New Features: Narrative Character Maps (Vol 2)

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 10:45 AM

Tim Bahula:

Juanita:

It never occurred to me that Logos had to specifiy to add more content to a feature that was part of an update.

Agreed.

Just to be clear. I know that these additions take a great deal of time and money to develop, and I fully respect that. These additions are valuable and worth paying for. My question was over whether that cost was included in the purchase of L6 either explicitly in the product description or implicitly because of the perceived incompleteness of the feature set as released. I believed that, in this case, it was implied and assumed that, like the maps, additions would available to all. It's been fairly standard for partial data sets and resources to be released with updates to follow so it seemed a natural assumption... Not a judgement, just my viewpoint from my shady memory.

EDIT: I wrote this before seeing Phil's response above. I think that post helps clarify things.

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Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 12:47 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We always specify when future updates will be included for free. Without that explicit statement, you shouldn't expect it.

When I subscribed to Logos Now, I thought that the reasoning was so I can get early access to new tools, not to maintain or update the ones that I have. Ever since I've owned Logos, we had the promise (sometimes unwritten assurances) that things in the program would be updated when an update was available. 

This, to me, is a big change and there should have been an explicit warning when Logos 6 was released saying that things have changed. Hearing Faithlife say "we didn't promise something in Logos 6 that had been standard practice in previous versions, so you shouldn't expect it" saddens me.  I will surely read the fine print in the future and make purchases with a lot more caution and apprehension. 

Peace  Smile

Romans 14:19 (NRSV)
19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 1:26 PM

Maybe what isn't being said is that (without the Logos Now option) these new datasets would NOT have been released AT ALL until Logos 7. Certainly from all I've read, FL never planned to release them to Logos 6 users. We would simply NOT HAVE KNOWN they existed.

You can complain, but FL DID NOT promise to me or anyone else extra diagrams, charts, interactives, etc. when they offered me Logos 6. Please show me if I missed that announcement. Besides, for me Logos 6 was such a different sort of release that I knew it would be handled differently. We were paying for data rather than tools (searches, guides, etc.) Others may not have been thinking that way, but the fact remains that no promises were broken, and I, for one, had no expectations of more free data.

In the meantime Logos has followed through on tagging lots more resources to be useful in the Journals and Sermons sections of the Guides. They've also shipped updates to a number of datasets. Undoubtedly they could point out much more that all Logos 6 users have received since L6 was released.

It seems to me that the difference here is not (a) FL holds back data that they would have given us without Logos Now, but (b) FL gives us the opportunity to use data we would otherwise not have seen for a long time as they develop it. This privilege costs us $90 a year, and that $90 includes other benefits (some yet to be announced) and it helps FL do more in development that they would have otherwise been able to do.

Logos Now is an adjustment in our thinking, but I can't accuse FL of using it to bilk me or other users of data they would have otherwise had.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 1:30 PM

Rick:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We always specify when future updates will be included for free. Without that explicit statement, you shouldn't expect it.

When I subscribed to Logos Now, I thought that the reasoning was so I can get early access to new tools, not to maintain or update the ones that I have. Ever since I've owned Logos, we had the promise (sometimes unwritten assurances) that things in the program would be updated when an update was available. 

This, to me, is a big change and there should have been an explicit warning when Logos 6 was released saying that things have changed. Hearing Faithlife say "we didn't promise something in Logos 6 that had been standard practice in previous versions, so you shouldn't expect it" saddens me.  I will surely read the fine print in the future and make purchases with a lot more caution and apprehension.

Logos Now provides early access to new features, but also access to new datasets and media and interactive content.

Nothing has changed. We typically don't add brand new content to base packages that wasn't explicitly promised in the product description at the point of sale. New content has always been sold separately. I think the real confusion here is around what constitues an update to an existing resource and what constitutes new content. See my earlier post on why resource updates and new content creation are not the same thing.

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John Kight | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:30 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
I think the real confusion here is around what constitues an update to an existing resource and what consistutes new content.

I think part of the confusion on the part of the user is overlooking the fact that these resource are labeled as new content, as Phil has pointed out. When Logos 6 was purchased it included Narrative Character Maps (vol. 1) & Before and After: Biblical Sites (vol. 1). However, the newly release content, while functioning within the same window as the existing volume(s), is actually a distinct volume(s) from the former (Narrative Character Maps, vol. 2 and Before and After: Biblical Sites, vol. 2)

For book reviews and more visit sojotheo.com 

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Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:33 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Tim Bahula:

Further, the product description explicitly states that it includes "the missionary journey’s of Paul". That was not included in the Logos 6 release. Was it not natural to assume that updates would be forthcoming?

I'll look into this. It's completely reasonable to expect that the product includes what it describes! :) We'll make sure we deliver on what was promised.

Hi Phil, I realize this thread is specifically about the Narrative Character Maps, but I suspect a lot of the same arguments might be made about the Before and After Update as well. One thing that may be worth looking into as well is the initial description of the Before and After feature lists "a variety of views of Jerusalem" in addition to the other 5 images. I'm not sure what Logos has planned for the future, but if it involves releasing Before and After images to Logos Now and not Logos 6 users, there might be some similar frustrations. Just wanted to make your team aware of it so you can either edit the initial description or honor it.

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Tim Bahula | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:33 PM

At the risk of descending into flaming...

Mark Smith:

Maybe what isn't being said is that (without the Logos Now option) these new datasets would NOT have been released AT ALL until Logos 7. Certainly from all I've read, FL never planned to release them to Logos 6 users. We would simply NOT HAVE KNOWN they existed.

Please do not misunderstand. I am not asking that new datasets such as Systematic Theology Cross Reference be made freely available. You are right, that wasn't part of the Logos 6 deal. I have no problem if those kinds of things are only on Logos Now.

However, Narrative Character Maps was one of the shiny new features of Logos 6. At the time it arrived I was disappointed. Only 5 of them.

Mark Smith:

You can complain, but FL DID NOT promise to me or anyone else extra diagrams, charts, interactives, etc. when they offered me Logos 6. Please show me if I missed that announcement. Besides, for me Logos 6 was such a different sort of release that I knew it would be handled differently. We were paying for data rather than tools (searches, guides, etc.) Others may not have been thinking that way, but the fact remains that no promises were broken, and I, for one, had no expectations of more free data.

Should it surprise anyone at Faithlife that users would reasonably conclude there would be more than 5 Narrative Character Maps eventually. Did Faithlife explicitly promise that we would receive them for free? No, they did not. However, they were less than clear in their marketing about what was actually available when Logos 6 shipped. That's what makes me upset.

Logos has created a culture of expectation of these updates over the years. There have been several resources that have shipped incomplete with the promise that users would receive the complete product later. Even today the Logos 6 website indicates that my purchase of Logos 6 Platinum over six(!) months ago isn't complete (still missing 4 Bibles and 3 sets of maps):

* Your purchase includes this resource, which isn’t available yet. The resource will automatically download to Logos once it’s available.

Further, for years Logos has explicitly stated that resource updates are free, but now throws in that purchasers need to check the fine print. This is not the way to win customer loyalty.

Mark Smith:

Logos Now is an adjustment in our thinking, but I can't accuse FL of using it to bilk me or other users of data they would have otherwise had.

I understand that models of publishing are changing... er, have changed. I don't have a problem with that. However, it seems to me that the rules of the game changed without all of the players being told. I do have a problem with that. It's even worse to be told that it's my fault for not reading something that isn't even there.

For the record, as I pointed out elsewhere, when shipped and even as of today, the Narrative Character Maps description does not include a (Vol 1) anywhere and does explicitly state that it includes Paul's missionary journeys.

Trace the missionary journey’s of Paul and other early church leaders in the first century.

And so I do feel bilked.

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Tim Bahula | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:44 PM

Ryan B:

Hi Phil, I realize this thread is specifically about the Narrative Character Maps, but I suspect a lot of the same arguments might be made about the Before and After Update as well. One thing that may be worth looking into as well is the initial description of the Before and After feature lists "a variety of views of Jerusalem" in addition to the other 5 images. I'm not sure what Logos has planned for the future, but if it involves releasing Before and After images to Logos Now and not Logos 6 users, there might be some similar frustrations. 

This is my complaint with both Narrative Character Maps and Before and After. However, I would argue that a wide-range of biblical narrative character maps and before and after images is implicit in both of these product descriptions. That is, that the lists are representative not exhaustive.

Ryan B:

Just wanted to make your team aware of it so you can either edit the initial description or honor it.

I think that it would call Faithlife's integrity into question if they were edit it rather than honor it! Oh wait, it has already been edited!!

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Tim Bahula | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:48 PM

John Kight:

When Logos 6 was purchased it included Narrative Character Maps (vol. 1) & Before and After: Biblical Sites (vol. 1). However, the newly release content, while functioning within the same window as the existing volume(s), is actually a distinct volume(s) from the former (Narrative Character Maps, vol. 2 and Before and After: Biblical Sites, vol. 2)

When Logos 6 was released neither the Narrative Character Maps or the Before and After were labelled as Volume 1. In fact, as of now, the original release of Narrative Character Maps and Before and After are not labelled as Volume 1!

Faithlife changed the rules and didn't tell the users. I suppose that's their prerogative, but it doesn't build customer loyalty.

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Jeff Jackson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:50 PM

Part 2 of Acts (the missionary journeys) is under development.  I completed a giant spreadsheet for it several months ago, and I understand that someone is now working on the graphical layout.  It's a fairly large undertaking and so I have no idea when it will be released.

But given the description of the product you quoted, I expect it will be released to Logos 6 customers; though technically, I don't speak for the company, but Bob is pretty good about doing the right thing.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 2:52 PM

Tim Bahula:

I think that it would call Faithlife's integrity into question if they were edit it rather than honor it! Oh wait, it has already been edited!!

At least as of me writing this note, the last time that post was edited was over 6 months ago, on October 27th, 2014, and the text, "a variety of views of Jerusalem", is still there:

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Tim Bahula | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 3:23 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

This isn't an argument. It's a statement of fact. :)

Perhaps you were trying lighten the mood with some humor... it's very difficult to read tone of voice in pixels. The fact is that Logos does not always specify when future updates will be included for free. It is a fact that Logos rarely if ever explicitly states anything about updates on the vast majority of resources and they are still updated for free.

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
It's important to distinguish between a traditional print-book-turned digital resource and an interactive resource or media collection. It's also important to define update. In the case of a typical text-based resource, when we add new links, fix typos, add support for new datatypes, etc., you get those updates for free. That's always been the case, and we have no plans of deviating from that.

In the case of an open-ended resource like Atlas maps, Before and After, Narrative Character Maps, etc., you shouldn't expect that you'll continue to get all new content as part of your original purchase, unless we specify that future content will be included, as we did with Atlas. I understand why you'd think that. And I'm not faulting you for doing so. I'm just explaining our thinking and why we're treating this kind of content and these kinds of "updates" differently.

I think this really gets at the heart of the issue. The rules of publishing resources in a digital age have changed. Faithlife may understand this clearly; however, that change has not been clearly communicated to users, as I think this thread reveals.

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 is a resource, and Narrative Character Maps, vol. 2 is a new resource. You will get any updates we make to vol. 1 for free.

But there's the rub, Phil. Narrative Character Maps was never marketed as volume 1. It was Narrative Character Maps period (and still is on the product page). It was reasonable to expect that the list of narrative character maps was representative not exhaustive.

Since I've already spent a lot more time on this than anticipated, here's my summary and then I'm done:

I made a reasonable but faulty assumption. I'll get over that, but I will read the fine print - even when none exists Stick out tongue - and, after witnessing the altering of and not honoring of product descriptions today as documented here, I will trust Faithlife a lot less despite having been a loyal Logos customer since the software shipped on floppy disks.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 5:01 PM

Ryan B:
Hi Phil, I realize this thread is specifically about the Narrative Character Maps, but I suspect a lot of the same arguments might be made about the Before and After Update as well. One thing that may be worth looking into as well is the initial description of the Before and After feature lists "a variety of views of Jerusalem" in addition to the other 5 images. I'm not sure what Logos has planned for the future, but if it involves releasing Before and After images to Logos Now and not Logos 6 users, there might be some similar frustrations. Just wanted to make your team aware of it so you can either edit the initial description or honor it.

Thanks for calling it to our attention. We definitely want to make sure we honor the descriptions of these products. We'll take a careful look at them and make the necessary adjustments.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 5:08 PM

Tim Bahula:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

This isn't an argument. It's a statement of fact. :)

Perhaps you were trying lighten the mood with some humor... it's very difficult to read tone of voice in pixels. The fact is that Logos does not always specify when future updates will be included for free. It is a fact that Logos rarely if ever explicitly states anything about updates on the vast majority of resources and they are still updated for free.

We usually specify when you'll be getting new content for free in an open-ended category of content (e.g., Atlas, or the books that weren't yet produced). We've consistently and categorically communicated that true updates (typo fixes, link additions, supports for new datasets, etc.) will get rolled out for free. Both are true—and different categories of things.

Tim Bahula:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
It's important to distinguish between a traditional print-book-turned digital resource and an interactive resource or media collection. It's also important to define update. In the case of a typical text-based resource, when we add new links, fix typos, add support for new datatypes, etc., you get those updates for free. That's always been the case, and we have no plans of deviating from that.

In the case of an open-ended resource like Atlas maps, Before and After, Narrative Character Maps, etc., you shouldn't expect that you'll continue to get all new content as part of your original purchase, unless we specify that future content will be included, as we did with Atlas. I understand why you'd think that. And I'm not faulting you for doing so. I'm just explaining our thinking and why we're treating this kind of content and these kinds of "updates" differently.

I think this really gets at the heart of the issue. The rules of publishing resources in a digital age have changed. Faithlife may understand this clearly; however, that change has not been clearly communicated to users, as I think this thread reveals.

We have been discussing this on the forums since Now was first announced in several places. We've probably not done a great job of making sure everyone understands all the nuances of how this works, the differences between typical resource updates and the creation of brand new content not promised in the original product definition. Some of the particular applications are new, but the principles we're following are not. I'm sorry we haven't communicated that more clearly though.

Tim Bahula:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 is a resource, and Narrative Character Maps, vol. 2 is a new resource. You will get any updates we make to vol. 1 for free.

But there's the rub, Phil. Narrative Character Maps was never marketed as volume 1. It was Narrative Character Maps period (and still is on the product page). It was reasonable to expect that the list of narrative character maps was representative not exhaustive.

It wasn't marked as vol. 1 because we didn't have a clear plan for the future. We didn't know if we'd create more. We wanted to see how customers responded, if they liked them, etc. We took the same approach to the Propositional Bible Outlines. We created them for the NT, with no plans to do the OT. Based on the enthusiastic response, we decided to do the OT as well. We renamed Propositional Bible Outlines to NT Propsitional Bible Outlines (which should have been its name all along) and created a new OT Propositional Bible Outlines. This wasn't an attempt to pull a fast one. It was simply making room for more in a category that we hadn't sufficient anticipated or prepared for in our naming schemes.

Tim Bahula:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 is a resource, and Narrative Character Maps, vol. 2 is a new resource. You will get any updates we make to vol. 1 for free.

Since I've already spent a lot more time on this than anticipated, here's my summary and then I'm done:

I made a reasonable but faulty assumption. I'll get over that, but I will read the fine print - even when none exists Stick out tongue - and, after witnessing the altering of and not honoring of product descriptions today as documented here, I will trust Faithlife a lot less despite having been a loyal Logos customer since the software shipped on floppy disks.

I asked the team to update the product descriptions so they list out specifically what is included in them. That way everyone has clear expectations. I've also set in motion to deliver any free updates based on how we described the product but haven't yet delivered on. We'll do this with both Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 and the Before and After, vol. 1. We're highly committed to honesty and integrety and earning and keeping your trust. If there's anything I can do personally to ensure that that's the case, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at phil@faithlife.com or 360-685-2314.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 10:40 PM

Tim Bahula:
At the time it arrived I was disappointed. Only 5 of them.

Keep in mind that we priced it appropriately for those five maps only ($5.95), not for any future updates.

Tim Bahula:
However, they were less than clear in their marketing about what was actually available when Logos 6 shipped. That's what makes me upset.

I've acknowledged that our product pages should have been clearer about what was included. I'm sorry for that. And I've asked the team to fix it and make sure to be more precise in the future.

Tim Bahula:

Logos has created a culture of expectation of these updates over the years. There have been several resources that have shipped incomplete with the promise that users would receive the complete product later. Even today the Logos 6 website indicates that my purchase of Logos 6 Platinum over six(!) months ago isn't complete (still missing 4 Bibles and 3 sets of maps):

* Your purchase includes this resource, which isn’t available yet. The resource will automatically download to Logos once it’s available.

The key phrase here is "with the promise that users would receive the complete product later." With that qualification, you're absolutely right.

Tim Bahula:
Further, for years Logos has explicitly stated that resource updates are free, but now throws in that purchasers need to check the fine print. This is not the way to win customer loyalty.

As I've explained in a couple of posts already in this discussion, there's a crucial difference between updates to resources and the creation of new content. We're not trying to hide anything in fine print. We're communicating that true resource updates are free, but that the creation of brand new content is almost always going to happen in new resources that will require separate purchases, unless we explicitly state otherwise.

Tim Bahula:
However, it seems to me that the rules of the game changed without all of the players being told. I do have a problem with that.

I don't think the rules have changed. What we're doing is consistent with what we've always done with updates vs. new content. The big difference here is that Logos Now makes this new content available now instead of saving it for Logos 7.

Tim Bahula:
It's even worse to be told that it's my fault for not reading something that isn't even there.

I've mentioned elsewhere that I don't fault you for thinking they should be included for free. I can completely see how you'd come to that conclusion. I'm trying to help you see—and appreciate—why they're not and how that's actually consistent with our longstanding practices.

Tim Bahula:

For the record, as I pointed out elsewhere, when shipped and even as of today, the Narrative Character Maps description does not include a (Vol 1) anywhere and does explicitly state that it includes Paul's missionary journeys.

Trace the missionary journey’s of Paul and other early church leaders in the first century.

And so I do feel bilked.

I've already acknowledge that we will absolutely deliver what the description promised. I'd also be happy to refund you for both Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 and Before and After, vol. 1 if you're not happy with the value we delivered for your ~$.60 and ~$2.00 respectively. Please let me know what I can do to take care of you.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 10:44 PM

Tim Bahula:
I think that it would call Faithlife's integrity into question if they were edit it rather than honor it! Oh wait, it has already been edited!!

I've stated multiple times that we will add free updates to make sure the original product description was accurate. The edits I asked the team to make were to ensure that people understood exactly what maps are included in vol. 1.

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2015 11:45 PM

Phil has answered this extensively, and I'm not sure what I could add that wouldn't be redundant. But I'll try. :-)

The publishing world is changing, and we're still adapting quickly (and sometimes without perfect vision of the future). To us, each Narrative Character Map is a separate editorial project -- like a tiny book, or a map. There's more work in the Acts narrative map ​alone than in some of the other Interactives.

In my mind, each of the Narrative Character Maps is a stand-alone project (with custom editorial and code), similar to how the Psalms and Proverbs explorers are separate Interactives. I don't think people are expecting 44 more free '<Book Name> Explorer' Interactives  to be delivered as free updates for Logos 6 -- the Psalms Explorer and Proverbs Explorers are what they are, specialized to each book.

I can see how the Narrative Character Maps seem different -- they're all grouped together in 'one Interactive'. We did this because they have such similar user interface, even though each is a unique (and time-consuming = expensive) creation. We included five, and we set the price of the product in to a value of $5.95. In the same way we put a low value on our Before/After images, since there were only a few.

(What if we had merged the similar Psalms/Proverbs explorers into one menu item? Maybe that would make people expect more of them... We didn't do that, though, because we expected there'd only be these two, where with Character Maps there could conceivably be hundreds.)

We didn't then know exactly how we would handle updates, though we had an inkling subscriptions would be part of it. (We've been thinking about that for years, precisely to address this problem, and others -- it's one things to sell access to 14,000 photos; how do you charge for the next 100? And the three you get after that?)

We have toyed with the idea of explicitly labeling everything "Vol. 1" "Vol. 2", etc. But soon the Library browser and/or user interface will be incredibly cluttered with useless licensing distinctions that get in the way of working.

I wish we had been clearer back in October when we designed these pages, but I believe, as Phil points out, that we were clear about what was included, and clear about what things were considered incomplete and would get free updates. (The Atlas, for example, which is continually having additional maps added at no additional cost.)

Tell me what you'd like us to do.

To keep creating new content, we need ongoing revenue. Many of our databases don't perfectly map to the world of paper publishing, and fixed volumes with distinct 'new editions'. For years now we have been doing an increasingly large amount of maintenance and improvement and new data creation for things we can't get compensated for. We simply can't continue to treat every database as an eternal obligation to update, and keep charging 'the price of a book.' When a paper book is sold, it's done and incurs no more production costs. When we sell the Cultural Concepts Tagging, or the Lexham Bible Dictionary, or even the Faithlife Study Bible, (the last two have actually been free!) we keep putting editorial work into them for years.

To me, the Narrative Character Maps aren't pages in an incomplete book, they are laminated posters you hang on a wall. You didn't buy a book missing a bunch of pages, you bought five posters. We've since made more, but each is a new product.

We can:

1) Give in to your argument and give away these new Narrative Character Maps and Before/After pairs. But I imagine we'll never do any more, because every day when we get to the office we'll have to decide to A) create a new Narrative Character Map which can't generate any more revenue, or B) work on creating a completely new thing that we can sell, because it isn't already part of a perceived promise. Option B will win most days. (Some of these are easy, but some are very hard and expensive -- take another look at Acts!)

(If you choose #1, but feel we are obligated to keep making them, how far does the obligation go? Do we have to make 10? 20? One for every person in the Bible? What does the initial $5.95 package entail in open-ended obligation?)

2) Give a free copy of the recent updates to users who feel cheated or misled, and fix our descriptions to be much more specific moving ahead. Possibly even change our policy to never promise any future deliverable (to avoid future misunderstandings and bad feelings), always being clear that a purchased product includes what it includes right now and no more.

(I do feel that this would be a net loss for users, though -- we've often delivered a lot of nice content down the road at no cost -- but apparently at the price of escalating expectations.)

3) Your suggestion?

I am really asking for your input in earnest, and I don't intend any snarkiness in this. But I am being very open and asking you to see things from our perspective: we're not trying to move you to a subscription to take advantage of you, or milk more money out of you. Our long term goal is to cost you less by getting more people to take a low cost subscription so we can deliver more value to more people.

Some users have emailed me to say things like "I've spent $X,000 with you, and it's outrageous that you're making me subscribe in order to get this new content." I humbly suggest you think of it another way: you've spent $X,000 on our product, and probably purchased a significant upgrade every few years for hundreds, and now we're offering to deliver fresh code and content every six weeks for $9/month. It'll take more than nine years to spend the next $1,000 on Logos Now, and you'll get 54 (!) updates along the way.

Isn't that a fantastic deal? And wouldn't you rather take that deal than win a handful of Character Maps and Before/After photos today, and then never see another, having if not strangled the golden goose of fresh content, at least encouraged it to lay different eggs? :-)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 12:27 AM

Bob, I know my reaction is not typical because I was a beta tester but I was left with the following impressions when Logos 6 was released. Note I say "impressions" not what I though Faithlife promised.

  • that the Psalms Explorer might be expanded to include deuterocanonical psalms
  • that it was probable that the Proverb Explorer would be expanded to include other proverb collections
  • that the Narrative Character Maps were so few as to be hard to learn to use them effectively as if Faithlife had run out of time
  • no particular thoughts re: Before/After
  • no particular thoughts re: Propositional Outlines

It was not until Logos Now was announced that it occurred to me to question my impressions. It wasn't until this release that I understood my modified impressions were still off track. I sympathize both with the users who had the expectations unmet and with Faithlife which tried to communicate in ways not encouraging the erroneous expectations.

It seems to me that to avoid this kind of misunderstanding, certain conditions need to be met:

  • data needs to be complete for features such as psalms and proverbs across all canons, suggestion to extend the data need to be met with a firm "out of scope statement", and obvious extensions need to be explicitly excluded in the product description. It is not a proverb explorer ... it is an explorer for the Book of Proverbs.
  • open ended products such as narrative character maps or before/after need to have volumes of a reasonable size ... tell me that each volume contains 5 items, for example. There can be volume 1 even if volume 2 is never released.
  • be consistent in finishing coding for new features in a short period of time - rarely exceeding a year ... think coding for Outlines, Sermons, Journals so that your customers are used to thinking of their resources as complete not "works in progress".

I don't think there is anything that you should do to rectify this particular situation except be certain that you have met the letter of your product descriptions but you can avoid repeat occurrences.

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

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Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 1:56 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Some users have emailed me to say things like "I've spent $X,000 with you, and it's outrageous that you're making me subscribe in order to get this new content." I humbly suggest you think of it another way: you've spent $X,000 on our product, and probably purchased a significant upgrade every few years for hundreds, and now we're offering to deliver fresh code and content every six weeks for $9/month. It'll take more than nine years to spend the next $1,000 on Logos Now, and you'll get 54 (!) updates along the way.

Isn't that a fantastic deal? And wouldn't you rather take that deal than win a handful of Character Maps and Before/After photos today, and then never see another, having if not strangled the golden goose of fresh content, at least encouraged it to lay different eggs? :-)

Hi Bob, I always appreciate it when you take the time out of your day to interact with and provide insight for us in the forums. It means a great deal and I thank you for doing that. In this particular case I don't "have a dog in this fight" so I'm not writing this from any particular side. I found myself agreeing with everything you said in your post above, until I got to the last two paragraphs which I quoted above. While I understand what you are trying to say, I think where I might slightly disagree is that (as I understand it) those who have emailed you saying they spent $X,000 - the money they spent is on resources and data sets they now own. For the user who is getting updates every 6 weeks and will have 54 updates by the time they spend $1,000, the problem is once they cancel that subscription that $1000 worth of data sets/resources is gone. I guess it would be analogous to renting a house vs buying a house - one earns equity the other doesn't. I'm not trying to attack the Logos Now model or FL's need for continuous revenue or rekindle any debates over subscription services, I just wanted to weigh in on why I see it as comparing apples and oranges.

Perhaps an alternative would be every six months or so to release a "bundle" or "package" where non-Logos Now users could purchase (to own) all the content that had been released on Logos Now over the previous six months? This way Logos Now users could have immediate access at a discounted rate, FL would continue to have the incoming revenue (both from the subscription service and these bundles), and non-Logos Now users would have the option to own the new features without having to wait for Logos 7.

Posts 53
Tim Bahula | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 2 2015 6:19 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

I asked the team to update the product descriptions so they list out specifically what is included in them. That way everyone has clear expectations. I've also set in motion to deliver any free updates based on how we described the product but haven't yet delivered on. We'll do this with both Narrative Character Maps, vol. 1 and the Before and After, vol. 1. We're highly committed to honesty and integrety and earning and keeping your trust. If there's anything I can do personally to ensure that that's the case, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at phil@faithlife.com or 360-685-2314.

Thanks for interacting on this topic, Phil. This brings the discussion to an acceptable resolution as far as I am concerned. 

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