposes such as marketing, product development, and stream lining support services.  Yet when I first saw this feature, in Logos 3 I think, it really turned me off of the product to such an extent as to seriously seek out other products...mostly a waste of time however.  Since you have opened the door to this discussion I would simply ask why should I tell you (or your company) anything about the use of this or any other software on my computer?  For that matter why should I trust to only stop at peaking under the hood for Logos products either in a specific or general way?  Recently I did a bit of research for a national TV rating's company that paid me $5.00 for only a week's worth of journaling in regards to my viewing habits.  I see no such offer of compensation from Logos for years worth of data...not even a discount.

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RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2012 11:28 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I hope this overview is helpful, and that you can appreciate the value that these social / community features add to the Logos platform, and hopefully to your study and investment as well.

Peace, Bob!            Yes!      Very helpful indeed!           Very much appreciated.     Some of these concepts and "directions" are truly monumental.  You've done well with this overview.  Basically this individual  (me!   *smile* ) concurs and trusts you and your people (colleagues? collaborators? team-mates? staff?)

I must say, Bob!  You have assembled and co-ordinated such a wonderful and amazing group of men and women who are part of the Logos Mission!  Well-done!                                    Vaya Con Dios!                                          and ...               Always Joy in the Lord!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 687
Jon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:37 AM

Bob Pritchett:
We hope to enable some forms of "community" data editing -- and even remote editorial work for compensation. For example, Logos 5 has some data sets that were created by tagging the biblical text -- we even used our own highlighting tool for some of the work. With collaborative documents, users could choose to join a tagging project on a text that Logos might not otherwise get to. Imagine if referent analysis, speaker labels, word senses, and clause searching were available for the Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo, and all of the Perseus Project. These collaborative/social documents could help us distribute the workload over many contributors, track who made what contribution, and even pay for contributions in Logos credit.

Yes

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:15 AM

Rene Atchley:
I see no such offer of compensation from Logos for years worth of data...not even a discount.

Microsoft never pays me for crash reports ... but I don't mind helping them identify the crashes so that I get fewer of them. In that past few years, I've finally lost the ability to crash MSWord at will.

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

Posts 61
Thomas Jackson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:47 AM

Bob,

I pray that the 'Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond' will be fully Implemented in a different version of Logos. I've invested about $5,000 dollars in Logos and do not support nor want this 'Social / community' direction. If, however, the new design will be implemented in Logos 5, I need to re-think not only the $1,200 dollars pre-pub orders I'm waiting for, but also any future orders.

Thomas

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:55 AM

Hi Thomas

Thomas Jackson:
and do not support nor want this 'Social / community' direction

For clarity would you be able to advise on whether the collection of your data or the display of aggregation of other people's data is the issue for you - or, indeed, something else?

Is it a philosophical or practical in nature?

Hope you can advise on this - it's just not clear to me from your post as to what your concerns really are - and hence how Logos could address them.

Thanks, Graham 

 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:11 AM

Thanks for the full post, Bob (and for the unexpected mention!). I think only two things are required for meet the vast majority of users' concerns:

  1. Making sure that having "Send Feedback" set to "None" means that no tracking in done within the desktop app (no search results collected, no highlighting aggregated, and so on). IMO this setting should also mean that a user with this setting should not have their synced documents included in any analysis.
  2. Allow users to turn of the receiving (or at least the displaying) of community data, without turning off the syncing of their own data. This includes Faithlife Community notes, community ratings/tags, popular highlighting, etc.

I confess I see no need of either of those things myself (the former because I trust you and want Logos to improve, the latter because I can switch them off individually or ignore them), but I think I understand why others might want them.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:12 AM

It sounds like a great vision, thanks for sharing it Bob. I am on board 100%.  I was not a huge fan of Faithlife, community features etc. in the beginning, but I am being won over - I can see the vision of how these types of things will enhance my own study.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:17 AM

Rene Atchley:
I see no such offer of compensation from Logos for years worth of data...not even a discount.

I hope you don't use ANY search engine on the Internet - they grab a lot more data about what you are doing than Logos does! Or I hope you don't use any Microsoft products....or Adobe....or browser...or any of a number of other "non community" products. People think only Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the like are grabbing data, but that's grossly inaccurate. Oh and don't forget your TV viewing preferences, unless you only do over the air (and they collect data too, just not as much), DirecTV, Comcast, and all the other satellite/cable providers are collecting huge amounts of preference/usage data.

The only way to avoid this, as Bob says, is turn off the Internet. It's a connected world now.

Posts 61
Thomas Jackson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:28 AM

Graham,

It seems to me that the direction Logos is headed is greatly influenced by the philosophical posts on this forum (not the 'bug' fixes).  While I respect the opions of others, I prefer that my version of Logos be independent of their input. Again, I do respect you and a few others who post on this forum, but I would like to keep my version of Logos  independent of forum posters philosophical inputs.

Thomas 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:34 AM

Thomas Jackson:

Graham,

It seems to me that the direction Logos is headed is greatly influenced by the philosophical posts on this forum (not the 'bug' fixes).  While I respect the opions of others, I prefer that my version of Logos be independent of their input. Again, I do respect you and a few others who post on this forum, but I would like to keep my version of Logos  independent of forum posters philosophical inputs.

Thomas 

Thanks Thomas

That's helpful.

Appreciated, Graham 

 

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:26 AM

Bob Pritchett:

The coarse grained control is turning off "Use Internet" in the Program Settings. The more fine-grained controls are still being decided on, and will reflect your input.

Bob, this is something that I and others have been asking for some time, and I want to say thanks.

 I doubt that you remember this, but I am in communication with my representatives and senators concerning consumer's privacy.  And this is what I have been saying that consumers need to have.

 Now, it is not likely that you are thinking of fine-grained controls the same way that I am thinking of fine-grained controls.  I believe controls should be very very very very very fine.  For an example, I believe that I should have a flag for each note to indicate if it should be synced to your server or not.  The same is true when it comes to our prayer requests and everything else.

 I also believe that I should be able to exempt my information from being used in your decision process.  I believe my privacy is more important than your bottom line, and any mining my data is an invasion of my privacy without my approval.

 Again, I wanted to say thanks for providing more security controls in the future.

Posts 2993
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:26 AM

Bob,

I am VERY excited about the coming features and your vision for the software!  However, I suggest locking this thread before it becomes a very depressing thread like others...

 

Yes

Teacher, Ministry Leader, Student, Author, Husband

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Posts 485
John Duffy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:33 AM

Hi Bob,

Thanks for such detail and clarity on the topic.

Bob Pritchett:
Some things come along with being web-based.

I appreciate this, and I have no problem in Logos not only knowing what my purchases are (as is normal for any vendor), but I also don't mind feedback of a fair degree of usage of the program that helps Logos develop and more appropriately meet and exceed user expectations/needs. 

One of my concerns is that if Logos was a new program just introduced onto the market, it would be expected (if not unthinkable not to) that the developer would provide the explicit option for the user to choose whether or not to participate in data collection or feedback (for statistical analysis, or other purposes e.g. to generate community data).  As noted on the forum elsewhere, there is some wording in the 'Online Backup' section of the EULA which loosely covers statistical analysis, and states that user's data will not be shared without their permission. But it is not explicit or clear enough, especially with respect to using users' data for other purposes such as to generate community data (although admittedly 'popular highlights' is a pretty tame use of such data).  But the main thing is that users don't have an option whether to participate or not in their data or statisics being used by Logos.  At present, the only workaround is to turn off internet usage, which is not very practical in general.  In principle, I'm not against using users' data for generating statistics or even community data at times (e.g. popular highlights), but I would simply like the choice as to whether to do so, or not. 

Bob Pritchett:
We are very careful and respectful of individual privacy, and we'll be offering some controls/options

But I'm pleased to read this, and look forward to seeing what the options/controls will be.

Personally, I don't mind the vast majority of usage statistics (e.g. what books I open, what I right-click on etc) being gathered, and would allow such if I had the option.  But I am concerned at having no option with what I consider to be personal 'value added' data that is over and above my statistically-interesting usage of the application.  At a minumum, this includes all 'Documents' (Prayer lists, Notes, Clippings, etc) which contain some very confidential information that I would not like to be viewed or used for any purposes.  But it also includes other data such as Guides which can contain notes, or possibly even text that is marked up as significant (highlighting).  

While the EULA tells us "Do not store highly confidential information in the software", many users would consider that their Prayer Lists, or Notes for research purposes, come under this description.  There seems therefore to be an inherent conflict between what the program allows us to do, and what it tells us we should not do in order to maintain confidentiality.  I don't mind syncing for online backup purposes (although I can imagine those in persecuted countries being concerned about digital eavesdropping, unless it is encrypted while being transferred), but I consider not having a choice on the use of such data to be a different thing entirely.  I hope I don't sound alarmist on this, since I'm not suggesting that Logos has used, or would use, such data in ways that would cause significant concern for users.  I just think that it would be good to have options on confidentiality, and clarity on such matters.

Bob Pritchett:
The coarse grained control is turning off "Use Internet" in the Program Settings. The more fine-grained controls are still being decided on, and will reflect your input.

I've posted here because you're looking for input.  Here are some options I would be happy with.  While one option is a global 'Send Feedback' option of On or Off, which would disable sync etc, but still allow resource downloads and updates, multiple options could be offered such as;

  1. Allow feedback on 'basic program usage' (e.g. what resources are used, what is right-clicked etc.
  2. Allow sync of 'user generated data' (Documents, Guides, etc.) for backup purposes only.  (While this would normally be enabled/disabled per user account accross all devices, it might be helpful at times to have it as an option on a per device basis, e.g. when many users of the family iPad could see confidential Prayer Lists, a user might like sync enabled on their PC but disabled on their iPad.  But that is a very, very, minor issue in comparison to having the option to sync or not at all.  I mention it to see what others think on this.)
  3. Allow analysis and anonymised use of the contents of 'user generated data' e.g. to generate community data (such as popular highlights.

The display of community data doesn't concern me too much, as it is not a privacy issue, but it would be handy to have a global option as to whether to display that or not.

I look forward to seeing what the options/controls will be.  Thanks for expanding the conversation and looking for input on the topic.

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:53 AM

Bob,

Thank you so much for sharing this information. I'd like to politely add my input to what some others have posted. 

1. Please give us a way to opt-out of all community features in the product. I can see that some might enjoy those features and understand them, but there are many of us who do not need/want this kind of functionality in the website. There should be a way for us to sync our documents to use them on mobile devices without having to use other community features.

2. Please give us a way to opt-out of data collection. I understand the positive side of it for the company and the benefits you gain from it. I also know a lot of us are uncomfortable with intentional, intricate data collection as we use Logos. Yes, I know that Google and many others attempt to be even more invasive. Still, we should have a way to opt out. Right now every company is trying to track everything I do and it's uncomfortable. I don't want my every step observed in Logos though I have no ill will against the company.

3. I'm not entirely clear why you anticipate it being nearly impossible to use Logos in the future without the internet. I can completely understand if you meant that some features would require the internet, but I do not see why the application should require the internet. For example, iTunes was one of the first desktop applications to be deeply connected to the internet, but it lets me disable music recommendations and use my local music all day long without any internet connection. I can choose to use the internet based features or just use my local library. I would hope Logos would remain the same way, not just for the "missionary without internet" but for many of us who many not want be wired every second of our lives. This is already a frustration in the iOS app where certain things won't work unless I have an internet connection. Please don't cripple Logos in the same way.

Thanks for your openness about the direction of Logos.

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