Conflict of Interest?

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This post has 59 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:11 PM

DAL:

Into Grace:

I expect when Logos 8 and previous versions were released, a lot of hype came from those who receive secret discounts or free books not offered to the general public. If this is true, it is a disgrace.

Image going into a car dealership to look at cars and some "plants" who don't work for the company hype up how great particular vehicles are when in reality they are there because they are secretly rewarded with special incentives or gifts from the dealership not disclosed to you.

Of course, from the perspective of people who receive these special incentives and/or gifts to promote Logos, they do nothing wrong.

Hey, I even predicted Logos would name one of their packages “Logos Ultimate” and I’m not a member of any secret society that gets free software and books that the public can’t buy.  What would be the point of us being the only ones having books that no one else has access to. Then again, maybe we’re not supposed to talk about it.  Rule # 1 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” Rule # 2 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” If you have any questions about rule # 2, please refer back to rule # 1...😜😂😁

DAL

Rule #3 - There is no Logos "secret society".

Posts 634
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:16 PM

DAL:

Hey, I even predicted Logos would name one of their packages “Logos Ultimate” and I’m not a member of any secret society that gets free software and books that the public can’t buy.  What would be the point of us being the only ones having books that no one else has access to. Then again, maybe we’re not supposed to talk about it.  Rule # 1 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” Rule # 2 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” If you have any questions about rule # 2, please refer back to rule # 1...😜😂😁

DAL

Thanks, DAL. You have a great sense of humor. I enjoy your posts immensely. You definitely speak your mind on this forum. 

Posts 189
Jon Bradley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:21 PM

This has honestly been one of the more interesting threads that I have read in a while on here. Honestly, companies do things like this all the time, however, I don't see that as Logos'/Faithlife's style. I get free books to review on my blog from time to time...but I don't worship at the altar of those companies. Honestly, some of the sharpest critics that I have seen of Faithlife and the Logos platform are some of the most ardent supporters of the company that I see on the Forums. 

Posts 75
MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:43 PM

Into Grace:
A few people in this forum appear to worship at the altar of Logos.

Posts 5133
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:51 PM

In all the promoting of prepub items I have done, I was gifted a $10 gift certificate once for helping push a small fortress press set through. That is the only time that I have ever got anything, other than I seem to remember being given one free book years back too. I try to offer honest evaluation and genuine help when I am able to. I had heard rumours that the MVPs May had been offered extra discounts but had never heard of any confirming it and Rosie would be the authority on that. She obviously can’t speak for all MVP but if she says she hasn’t I believe her. If a regular user of the forms like myself may have received a couple very small gifts it would seem not beyond the possibility that at times MVPs who do so much may have received some sort of occasional thank you gift. However I don’t think after hearing from Rosie that this happens often Or to even all MVP. I do remember many members suggeusting that Logos should have gifted me the NIB for my seeming tireless efforts to get it through PP. But I received no more than the satisfaction of it making it to Logos nor was I expecting anything more. 

-dan

Posts 899
Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 9:27 PM

With regard to the original question - I think that all of those pushing Logos have themselves dropped a small fortune on purchasing books, etc. I used to work in retail/wholesale and customers who dropped 10k+ got a lot more than a notebook, a T-shirt or a free subscription to something. Logos gives out free books every month along with birthday presents, etc. which is more generous to "every customer" than my company ever was. IMHO anyone who has dropped 5 or 6 (Rosie!) figures on Logos isn't in conflict of interest even if they did receive a bunch of L8 bonuses.

I've seen promos for getting an extra 5 books with a Logos 8 package that are available only through "select channels." I really don't see the value for Logos in doing this because "regular customers" might be upset they didn't join the right facebook group or something. How are those FB/websites being rewarded? Are there people behind them that are otherwise unknown who are pushing Logos on the forums? This isn't related to the original question per se but seems a more appropriate complaint.

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 9:51 PM

Tom Reynolds:
With regard to the original question - I think that all of those pushing Logos have themselves dropped a small fortune on purchasing books, etc. I used to work in retail/wholesale and customers who dropped 10k+ got a lot more than a notebook, a T-shirt or a free subscription to something. Logos gives out free books every month along with birthday presents, etc. which is more generous to "every customer" than my company ever was. IMHO anyone who has dropped 5 or 6 (Rosie!) figures on Logos isn't in conflict of interest even if they did receive a bunch of L8 bonuses.

Thanks for that observation.

Another reason why some of us who have spent a lot on Logos resources continue pushing Logos books (e.g., pushing to get things through pre-pub or community pricing) is that we want those books ourselves, and Logos's business model requires there to be enough interest before they are willing to put the investment into producing a book in their format.

Also, when you've put the kind of money into this product over the years that I have, you want to make sure your investment won't be wasted, i.e., that this company will still be around years from now. So it's enlightened self-interest that we're operating out of when we do recommend upgrades or books.

Some people along the way have gotten angry and felt that they were just throwing good money after bad and decided to stop purchasing more resources. I have to confess I've been tempted at times. It's a staggering amount of money I've invested in my Logos library, and it's scary to me when Faithlife makes moves towards requiring a subscription to keep access to this system. I'm used to spending lots of money on books in my print-based library, but once I buy a paper book, I have it forever, and don't need to keep upgrading my software to access it, nor learning new skills to be able to keep reading it. Logos library is different in that it provides search capabilities that my print-based library doesn't. But frankly, the amount of time I have to put into staying current with the software makes that a diminishing selling point. I use fewer and fewer of the other features Logos provides, and most of the time just use it as a glorified search facility and e-reader.

But I keep convincing myself that it's all worth it, and I keep buying more books to help Logos stay in business and because I'm greedy for more knowledge, and because the only alternative is despair and self-loathing.

I don't think that counts as a conflict of interest. But the original poster is free to disagree with me.

Posts 2709
Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 10:24 PM

Well, this is a strange post. I've never thought about any conflict of interest or if some are rewarded for loyalty and others not. Now that I'm reading and thinking on this post, it really does not matter to me if there are such practices taking place. My loyalty (if you want to call it that) stems from the overall personality of Logos/Faithlife and the way they relate to their customer base. Needless to say, I'm not going anywhere (been here for about 8 years), as I'm comfortable. If they decide to send you a free base package and not send me one, I would be happy for you and wouldn't consider it unethical or unfair.

Posts 644
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 6:09 AM

I believe the product is better for having beta testers.  I know these testers help the customers have a better experience, both with making suggestions prior to release, and helping on the forum.

I believe the company should release more complete functionality, and this propensity to use customers to find the flaws would be even more prevalent sans beta testers.

Thanks, Rosie, for your insight into this, in my opinion, non-issue.

Posts 9474
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 7:21 AM

Well, I posted earlier, and assumed there'd be a shoe hitting the floor later.  So far, it's been quiet, and I'm not sure what precipitated either the thread or its insult in the title.

That said, any type of programmed compensation, no matter how labeled (accompanies, regular gifts, etc) would destroy the MVPs as of much value. It has nothing to do with the folks that volunteer. It has to do with customers vs FL. The MVPs by necessity step into that relationship, and unfortunately  get tagged. Just this last week. Thus, I doubt FL would entertain such an idea, without changing the whole program ... forum monitor, etc

Periodic random thank you gifts speak well to the mindset of the company, as also happens in church.


Posts 58
Kevin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 8:13 AM

I wonder what the Lord thinks of this thread?

Posts 213
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 8:55 AM

I think it is quite easy to work out who MIGHT have benefited in some small way from helping Faithlife by Beta testing Logos and in my opinion there is no evidence that as a group they exhibit any positive bias compared to other users. 

Posts 882
Myke Harbuck | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 10:11 AM

Graham Owen:

in my opinion there is no evidence that as a group they exhibit any positive bias compared to other users. 

Precisely.

And as a 25-year veteran of the business sector, I'd say that the concept of a conflict of interest is not even applicable here, as those who beta test, MVPs, the "secret society,"or however they are labeled, do not actually promote anything. They are here only to support us and to answer our questions. The closest you'll get to promoting a product is an MVP advising they have such-and-such product / base package, and then only when they are directly asked.

I reviewed some of the MVPs posts and couldn't find a single one where they are "promoting" a product, or encouraging a financial transaction related to a product. As such, I really don't see how the issue could have even been raised in the first place, even as a hypothetical. 

Myke Harbuck
Lead Pastor, www.ByronCity.Church
Adjunct Professor, Georgia Military College
Mac OS 10.13.6 High Sierra, Mid 2015 iMac, 2.5GHz i7, 32 gbRAM, 1tbSSD

Posts 616
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 10:25 AM

I’ve said this twice before in this thread but noone seems to have noticed. I’ve seen nothing remotely suspicious, but still think some kind of badges might be a good idea. Without any accusations/suspicions of bias/animus etc, knowing if a group of people is getting different treatment and exposure to facets that we are unaware of is helpful. Partly because they might have access to information that we don’t and partly because different users have different experiences - getting an obvious indication that there are legitimate business reasons why some people are having certain experiences is helpful to know.

i don’t care about the issue itself all that much, but it upsets me somewhat that people are only interacting with one reason for wanting this when there are several. I’m not cynical about anyone’s contributions. That’s besides the point for me.

Posts 2236
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 11:11 AM

Rosie Perera:
and have over 28,000 resources

If you are at a loss on who you can gift you Logos library to in your will, feel free to consider me.  Wink 

I'm just kidding.  I do want you to know that I have always appreciated your comments in the forum.

Posts 495
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 11:14 AM

James,

Everyone is allowed to be a beta tester, with no compensation. Generally that's the latest from the horses mouth. So I don't think they are getting secret information that we don't. The MVP's complain to Faithlife about their troubles just the some as we do.

If Faithlife wants to say "Thank You" to the MVP's ( and they do have badges) I'm all in favor of it. I don't think a small token of appreciation is going to turn (sway) a Christian brother or sister into pushing something they actually don't believe in.

I have been amazed at the hours or time they put in to do what they do. Truly It is a labor of love for a great product,

Posts 213
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 11:56 AM

James McAdams:
...but still think some kind of badges might be a good idea.

I think the challenge here would be determining what warrants the issuing of the badge or badges.

Would there be a minimum value in $ before a badge is issued? 

Would there be a time limit on the badge? i.e. would it expire if no benefit was received for 12 months.

Like many users I receive occasional "gifts" from Faithlife that I believe many other long term users receive.

I received a small discount on an upgrade to a version that I beta tested some years ago.

Based on your suggestion I'm guessing that I would not qualify for a "badge" but what if I had developed a negative view of Faithlife because I am disappointed in the current level of gifts that I receive, this might result in me posting bad reviews making my previous status just as relevant as someone who currently receives gifts. (Note that I did choose not to continue making myself available as a beta tester as I don't have the time and the gifts are really not that great)

I understand the concern but most of the regulars here have been around a long time, I recognise most from the time when I was much more active here, of the ones that I "know" I have seen all of them complement and criticise Faithlife at different times. 

My personal take on why we see a lot of positives from established (beta?) users has nothing to do with them receiving gifts I think it is primarily down to the fact that they have had time to get used to the new version and for them many of the negatives of the latest version are a memory of the beta process. They will also have seen the change in increments so many small changes rather than the single big one the rest of us experience. Basically they see the upgrade through a different lens.

I was openly critical of the release process for 8 but weeks later, as I get used to using it, I am beginning to see the product that others, who already had some experience of it, were so excited about.

Posts 616
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 2:38 PM

Graham Owen:

James McAdams:
...but still think some kind of badges might be a good idea.

I think the challenge here would be determining what warrants the issuing of the badge or badges.

Would there be a minimum value in $ before a badge is issued? 

Some of the MVPs have a red star signifying who they are - I think that’s based on number of posts, but not sure if there’s more to it than that. Liam mentioned that he was invited to try a preview build of Logos 8 - that’s the kind of relationship I’d want signified, because it signifies a different kind of relationship. I’m interested in who has that kind of relationship - access to non-public builds and such. Basically, normal users, MVPs, staff and those with early access - they’re the different types of relationship I see. All are legitimate, valued, positive things. No complaining here. But they’re in different kinds of relationships with the software and with Faithlife.

You say you were critical of Logos 8 at launch - I really wasn’t. I adore Logos and absolutely loved the latest update. I don’t want people to go uncompensated. I don’t want Faithlife to release a product without user input and appreciate that means private invites will go out. I have no problem with any of this. But I do think seeing different kinds of user with different levels of privelege/responsibility/access etc is useful.

Posts 616
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 2:49 PM

Bobby Terhune:

James,

Everyone is allowed to be a beta tester, with no compensation. Generally that's the latest from the horses mouth. So I don't think they are getting secret information that we don't. The MVP's complain to Faithlife about their troubles just the some as we do.

If Faithlife wants to say "Thank You" to the MVP's ( and they do have badges) I'm all in favor of it. I don't think a small token of appreciation is going to turn (sway) a Christian brother or sister into pushing something they actually don't believe in.

I have been amazed at the hours or time they put in to do what they do. Truly It is a labor of love for a great product,

I agree with everything you’ve said except where you suggest Logos doesn’t do private betas in addition to the public ones - Faithlife quite understandably wants input before major releases and some users did get access to preview builds of Logos 8. That’s totally fine by me - I’m glad they did it. And the users who’ve mentioned having that kind of access are awesome members of the community - some of the most knowledgeable and helpful, and forthrightly critical. I think they’re entirely trustworthy. But they have different access to me and as it stands I spend a lot of my time trying to work out what perspectives people are speaking from. I’m mostly doing so by recognising names etc over time. A badge would make it a bit easier.

Posts 25194
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 2 2018 2:53 PM

James McAdams:
Some of the MVPs have a red star signifying who they are

If you look closely you will see that the "star" is a hole in a rusty bit of metal Wink

James McAdams:
I think that’s based on number of posts, but not sure if there’s more to it than that.

No, it looks that way because we stay on the forums until we think everyone's gotten an answer. Basically people are invited based on the quality of their answers and their willingness to put some time in on the forums. There are a few people who probably answer as many questions as well as MVP would who have turned down the invitation for an MVP style hole.

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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